The firm started in June, 1954 with the purchase of a public accounting practice from James J. Davis. Leo Gitzel was the resident partner and he had a small staff consisting of Ward Krejci, Mae (Keibel) Jasinski and, shortly thereafter, Joe Frigon and Ken Tweit. While the main practice was in Stettler, service was provided on a regular basis to the towns of Castor, Coronation and Ponoka. Leo and some of the staff would make a two or three day trip to each of Castor and Coronation where an office would be set up in a hotel room. Clients’ accounting information would be gathered up and their books written up in the hotel room. Some of these trips were somewhat of an adventure since the highway east of Stettler was not paved and sometimes was nearly impassable because of mud in the summer and snow in the winter.
The firm grew rapidly and in 1960 Ward Krejci obtained his C.A. designation and became a partner. As growth continued, additional partners were added. These were Robert Krejci, CA in 1970, Rodney Dand, B. Comm., CA in 1979, Barry Gitzel, B. Comm., CA in 1980, Eric Peterson, B.A., CA in 1984, Peggy Weinzierl, B. Comm., CA in 2001, Scott St. Arnaud, B. Comm., CA in 2008, Jolene Kobi, B. Comm., CA in 2008 and Justin Tanner, B. Mgt., CA in 2010. The firm now consists of five partners and a staff of up to twenty people during peak periods. A number of the staff are long-term, dedicated employees who have contributed greatly to the success of the practice. Leo Gitzel retired as a partner in 1989 and Ward Krejci retired in 1994. They both continued to practice part-time with the firm as associates for several years. Robert Krejci retired as a Partner in 2003 and Eric Peterson retired as a partner in 2010 and both continue to practice as associates with the firm. Rod Dand retired as a partner in 2006 and continued as an associate for another year.
When the firm first began, staff shared adding machines, some of which were hand operated models. The firm progressed to electric powered adding machines, from calculators to electronic calculators and in 1978 became one of the first accounting firms in Central Alberta to enter the computer era with the establishment of an affiliated company to provide computer processing facilities to the accounting firm and to a number of other entities on a batch processing basis. This company has progressed to where it now provides microcomputer support including custom programming, trouble-shooting services, and
installation and maintenance of computer networks. The data processing company presently employs two full-time staff members.
Members of the firm have had extensive experience in providing professional services to the local agricultural and business communities in the areas of personal income tax, unaudited financial statements and corporate income tax, audits of gas co-operatives and municipal, hospital and school authorities, advice on estate tax and other tax matters and bookkeeping services. The firm has experienced first hand the progression from hand operated mechanical adding machines to computer networks and fax machines. There has been a similar change in the professional and technical skills required in the accounting field and the firm has made, and will continue to make, every effort to acquire and maintain these skills to meet the challenges of tomorrow.