Josh Beaird has built his career with The Whitlock Company. Shortly before graduating from Missouri State University in 2010, Beaird started off as an intern and steadily worked his way through many different roles of increasing responsibility before being named CEO of Whitlock in June 2023.
Beaird first cut his teeth on the banking and audit side of Whitlock’s business, noting that he followed a relatively standard path for advancement in the accounting world, moving from intern to staff accountant to senior supervisor to manager, and eventually to partner. The ability to work within the many sides of Whitlock, both internal-facing and external-facing, is something that was important to Beaird, and after 13 years, it helped set him up for the new challenges of taking over as CEO. “That’s one of the things I enjoy most—and why I’ve been here so long—is because I’ve had those opportunities to grow and develop in different areas,” Beaird says.
The title of CEO, though, is not as common at accounting firms as you might think, as most are overseen by a managing partner. “We chose the CEO title intentionally,” Beaird says. “As we’ve grown, we hit an inflection point as a CPA firm, and we want to transition to more of a corporate model. Our goal, over time, is to have a professional management team.”