• 73°

Identical twins tackle identical tasks

Not much separates identical twins as far as physical appearance.

Oftentimes, however, such a pair shares no more than this. Twins don’t have the same fingerprints, and usually each one has their own interests and skills.

Payne and Howard Meadows, both 36, look identical, and as monozygotic twins, they both sprang from the same fertilized egg.

Now, the pair shares the same office.

The Meadows brothers make up the staff of the accounting firm Meadows and Co.

Payne Meadows said starting an accounting firm was a natural transition for the pair.

“We’ve always liked numbers and figuring,” Payne said. “We were looking for something we could start as a small business.”

Payne and Howard grew up on a farm in Lowndesboro. After graduating Auburn University, the two returned to their childhood home to look after the family business. Though the two considered continuing along this path, the precariousness of the farming business drove them away.

“We determined the risk didn’t fit our profile,” Payne said.

The two returned to Auburn, this time set on getting their degrees in the financial field.

“We have always liked businesses and seeing how they work,” Howard said. “We were drawn to accounting because it was a more technical degree than other finance diplomas, one you can actually get a job with.”

Payne and Howard graduated and went to work for the same accounting firm, Pricewaterhouse Coopers. Howard took a position in Montgomery while Payne worked form the company’s Birmingham office.

Fate, however, had something else in store for the two.

“After working for Pricewaterhouse Coopers for three years, we saw this place was for sale,” Payne said. “It was right after September 11, so we figured life was too short and we decided to go out on a limb.”

Almost 7 years later, it appears their boldness has been rewarded. The pair said business has steadily grown, which Howard hopes is a reflection of the quality of services they perform.

Payne and Howard said they enjoy the work they do.

“On the individual side we get to help people with investments,” Howard said. “We also get to examine how businesses make money and how we can make them run better.”

Howard elaborated.

“If you think about what we do, most of the number crunching is done on computers,” Howard said. “Its really personal-we just enjoy sitting and talking with people about how we can help save them money and keep them in business.”