We are a Certified public accounting & consulting firm with 3 Minnesota locations.

Smith Schafer is one of 40 firms across the country recognized as a Best of Accounting, indicating we provide an exceptionally high-level of service. We received a 9.5/10 satisfaction rating from our clients!


Hi there, we are Smith Schafer!

We are mostly known for helping local businesses grow with accounting and consulting solutions. People often refer to us as a helpful business advisor. We provide proactive solutions, deep expertise, and personal relationships, allowing you more time to work on growing your business.

As an award-winning CPA firm, we have been featured on Forbes Top Tax Firm list and awarded Best of Accounting Client Satisfaction by ClearlyRated.

Here Are 5 Things You May Not Know About Us:

We Give Back

Since we are a local firm, giving back to our communities is important to us. Every year, we organize multiple fundraisers such as bagging food at Channel One, raking leaves with Hammer Residents, and adopting a nearby park to help clean.

We're Paperless

Smith Schafer is striving to be a paperless firm and we try our best to prepare everything electronically. We generally request items in electronic or scanned form. Smith Schafer offers a secure online portal to clients to facilitate the exchange of financial information and documents.

We help educate

We believe in providing a continuous learning environment for all of our clients. We send free, exclusive, high-level content to our clients and email list group. We also host a number of events and webinars throughout the year to help educate our clients on business topics.

We have strong roots

Our roots go all the way back to 1971. Richard Smith co-founded the company in Rochester, Minn. Within five years, Al Schafer joined the practice and renamed the firm Smith Schafer and Company, not knowing that this six-person accounting firm would become one of the largest public accounting firms in Minnesota, with three locations and approximately 100 employees.

We're connected

From our local roots to our global connection, our active involvement with peers across the world ensures our clients receive the resources of a large firm but have the relationship experience with a small firm. Smith Schafer is a member of PrimeGlobal, the third largest association of independent accounting firms in the world, giving us access to a wide range of specialists with accounting experience.

Still here? Let’s connect!

Our Company Timeline


Richard Smith and Orlin Larson co-founded Smith Larson and Co. in Rochester, Minn. Within five years, Al Schafer joined the practice and purchased Orlin Larson’s interest. The partners renamed the firm Smith Schafer and Company, not knowing that this six-person accounting firm would become one of the largest public accounting firms in Minnesota, with three locations and approximately 100 employees.


Challenges and New Beginnings

Waters from the Rochester flood of 1978 flooded the downtown, including the Smith Schafer office on North Broadway, leaving all paper records nearly impossible to read. The flood, along with the prospect of new headquarters, prompted the firm to move to a new location in late 1978. Within the next year, the firm added several new staff, including Kim Mahanna and Jim Heydon, who are still with the firm.


Metro Market Potential

Kim Mahanna was promoted to Principal in 1987 and asked to run a new Maplewood location. Two years later, the firm acquired a small accounting practice there. The firm changed its name to Smith Schafer & Associates in 1989.


Staff Growth and Tenure

During the 1990s, Smith Schafer attracted several new leaders to the firm who have contributed to our reputation for top-notch technical experience and consistency. They include Dean Richards, Bill Frudden, Jason Miller and Jason Boynton. 


In 2000, we welcomed Steve Erchul and in 2002 added Mike Malugani.

Two Rochester-based accounting firms — Coffman, Nehring and Christopherson and R.S. Wayne CPA — were acquired to add expertise to our Rochester office. Firm staff was eventually merged into our headquarters location. 

In 2007, the acquisition of Graves, McKenna, Lundeen & Almquist PLLP led to the opening of Smith Schafer’s Edina office location. Bill Frudden and Steve Erchul relocated from the Maplewood office to head up the Edina location and Tim Pass became Office Managing Principal of the Edina location in 2013.

The New Millennium

Our Red Wing office was established in 2011 with the acquisition of Erickson, Rietmann, Roufs and Kiecker, Ltd. We welcomed new Principal Christopher Kiecker. Steve Salveson is the Office Managing Principal of the Red Wing office.

Steve Erchul was appointed to Managing Prinicpal in October 2013. Prior to the transition, Al Schafer held the Managing Principal role for 25 years. Mr. Schafer continues to serve clients in our Rochester office.

Smith Schafer

A Great Company to Work For!

Minnesota Business Magazine announced Smith Schafer is one of the Best Companies to Work For.

