Accu-Tax celebrates 40 years of business

At Accu-Tax it’s all about family.

And in the local tax preparation and accounting firm’s 40th tax season, that tradition continues.

Les Dixon said he will step down from the helm of Accu-Tax and begin fulfilling an advisory role for his daughter and long-time Accu-Tax employee, Dana Brookshire.

Dixon developed an interest in taxes while he was a student at University of Kentucky and an employee at IBM.

“Fascinated by the tax code, I prepared free returns for friends,” he said.

He opened his own tax business, then called Clark County Tax Service, in 1978, with 91 clients his first year. That success allowed him to leave his job at IBM in 1981.

Just a couple years later, Dixon began acquiring other local tax preparation businesses. He would go one to purchase and absorb the clients from L.R. Jones, Russ EBA, and Ray and Jenny Bryant’s tax businesses.

“I believe in 1984, were were the first firm in Winchester to have computer technology making the tax preparation process much faster,” Dixon said.

That extra speed was essential considering the magnitude of clients his business was serving.

“With the acquisition of the L.R. Jones client base, we have customers will roots back to 1944,” he said.

And with the extra clients, more staff was needed. But that wasn’t a particularly great challenge, according to Dixon.

“Adding staff over the years was easy,” Dixon said. “Inquisitive clients turned to employees — Sandy Damrel, Angie Conley and Ann Castle, among others.”

Another inquisitive mind and Dixon’s own daughter, Brookshire started working at Accu-Tax as teenager.

“Dana started in the copy room when she was only 14 years old,” Dixon said. “She then progressed to the front desk receptionist while pursuing her accountant’s degree at Eastern Kentucky University.”

Brookshire’s interest developed beyond a full-time employee, though.

She eventually became full partner and actually took ownership of the business a few years ago. Her father, with his decades of knowledge and trusted clients, remained a force within the company.

However, he is ready to step back and enjoy retirement.

“I would consider Accu-Tax as the older continuously operating tax and accounting firm in Winchester,” Dixon said. “I will continue to serve in an advisory capacity as Dana continues to take Accu-Tax forward.”

Brookshire said she has enjoyed the special relationship she and her father built through working together.

“It has been amazing working with him,” she said. “We have a great father-daughter relationship and that makes it even more special to bring that into our business relationship. He has taught me so much.”

Brookshire said she ventured into the world of tax preparation and accounting because she thought it was a good move for her family.

“I had gotten married and started having kids,” she said. “I’ve always liked numbers, but I was looking for something that I could make good money to support my family but also have time to spend with my family.”

With the tax season being the her busiest time, Brookshire has eight or 10 months out of the year that she is able to devote more time to her family, including her husband, David, and three children.

“That was a deciding factor for me,” she said.

When it’s not tax season, the business doesn’t just grind to a halt, though.

“We are tax specialists, but that is not all we do,” she said. “We do accounting and payroll management.”

Although Brookshire has technically owned the business for the past 10 years, she now feels confident taking true ownership and “making it her baby.”

As an enrolled agent, her clients “have her in their back pocket,” she said.

“I can represent my clients at all administrative levels — examination, collection, and appeals — of the Internal Revenue Service,” she said. “It’s like a small insurance policy.”

As a small business owner herself, Brookshire hopes expand to help other small businesses.

“I’d like to specialize in working with our small business owners, helping them with their payroll, accounting, taxes, whatever their needs are,” she said. “I want to help people like myself.

Ascu-Tax is located at 830 Bypass Road. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

For more, call 744-1040.