B.J. Pritchett: Celebrating a Career in Sales Tax

Sometimes we are lucky enough to have someone come into our life that changes it forever. And then this has a ripple effect and changes so many others. B.J. Pritchett is this person for me. I met B.J. when we both worked at Arthur Andersen in the early 1990s. We had the opportunity to create the initial sales tax training course that would be used to teach everyone who would work on sales tax projects at Arthur Andersen. It was quite an honor. During that project, I learned just how passionate B.J. was about not only sales tax but also about teaching.

In 1992, B.J. followed her heart back to Arkansas to start her own sales tax consulting practice focusing on helping Arkansas businesses to pay the right amount of sales tax. She started her career in sales tax as an auditor for the state of Arkansas and realized just how much help businesses needed – to not only comply but to make sure they weren’t paying more tax than what was due. She has been a fierce advocate for her clients and other businesses through her involvement with the Arkansas legislative and business community.

In 1996, I was contemplating going out on my own, following in B.J.’s footsteps. She was my biggest cheerleader. I followed her advice and in August 1996, I started Yetter Consulting Services. One of my passions has always been education and creating a sales tax training business was part of my initial business plan. And the first person I wanted to be part of the Sales Tax Institute was B.J. She helped write the initial materials and has taught every one of our Basics of Sales Tax classes (except the one when her son was graduating high school) for the last 25 years.

Her unique approach to educating our students influenced so many to commit to a career in sales tax. She has taught thousands of our students. Ironically, for years she didn’t think she knew enough to teach at our Advanced Sales Tax Workshop – but I finally convinced her she would provide so much insight that she joined us. But where she really shined was teaching and working with those earlier in their career.

In 2003, she took my advice and started the Arkansas Sales Tax School to offer focused education on Arkansas sales tax – in her words because she couldn’t consult with all the businesses, but she wanted them all to know as much as she could share with them. These schools were a great success!

B.J. has accomplished so much in her career – including something we all have on our bucket list – having a case go to the state Supreme Court – Richard A. WEISS, Director, Department of Finance and Administration, Appellant, v. CHEM-FAB CORPORATION, Appellee. This case challenged the definition of “machinery and equipment” as it related to chemicals that performed a function as machinery. B.J. came up with the argument by doing what she does best – reading the provisions literally. It is this concept that she teaches in our Basics class under MR DUCKS. This really helps demonstrate the importance of not assuming anything. This approach has served her well.

Even though I knew the time would come for B.J. to retire, I hoped it would be in the future. However, that time has arrived, and B.J. taught her last Basics of Sales Tax in June 2022. I will miss her insights, her expertise, her wit and her stories. But most of all I will miss her passion that has inspired so many of our students. I am grateful to her for all the time she has shared with our sales tax nerds!

Enjoy this video where some of her fellow faculty members, our staff, and students share their memories of B.J. You can even hear her teach MR DUCKS. If you would like to share your own memories, email us and we’ll pass them along to her.

Posted on October 26, 2022