Founders Bob Mize and Ralph Houser took a risk on July 1, 1956 to form a partnership to create Mize Houser & Co. P.A., an award-winning, independently owned accounting and consulting firm providing tax, audit and consulting services with locations in Overland Park, Topeka and Lawrence, Kansas.
This year the firm, which now has more than 225 employees and offices in Topeka, Lawrence and Overland Park, is ranked in the top 125 firms in the nation with continued growth from the QSR (Quick Service Restaurant) industry where Mize Houser provides payroll, accounting and financial assistance to over 1,500 franchise owner operators across the country.
Recognizing that leveraging technology was crucial, Bob Mize and Ralph Houser committed to integrating technology into the practice in the 1960s when other firms were hesitant to make the investment of people and resources. Terry Kimes was recruited to head the data processing operations where he’s credited with creating a 24-hour accessible data center to host client websites and other data. He also established reselling arrangements with four software and hardware vendors and created practice management software that Mize Houser sold to other accounting firms, at the time all technology advances unheard of in the accounting industry. The firm invested more than $2 million toward technology in the 90’s.
As word spread about the firm’s success, a Topeka boutique firm called Cobler Consulting LLC approached Mize Houser about providing technology services for Cobler’s accounting practice that was primarily serving McDonald’s franchisees. Ironically Mize Houser had recently acquired the National Franchise Association’s account to service Burger King franchisees. With both firms working in the industry, a merger was completed in 2003.
With newfound investment dollars and resources, Mize Houser’s shareholders continued the commitment to innovate with the creation of EZAccess, a cloud-based application for busy QSR (Quick Serve Restaurant) clients to manage payroll and financial information.
“As we quickly expanded our technology services, our web applications eliminated the distance gap between what a client needs and how we serve them. Accessing data is a 24 hour/7 day a week need for busy owner-operators who don’t have the luxury of waiting to hear back from their accounting or payroll firm. We create fully customizable solutions so the client has it at her or his fingertips at any time,” says Linda Hauschild, CFP ® and Shareholder.
As the firm’s client base grew, so did the EZAccess technology.
“EZAccess allows us to help our clients as much (or as little) as they like. For example, if a client only needs monthly financial statements, they can easily access it. Or, if they need us to run payroll, financial statements or other more sophisticated reporting, we can easily accommodate them via the cloud, “adds Hauschild.
While EZAccess is available from an iPad or desktop, soon clients will soon be able to take EZAccess with them as a mobile app.
“We are very focused on continuing to build technology for our clients who are very good at telling us what additional solutions they need to better operate their restaurants,” adds Hauschild.
As a forward-thinking group, Mize Houser shareholders recognized an opportunity to bring financial advisory services to their clients in the late 90’s.
In 1999, Prism Financial Group, L.L.C. (www.prismfg.com) formed an alliance with Mize Houser to provide both financial planning and asset management services on a fee-for-service basis to Mize Houser clients as well as other individuals and business owners. Prism’s office is located in the Overland Park, KS location of Mize Houser.
With over $300 million under management, Prism integrates with the Mize Houser strategy to support its clients by providing comprehensive financial planning services. “Mize Houser shareholders were visionary in their thinking about integrating financial planning services into their client base in 1999. Our staff of advisors are all Certified Financial Planner professionals and qualified to assist our clients on complex issues integrated with their tax planning from Mize Houser,” explains Tim Shmidl, CFP® professional and founding shareholder of Prism Financial.
In addition to working with professionals and general business clients, Prism has worked extensively with Mize Houser assisting their clients in the Quick Service Restaurant industry. “We recognized that QSR owner-operators have very unique challenges when it comes to financial planning and building financial security for themselves and their family. We can sit at the same table with a client and their Mize Houser accountant to provide a comprehensive financial approach to achieve the peace of mind that is important to a client,” explains Shmidl. “The majority of financial advisors aren’t focused on the QSR industry because they often don’t initially meet the minimum asset threshold to serve them and advisors don’t understand the unique guidelines that are necessary to satisfy franchise ratio requirements. We feel that our long-standing relationship with Mize Houser and understanding of the industry makes us the smart choice to serve their needs for financial planning and asset management.”
ANNIVERSARY EVENTS PLANNED FOR SUMMER 2016
Gifts of 60 Mize Houser shareholders recognize the opportunity for employees and staff to celebrate the anniversary with the Gifts of 60, a unique program for each office to identify a charitable organization to donate 60 items to their charity of choice.
Spirit Summer Firm employees have formed 20 teams to show off their #TeamMize spirit by volunteering for area charities and supporting client businesses in Topeka, Overland Park and Lawrence.
Firm Picnic A picnic for all employees, shareholders and firm friends is planned in July at the Circle S Ranch in Lawrence, Kansas.