Cherokee County’s oldest and only certified public accounting firm, Lyons & Morgan CPAs, is still on Mae Street in Centre, but there’s a new sign out front and a new owner after more than 40 years in business.
R.L. Jennings & Associates of Rome, Ga., has taken the helm with former partners Wallace Lyons and David Morgan continuing to offer their help during a transition period. Lee Jennings, managing shareholder at R.L. Jennings, is inviting the community to come out Thursday, Dec. 8 from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. to meet the new staff in Centre. Jennings said he plans to spend one day a week in the Centre office.
Business hours will be 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. During tax season – February through April – hours will be extended to 8 a.m.-6 p.m. during the week and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturdays.
Jennings said he is excited about the opportunity to serve Cherokee County, an area he has enjoyed visiting for many years. R.L. Jennings already has a lot of clients from this community, and Jennings has worked with Lyons & Morgan clients who needed specialized help. R.L. Jennings also has a satellite office in Elijay, Ga.
“We have quality people, and we will bring more jobs,” he said.
Lyons said he and Morgan decided the time was right to sell their firm because they found a CPA group they could depend on to take care of the clients they have served for almost half a century. Lyons said at his age he did not want to take a chance of his health failing during tax season and leaving things undone for his clients.
“They’re a good reliable accounting firm, and we feel confident about them. They can come in and take care of our clients, and they have more resources than we did,” Lyons said.
Although the accounting business is always about the numbers, “I like people more than numbers,” Lyons said.
Very few of the hundreds of people he has worked with over the years have been casual acquaintances; most became friends, he said.
Lyons, and David Morgan, will still be around though. You may see Wallace out walking with his wife, Glendacile, in Centre. They plan to travel some, especially to visit their two sons and grandchildren who live out of town. David Morgan will still be associated on a limited basis with the new firm. Both will continue with their civic activities in Centre and Cherokee County.
Jennings said he will continue the Lyons & Morgan legacy of dedication to their clients. R.L. Jennings helps people from all walks of life with their finances – from major corporations to retirees living on a limited income, he said.
“We treat them all the same. We’re in the people business,” Jennings said. “We find what a client needs and put them with the right people.”
Lyons said the accounting firm dates back to 1935 when Jack Jones opened an accounting firm in Centre. In 1953 Jack Morgan, who owned the business prior to Lyons, joined Jack Jones and formed Jones and Morgan Tax Service. Both Jack Jones and Jack Morgan were previous IRS employees.
In 1957 Mr. Jones retired out and turned the business over to Jack Morgan and it was then Jack Morgan Tax Service. In 1976 Lyons joined the firm and 2 years later, he became a CPA in 1978. Lyons bought out Morgan’s practice in 1981 with the understanding that his son David could come back to Centre and be a partner in the business. David Morgan then joined the firm as Partner in 1985 and the business has been know as Lyons and Morgan CPAs Accounting Firm since. He went on to say he and Morgan were anxious to be sure this presence of accounting continued in Centre for their valued clients and friends.
When asked what clients can expect from R.L. Jennings, Lee Jennings said the firm can offer many additional services including a full suite of Tax Services plus Final Expense and Estate Planning, Retirement Planning, the firm will now accept credit card payments, Investment guidance, and many other services not previously provided.
Jennings said the Centre Office employees will be local with one of his current employees in the Rome office planning to transfer to Centre. So, local clients will continue doing business with local hometown people they know. He said “Everybody deserves good service, affordably and he is excited to be able to continue providing local personal service”.
Wallace Lyons said he is confident Jennings and Associates is the right firm to take over the business and continue providing the type service local clients expect and deserve.