We are proud to have been honored with the Best Place to Work in SE Minnesota Award

Energage named Smith Schafer a Top Workplace. Over 2,000 organizations were invited to participate in this survey.

“We are honored to be recognized locally, alongside some of the best in Minnesota. We are always trying to make our firm a better place to work and create an environment that is flexible and supportive. We continue to grow each year and this recognition demonstrates the loyalty and commitment of our team members and clients.”

– Managing Principal, Steve Erchul

A Big Change

New Twin Cities Office

We combined the Edina and Maplewood offices on October 1, 2016. We occupy approximately 11,613 square feet of space in the Valley Square Corporate Center, located in Minneapolis.

Smith Schafer Managing Principal, Steve Erchul, said, “Our new office accommodates our growth and client service goals.”

Welcomed BPK&Z

On January 1, 2017 we merged with BPK&Z. The combined Twin Cities office includes 12 Principals and 38 employees. The merger enhances our ability to serve our clients and provide opportunities for staff growth.

Top Workplace for Third Year in a Row!

Top Workplaces recognizes the most progressive companies based on employee opinions measuring engagement, organizational health and satisfaction. Over 2,400 organizations were invited to participate in the survey, and over 71,000 employees shared their views.

Smith Schafer Managing Principal, Steve Erchul, is humbled and honored to be included in the list of Top Workplaces, especially since the judges were the employees! Click to watch a short video message from Steve!

Fastest-growing CPA Firm!

We are proud to be named one of the FASTEST-GROWING ACCOUNTING FIRMS in the U.S. by The Platt Group/Inside Public Accounting. We rank 2nd in the Great Plains region with a 29.8 percent all growth rate!

“Our growth since 1971, is a testament to our longstanding technical excellence, passion to serve our clients and dedication to our internal culture. This achievement would not be possible without our talented staff, who are committed every day to making a positive impact in our business and helping our clients grow. This awards would also not be possible without our incredible clients. The growth we have achieved is exciting and we sincerely appreciate everyone who has helped us earn this recognition!” -Managing Principal, Steve Erchul

Best of Accounting

Smith Schafer is one of 30 firms across the country recognized with ClearRated’s 2019 Best of Accounting Award indicating we provide an exceptionally high-level of service. We received a 9.4/10 satisfaction rating from our clients!

Smith Schafer Named Top 300 Accounting Firm


Smith Schafer is proud to announce that our team has been named a Top 300 Accounting Firm in the Nation by Inside Public Accounting. IPA 300 firms are ranked by revenues, with $10 to $17.8 million being the range of firms ranked 201 to 300. Smith Schafer is ranked #204 at $17.1 million.


We are excited to announce, Smith Schafer has been named a 2020 Top Recommended Tax Firm by Forbes. The list identifies 227 firms, across the U.S., who are most recommended for their tax services. Smith Schafer is one of only five Minnesota-based firms recognized!


The lists appear in a special supplement to the March 2020 edition of Accounting Today. Accounting Today has studied the top companies in the industry for nearly 30 years by ranking firms on a national and regional basis.  The rankings offer in-depth benchmarking data, as well as strategies and advice from the most successful firms.

Quick Facts


1971 in Rochester, Minn.

Office Locations

Local to Minnesota – Rochester, Minneapolis & Red Wing


Today, with approximately 100 professionals, we have become one of the fastest-growing CPA firms in the United States.


22 principals

Client Industries

Construction/Real Estate, Professional Service Firms, Hospitality, Manufacturing, Transportation, Government & Nonprofit.


Provide high-quality, timely and value-added services to our clients.

Our Year at a Glance

Our Client Loyalty Program

Smith Schafer strives to show our appreciation and dedication year-round to our clients. 

“When it comes to client relationships, Smith Schafer’s belief has always been, shop with clients who do business with us,” Managing Principal, Steve Erchul, stated.

To encourage our employees to honor this motto, we created the Client Loyalty Program. The purpose of the program is to actively encourage staff to purchase goods and services from clients and to reward them for doing so. Each month, our staff members submit their receipts in order to receive an entry into a prize drawing. The more times they choose to shop with our clients, the more times they are entered into the drawing. One winner is chosen every month and receives a Visa gift card.

We are excited to report that in 2018, our staff has spent over $213,772 with our clients!

Awards & Recognitions

Smith Schafer is consistently recognized as a leading CPA firm in Minnesota. We continue to grow each year, and this recognition demonstrates the loyalty and commitment of our team members and clientsClick here to learn more about our Community Commitment.