Kevin Simister

OREM — Kevin Simister, recently named Outstanding CPA in Public Practice, didn't go into accounting because he's good with numbers. For him, it's all about his clients.

"It's a walk through life with people," Simister said. "Through their marriages, divorces, through new companies and successes and failures — every step of the way. And I can help. That's what I really like."

Simister, who isn't too bad at math after all, is the first public accountant in Utah County to be given the award — one of four main annual awards from the Utah Association of Certified Public Accountants.

"I've had a number of calls saying 'Congratulations,' 'It was well-deserved' and all that kind of stuff," Simister said. "I just say, 'Aw, shucks.' It really was an unexpected honor. You don't campaign for this."

A managing partner of Hawkins Cloward & Simister, at 1095 S. 800 East in Orem, Simister has been working as a certified public accountant ever since he graduated magna cum laude from Brigham Young University in 1975.

But it's not just service to clients that won over the nominating committee.

"We're honoring someone for not only being involved in the situation of running their firm and so forth, but service above and beyond the call of duty," said Bryan Bolander, immediate past president of the UACPA and current Awards Task Force chairman. "There are a lot of CPAs who do good CPA work for their clients. (But) it's a matter of service above and beyond."

Simister has been involved with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Utah Valley State College's School of Business and BYU's professional advisory board. He also served as the UACPA president from 1994 to 1995.