Seymour CPA office changing name, partner effective today


Same people. Same location. Same services. Different name.

Effective today, Mark Dennis and Co. CPA Inc. is now known as Dennis and Blish CPA Group.

Dennis has operated his Seymour business since Dec. 21, 1998. After Rachel Blish joined the business full time in January 2016 and said she wanted to become a certified public accountant, Dennis shared a proposal.

"The talk then was half-jokingly, ‘Gosh, maybe this will be your business someday,’" Dennis said.

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Blish spent a couple of years taking the required classes and completed the four-part test to become a CPA in 2019.

"Over time, it felt right. It just felt like it was the right thing to do for the both of us, for our clients, and so for probably the last two years, it has been pretty serious," Dennis said of becoming partners and changing the firm’s name. "Then the carrot on the end of the stick was ‘Get certified and we’ll talk about it.’ She got certified in September 2019, and it has really been a point of emphasis for us."

Dennis and Blish recently sent out cards with their picture, a staff picture and a new logo with information about them joining forces.

"I had been introducing Rachel to as many clients as possible over the last three years because we both felt like this is something that we both wanted. I’m not getting any younger, and she’s got energy for her age I would have had at 32, but I don’t have it now," Dennis, 59, said, smiling.

"The talk was always out there, but there was never a concrete plan, and we decided this year that it was time to create a roadmap where we get to a point where she’s able to buy the business," he said. "I think it’s important from other people’s perspectives that when they deal with somebody, it’s nice to be dealing with an owner, and I had no problems making her owner."

Dennis is originally from Marion, and after graduating from high school, he attended Indiana University and earned an accounting degree.

In 1982, he began his career in public accounting with a large firm, Ernst and Whinney in Indianapolis. He had to have three years of experience to get certified and chose to give his two-week notice on his three-year anniversary.

He then had an 11-year stint in banking for three different institutions, finishing with Home Federal Savings Bank, which is how he wound up in Seymour. He then opened his own CPA practice in Seymour.

"Getting away from it for 11 years made me realize I really did like it, just not in that (large firm) environment," he said. "Then it did become a goal at that point to start something like this and have it be my career."

For the first year and a half, he was the sole employee.

"With my background in soccer, the first 37 clients I got were somehow related to my soccer experience," he said.

On April 17, 2000, he hired Robin Everhart. The business grew into a full-service accounting firm, and he now has nine employees and nearly 1,000 clients.

"I never really set out to grow. It just happened," he said. "When I first started, I just had a mantra, ‘If I provide a valuable service, do a good job and treat people fairly, it will come,’ so we’ve just had steady growth for 20 years."

Dennis and Blish are the CPAs, while there are five accountants, two clerical employees (also a high school student helping right now) and one person who has come in for 20 years to do seasonal tax preparation. 

Their work includes audits, reviews, compilations, tax returns and accounting work, including payroll, accounts payable, bank reconciliations and more.

Blish was born and raised in the Sauers area of Jackson County and later began serving with Dennis’ firm for half-days in 2005 during her senior year at Seymour High School.

"I knew I liked accounting in high school," Blish said. "My mom was always in accounting and worked for a local business and did all of their accounting, and they were a client of Mark’s."

She continued to work for Dennis while on break from attending Franklin College. After she graduated with a degree in quantitative analysis in 2010, she worked the first tax season at Dennis’ office.

She then chose to pursue other business interests before returning to Dennis’ firm in 2016.

"I came back here because Mark just needed some extra help with individual tax prep, and I said, ‘I can work part time, no big deal,’" Blish said. "Then coming home at 9, 10 o’clock at night, my husband looks at me and he was like, ‘You’re happy. Rachel, you’re happy.’ I’m like, ‘OK, yeah, you’re right. I like what I’m doing here. Why don’t I make this again my full-time career?’"

She told Dennis as much as she loves basic accounting, that wasn’t her goal in life. Her goal was to get her CPA, so she completed her accounting education and CPA exam preparation at the University of North Alabama.

She needed additional prerequisites to sit for the CPA exam since she didn’t go in with an accounting degree. She did that in two years while working full time and having a child.

She studied for three to six months at a time between each of the four parts of the exam, which take four hours apiece.

"Thankfully, with the help of God, I passed them all the first time," Blish said.

"Which is a pretty rare feat," Dennis said. "I didn’t pass them on the first time. Of course, we had to take them all four at once. It was a little more difficult, but we didn’t have as much stuff going, either. She’s very disciplined and couldn’t have done it if she wasn’t."

Now that her name is on the business, a goal is fulfilled for Blish.

"As I’ve transitioned, I can tell in my demeanor and in my thought process that was the only way I was going to be able to really help the clients and feel like I was doing everything I possibly could for the clients so that I had a full say in how the clients are being treated properly and taken care of," she said.

"I feel like we all work really hard to make sure all of our clients get taken care of well, but we all definitely have those that we just want to coddle to ourselves and make sure they get special attention," Blish said.

"And they appreciate that. It’s why they stay," Dennis added.

Clients need them for different reasons, and they take that to heart.

"It’s that need that helps you get up in the morning and come back and do it again because you do feel like you’re helping people comply with regulation, minimize their taxes, but really also to maximize their personal net worth over a lifetime," Dennis said. "That’s the thing that keeps you coming back. There’s just an awful lot of good feelings in helping people be better at whatever, whether it’s acquiring more wealth or whatever it is."

The firm also prides itself in community involvement, including serving on government, nonprofit and church boards.

"I think it’s important that people who can do serve their community, so that has always been a point of emphasis for both of us," Dennis said. "If people like us don’t do it, nobody is going to do it, so we feel like it’s our responsibility."

[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”At a glance” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

Mark Dennis and Rachel Blish have joined forces.

As of today, Mark Dennis and Co. CPA Inc. is now doing business as Dennis and Blish CPA Group.

The address remains the same, 210 E. Second St., Seymour, as well as the phone number, 812-524-8686.

For information, visit or email [email protected] or [email protected].


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