Personal Notes

April 18th, 2016

I just completed my 40th year of preparing income tax returns.  For the first few years, starting with the 1977 1040, I prepared a “pencil” copy then my wife Jo Anne typed the numbers on the final version of the forms.  Starting with the 1981 income tax season, I used a COMPAQ portable computer with two floppy disk drives and LOTUS 1-2-3 spreadsheet software which printed a mimic of the tax forms on my Okidata printer.  I still own my original COMPAQ computer which still boots up!  Interestingly, it might boot up, but, I am unsure if I can find floppy disks any longer to load programs.

About the time I started using my first COMPAQ computer, I noticed tax clients were asking me questions about topics outside of income taxes: investments, insurance, retirement, savings strategies for college, gifting, wills & trusts.  After checking with several acquaintances, I found there was an emerging industry in the U.S. – Financial Planning.  I theorized that the public would embrace a CPA who could address their income tax questions as well as these other topics, all under one roof.  Two years later, in August 1985, I formed and registered Valley National, opened our doors, and the rest is history.

Thomas M. Riddle
President, VNFA

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