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New owner familiar to accounting firm


January 2, 2020

Courtesy Photo

NEW OWNER Kristi Confer (back) recently purchased Bratz and Associates from Mark Bratz. The business has changed names, to Rocky Mountain Accounting, Inc., but Confer and the staff, including Gigi Comer (from left), Bratz, Rhonda Hayes and Teresa Ramer will remain.

Clients and staff of Bratz and Associates won't notice much change this year as tax season approaches. Well, except for a new name.

Kristi Confer, an accountant with the Thompson Falls firm, recently bought the business from owner Mark Bratz. The new business, which will still be located at 303 Main Street in Thompson Falls, is called Rocky Mountain Accounting.

Confer has been with the business for about four years. She and her husband John moved to Sanders County after coming through the area on vacation. After they returned home to New York, Confer said they did everything they could to get back to Montana permanently.

The couple bought the Simple Simon's business in Plains almost two years ago. Confer said they enjoy having that business. When Mark Bratz started talking about retiring, Confer said she started to think about buying the business. She said she wanted to keep the business local. After working to build trust and getting to know clients and community members "I didn't want him to sell it to a stranger," she stated.

Prior to the move to Montana, Confer worked at the same New York accounting firm for 22 years.

"I like being able to help people make the best decisions they can for their future," she said. "We don't just do taxes."

Confer wants residents in Sanders County to know that they don't have to go to the big city to get big service. She said the majority of their clients are from throughout the county. The staff combined has more than 50 years of experience, and she said it's important for her business to offer a one-stop shop for clients. She said that, Rocky Mountain Accounting services include tax preparation, payroll and annual filings for businesses and individuals. With that comes the ability to help with financial planning, projections and business bookkeeping. They also provide notary services. The staff is trained in out of state sales tax filings and multi-state payroll. She said she wants clients to feel comfortable coming to the business before they make decisions, so that she and the staff can help them make informed decisions that are best for her clients. "We haven't come across a question I can't find a solution for."

On her commitment to working with her clients, Confer said "I take everybody's successes and failures personally." She stated that people can come to the office any time they have questions, not just as tax season nears. She said building that personal relationship helps her help her clients. "We're here 360 days out of the year" to help. Her four employees include Gigi Comer, Rhonda Hayes, Teresa Ramer and Mark Bratz, who has stayed on with the company as an employee.

Rocky Mountain Accounting is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Thompson Falls, and one day a week (Thursdays) at their Plains location, in the Rocky Mountain Surveyors building at 333 E. Railroad. The office can be reached at 827-3277, or visit


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