Fifth-generation Fayette County native Alice Reeves is a self-made woman who followed where ever her faith led her, building a successful business along the way. Named after her grandmother Alice Thomas (Alice is the third generation to live on the Thomas property), Alice was born at Crawford Long hospital in Atlanta to Venson and Ruby (Thomas) Parrott. The baby of the family and “Daddy’s little girl,” Alice is the youngest sibling to brothers Tony and Eddie.
A proud product of the Fayette County School System, Alice attended Peachtree City Elementary (the year it opened!), Hood Avenue Elementary, Fayette County Junior High, and graduated from Fayette County High School in 1980.
Alice graduated from Shorter University, where she studied History, Religion, and Philosophy with the intention of going into some type of Christian ministry. Alice cites her mother Ruby as being a big influence in her faith journey. Ruby always got up early to read Bible devotions at the kitchen table, and still does to this day.
Alice went on to attend Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., where she earned a Master of Arts degree in Christian Education. During her time in Louisville, she worked for a church in their Ministry of Single Adults. She was also their part-time financial secretary – her first foray in the world of accounting.
“It’s funny how God has used accounting as my ministry,” she says, reflecting.
After much debate with God, Alice moved back home to Fayette County on a Tuesday, and the very next day she saw an ad in the paper for a position at the offices of Certified Public Accountant James A. Roy (Jim), whom she credits as “a great boss and mentor.”
Alice liked the work at the CPA’s office, so she went back to school for her accounting degree at Mercer University in Atlanta. She enrolled in a night school program, attending classes from 6 to 10 p.m. one night a week for an entire year.
Bob Reeves, who was part owner of the Peachtree City Huddle House at the time, was a client of Jim Roy’s. He would often banter with Alice when he’d come by the office. Finally, Bob’s partner stopped in and told Alice that Bob wanted to ask her out, but wanted to “test the waters” first, as he didn’t want to make their professional relationship uncomfortable if she wasn’t interested. She was, and told his friend she’d been wondering not if, but when.
“She was a pretty, young, smart, and hardworking administrative assistant,” Bob remembers. “They say there’s love at first sight and there was!”
Alice and Bob dated for eight weeks before they got married in December of 1990. (They celebrated their 25th anniversary this past year.) “We just clicked,” they both say.
Alice had just finished building her own home on the Thomas property next door to her parents, so she told Bob she had a house they could live in if he didn’t mind being cozy with his mother-in-law. He agreed to it, and they still live there today.
Alice continued working for Jim Roy for the next eight years, learning as much as she could about the business of accounting and bookkeeping, until she decided one day it was time to fly the coop. Bob had since sold the Huddle House and was teaching scuba diving.
“I just called Bob one day and told him I thought I was ready to strike out on my own,” Alice recalls. “Before Huddle House, he was an owner/operator of hotels and had a background in law. So, he knew what we were getting ourselves into, but he said, ‘Okay.’”
She says the very first Sunday after she had made her decision, she told a fellow parishioner at church that she was starting her own business, and he volunteered to be her first client. Thus, Accounting Resources was born in 1998 with Alice and Bob as co-owners.
“My whole family pitched in,” says Alice. “Before we had a staff, if Bob and I went on vacation, Tony would prepare the payroll and Mama would deliver it to our clients. It was truly a ‘Mom and Pop’ kind of business.”
Alice and Bob take pride in their style of business, which is personal and hands-on, handling the accounting and bookkeeping needs of individuals, businesses, non-profits, and homeowner’s associations. Alice built Accounting Resources largely through word of mouth and credits her involvement with the Fayette Chamber of Commerce and the late Tom Farr as being instrumental in its success. Friends like Jim and Elaine Fulton provided support as trusted business advisors. Elaine even created and printed Accounting Resources’ first business cards so Alice could attend a Chamber function.
According to Alice, it’s the personal side that gives her the most satisfaction. “We pay bills and monitor personal budgets for some clients, which is sometimes very personal,” she explains. Helping her clients through tough financial times has given her a lot of satisfaction.
Alice and Bob operated Accounting Resources out of their home for seven years until it became clear that they needed more space – and help. They found and leased a roomy office suite in Governor’s Square on the east side of Peachtree City in 2004. Moving into the new offices, like everything Alice and Bob had done up to that point, was a family affair.
“I had clients and had to keep working during the move,” says Alice. “My brother Eddie set up the new furniture, and some of our friends helped Bob move additional furniture and files from the house. My friend Pat Steigelman volunteered her time to decorate the entire office. When the office was ready, I literally shut down my computer, packed it up, drove over to the office, plugged it back in and kept working.”
