BY ANGIE FENTON | PHOTOS BY TONY BENNETT
For 90 years, Monroe Shine has been a fixture in the region as a certified public accounting firm based in New Albany and, beginning in 1978, Louisville. “We’ve got this long history in the community,” President Roger Harbeson said, “and we’re very committed to serving our community, whether it’s in what we do as an accounting firm as well as what we do from a philanthropy standpoint.”
Although the staff is serious about providing quality, timely, professional service to clients – and has built a reputation for doing so – on a recent Friday, the atmosphere was decidedly casual. “About six years ago, we introduced Casual for a Cause Fridays. Every month, we select a charity that we would support. The goal is to involve the staff, encourage the staff to contribute to a cause in order to be able to dress down on Fridays. … It has been very well received,” Harbeson said. “We like to encourage (employees) to be active with charities and to serve on boards and volunteer. … Whether they begin as an intern or a young staff accountant, we like to get them involved in the community.”
In addition to the reoccurring casual Fridays benefiting various nonprofits, Monroe Shine also commits resources, time and monetary support to numerous charitable organizations. Most recently, the firm served as a platinum sponsor of the ninth annual Hosparus Southern Indiana “United We Stand: Dancing with the Stars” event.
Personally, “Hosparus is the number one charity for me,” said Harbeson, who joined the board “back in the ’80s” and has remained involved ever since. “My wife’s brother passed away at the age of 28 with cancer, so caring for those that are near the end is very important to me. It’s about having a good life there at the end of your life.
Harbeson also works with Boy Scouts of America, which is all the more special because his two sons are involved. “It’s another important charity for me.”
An integral aspect of the culture at Monroe Shine is balancing life in the firm. “The profession is very demanding, particularly December to April. We try to have some fun things, some breaks that we provide during the busy time. But during the rest of the year, we hope to have a more normal, balanced lifestyle,” Harbeson said.
Using vacation time is highly encouraged; so is participating in extracurricular activities outside of the firm. (Monroe Shine’s basketball team brought home the league’s championship trophy last year.)
After nine decades in business, “our philosophy is very client focused. … Typically, in our (industry), we’re the first one called to solve problems or refer those clients to whoever they need to help them,” Harbeson said. “At Monroe Shine, it’s always been about the client. That’s what is most rewarding for me. We value them very dearly. Most clients are with us a long, long time. We serve generation after generation and look forward to developing new relationships.”
MONROE SHINE AT A GLANCE:
Monroe Shine is a certified public accounting firm with location in Southern Indiana and Louisville. The company began in 1925 when William P. Stein started a one-man accounting practice in New Albany. Louisville CPA ﬁrm Brown and Imhof purchased Mr. Stein’s practice in 1937. Thirteen years later, the ﬁrm became Brown and Monroe. In 1963, V.G. Monroe and J.R. Shine separated from the Louisville ﬁrm and established their own practice. Since then, Monroe Shine has emerged as one of the largest, independent certiﬁed public accounting ﬁrms in the region and is celebrating its 90th anniversary.