Maxwell Locke & Ritter recently celebrated its 30th anniversary. What started as a great idea between friends with a business plan on a napkin is now the largest locally owned accounting firm in Central Texas. Headquartered in downtown Austin with an additional office in Round Rock, the CPA firm was founded by Earl Maxwell, Tom Locke and Mark Ritter, who were determined to create a unique culture that focused on people, clients and community.

The firm has experienced tremendous success and growth in the Central Texas market. In 1991, Maxwell Locke & Ritter began with 17 employees including the three founding partners. Today, the firm, along with its affiliate, ML&R Wealth Management, has 140 team members including 22 partners. The full-service CPA firm, which initially only offered traditional tax and audit services, has expanded by adding wealth management, due diligence, and IT security and compliance service lines, as well as advisory services within each practice.

Maxwell Locke & Ritter has received national, regional, and local recognition for exceptional client service and its people-centric culture. Of their 85+ awards, the firm’s leadership and team members are most proud of being named Accounting Today’s “#1 Best Mid-sized Accounting Firm to Work for.” Thanks to its award-winning culture, Maxwell Locke & Ritter maintains an exceptionally low turnover rate, ensuring clients consistently receive service from experienced professionals and offering employees the opportunity to draw upon one another’s expertise to work strongly as a team.

“Through all of our growth, we’ve managed to maintain our core values, focus on being a great place to work, and remain steadfast in our belief that no success at work is worth failure at home,” said Kyle Parks, leading partner at Maxwell Locke & Ritter. “Our culture is in the best interest of our people and our clients. With an incredible first 30 years behind us, we look forward to what the future offers our firm and our people.”

Maxwell Locke & Ritter also has a strong history of promoting from within the firm, including the firm’s newest partner, Doris Ayala. Doris joined Maxwell Locke & Ritter in 2012 and provides tax compliance and consulting services to business entities and their owners. Her primary focus is corporations, flow-through entities, and multi-state compliance in the technology, consumer product goods, and real estate industries. She began her career with a Big 4 firm in 2007 where she gained experience in federal and state income tax compliance and accounting for income taxes under ASC 740.

“I am grateful to be with a public accounting firm that truly values its clients, its people, and the community,” said Doris Ayala, tax partner. Our leaders have always respected my time with my family, and I am forever grateful for the trust they have given me as partner at this firm. I am excited to continue working with wonderful clients and developing our people.”

While celebrating Doris’ promotion to partner, the firm also honored retiring tax partner, Chris Adams. Chris was an owner and tax partner at several small Austin CPA firms for about 25 years before joining Maxwell Locke & Ritter in 2005. After 15 years of dedicated service to the firm during which he established their entertainment niche, Chris retired on December 31, 2020.

“Joining Maxwell Locke & Ritter was undoubtedly my best career move and I am forever grateful to Earl Maxwell, Steven Knebel and the partner group for giving me the opportunity to join the ML&R Family,” said Chris Adams. “I have made lifelong friendships during my tenure. The firm’s practice of treating its people with kindness and respect creates a culture of inclusiveness. I will truly miss all the great people and wish the firm continued success.”

Kyle Parks added “While we are sad to see Chris leave the firm, he made a lasting impact and will always be a member of the ML&R Family. We wish Chris the best in his well-deserved retirement and are thrilled to welcome Doris Ayala to the partner group.”