By Nancy Raiden Titus
Journal Record Staff Reporter
Bob C. Murrell left his practice at the international
accounting firm of Arthur Andersen Co. in January 1973 to see
if he could build a small, personal practice near his home in
More than 20 years later, he is telling the success story of
Murrell, Hall, McIntosh Co., one of the largest locally-owned
Dec. 29, 1993, marks the 20th year of the firm though Murrell
himself has been in independent practice for nearly 21 years.
"In January 1973," he said, "I opened an office in Moore by
myself. I shared space with an attorney for six months. In June,
the practice had grown, and I hired an OU grad with an accounting
degree. By the end of the year, in December, Mike McIntosh came
to work with me. I had worked with him at Arthur Andersen. Stan
Hall, also from Arthur Andersen, came with me later."
Murrell Hall McIntosh now has about 1,500 clients and three
offices: the headquarters at 1700 N. Broadway in Moore, 303 E.
Comanche in Norman, and 2000 Classen Center, Suite 620 South, in
Phil Hollingsworth joined the firm as a shareholder in its
Norman office in the early 1980s. In 1991, Kenneth E. Dorsey
became a shareholder through a merger with one of the oldest
Oklahoma City firms that dated back to 1925.
"We have clients throughout Oklahoma City, a lot in Texas and
New Mexico and some as far away as California and Japan. We have
grown with the attitude of trying to provide a personal level of
service which you can't get with a lot of national firms."
Murrell said he did not set out to have a practice that
"We have not grown by design," he explained. "The fact is that
with the economic climate and taxes as complex as they are,
accountants couldn't continue to be generalists like you could 20
"The need for specialization is so much greater than it used
to be. The only way to have those specialties is to develop them
within the firm through individuals with areas of expertise. That
has been the driving factor behind our growth."
The entire accounting industry also has become more
competitive. National firms have begun to seek clients that they
were not interested in 15 years ago, and many of those form the
bread and butter for firms like Murrell Hall McIntosh.
"Any success we do have is as a result of the people working
for us, and the loyalty we have had from our clients."
The firm has had an influx of clients in the last six to eight
months, and Murrell expressed optimism about 1994.
"We have been enjoying growth this past year. We are affected
by the economy, but fortunately even during the downturn in the
oil business, we were never so dependent on any one industry. …