Karen Poist, CPA
Karen Poist, CPA

“Always do the right thing.”

Karen is a member at Barfield, Murphy, Shank & Smith and joined the firm in 1998. The main industries that Karen serves include professional services and manufacturing and distribution. In addition, she also leads the State and Local Tax (SALT) Group which focuses primarily on sales and use tax, unclaimed property, business licenses and ad valorem taxes. Karen uses her caring attitude and expertise to provide her clients with exceptional service.  In one particular example, Karen was able to help a client adjust an assessment by $289,000.

Prior to joining Barfield, Murphy, Shank & Smith, Karen was a field agent for the IRS in New York State which provided her with great experience in assisting clients who are undergoing an audit. In addition, she obtained years of experience working in the private sector with a governmental contracting firm in the Washington, D.C. area as well as with several public accounting firms. She provides training and seminars that focus on SALT topics as well as other pertinent tax issues. Karen attributes her success to her determination and responsibility, as well as the support she receives from her family.

Originally from Cobleskill, New York, Karen now lives in Hoover with her husband, Chad. Her parents continue to reside in the house she grew up in and Karen loves going home to visit. In her free time, she also enjoys watching her children play baseball as well as her daughter cheer in college.


  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA)


  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)
  • Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants (ASCPA)
  • State Tax Committee


  • State University of New York – Fredonia, Bachelor of Science, Accounting