Forbes has named Columbia-based CPA firm Bauknight Pietras & Stormer to its annual “Top Accounting Firms in America” list for the second year in a row. BPS was honored for both its tax and audit services.

A total of 278 firms were named, with 172 selected for both tax and accounting services. BPS was one of two firms in South Carolina recognized by Forbes in both categories.

The honor comes on the heels of being named among the 50 “Best of the Best” Public Accounting Firms in 2020 by INSIDE Public Accounting and the top tax advisory firm to the U.S. captive insurance industry by Captive Review.

BPS was founded in 1991 by three CPAs and an administrator. Today the firm has nearly 90 employees at its Main Street headquarters.

Managing Shareholder Russell Bauknight, CPA, credits the firm’s success as well as its navigation of 2020’s disruptions to its culture.

“The threats posed to our team and clients by the pandemic required the firm to be both nimble and flexible,” Bauknight said. “We were very proactive in our efforts to protect our team and business, something that required a lot of communication and trust. I am very proud of how our leadership adapted and then directed and supported our team and clients, and proud of the team’s response as well.”

The pandemic did not hinder BPS’s growth. The firm has a team of 86 professionals, including nearly 50 CPAs.

BPS implemented a rapid response designed to keep its team safe while ensuring access to consulting, tax and assurance services to its individual and corporate clients. As a critical business, BPS was allowed to let staff work in the office but chose to allow people to work at home to minimize risk of illness. Client services continued, uninterrupted, aided largely by video conferencing; secure, online document sharing; and the use of electronic signatures.

“With new leadership in Washington, D.C., and additional stimulus payments and programs in the works, 2021 is going to be another test for our team. We are confident we have the right people and processes in place,” Bauknight added. “And, thankfully, COVID-19 vaccines should be widely available this year.”

Forbes partnered with market research company Statista to create the top firms list based on a survey of 1,800 tax and accounting professionals who were asked to nominate deserving peer firms. Peer nominations as well as the final selection of firms were carefully reviewed. Statista carried out additional checks to confirm the integrity of all firms.

Previous stories:

Dec. 19, 2019: Forbes Recognizes Bauknight Pietras & Stormer as One of America’s Top Recommended Tax & Accounting Firms

June 22, 2020: Three Bauknight Pietras & Stormer CPAs Share Their ‘How I Work – From Home’ Stories