From Academia to Tax with Jeremy Wells

On Episode 146 of The Unique CPA, Randy Crabtree is joined by Jeremy Wells, founder of JWellsCFO, to discuss Jeremy’s transition from grad school and earning a PhD, into a teaching career in academia, then changing careers mid-stream, resulting in him earning and maintaining both his EA and CPA. Jeremy’s and his transition from teaching to tax advising was multi-faceted, and buffeted by a mentor who helped “show him the ropes” as he made his way, while also giving him insights into the kind of firm he wanted to run. Jeremy highlights the challenges and rewards of self-employment and the importance of identifying the right clients for your niche.

Important Links


Jeremy Wells on Twitter

Jeremy Wells on LinkedIn

The JWellsCFO Show

The CPA Advisory Podcast

About the Guest

Jeremy Wells, EA, CPA, PhD is the owner and founder of JWellsCFO, which specializes in helping online business owners maximize their tax savings and build better businesses. Before becoming an accountant, Jeremy earned his Ph.D. in Political Science and taught for five years. As he encouraged more of his students to pursue their true dreams, he realized he wasn’t pursuing his.

Seeking independence, he set out to build my own business and path to financial peace. He first became an Enrolled Agent, the highest credential the IRS awards, earning the privilege of representing taxpayers. He now helps entrepreneurs manage their businesses, save on taxes, and achieve financial peace, having earned his CPA license.


Meet the Host

Randy Crabtree, CPA

Randy Crabtree

Randy Crabtree, co-founder and partner of Tri-Merit Specialty Tax Professionals, is a widely followed author, lecturer and podcast host for the accounting profession.

Since 2019, he has hosted the “The Unique CPA,” podcast, which ranks among the world’s 5% most popular programs (Source: Listen Score). You can find articles from Randy in Accounting Today’s Voices column, the AICPA Tax Adviser (Tax-saving opportunities for the housing and construction industries) and he is a regular presenter at conferences and virtual training events hosted by CPAmerica, Prime Global, Leading Edge Alliance (LEA), Allinial Global and several state CPA societies. Crabtree also provides continuing professional education to top 100 CPA firms across the country.

Schaumburg, Illinois-based Tri-Merit is a niche professional services firm that specializes in helping CPAs and their clients benefit from R&D tax credits, cost segregation, the energy efficient commercial buildings deduction (179D), the energy efficient home credit (45L) and the employee retention credit (ERC).

Prior to joining Tri-Merit, Crabtree was managing partner of a CPA firm in the greater Chicago area. He has more than 30 years of public accounting and tax consulting experience in a wide variety of industries, and has worked closely with top executives to help them optimize their tax planning strategies.