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Our History

NRSmith & Associates, PS has a rich history of servicing the South Sound for nearly 80 years. The firm was founded by Elliot Spring in 1941 providing accounting and tax services mainly to contract loggers, timberland owners, and Christmas tree growers in the area. One of the early clients included one of the largest Christmas tree growers in the world. From the late 50’s to the mid 70’s management went through a number of transitions but maintained its industry position and stable operating staff despite a changing local economy.

In 1974, Norman R. Smith became the resident manager and two years later purchased the practice. In 1978, he consolidated the offices in Shelton and Lacey into one central location in Olympia, Washington to better serve his clients and increase office efficiency.

In the late 80’s and early 90’s, the local economy was in turmoil. With the “Spotted Owl” decision, the local timber business transitioned. Harvestable resources were contracting, equipment technology was improving and the relationship between contract loggers and timber owners were changing. As a result the client service model of NR Smith and Associates, PS needed to change and was modified to include sophisticated tax controversy and financial planning services sensitive to their clients needs. Clients wanted advice about buy/sell questions, management issues, capital formation, intergenerational transfers, and entity selection services. Other frequent topics included how to use qualified retirement plans, withdrawal from their business, general retirement planning, and effective long-term income and estate tax planning.

As NRSmith created financial planning and investment services that were needed for wealth preservation there grew a level of frustration as local financial vendors would substitute their products driven by a commission-based mentality. The conflict of interest was apparent. In the mid 1980’s our firm entered into an institutional relationship with Charles Schwab and it is where we have actively managed investment portfolios for the last 30 years.This Schwab relationship allows us to provide our clients with objective, fee-only investment management, preserving a fiduciary relationship.

Our firm’s President, Norman R. Smith, brings an extensive background in providing management, audit, accounting services, a full range of tax services, and personal financial planning including investment management, using not only experience acquired with firms like Peterson and Sullivan and Pricewaterhouse Coopers, but also using the many years of working with auto dealerships including a primary relationship with Dealer Development Division of Ford Motor Company, various construction, and governmental agencies. Norman works closely with his staff to provide supervision and training for extensive services under the single audit act, as well as specific agreed upon procedures. His goal is to build relationships with our clients, partnered with excellence in service and have our firm be a good contributor to the growth and well-being of our local community.