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Firm History

Hilyer & Associates, CPAs begin in 1971 when Ray Henderson left Diversified Products to form his own accounting firm under the name G. R. Henderson, CPA. Jeff Hilyer joined the firm in 1983. Ray and Jeff formed a partnership, Henderson & Hilyer, CPAs, in 1987 which continued until Ray’s retirement in 1996. In 1997, the staff of John E. Crofton, CPA joined Hilyer & Associates, CPAs. In 1999, the staff of Levins & Associates joined Hilyer & Associates, CPAs. In 2017, the staff of Novelli, Ennis & Company joined Hilyer & Associates, CPAs.

The firm’s first location was in the Diversified Financial Building, which is now PNC Bank. In the late 1970’s, the firm moved to 100 South Sixth Street and remained there until 1999 when it moved to 608 Avenue A. In 2016, the firm moved to its current location of 614 Second Avenue. Coincidentally, the firm’s current location is right across Second Avenue from where the firm began in almost 50 years ago.

Our Team

Jeff Hilyer

Jeff Hilyer is a Certified Public Accountant (Alabama & Georgia) and an attorney at law. Jeff was born in Opelika, Alabama and has been with the firm since 1982. He graduated from Auburn University with a B.S. degree in Business Administration with a concentration in accounting, a J.D. degree from Jones School of Law, and an LL.M. in taxation from the University of Alabama School of Law. Jeff is a Certified Management Accountant, Certified Business Manager, and a Chartered Global Management Accountant. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Jeff currently serves as chairman of the Opelika Utilities Board, and is a past board chairman of the Opelika Chamber of Commerce and a past distinguished president of the Opelika Kiwanis Club. He has served the Opelika First United Methodist Church as chairman of the finance committee, trustees, staff-parish relations committee and the building committee.

Jeff is married to Cherry McDonald Hilyer from Opelika, Alabama. Cherry works as a part-time tutor at Carver Primary School in the Opelika School System after retiring with 32 years as a kindergarten teacher. They have two children, Brandon and Amanda, and two grandchildren, Aubrey and Taylor. In his spare time, Jeff has officiated high school football games for the Alabama High School Athletic Association, and college football games for the Gulf South Conference, Ohio Valley Conference, Sun Belt Conference and Southeastern Conference. He has worked on the field as a referee and in the replay booth as a replay official. He is currently working with the Southern Conference as a part-time replay official. He and Cherry enjoy spending time with their family at Lake Martin.

Jackie Moon

Jackie is a Certified Public Accountant. Jackie is from Mobile, Alabama and has been with the firm since 2002. She graduated from Auburn University with a Bachelor of Textile Engineering in 1978 and a B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting (Cum Laude) in 2002. She began her career in retail sales management in the Gayfers organization. After receiving her accounting degree, she joined the firm and specializes in audit and reviews, and non-profit organizations. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants. Jackie specializes in audits, reviews and compilations as well as individual, business and non-profit income tax matters.

Jackie is married to Randy from Roanoke, Alabama. They have one son, Jason, and one granddaughter Sophia. They currently reside in Opelika, Alabama. In her spare time, she enjoys sewing, needlework, reading and Auburn University football. She is also a member of the Auburn University Alumni Band.

Erin Arrington

Erin is a Certified Public Accountant. Erin was born in Wilmington, Delaware, but grew up in Lanett, Alabama. Erin joined the firm in 2005 initially as a college intern. She graduated from Auburn University in 2005 with a B.S. in Accounting and a B.A. in Psychology. She specializes in preparation of individual and business income tax returns, and preparation, compilation and reviews of business financial statements. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Erin is married to Al from Union Springs, Alabama. They have three daughters, Katie, and twins, Emma and Ella. They currently reside in Auburn, Alabama with their dog, Bella. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and spending time with her family.

David Ennis

Veteran

David is a Certified Public Accountant. David is from LaFayette and served in the United States Marine Corps from 1968 to 1972 serving in Vietnam in 1969. He has a B.S. degree from Auburn University in Accounting. David began his public accounting career with Kaufman, Zeanah & Smith in Alexander City, Alabama in 1978, then joined Angelo Novelli, CPA in in 1981 in Lanett, Alabama. David and Angelo became partners in 1984 forming Novelli, Ennis & Company. David joined Hilyer & Associates in October 2017. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants. David specializes in individual and business income tax matters.

