A Century of Service: Mississippi accounting firm credits dedication to clients for 100 years of success

Published 9:00 am Saturday, October 29, 2022

What began as a one-man auditing company has grown over the last 100 years to more than 35 employees representing clients in more than 35 states.

In 1922, Vicksburg resident James D. Pond started the James D. Pond Auditing Company. Little did Pond know, his business, now known as May & Company, a Certified Public Accountant firm, would continue to thrive and in October celebrate its centennial.

Katie Feibelman, a partner with May & Company, said as far back as she knows the history, the firm was and is still, a “full-service CPA firm that offers tax, accounting and auditing services.”

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Pond started his small business in the First National Bank building on Washington Street. Upon his death in 1958, the firm was passed to accountant David L. May, who married Pond’s granddaughter, Martha.

Raymond B. May, David’s brother, joined the auditing company in 1962 and in 1964, the brothers changed the name of the company to May & May, which was comprised of David May, Raymond May and Paul Heinmiller. In 1970, Kenneth E. Hicks joined the firm.

The company went through several more name changes, but in 1984, it became May & Company, LLP. At that time the company consisted of David May, Raymond May, Walter T. May, Ken Hicks, Chester H. Redditt, Jr., Jack W. Palmer and Robert Holman.

After residing in the First National Bank building for 67 years, in 1989, May & Company built an office located at 110 Monument Place off Halls Ferry Road. The office is still the company’s primary facility, but in 1995, the accounting firm opened a second location in Tallulah, La.

While remaining true to their core services, Feibelman said, in the 90s, May & Company did begin to include IT/Computer support.

This segment of the business, however, is used mainly as a support service for their clients and is not a major revenue stream, she said.

“The company’s growth has not necessarily been in the services offered,” Feibelman said.

Instead, the growth has been within the reach of the company. Feibelman referred to the clients they have in over 35 states and in almost every state when it comes to preparing returns.

So, what’s it like to work at this storied accounting firm?

“There is definitely a family-like environment at the office,” Feibelman said. “But one that demands buckling down at times and getting the work done. We have a saying — we work hard, but play even harder.

It’s a good motto, especially during tax season, which Feibelman described as “crazy hectic, tiring, all-consuming and seemingly never-ending.”

“But it is also fulfilling, challenging, and even fun — at times. We handle roughly 4,000 returns annually and nearly 2,500 are prepared in a three-month window of Feb. 15 to April 15,” she said.

When it comes to May & Company’s main objective, Feibelman said, it is the dedication to their clients.

“We appreciate our clients and service to them is number one for us because people like to do business with you when you genuinely care about their outcome,” she said. “And I believe when you truly care about your client and strive to do what is best for them, success will follow.”

Feibelman also praised the “amazing” staff at May & Company.

“They have helped us reach this milestone,” she said.

Being part of a company that has been relevant to the community and beyond has been an honor, Feibelman said.

“We are all so proud to be a part of this firm and are thankful for everyone that has trusted us and those before us,” she said.

This year three long-term employees will be retiring from May & Company — Alice Ellis, Karen Jones and Lori Shelton. Feibelman said the company would like to acknowledge them for their service and dedication.

She also said Jessica Durr has become May & Company’s newest associate partner.