Diehl, Banwart, Bolton Celebrate 70 Years In Business

Employees of Diehl, Banwart and Bolton, CPA’s: front from left Donna Banwart CPA, Monica Mullins, Kelli Bryant, Karla Cox, Carol Hill CPA, Amanda Lancaster CPA, 2nd Row, Allison Ramsey, Grace Sweat, Tawny Pool, Kelly Burrows, Mark Bolton CPA, Jim Regan, 3rd Row, Randall
Phillips CPA, Leon Chesnut, Vicky Mueller, Jamie Pollmeier, Matthew Keys, Daryl Eagon CPA, Jim Banwart Jr CPA, and Terry Sercer CPA. Submitted photo.

Not many businesses can claim to be still providing services in their community after 70 years.

But Diehl, Banwart, Bolton CPA’s PA has been serving southeast Kansas since 1949.

Through the years the certified public accountant firm has seen many changes in business, Jim Banwart Jr. said.

Banwart is a partner in the business.

John Diehl. Submitted photo.

When Jim, Sr. applied to work for John Diehl in 1963, “John was excited to show him their new copier—a dry paper copier, a great improvement over what had been available previously,” Banwart said.

Jim Banwart, Sr. Submitted photo.

“In 1966, the firm became the first accounting firm in Southeast Kansas to install what was in those days a room-sized, punch card computer to be able to offer computing services,” Banwart said.

“Larry Dixon was the first programmer at the firm, and in 1971, James Regan arrived to become the IT officer at the firm. He was joined by Don Casida, Allen Ward and numerous other programmers over the years,” he said.

“In 2000, the firm became one of the first accounting firms to post compilations to the web for client viewing. In 2017, we converted from our own inhouse general ledger software to a cloud-based software. The firm continues to stay on the cutting edge of technology,” Banwart said.

John Diehl Starts Is All

“In 1948, following his service as a United States Marine pilot in World War II, John E. Diehl came to Fort Scott to work for the Winchell Manufacturing Company, bringing with him his young wife, Ina Mae,” he said.

Diehl then opened an accounting office for Senderson, Little and LaChelle, a Kansas City firm.

In 1949, Diehl purchased the business and renamed it John E. Diehl and Company.

Maurice Fletcher joined the firm and it became Diehl and Fletcher.

“The company was located in several buildings in what is now the downtown historic district,” Banwart said. “In 1974, the shareholders purchased the Milrose Block at Wall and National where they continue today.”

In the fall of 1963, James L. Banwart joined Diehl and Fletcher. followed by Mark Bolton joining the firm in 1973. Jim Banwart Jr. joined in 1991, according to the firm’s website.

In 1976, the firm became Diehl, Banwart, Bolton, CPA’s.

“Mr. Diehl died in 2017 at age 99, having retired some years earlier,” Banwart said. “He was a much-involved member of the community and a much loved and respected employer and partner.”

Currently, there are nine Certified Public Accountants at the firm- Jim Banwart Sr, Mark Bolton, Randall Phillips, Daryl Eagon, Donna Banwart, Jim Banwart Jr, Terry Sercer, Carol Hill and Amanda Lancaster.

There are two IT people, Jim Regan and Tawny Pool.

“James Regan, the long-time information technology officer, joined the firm in 1971,” Banwart said.

In addition, there are ten more experienced accountants and a number of support staff, he said.

The business started in Fort Scott, then branched out to Pittsburg and Girard.

Services offered at the business:

-Business design and development

– Municipal and commercial auditing

– Preparation of monthly compilation reports

– Payroll processing

– Estate planning and estate tax services

– Income tax planning and income tax services

-Retirement and succession planning

– Software training and support


“The future is bright,” Banwart said. “As talented young people stay and return to Southeast Kansas, Diehl Banwart Bolton will continue to support entrepreneurs in their business endeavors.”

The firm currently has business clients in virtually every state in the country, he said.

“Technology has made it possible to communicate and advise people regardless of where they are located and our expertise continues to help them succeed in their businesses,” he said.

Diehl Banwart Bolton CPA, 7 1/2 East Wall Street, Fort Scott, KS

One thought on “Diehl, Banwart, Bolton Celebrate 70 Years In Business”

  1. Mary & Ken Asher have been depending on the talents of Diehl Banwart Bolton firm for some 51 years. First came acquainted with Jim Banwart at Fort Scott Drug, as he would come into the store to do the books for Larry & Brenda Denton. The Firm also took care of the Hurst – Asher Drug financials at their location at 2 South Main Fort Scott. Ken & Mary still use the firm for their tax & financial advice.

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