David is married to Susan Brinson Ennis from LaFayette, Alabama. They have two sons, David, Jr. and Wesley. They have six grandchildren and great-grandchildren. In his spare time, David likes working in his yard.

Patti Davis

Veteran

Patti is a Certified Public Accountant. Patti joined the firm in 2018. Patti is from Acworth, Georgia and served in the United States Army from 1984 to 1988. In 1987, she was awarded Division Soldier of the Year for the 3rd Armored Division while serving in Frankfurt, Germany. She graduated from Troy State University with a B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting. She also graduated from Middle Tennessee State University with a M.S. in Accountancy and Information Systems. Patti specializes in preparation of individual and business income tax returns, and preparation, compilation and reviews of business financial statements. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Patti is married to Mike Walsh from Springfield, Missouri. Mike is retired from the United States Army National Guard having served as a helicopter pilot. She has two daughters, Jessica and Felicia, and one granddaughter, Sophie. They currently reside in Jacksons Gap and they enjoy living on Lake Martin.

Jim Levins

Jim is an accountant and IRS Enrolled Agent. He is from Wetumpka, Alabama and received his certificate in accounting from the University of Alabama. Jim began his accounting career as a controller for a private company in 1960. He moved into public accounting in 1964 and formed his own accounting firm, Levins & Associates, in 1980. Jim became an IRS Enrolled Agent in 1985 which allows him to represent clients before the IRS. In 1999, Jim and his staff joined Hilyer & Associates. Jim specializes in individual and business income tax returns and estate returns

Jim is married to Sara Nan Yates Levins from LaFayette, Alabama. He has three children and eight grandchildren. They currently reside in Opelika, Alabama. Jim has been very active in the community having previously served as treasurer of the First Baptist Church of Opelika and the First United Methodist Church of Opelika. Jim was a member of the Opelika Lions Club for 27 years. In his spare time, he works with the Opelika Historic Preservation Society and the Museum of East Alabama.

Jim is currently working part-time and is available to help his current clients when needed.

Sandra Smith

Sandra is the lead bookkeeper. Sandra is from Opelika, Alabama. Sandra began her career working for her dad, Melvin Kerby, at Kerby’s Appliance as the bookkeeper. After her dad’s retirement, Sandra began working for LaFoy & Associates, CPAs in Opelika, Alabama as a bookkeeper. After Mr. LaFoy’s retirement, she continued working in public accounting until she joined a private company. She joined Hilyer & Associates, CPAs in 2013. She is responsible for coordinating the bookkeeping functions of the firm as well as working with clients on their individual and business accounting needs.

Sandra is married to Stan from Decatur, Alabama. They have two sons, Daniel and Ben. In her spare time, Sandra enjoys reading and spending time with family.

Lisa Kling

Lisa is a bookkeeper. Lisa is from Billings, Montana. She began her career in a small public accounting firm in Montana before transitioning into bookkeeping in the medical insurance industry. Lisa joined Hilyer & Associates, CPAs in 2014. She works with clients on preparing financial statements, payroll and sales tax returns, and other general accounting functions.

Lisa is married to Tim (a CPA) from Sidney, Montana. They have one son, Zak, and one granddaughter, Sidney. In her spare time, she likes sewing and being creative.

Whitlee Wine

Whitlee is the payroll specialist. Whitlee is from Wetumpka, Alabama and has a B.A. degree from Troy University in communications and a minor in business. She joined the firm in December 2014. Whitlee currently coordinates approximately 100 payrolls each month making sure employees are properly compensated and taxes are timely paid and reported.

Whitlee is married to Aaron from Wetumpka, Alabama. They live in Auburn, Alabama with their Australian Shepard, Grey. They are active in Lakeview Baptist Church in Auburn, Alabama.

April Gooden

April is a bookkeeper. She is from LaFayette, Alabama. April began her bookkeeping career upon graduation from Chambers Academy with Novelli, Ennis & Company, CPAs. She joined Hilyer & Associates in October 2017. April works with clients on preparing financial statements, payroll and sales tax returns, QuickBooks and other general accounting functions.

