Jaret P. Rice, CPA
Vice President & Chief Financial Officer
Jaret didn’t always know he’d enter the accounting industry, but looking back, the signs were there all along.
“When I was young,” he recalls, “I remember my dad using a ledger book to track things such as when he got an oil change or car repair. He gave me one just like it, and I used it to track what I did with my money. He’d give me five dollars, and I’d rent a movie and mark it down, always keeping a running total. I once saved up and bought a little radio-controlled car for $40, which was a big deal. It’s pretty clear that this was the right type of work for me.”
A Nassau County native, Jaret realized his calling and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Jacksonville University’s Davis College of Business. He graduated magna cum laude and earned the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ Educational Foundation Scholarship for scholastic excellence. Upon graduation, he worked as a senior accountant for several Northeast Florida CPA firms, providing comprehensive tax, audit, and trust and estate services for individuals and businesses throughout the United States and abroad. In 2003, he joined The Hurst Company, rising quickly to partner in 2007.
Today, Jaret leads the firm’s tax preparation, planning and compliance services department and oversees quality controls. In some ways, he likens his work to that of a physician’s. “When clients come in with tax or accounting concerns, they’re typically focused on one issue and experiencing it something like a pain in the body,” he says. “Rather than treating that singular symptom, we use a holistic approach to figure out what’s wrong, because there may be something going on they don’t even know they need to address. What I enjoy most about my work is helping people through that process.”
It’s that comprehensive approach to client service that has allowed Jaret to cultivate long-standing relationships with clients, their companies, and their families. In these relationships, The Hurst Company and its staff often become much more than accountants: They become friends, confidants, and staunch defenders. Indeed, Jaret has gone above and beyond for clients in numerous situations, including going years back through business tax filings to recoup tens of thousands of dollars in refunds that prior accountants missed; going to bat against the IRS for families in hardship situations; and staging interventions between elderly, incapacitated, or otherwise vulnerable clients and those attempting to cheat them financially.
“It’s certainly not anything they teach you in accounting school,” Jaret says of these often highly sensitive situations. “But when a client comes to trust us over the years, we know we’ve got to do whatever we can to make things right because sometimes there’s no one else there to help see a client through these tough times.”
Jaret’s unmatched dedication to his clients and his field has earned him multiple prestigious honors, including the Jacksonville Business Journal’s 2015 “Money Masters” Award and its 2016 “40 Under 40” Award, recognizing rising stars of business who are under 40 years old.
Outside the office, Jaret is on the Nassau County Economic Development Board’s Workforce Development and Business Development Advisory Council, working with local employers and the public school system to ensure a qualified workforce and plentiful career opportunities. He chairs the Amelia Island Professional Advisory Council, an initiative of the Community Foundation for Northeast Florida designed to encourage philanthropy. He is also a member of the Small Business Resource Network of Jacksonville, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Jaret is a devoted husband and father of two as well as a loyal Jacksonville Jaguars fan. "Myles Jack wasn't down."