Justin Follis, CPA, Shareholder, Tax, Knoxville
Been with LBMC: 9 years
Education and Background
Raised in Huntsville, AL, Justin Follis attended The University of Tennessee, Knoxville and received his master’s degree in accounting with a concentration in taxation. At his brother’s suggestion, Justin decided to go into accounting and was hooked after one class. He saw his role in accounting as a chance to consult with clients in need of help – to solve their problems and be an expert they can trust. After graduating in 2002, Justin moved to Nashville to join LBMC. After five years, Justin left to explore other opportunities at a Big Four firm, but he rejoined LBMC in 2013.
Justin moved to LBMC’s Knoxville office in the summer of 2016 and currently resides in Knoxville. Since 2002 when he began as a tax staffer, Justin has evolved in both his role at LBMC and his career goals. Justin loves the challenge of solving both technical and big-picture issues for his clients. He specializes in partnerships and works primarily with clients in the manufacturing, distribution and financial services industries. Planning for his clients and business development are a big part of Justin’s day, as is helping develop younger professionals in the office. “I love being able to sit down with our team members and teach them, whether it’s the technical or management side,” he says. Justin believes that mentoring is one of his most important roles, as ultimately it drives the firm’s collective growth.
Why LBMC Stands Out
When Justin meets with potential clients, he explains to them that while preparing tax returns does not vary greatly from one firm to the next, what sets LBMC apart is our expertise. “Our firm has brilliant people, and our approach to serving clients is focused on being responsive and proactive and planning for them.”
Unique Factors of Work Environment
Justin explains that while working at LBMC can be demanding during busy season, the firm provides support and hires staff who are committed to working hard. “LBMC has grown over the years and has added many resources. If you need something, somebody’s going to help you. The firm makes sure both staff and clients are well taken care of,” Justin explains. He also describes LBMC as a down to earth organization. “Everybody knows how to laugh,” he says.
The busy season for compliance runs from Jan. 1 to Oct. 15, but LBMC plans year round. Justin always tells his staff, “Anything we can do now that takes an hour out of February or March is going to pay off.” He and his team meet with every client to set expectations regarding information needed and the necessary timeline.
Out of the office, Justin loves to spend time with his family. He met his wife, Kristin, at church, and they have three children and a dog. When asked what they like to do as a family, Justin joked, “We like to survive!” If he’s not with his family, you can find Justin in the sky, flying airplanes!