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Published December 3, 2018

“Sweet Dreams Are Made of This”: 35-Year Milestone Attributed to Client Successes

PYA, a national certified public accounting and management consulting firm celebrates a milestone anniversary of 35 years in business.

Founded in Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1983, national professional services firm PYA reaches another milestone in 2018 as it celebrates its 35th business anniversary.  Achieving such a milestone comes as no small feat.  Many things have changed since founder and CEO Ed Pershing first hung a shingle above a small office door 35 years ago, but Pershing said the best part of his job has remained the same.

“I’m very passionate about exceptional client service and building a great work environment for our employees,” explained Pershing.  “I love what I do.  I don’t view it as work.  The key element of that is the people.  The greatest part of each day is when I hear my colleagues share fabulous stories of how we’ve ‘knocked it out of the park’ serving a client.  That’s what really gets me amped up.  And that hasn’t changed since day one.”

When Pershing first set up office as a team of two enterprising young CPAs in West Knoxville (Pershing & Yoakley CPAs), the economy was struggling through the first of three economic recessions the company would weather over the decades.  Not only did the team come out the other side, it grew rapidly into a national enterprise sustained and propelled by the founding cornerstone and mantra of “Vision Beyond the Numbers.”

“I had always felt a commitment to create jobs, create opportunities, to grow things, and I think that was…my purpose for life.  It wasn’t some singular business event that inspired me to create PYA,” said Pershing.  “One of our greatest accomplishments as an organization is the attraction and retention of fabulous people and clients.”

In addition to its team of dedicated employees and industry thought leaders who uphold the Firm’s values of excellence and integrity, PYA’s multi-decade success may be attributed to strong community involvement and outstanding client service augmented by a culture of helpfulness.   Another key to its longevity is the belief that personal service and a commitment to each client’s success leads to the development of long-term client relationships.  Clients who first partnered with PYA more than three decades ago remain clients today.

“We founded PYA with the intent to treat clients as we would our friends and families.  We treat them fairly, respond promptly, and tell them what they need to hear—not just what they want to hear.  That level of trust is why many of our client-partners have been with us since we first opened our doors,” said Pershing.

Over its 35-year span, PYA has opened many doors—both figuratively and literally—thrice having outgrown its office space, and in 2010, propelled the renovation of a nearly 220,000 square foot former textile mill in which to move its headquarters.  PYA—with additional offices in Atlanta, Nashville, Tampa, and Kansas City—and its five affiliated companies have grown to encompass more than 350 employees to better serve more than 3,500 clients in 50 states.  PYA’s successful affiliated companies, each with a rich history and robust client list, include:

Realty Trust Group– Delivering comprehensive healthcare real estate advisory and management since 1998

Healthcare Horizons Consulting Group, Inc.– Conducting medical claims auditing for self-insured employers since 1993

PYA Waltman Capital, LLC– Providing wealth management and plan administration since 2005

PYA Analytics, LLC– Integrating world-class analytics utilizing proprietary data management platforms since 2013

Management Resource Group, LLC– Offering medical practice management, billing, and information technology services since 1998

Reflective of its ability to thrive over the years, the company’s name has evolved as well—Pershing Yoakley & Associates would encompass the hundreds of employees that grew out of the humble beginnings of a two-man team.  But such rapid growth would necessitate the Firm to begin taking steps in 1992 to build PYA as its national brand. This year the Firm officially changed its name to PYA to acknowledge its successful establishment as a nationally recognized Firm.

“From the beginning, we have focused on exceeding expectations,” said PYA President Marty Brown. “We will approach our next 35 years with the same level of commitment and vision as in the past.  We recognize that we are here today because of our client partners and our outstanding team, past and present.”

Today, PYA provides deep functional expertise in tax, audit & assurance, and management consulting.  Its multi-disciplinary approach allows PYA to leverage expertise to serve clients that span a multitude of industries, including banking and financial institutions, not-for-profit entities, government, manufacturing, construction, retail and service sectors, transportation, and healthcare (hospitals, health systems, physicians, and specialty groups).

PYA is consistently ranked among the Top 20 healthcare consulting firms in the U.S. by Modern Healthcare, and the Top 100 Accounting Firms by Inside Public Accounting.  It additionally holds the distinction of third-highest female ownership among Top 100 Accounting Firms, and is a Top 15 auditor of the nation’s largest health systems.  PYA recently was awarded a Top Workplaces honor and was recognized as the top company for the employee understanding of, and belief in, the direction of the firm.  It has been recognized nationally as a trusted resource whose team of industry experts, thought leaders, “big problem” solvers, and strategic thinkers and doers is touted for its extensive breadth and depth of experience.


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