Smith Schafer 2020 Principal Promotions

Smith Schafer 2020 Principal Promotions

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Introducing our 2020 Principal Promotions

Smith Schafer & Associates, Ltd., is proud to announce the promotion of Adam Kellerhals, Sammie Engelmann and Tim Jewell to Principals effective September 1, 2020.


Adam joined the firm in 2007 and is the head of the Twin Cities Audit Department. He provides audit/attestation, financial statement presentation and consulting to business clients. Adam has a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and Management from Luther College. When he isn’t at the office, he’s typically chasing his kids around the yard or working on home improvement projects.


Sammie joined our team in November 2008. She is the head of the Twin Cities Accounting Services Department and provides payroll, bookkeeping and tax services to our business clients. Sammie has a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Strayer University and an Associates Degree in Business Management from Rasmussen College. She is an Ambassador and the Treasurer for the SouthWest Metro Chamber.

Tim joined the Smith Schafer Twin Cities team with the merger of BPK&Z in January 2017. He is the firm’s IT Director and also works with small business tax clients. Tim has a Bachelor of Accounting from St. Cloud State University and an Associates Degree in Accounting from Bartlesville Wesleyan College. Tim enjoys spending time hunting and fishing with his family. He is an active member of his community, serving as secretary for his church board, a youth leader and district treasurer for his church.


Congratulations Adam, Sammie and Tim! We look forward to your continued growth at Smith Schafer.

A Day in the Life: Audit Principal, Jason C. Miller, CPA

A Day in the Life: Audit Principal, Jason C. Miller, CPA

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Get to Know Jason C. Miller!

Rapid fire questions

I went to school at:
I went to school at: University of Wisconsin – Superior

My favorite part of each day: 
Winding down with a good book before bed.

Something I’d like to learn is:
Another language


in depth questions

What are some of your passions outside of the office? 
I love baseball, traveling, reading, hiking and biking with my family, golfing with friends and watching movies.

Why did you initially get into public accounting? 
I always liked math and numbers so public accounting seemed like a good fit for what I wanted to do for a career.

How has your career evolved? 
I have become much more comfortable communicating with clients and being their trusted advisor. I have always been introverted and quite shy, but experience has given me the confidence to proactively communicate with my clients to help them succeed.

What is the rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part is when we provide an innovative solution to a client’s problem to help them meet their goal(s).

How do you keep up with the latest news/trends in the accounting field?
– Continuing professional education classes/seminars/webcasts
– Reading professional publications
– Utilizing our web-based research products
– Consultation with our staff and others in the profession
– Our firms professional memberships (PrimeGlobal, AICPA Audit Quality Centers, MNCPA, AICPA Center for Plain English Accounting, etc.)

What advice would you give to someone looking to pursue a role like yours?
Work ethic and persistence are two of the best traits to have to work toward being a Principal in a CPA firm. Getting your CPA credential shows you have the knowledge and ambition to pass one of the toughest professional certification exams. Work hard at your craft, take pride in the quality of work you provide to your clients and always try to put yourself in others’ shoes – whether that is your client, the staff you are working with or the end user of the information we are providing to our clients.

Smith Schafer Named Top 150 Workplaces in Minnesota by the Star Tribune

Smith Schafer Named Top 150 Workplaces in Minnesota by the Star Tribune

Reading Time: 2 minutes

We are excited to announce Smith Schafer has received the special recognition of being named a Top 150 Workplace — a ranking that places us among the best of the best. We are thrilled to be included on the list and are very thankful to our employees who helped make this happen. Top Workplaces recognizes the most progressive companies in Minnesota based on employee opinions measuring engagement, organizational health, and satisfaction. The analysis included responses from over 76,000 employees at Minnesota public, private, and nonprofit organizations. 

Smith Schafer was ranked #67 on the small business list.

We truly appreciate our team’s commitment, dedication, and hard work to help us be a Top Workplace for the fifth year in a row!