Accounting Resources now offers check writing services, financial statements, business tax consulting, personal taxes, payroll services, and QuickBooks training. Accounting Resources was named the 2008-2009 Small Business of the Year by the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce. The award is given to recognize exemplary business practices and innovation of Fayette small businesses. Accounting Resources won in the category of 1-10 employees.
Since then, Accounting Resources has added three additional staff: Office Manager Carla Huffstutler, Senior Staff Accountant Karen Bragg, and Administrative Assistant Briana Hemmer. The staff describes Alice and Bob as running an office that is relaxed, yet efficient. Efficiency is a must in their busy office, where they now provide services to roughly 450 tax clients and 100 monthly business clients. Even with all the pressures of running a busy office, Alice’s staff describes her as “patient, understanding, and flexible.”
Longtime client Scott Bradshaw first met Alice 15 years ago when he was a member of the Peachtree City Development Authority. Alice had been engaged to do the accounting work for the authority, which was responsible for the finances of the Fredrick Brown Amphitheatre and the Peachtree City Tennis Center. Bradshaw quickly recognized her work to be “exemplary, timely, and presented in a professional manner.” Afterwards, he began using Accounting Resources to do the accounting work for his personal budget as well as his farm operation in South Georgia. Most recently, he has engaged Accounting Resources for payroll services for his real estate development company.
“I have found her staff to be friendly, cooperative and committed to providing top quality service to customers,” Scott says. “The thing that I appreciate the most about the firm is Alice’s ability to deal with me tactfully and professionally—even when I am wrong!”
Office Manager Carla says of Alice’s calm demeanor, “She is so even-keeled that we don’t even know when she is having a bad day. Even though she puts in crazy hours, especially during tax season, she works tirelessly without complaint.”
Husband and Managing Partner Bob plays an especially big role at the office during tax season. For those 10 weeks, Alice and Bob do the tax work together, Bob personally checking each and every return, while Carla, Karen, and Briana continue to service the year-round clients. The staff also handles making tax appointments, greeting clients and assembling the tax returns. It’s a true group effort to complete the returns on time.
“I couldn’t do it without Bob,” says Alice. “Clients know Bob as the guy that drives around, top down, in the red BMW making deliveries, but he is so much more. He is truly the backbone of this business.”
On January 16, 2015, the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce recognized Bob Reeves as the Outstanding Business Person of the Year. The award is chosen annually by the prior recipients, and is given to someone who owns, operates or manages a business or profession in Fayette County, who has demonstrated unselfish support of the community, and who has exhibited a broad range of involvement in community affairs.
Bob’s community involvement includes serving as Treasurer of the Atlanta Regional Commission and Citizen Representative for Fayette County. He is also a member and Secretary/Treasurer of the Regional Business Coalition, Chair of the Coweta Fayette EMC Trust Board, and a member of the Fayette Senior Services Board. He served a term on the Fayette County Chamber Board and served as the Chair of the Government Affairs Committee for the organization. He is also on the board at Piedmont Fayette Hospital. He and Alice are both members of New Hope Baptist Church and attend its North Campus.
Alice, too, is active in the community. She is President of the Fayette County Historical Society, and Treasurer of the McIntosh Chapter of the American Business Women’s Association. Being a fifth generation Fayette County native, Alice is passionate about local history and her involvement with the Historical Society.
“Even if people aren’t natives of Fayette County, our history is important,” she says. “People continue to put down roots here, so it will become their history too one day.”
The Fayette County Historical Society is currently raising funds through sales of commemorative Courthouse tiles. Alice proudly displays one in her office. The slate tiles have a laser image of the old Fayette County Courthouse on the front and a short history of the Courthouse on the back and are available for purchase at the Research Center for $25.
Alice became involved with the American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) through friend and client Judy Suiter of Competitive Edge, Inc. Alice describes ABWA as a group of smart and talented businesswomen who come together for food, fellowship, and learning.
“The monthly speakers are excellent,” she says. “We laugh and cry together and support each other’s endeavors. It’s about business women celebrating each other—sharing our successes and failures.”
And success is something Alice knows about. Accounting Resources continues to blossom because of Alice’s dedication to offering personal and professional service to her clients – with a local touch.
Alice keeps Psalm 20: 4-5 displayed next to her computer. It reads, “May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. May we shout for joy over your victory and lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the Lord grant all your requests.”
Alice Reeves is proof that with faith and family, coupled with a little hard work, one (or two!) can achieve anything.