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About Us

About Our Firm

Since 2005, J. Alan Rutherford, CPA, P.A. has been providing quality, personalized financial guidance to local individuals and businesses. Our expertise ranges from basic tax management, payroll and accounting services to more in-depth services such as tax research and planning.

J. Alan Rutherford, CPA, P.A. is one of the leading firms in and throughout the area. By combining our expertise, experience and the team mentality of our staff, we assure that every client receives the close analysis and attention they deserve. Our dedication to high standards and work ethic is the reason our client base returns year after year.

Our Mission

Our mission is to help clients maintain financial viability in the present, while taking a proactive approach to achieve future goals. This requires open communication to reach an understanding of our clients' needs through research and sound analysis. J. Alan Rutherford, CPA, P.A. is dedicated to meeting these goals with high standards of excellence and professionalism. We have been a staple of the area's business community for years, and pride ourselves on the level of esteem we have earned.

Our dedication to hard work has earned the respect of the business and financial community in and around the area. We believe this to be a direct derivative of our talent and responsiveness to our client base. Whether you are a current or prospective client, rest assured that individuals and businesses who choose J. Alan Rutherford, CPA, P.A. receive competent and timely advice.

Our Staff

J. Alan Rutherford, CPA

Alan has worked exclusively in public accounting since 1981.  Early in his career, Alan was indeed fortunate to work for Sherman, Spero and Safario, Ltd, a highly-regarded tax-only firm in Virginia Beach, and was mentored by Roger Spero, to whom he is eternally grateful. 

From 1991 through 2004, Alan was a partner with Foster, McLelland, Rutherford & McKenzie CPAs, working out of the Statesville NC office.  Experience included tax (individual, partnership, corporate and trust), conducting Peer Reviews of other CPA firms, audits of local governments and school systems, business valuation (former ABV CVA CBA), and litigation support.  He also served as adjunct faculty at Lenoir Rhyne University, teaching tax.  He has completed AICPA Certificate of Education Achievement programs in both valuation and tax.  He is qualified to conduct audits under government auditing standards. He has also served as Court-appointed expert witness in Rowan Superior Court, testifying on accounting matters.

On 1/1/2005, he founded his own practice in beautiful and historic downtown Salisbury, and purchased an office in a restored 1924 building.  His practice concentrates on three areas; tax (research, planning and compliance), small business clients, and audit and tax services for non-profit organizations (including audits under OMB A-133).

Alan is past president and current Treasurer for the Salisbury Kiwanis Club, and has also served in leadership roles with several other organizations over the years.  He is married to Pam since 1988, and has two adult sons and one grandchild (so far!).


Jennifer Wagner


Jennifer graduated, with honors, from Rowan-Cabarrus Community College in May of 2013 with an Associate’s of Applied Science in Accounting and an Associate’s of Applied Science in Business Administration.  She also has nine other certifications, including Managerial Accounting, Technical Accounting, Business Accounting, Business Computing, and Marketing Management.

During her time at RCCC, Jennifer served two terms as the Vice President for Phi Beta Lambda - the collegiate level of the Future Business Leaders of America.  As VP, she was responsible for spearheading several community service projects and competing at both the state and national levels in a variety of business categories.  In 2012, she was ranked 8th in the nation in the category of Word Processing, and she was ranked 1st in the state in both Word Processing and Accounting for Professionals.  In 2011, she was ranked 1st in the state in Business Law and 4th in the state in Accounting Principles.

In addition to her formal education, Jennifer has over 10 years of experience in bookkeeping, focusing in Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, and Financial Reporting.  Currently, Jennifer is the Accounting & Office Manager for the firm, and is devoting the majority of her time to our small business clients.  Her specialties include accounting services, such as payroll and monthly financial reporting, using QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Desktop, and Creative Solutions Accounting software.  One of her professional goals is to become a QuickBooks ProAdvisor (a certified expert in QuickBooks who focuses on supporting and teaching small-to-medium sized businesses and individuals).

In a very short time, Jennifer has become accomplished in client bookkeeping service, bank reconciliations, payroll services, and payroll and sales tax compliance services.  She also excels at managing the day-to-day functionality of a very busy office.

In her spare time, Jennifer is currently engrossed in her efforts to learn multiple foreign languages, including Spanish.


Emily Walls

Emily worked as a Tax Professional with a locally owned H&R Block franchise before joining the team at J. Alan Rutherford, CPA.

As the Administrative Assistant for the office, Emily is currently learning how to manage an increasingly busy office, and helping to prepare for the upcoming tax season.  By utilizing her impressive interpersonal skills to provide high quality support and client service, she is quickly becoming an invaluable part of the firm.

Having grown up in Salisbury, she is often involved in community activities, such as assisting with the Salisbury Symphony’s annual outdoor concert, Pops at the Post, and demonstrating historical fiber arts at the Rowan Museum’s Old Stone House in Granite Quarry.  She also enjoys photography, with a focus on the local flora, fauna and landscapes of our Tar Heel state.



  • J. Alan Rutherford, CPA, P.A.
  • 225 North Main Street, Suite 302
  • Salisbury, NC 28144
  • Telephone: (704) 633-4060
  • Fax: (704) 633-0990