Beyond the Numbers: Smith Schafer is an award-winning firm with three local offices in Rochester, Minneapolis, and Red Wing. We offer accounting, tax, audit and advisory services to growth-driven businesses in Minnesota.


Popular on Twitter!


Smith Schafer Earns ClearlyRated’s 2020 Best of Accounting Award for Client Service Excellence

Smith Schafer Earns ClearlyRated’s 2020 Best of Accounting Award for Client Service Excellence

Reading Time: 2 minutes

2020 Best of Accounting Announcement

Smith Schafer is excited to announce we are one of 40 firms across the country recognized with ClearlyRated’s 2020 Best of Accounting Award for providing superior service. Best of Accounting Award winners have proven themselves as industry leaders in service quality based entirely on ratings provided by their clients.

With its most recent client satisfaction survey, Smith Schafer received a Net Promoter®️ Score (NPS) of 84. NPS is used by more than two-thirds of Fortune 1000 companies for measuring client satisfaction and is based on a single survey question that asks clients how likely they are to recommend a business to a friend or colleague. According to global NPS standards, an NPS score of 50+ is considered excellent, with above 70 considered “world-class.” The accounting industry average was 24% in 2019.

Smith Schafer received satisfaction scores of 9 or 10 out of 10 from 87.3% of their clients, significantly higher than the industry’s average of 45% in 2019.

“We work hard to make service a top priority, and place importance on every client we serve. We are proud to be recognized for our efforts by our clients and by ClearlyRated,” Smith Schafer’s Managing Principal, Steve Erchul said.

On average, clients of 2020 Best of Accounting winners are 1.9x more likely to be satisfied than those who work with non-winning firms.

Why Clients Choose Us

  • Smith Schafer always provides great information for our business. They are thorough with our accounting and financial planning. We have leaned heavily on them with interpretation of the PPP Loan and COVID-19 planning. They have been instrumental in our success and are always very knowledgeable and quick to respond to any of our questions.
  • Smith Schafer has provided second to none service and value to my business and personal accounts for over 30 years. Their expertise and knowledge are unmatched by any other accounting firm I have encountered over all these years.
  • The relationship we have built over the years with the staff at Smith Schafer is one that can never be replaced. They are quick with helping us figure anything out, always willing to pick up the phone and walk us through any problem we are having. Also they are just all so friendly and kind!
  • We love our CPA team at Smith Schafer. They have helped us navigate many personal and business decisions.
  • Smith Schafer is very dedicated to their clients and always has their best interests in mind. They are very knowledgeable and thinking ahead to what the clients may be needing in the future. We would highly recommend Smith Schafer to our family and friends.

Smith Schafer: Accounting Today’s Top 2020 Firms

Smith Schafer: Accounting Today’s Top 2020 Firms

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Top Accounting Firms in the Midwest

We are excited to announce Smith Schafer has been named to Accounting Today’s 2020 Top Firms: The Midwest list.

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.

Download the Accounting Today Top 100 Firms and Regional Leaders supplement.


About Smith Schafer

Established in 1971 and headquartered in Rochester, Minnesota, Smith Schafer is one of the fastest-growing Certified Public Accounting firms in the country. With offices in Minneapolis and Red Wing, Smith Schafer provides proactive services, deep expertise and innovative solutions to Minnesota businesses. We are focused on the best advice for every situation, presented in a timely and simple way that solves or avoids problems for our clients.

Forbes Names Smith Schafer a 2020 Top Tax Firm

Forbes Names Smith Schafer a 2020 Top Tax Firm

Reading Time: < 1 minute

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!

This list was created by Forbes and research company, Statista. The survey asked participants to select the top 10 tax firms they would recommend based on their professional experience. Firms who received the most recommendations were included on the list. Self-recommendations were not considered.

“We are thrilled to be recognized alongside some of the best firms in the country. We are always trying to better our firm and provide proactive, innovative and personal solutions for our clients. Thank you to our team members and loyal clients who made this accomplishment possible!”

– Managing Principal, Steve Erchul