(301) 986-0600
Submit RFP

History

The CBM Story

CBM has always been known for excellence and innovation, and that tradition began with our founder, James A. Councilor, Sr., who broke new ground when he established the firm in the early 1920s. During the ensuing years, the firm established some notable milestones and served hundreds of clients with thoughtful advice and notable expertise.

CBM has continued to play an integral part in the growth and development of the accounting profession, boasting seven past presidents of the the Greater Washington Society of CPAs. Two of our senior partners have been honored with the DCICPA’s highly respected Public Service Award. CBM partners have also served as past presidents of Holy Cross Hospital, Washington Hospital Center, the National Kidney Foundation and the National Epilepsy Foundation. Our team currently serves many community and charitable organizations in leadership roles, on boards and committees.

Some other milestones include:

  • 1921: James A. Councilor Sr. leaves his job in the Consolidated Returns Division of the IRS and founds Councilor & Company to help Americans and companies adjust to the new income tax process
  • 1924: James A. Councilor Sr. becomes the first president of the Greater Washington Society of CPAs
  • 1929: The firm creates an audit department to review and prepare tax returns for clients as well as to provide guidance and advice on accounting issues
  • 1930: James A. Councilor Sr. hires Edna Nick- the first woman to pass the Virginia CPA exam. Read Edna Nick’s historical account of her time at the firm.
  • 1932: Dennison “Dooley” Mitchell joins the firm
  • 1933: William Baldwin Buchanan joins the firm
  • 1945: Eugene Stossel receives the AICPA’s Elijah Watt Sells Award, which recognizes outstanding performance on the uniform CPA examination
  • 1947: Edna Nick becomes the firm’s first female partner
  • 1957: Mitchell becomes president of the GWSCPA
  • 1961: Firm becomes known as Councilor, Buchanan & Mitchell
  • 1968: CBM’s Thomas O’Neil becomes president of the GWSCPA
  • 1973: CBM’s E. Burns McLindon becomes president of the GWSCPA
  • 1981: Edna Nick retires after 51 years with CBM, and CBM’s Lewis Bidle becomes president of the GWSCPA
  • 1991: CBM’s Paul E. Beck becomes president of the GWSCPA
  • 2002: Patricia A. Drolet becomes president of the GWSCPA
  • 2014: CBM merges with DC-based firm Drolet & Associates on September 23rd
  • 2017: CBM merges with Bethesda-based firm May & Barnhard on November 1st bringing the new firm to a total of 82 staff members and 10 partners

James A. Councilor Sr., CBM Founder

James Councilor left the Consolidated Returns Division of the U.S. Bureau of International Revenue (IRS) and founded Councilor & Company in 1921. His goal was to help Americans and their companies adjust to the new income tax process put in place by President Wilson. In 1924, Councilor became the first president of what is known today as the Greater Washington Society of CPAs.

Edna Nick, Virginia’s First Female CPA

In 1930, CBM hired Edna Nick — one of the first women to be employed by an accounting firm. Nick was the first female to pass the CPA exam in the State of Virginia and was eventually named a senior partner at CBM, a groundbreaking feat at the time. She enjoyed a 51-year career with the organization.

Read Edna Nick’s historical account of her time at the firm.