"Chris took over almost all the financial management of our organization in 2008 and provided thoughtful, important expertise that we were previously missing. In working with Chris and his team, our chamber has gotten all the benefits of hiring an accounting firm but at a minimal cost — including a high level of credibility that is important to our membership, the community and our chamber as a public entity."
Meet Our Staff:
Chris Smith, CPA, CGMA
With 30 years of financial experience, Chris Smith is passionate about his work. Since founding CB Smith & Associates in 2003, he has led the accounting firm’s growth from one to three office locations in Georgia. It now has 35 employees, including a solid team of certified public accountants and other tax professionals.
CB Smith & Associates is a business advisory and full-service accounting firm that works in tandem with its sister company, Reliance Payroll LLC, a full-service payroll and human resources outsourcing firm.
Prior to starting his own firm, Chris was a corporate controller. He earned a degree in accounting from Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business, and is active in local community groups such as the Rotary Club and numerous CPA groups.
SUSAN PAYNE, CPA, is a Senior Accountant with a Masters degree from KSU. She has been on CB Smith’s team since 2004. Susan loves the opportunity of working with people from different industries and the diversity that brings. She particularly enjoys working at the firm because “we all tend to work together and bounce things off one another as needed. Because I have been involved in a number of different areas with the firm over the years the questions that get asked of me can range from tax and accounting, payroll, or even computer and technology questions”. Recently, Susan was able to find a tax strategy for one of her clients that made a significant impact in lowering the shareholder’s tax liability that year. In her spare time, she loves tennis -- having played competitively for 20 + years. She looks forward to continuing the sport for many, many years to come as it allows her to go out, relax and have fun.
MARY SMITH, SHRM-SCP - Since 2005, Mary has played the role of CB Smith’s HR and Payroll Manager with human resource strengths in employee performance improvement. She also has a strong background in creating compensation/reward systems, training programs and performance review programs. Mary enjoys helping owners and managers of companies develop programs that improve employee performance and processes that boost work functions. That can include developing ways to streamline work flows, helping develop policies to reduce employee dissatisfaction, creating training programs to improve work skills, employee coaching and helping owners /managers understand HR functions that help their business. Mary’s clients report significant time savings once she takes over their payroll function. In her spare time, she enjoys working in the yard and doing anything creative -- allowing her to shift her focus away from numbers, deadlines and legalities.
CHRIS PETERSON, CPA, MTX - Chris joined CB Smith in July 2017 as Tax Manager. He has 20 years’ experience in tax planning and compliance for businesses and business owners. Chris finds working in an accounting firm rewarding, because he enjoys meeting new people and helping clients succeed. Some of the ways he achieves that result for clients: improving cash flow and income, lowering tax burdens through proactive planning and reducing debt.
Chris received a Master of Taxation with specialization in corporate and partnership taxation and a Master of Professional Accountancy with specialization in accounting information systems from Georgia State University, as well as a Bachelor of Business Administration in public accounting and finance from Georgia Southern University. He enjoys reading and spending time with his wife and kids.
DEVIN WEBB, CPA - Senior Staff Accountant, Devin Webb joined CB Smith & Associates in November 2016. He works closely with the firm’s chief financial officer and services clients monthly through the Accountant’s Special Business Package. Devin enjoys helping clients and being a resource they can rely on. For example, Devin assisted a client in amending several prior years of corporate and personal tax returns. In the process, he not only found a deduction that could be claimed, but also learned that some of the client’s tax returns for previous years had not been filed at all. Devin was able to work with the IRS and the state to reduce the client’s penalties for not filing on time.
BONNI WAHN - Bonni joined the firm back in 2008 and serves as Office Manager. Bonni is the perfect conduit between clients and our accountants. She sets up meetings, compiles reports, scans financial papers and receipts and is the firm’s go-to person to keep things running smoothly,. She loves the flexibility of her job and working for a smaller company. Beyond the office, Bonni has a green thumb. Gardening is her favorite hobby which she finds both rewarding and relaxing.
DONNA HAMBY - Now in her ninth year with CB Smith & Associates, Donna is the Firm Administrator focusing on accounting and day-to-day operations including administration, personnel, finance, as well as scheduling and production control. Donna also plays a starting role in new client onboarding for daily and monthly clients. She loves the diversity of the team and learning new ways to be a true asset to the firm. In her spare time, Donna enjoys reading, volunteering at church and doing anything outdoors, including kayaking and snow skiing.