John – (where in the world did this big fat greek CPA come from?)
Early years – Personal
Best to just start from the beginning. I was born in 1961 to Dr. Robert and Dora DeMoss. By God’s grace and in His mercy, I grew up in a warm, Christian (100% Greek!) home in Philadelphia and accepted Jesus Christ as my own personal Savior in 1971.
I attended Phil-Mont Christian Academy, from K-12 where I enjoyed soccer (fullback), baseball (catcher) and class treasurer. In 1975 I heard about a college level accounting course available from Penn State University via correspondence, and my math teacher, Jerry Moore, helped me on the side through my very first accounting course.
In May 1979, I mustered up the nerve to ask Alison Clark, beautiful, talented, brilliant, amazing daughter of Rev. John Clark and Dolores Clark (Lansdale Presbyterian Church, Lansdale, PA) out for the first time when I finally got the nerve up (my last day of high school). Two years later we married!
We have a large, happy family. Alison and I have ten beautiful children, and we are about to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary! We are taking life a day, a week, a month, a year at a time, trying to live our lives together for Jesus. God has smiled on us and has chosen to provide wonderful Christian spouses for our six oldest children who have so far given us seven grandsons and six granddaughters!
Things that worked for good towards my Accounting Career
First “real” job!
For two years, I worked as a bookkeeper at a tire wholesaler for my old youth leader, elder and family friend from church, Mr. Rick Winter, CPA. He inspired me and played an important role in introducing me to big thick general ledger reports. I soon was no longer overwhelmed by their size as he patiently showed me some research methods. A co-worker, Miss Bev Ingles, showed me how to process thick piles of invoices using a ten key pad. I take time to acknowledge these individuals because they each unknowingly played a part of who I am today.
It was also the year a wonderful family friend, excellent business advisor to my dad’s brother, Mr. Art DeMoss (founder of National Liberty Life Insurance of Valley Forge, PA) and Mr. Joe Decosimo, CPA, encouraged me to complete my accounting degree, sit for the CPA exam, and come work at his then only ten-year old CPA firm in Chattanooga, Tennessee. A year later, I came to my senses and accepted that invitation, completed my degree (btw he quietly took care of paying my college tuition) while working as a proofreader, passed the exam and then worked as an auditor for several fantastic years at Joseph Decosimo and Company, CPAs.
In the late 1980’s I ventured into a bit of private accounting, working as a Controller of one and CFO of another, until 1995. I began learning how to hold meetings, develop budgets and how to delegate pretty well, particularly under the leadership of Mr. Chuck Mills, CPA. I was also blessed to be able to travel some in my work (Europe and Asia), eye opening and interesting.
My first CPA Firm!
On March 1, 1995, I decided to open The Accounting Office, P.C., with help from two friends/investors, Barny Danks, CPA and Frank DeGarmo, CPA. That was the beginning of my love for providing the type of CPA-level services I had offered in my two private positions, now to small and medium sized businesses and non-profit organizations. “Part-time Greek CFO” describes it well. So I started with three computers, used office furniture (thanks to some which I still use, thanks to Trip Goodman of Office Coordinators!) and a small copier we wore out a long time ago.
My second CPA Firm!!
In 2003, we each moved in different directions and I began a new firm, DeMoss Accounting, which I later merged into the Decosimo firm. My small staff and I continued offering back office accounting and bookkeeping services to area businesses and non-profit organizations.
In 2009, Mr. John Henegar, CPA, recommended I reach out to Mr. Doug Daugherty about the possibility of hiring his accountant, Mrs. Arden Oglesby, to join my new practice. This has proven to be a wonderful recommendation (read more about Arden under “Meet the Team.”)
Third time’s the charm!!!
In 2015, Decosimo merged with another firm and later that year I decided it would be a good idea to pull DeMoss Accounting back out of the combined firm, to better serve my clients.
The process has been streamlined over time, but the overall strategy has always been to identify, test and attract top talent who have demonstrated many of the skills needed to process sometimes rather large volumes of data, by how they have lived out their lives thus far. Some of our talent includes those with professional decrees, but this is not always a needed cost to process a payroll check for example. Having a team with varying skill sets enabled me to offer these needed back office services at a fraction of what they would normally cost most businesses.
As a result, our clients enjoy access to ‘a slice’ of various levels of skills, depending on their needs. The services have been, and continue to be very scalable.