Keeping it old fashioned: Robert and Myra Elizondo

MERCEDES — Robert and Myra Elizondo handle bookkeeping and income tax in the Valley … the old fashioned way.

It’s been business as usual the last 40 years at Elizondo’s Bookkeeping and Income Tax small business.

Robert started the business in 1974 with his wife Martha, and as soon as their daughter Myra was old enough, she was learning the trade, too.

Robert said he loves working with his daughter and they have grown to have a wonderful, trusting, business relationship at work.

“I love it,” Robert said.

Together they have been calculating the numbers for small business owners and people needing help filing their income taxes just like in the good old days.

There is one computer in the office, used for accessing information and letter writing.

But that’s it.

“We still do our job the old fashioned way with pencil, paper and pen,” Robert said.

A regular day for them is organizing sales and expenses for clients.

Those come in order and some times in grocery bags filled to the top.

Next, they organize the information into a journal and organize it into a statement and file it for their client’s records.

“I like it, that’s the way I’ve done it and I wouldn’t change even if they gave me a computer,” Robert said.

Robert graduated from Texas Valley College in Harlingen with a certificate in bookkeeping. Myra later graduated with her certificate in bookkeeping from the same college, renamed Texas State Technical College in the 90s. His daughter Myra said she has the best of both worlds with family and business as she has worked for her father the last 24 years.

Robert recalled the beginning of his career being difficult finding clients. But over the years the business has grown as he has maintained a steady client base of small and medium neighborhood businesses.

“I started with a simple adding machine, and with the help from the bank, I purchased some property and built rental units,” Robert said.

He and Myra have seen over the years gift shops, a newspaper, a radio station, snack stores, beauty salons and more set up shop on their business property they call Town Square.

“The biggest change over the years has been the recession,” Robert said. “It hurt everybody.”

In the last 40 years of business, Robert has worked with many clients and seen them have to close shop in the 80s, 90s and 21st century.

Robert was born with the polio virus. It slowed him down growing up but it didn’t stop him.

He recalled his first job was being a shoeshine boy in Mercedes.

He said he is proud of graduating high school, college and running a successful business with his family.

“I had to work harder, longer and smarter,” Robert said, to get where he is in business today.