Being the oldest has its advantages. With tradition, accumulated knowledge and wisdom, BatesCarter has served North Georgia’s tax, accounting and consulting needs for 50 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.
Though officially only 50 years old, BatesCarter’s roots trace back many years earlier. 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 last year in 2011.
More to Come – The Evolving Decades