Neal Spencer, CPA

Choosing to Thrive

For Neal Spencer, there is only one approach to life: you choose to “Thrive” or you choose to “Just Survive.”

Success through Adversity

Under Neal’s leadership, one of the nation’s most successful accounting firms Thrived – even during the recession.

Lifetime of Lessons

With more than 30 years of leadership experience, Neal has learned valuable insights from his own journey and from the numerous talented individuals working with him along the way.

Inspiring Others

Neal’s mission is to help you Thrive – and Not Just Survive – by making positive choices in your personal life as well as your professional career.

Neal’s Story

Under Neal’s leadership, BKD Thrived even through the recession of 2007 and 2008, at a time when many businesses were failing and most CPA firms experienced declines in revenue and profits. 

During his tenure as CEO, the firm grew by 25%, acquiring firms in Texas, Mississippi and Arkansas, as well as important industry niches for existing locations.  Neal overhauled the firm’s employee benefit package to retain and recruit top talent as well as establishing an employee advisory council.  He also created the “One Great Firm” concept that eventually led to a more cohesive firm.

His journey to leading one of the top accounting firms is anything but traditional.  Before he was 18 years of age, he’d lived in 6 different states, graduated in the bottom half of his high school class in 1977, married and divorced by the time he was 20 years old and was dismissed from the University of Arkansas in 1979 due to academic failure.

After three years of hard work in the restaurant business, Neal returned to college and through personal discipline he graduated in 1985 and became a certified public accountant in 1986.  From there he started his career in Little Rock, Arkansas, and transferred to Bowling Green, Kentucky to become partner in charge in 1995.  From there he transferred to Louisville, Kentucky and eventually to Springfield, Missouri to become the firm’s CEO.  He retired from the firm in 2014 and currently resides in St. Louis, Missouri.


Career Milestones

  • CEO of BKD, LLP CPAs and Advisors, 2007 – 2012
  • Serves on the Sam M. Walton College of Business Accounting Advisory Board
  • Past President and Current Board Member, Ozarks Technical Community College Foundation
  • Business degree from the University of Arkansas – 1986
  • Elected to the Partnership of BKD in 1995
  • Built a multi-million health care practice in the State of Kentucky – 1995 to 2007
  • Established a new office in Louisville, KY in 2002

Take the First Step

Inspire your people to Thrive and Not Just Survive. Neal looks forward to helping you navigate your path to success. And this is where the journey begins.

Contact Neal
Choose to Thrive. Not Just Survive. Click here to learn how.