With tradition, accumulated knowledge and wisdom, BatesCarter has served North Georgia’s tax, accounting and consulting needs for over 52 years. On August 16, 1962, James F. Bates, Richard M. Dillard and Vilas D. Betts formed the firm now known as Bates, Carter & Co., LLP. Richard M. Dillard retired in 1969, Vilas D. Betts in 1973 and James F. Bates retired from the firm in 1993.
BatesCarter’s roots trace back many years prior to it's formation. Dick Dillard was one of the very first CPAs in North Georgia. Dick, known for his voice as a member of a barbershop quartet, was a CPA pioneer in Northeast Georgia. Vilas Betts arrived in Georgia in 1955 via Michigan when The Warren Featherbone Company moved south to Gainesville. After having served as chief financial officer of The Warren Featherbone Company, Vilas joined with other CPAs to form BatesCarter.
Jim Bates arrived in Gainesville from Eastman, Georgia courtesy of Martin P. Ellard. Jim joined Martin’s firm in 1957. As Fate would have it, Jim met future partner John A. Carter while working with Martin and in 1962 ventured out with Dick and Vilas to form his own firm.
A native son of Northeast Georgia, John joined Martin’s firm in 1958. In 1966, he too left to join his old friend and associate, thus establishing the team of Bates and Carter. To this day, Martin Ellard, Jim Bates and John Carter’s influence is still felt in the Northeast Georgia community of CPAs as nearly every CPA in Northeast Georgia has worked with them or their firms.
From its humble beginnings at 423 Bradford Street, the firm moved to Wisteria Drive in 1965. Through its relationship with Donald J. Carter, BatesCarter and Don restored the former Candler School Building, which had served the Gainesville City School System from 1911 until 1978. Renovations were complete in 1982, and in November the firm moved to its current location in the Old Candler School Building at 525 Candler Street. We celebrated this building’s 100th anniversary in 2011.
John M. Nix came to BatesCarter in January 1982 and served as Partner. He served as Managing Partner from 1995-2009. Duane D. Schlereth joined the firm in December 1983 and served as Partner in the Government area. John and Duane retired from BatesCarter in June 2013.
After John Nix and Duane Schlereth retired in June 2013, the current partners of the firm are J. Ronald Bracewell, CPA, ABV, Managing Partner, Russell D. Hopkins, CPA, Beth B. Grimes, CPA, Randall W. Jessup, CPA and Kristi L. Griffin, CPA.
BatesCarter turned 50 years old in 2012. During this half-century, we have grown wiser and have dedicated our time to making a positive impact on all those with whom we have come in contact. This includes our team, their families, our community and the clients we serve. Although change and the speed of change would have truly amazed our founders, we have remained consistent in our approach to how we do business. We remain committed to improving the quality of life for our clients by enhancing wealth and facilitating achievements. For our team members we continue to offer challenging career opportunities and a family-friendly culture.
A hearty “thank you” goes to all of our clients, past and present, who have trusted BatesCarter with their accounting and advisory needs. We have built our business on the trust you have shown us over the last 52 years and we are committed to serve you for many years to come.
As we continue our journey over the coming years, we want each of you to know our doors are open, our minds are attentive to your needs and we are committed to exceeding your expectations…. Always.
Pictured from Top to Bottom, James E. Bates, retired 1993, RIchard M. Dillard, retired 1969, John A. Carter, retired 1995, Vilas D. Betts, retired 1973, Duane B. Schlereth, retired 2013, John M. Nix, retired 2013.