She is married to Marc from LaFayette, Alabama. They have two sons, Cameron and Ty. In her spare time, she volunteers for Dadeville Dixie Youth Baseball League.

Karla Greathouse

Karla is a bookkeeper. She is from LaFayette, Alabama. Karla graduated from Troy University in 2013 with a B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting. Karla is responsible for preparing financial statements and monthly write-up. She also prepares and files payroll tax forms.

Karla is married to Jonathan. He is from West Point, Georgia. They have six children and three grandchildren. In her spare time, she enjoys walking and spending time with her family.

Carolyn Skipper

Carolyn is a bookkeeper. Carolyn is from Wilmington, North Carolina and lives in Opelika,
Alabama. Carolyn began working for Hilyer & Associates, CPA in 1997, and retired from full
time in the summer of 2019. In January, she returned on a part-time basis. Carolyn has
continued her education at Southern Union State Community College.

Carolyn is married to John. He is from Wilmington, North Carolina. They have two children and
four grandchildren. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her grandchildren and
attending their sporting events.

Betty Hilyer

Betty is an income tax return preparer. She was born in LaFayette, Alabama and lives in Opelika, Alabama. Betty graduated from Troy University in 1989 with a B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting (Summa cum laude). She retired from Southern Union State Community College with 25 years of service as their accounting controller. Betty has worked part-time at the firm since 1997 during income tax filing season.

Betty is married to Bill. He is from Opelika, Alabama. They have five sons, twelve grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, cooking, and spending time with her family.

Diane Blue

Diane is a Certified Public Accountant. Diane is from Mobile, Alabama and lives in Opelika, Alabama. Diane graduated from Auburn University in 1972 with a B.S. degree in Mathematics and again 1975 with an M.B.A. She retired from the Alabama Department of Revenue with 26 years of service as the Field Activities Manager for the income tax division. Diane has worked part-time at the firm since 2014 during income tax filing season.

Diane is married to Buddy. He is from Opelika, Alabama. They have three children and four grandchildren. In her spare time, she works with the Lee County Master Gardeners and enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, traveling, sewing, upholstery and flower gardening.

Nicole Moon

Nicole joined the firm in 2017 as the receptionist and became the administrative assistant in 2019. Nicole is from Beulah, Alabama and graduated from Auburn University with a B.A. degree in Psychology. She has continued her education by taking various accounting courses at Southern Union State Community College and attending seminars. Nicole is responsible for several administrative functions including billing, accounts receivable, accounts payable, payroll, and maintaining firm and client records. She also assists in tax and legal matters.

Nicole is married to Austin from Smiths Station, Alabama who was enlisted in the U.S. Army Infantry from 2013 to 2016. He currently serves in the Alabama National Guard. They have a daughter, Skylar, and two labs, Lilah and Lucy. They currently reside in Smiths Station, Alabama. Out of the office, she spends her time with their daughter. In the summer, she enjoys time on Lake Harding and in the fall, watching Auburn University football.

Ray Henderson (1935-2017)

Veteran

Ray was a Certified Public Accountant licensed in Alabama and Georgia. Ray was originally from Bells, Tennessee but spent most of his life in Opelika, Alabama. Ray attended Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now Auburn University) on a ROTC scholarship and graduated with a degree in Accounting in the late 1950’s. After graduating from API, Ray spent four years in the U.S. Navy on an aircraft carrier in the Atlantic Ocean. Upon returning to civilian life, Ray became an accountant with Price Waterhouse in Atlanta. In 1964, he moved his family to Opelika, Alabama to become the first corporate secretary/treasurer for Diversified Products. In 1971, he established his own accounting firm in Opelika, Alabama under the name G. R. Henderson, CPA.  In 1987, Ray and Jeff Hilyer formed Henderson & Hilyer, CPAs. Ray retired at the end of 1996.

Ray had four children and numerous grandchildren. He was a member of the Opelika Kiwanis Club and a founding member of the Saugahatchee Country Club. He enjoyed golf and woodworking.