The foundation of NR Smith and Associates goes back to 1941, when Elliot B. Spring offered accounting, tax services and bookkeeping systems to local loggers, timberland owners, and Christmas tree growers. Over the years the firm changed ownership and names, but maintained the client base and its strong industry position and stable operating staff. Betty Woods, Elliot Spring's first employee, worked for the various entities for 41 years, starting in 1941 and retiring in 1982!
Norman R. Smith joined the team in 1974 as the resident manager. In January of 1976, at the tail end of the recession and with two children under 5, Norman seized the opportunity to purchase the practice and changed the name of the firm to NR Smith and Associates. With a strong work ethic and a value for every dollar spent, he consolidated the offices in Shelton and Lacey, making Olympia the new headquarters.
In the late 1980’s, the “Spotted Owl” decision forced local timber businesses to transition due to the many new regulations. To better serve them, the firm added sophisticated tax controversy work and financial planning to their offerings.
Frustrated by the commission-based financial planning model, NR Smith and Associates was at the forefront of the industry by adopting a fee-only approach. In 1990 the firm entered into an institutional relationship with Charles Schwab. This relationship allowed the firm to provide clients with objective investment management advice as a fee-only fiduciary with a qualified custodian to hold investments. The firm has been registered as a investment advisor with the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) since November, 1990.
As we look forward, we are grounded by our past. We reflect with pride on helping our area grow and prosper. We have witnessed Thurston County’s population grow 6 fold, creating new neighborhoods, establishing new industries and building new cultural landmarks. While some may claim “it’s the water,” we know it’s the people and the relationships that make our location and community so rewarding. With many years of history behind us, we look forward to many more years ahead of us.