S.F. Fiser & Co., a public accounting firm based in Springdale, marks its 35th anniversary in 2020. The year itself, however, has been less than festive.
In January this year, company founder Sam Fiser died unexpectedly. He was 72. Fiser’s professional career dated back to 1971, the year he graduated from the University of Arkansas, and he was the managing partner at the firm up until his sudden death.
“He prided himself on taking care of clients the best way he knew how,” said Paul Simkins, a partner at S.F. Fiser and, with 32 years, the firm’s longest-tenured employee. “I think that’s why he kept working past [the retirement age of] 65, or 67 or 70. He just liked taking care of clients.”
Fiser’s accounting career began with Russell Brown & Co. in Little Rock, where he was born and raised. He became a partner in 1981 and started the company’s first branch office in Springdale that year. He remained a partner when the firm merged with Arthur Young & Co. in 1982.
Fiser contributed to several civic groups and was a past chairman of the Springdale Chamber of Commerce board of directors.
When he died, he was serving as an Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranch trustee and as a director of the Schmieding Foundation.
Simkins is one of the firm’s three partners/owners. He and Jeff Fender were named partners in 2009. Fiser appointed Gracie Gentry a partner earlier this year just before his death.
Fender said Fiser was well-respected in the public accounting community throughout the state.
“Many his peers that worked with him at Russell Brown, a lot of those guys spread out and opened a lot of firms in Arkansas,” said Fender, who joined S.F. Fiser in 1996. “Sam knew a lot of managing partners of those firms.”
S.F. Fiser has seven CPAs on a staff of 14 employees in Northwest Arkansas. The firm also has a branch office in Batesville.