By Heather Clower
The Parsons Advocate
After 26 years of tax preparation, bookkeeping, licensing and registration services, and many other offerings, Frances Shupp, owner of Benbush Business Services will be closing the doors to her business after December 31, 2020.
Shupp began income tax preparation and bookkeeping while she was a senior at Rowlesburg High School and Preston County Educational Center in 1978. From then through 1986, she worked as a Legal Secretary for Wehner Law Office, and from January 1987 through 1992 worked as a Deputy Circuit Clerk. Shupp served as a Magistrate in Preston County beginning in 1993 until October 31, 1996. She married her husband Jerry “Buck” Shupp, a native of Tucker County, in 1995 which is what prompted their relocation.
“I started Benbush Business Services when I moved here to Tucker County,” began Shupp stating she began working out of her home while working another career in Preston County in 1996. She began with the clientele she brought from her previous location and with time started bringing in new customers in need of her services. “In 2000 I added the former Preston Business Service Office that was in Davis, they were ready to close it and offered the clients and business that they had to me and I took over,” she continued which was located beside Muttley’s in Davis.
Financial services such as annuities and insurance products were added to the list of services Shupp offered followed by a satellite office in Parsons where Hattie Jane’s Old Thyme Primitives now is. The Davis location was closed in 2004 when operations moved back to Benbush where Shupp operated out of her home office. Her home location and the Parsons office were in business until 2016 when the Parsons office was closed.
Shupp served over 600 tax clients and varied between 50 to 100 different businesses, most of which were local to Tucker County. “Up until I closed, Margaret Luzier was working with me and Dawn Crossland was part-time,” she added. When the office was in Parsons, she also employed another individual to assist in their services.
Bookkeeping services began to decrease over the last couple of years when Shupp began focusing mostly on taxes. Shupp has decided to close the doors indefinitely on December 31, 2020, to focus on a healthy retirement. “I want to spend more time with my husband and I have five young grandbabies, and we want to travel a little bit,” she proclaimed. The phone line to the office has already been disconnected and office hours are by appointment only as she is only working on finalizing a few leftover 2019 taxes as she draws near her final closing.
Shupp is working on calling every one of her clients to speak with them and thank them for their business over her endeavor. She has arranged an agreement with two Certified Public Accountants willing to take on any of her clients, Katie Bright, CPA located in Elkins, and Brian Boal, CPA with Boal and Associates in Oakland, Md. “All my clients have to do is contact them by phone, tell them they’re my client, and then they will get their information from me,” she said. The new firms will then contact Shupp to get the clients’ information to start their file. Attempts were made by Shupp to find someone willing to relocate to Tucker County to take over the business and continue these services, though deemed unsuccessful.
“I have appreciated the opportunity to work with all of my clients and staff over the 24 years,” said Shupp. “It has been an honor and a privilege to serve you!”