212 West Main Street
302 N. Canal St
Does your business have a mission statement?
We are a full-service Accounting firm licensed in New Mexico. We offer a broad range of services for business owners, executives, and independent professionals. We are affordable, experienced, and friendly. We provide outstanding service to our clients because of our dedication to professionalism, responsiveness, and quality.
What is the history or background of this business?
The core of the business was started in 1949 by John Simons representing New York Life. John’s son, Ken Simons, began working for New York Life in 1976 and joined his father in Artesia in 1981, adding investment sales to the firm. In 2005, Ken’s son, Chris, joined him at Simons & Associates, adding fee-based advisory and financial planning to the firm. In 2013, Chris earned his certified public accountant license and with Ben Harvey started the CPA firm Harvey & Simons, CPAs, LLC. Chris and Ben grew this side of the business, providing tax and accounting services. In 2014, they acquired the CPA firm of Joe Hanttula in Carlsbad, New Mexico, expanding services to the Carlsbad area. In 2017, Chris bought out his father’s part of the business. Then, in partnership with Harvey & Simons, CPAs, LLC formed the investment firm Access Wealth Strategies, LLC, and Access Benefit Services, LLC, an independent insurance agency. They currently staff three CPAs, several staff accountants, MBAs, two Certified Financial Planners, and many bookkeeping and support staff at their two offices in Artesia and Carlsbad. We are excited about the future growth of our area and our firm for many years to come.
What type of training/education have you obtained to run this type of business?
Chris has a business management degree from Texas Tech University and is currently working on his master’s degree. In addition, he holds his Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license, series 7, 63, & 66 securities licenses, and is life and health insurance licensed in many states. He currently holds the Certified Financial Planner™ – CFP, Chartered Life Underwriter® – CLU, Personal Financial Specialist – PFS, and Chartered Global Management Accountant – CGMA designations. Chris has many years of training and experience in financial, investment, and insurance planning, as well as tax and estate planning.
Ben Harvey earned his accounting degree from the University of Tulsa and a Master in Business Administration from Wayland Baptist University. He is a Certified Public Accountant and Chartered Global Management Accountant. Ben practiced in public accounting for 10 years with a regional firm in Tulsa, Oklahoma as a Senior Tax Accountant before moving to Artesia. He currently serves as the CFO for J&J Home Care in Artesia.
What makes your business unique?
We are still a small firm that can focus on client relationships and personal service though; we are large enough to have a skilled and diverse team with unique abilities and experiences. We assist our clients as they navigate through the complexities of the business and financial world by offering a variety of services in one firm. Our firm services include tax and accounting services, trust and estate planning, individual and business tax planning, business consulting, life insurance, health insurance, investment advisory, financial planning, retirement planning, employee retirement and group benefit plans, and much more.
What aspect of this business are you most passionate about?
We love helping clients navigate uncertainty, from the simple to the complex, into positive outcomes by empowering them to think and move more powerfully.
Why should a customer choose your business?
Customers choose us because they value our personal service, local presence, and the expertise and experience we bring. Our customers enjoy the benefit of allowing us to do what we do while freeing up their valuable time. We are a full-service firm for most small to medium-sized businesses, offering a full suite of services to meet their needs.
How do you stay involved with the community?
Our firm and staff are involved in several nonprofits and value giving back to our community. We donate to several local area organizations and are strong supporters of school programs and youth sports. Our staff members are also active in local churches.
What is the last achievement you celebrated as a business?
We recently invested in software, Access Benefits Services, for our insurance agency to provide our clients with state-of-the-art online client resources such as HR support and compliance assistance in regards to Employee Benefits. By leveraging innovative technology and tools, we can offer solutions that compete with larger benefit firms while providing more personalized and streamlined service. We are very excited about the growth of Access Benefit Services and our ability to offer our clients additional resources to simplify their jobs.
Nathan Sebesta, our Certified Financial Planner™, has earned several designations this past year including his Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®) designation, Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC®) designation, Retirement Income Certified Professional (RICP®) designation, and his Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP®) designation. He is now working towards a master’s degree, constantly learning and improving his knowledge in the financial industry. We are very proud of Nathan and the leadership and knowledge he brings to our firm and community.
Article originally published in Focus on Carlsbad 2021 spring edition.