Season 3 Finale
Episode 75 marks the end of festivities from The Beer Temple in Chicago, celebrating The Unique CPA. In part 3, Blake Oliver, creator of Earmark CPE, and Matthew May, founder and VP at Acuity, join Randy Crabtree and Scott Scarano. They discuss the impact of technology, crypto, and the blockchain on accounting, talk more about the wave of private equity already sweeping firms, and hit on the most important thread of all running through good work in the profession: integrity.
Alright, we’re back – the last segment, which I’m getting a little disappointed about, because I’m having too much fun up here. But you guys hopefully were having fun listening to what was going on. We got our next group of two on the last segment here.
Our next “pair.”
Our next pair—are we going with “P” still in this segment? Everything’s “P,” huh? Alright. So this is the “tip” show, apparently, we went “T-I-P,” So we’re going “P” right now. Alright. So our next guests, let’s get these two fine young gentlemen—I say young because I’m the old guy here for sure—yeah, I’m gonna introduce Blake Oliver.
So Blake Oliver is actually, he doesn’t know it, but he’s my idol. He’s got the number one accounting podcast in the galaxy, right. The galaxy?
I—if you say so, Randy.
So, many of you probably—
In the metaverse.
The metaverse. Oh, we’re in the metaverse now. We’ve got somebody who’s actually—I know somebody who’s getting a PhD in metaverse right now. I have no idea how you even get a PhD in metaverse.
Yeah, that’s what he’s got. So alright, so back to Blake. So Blake Oliver, co-host of the Cloud Accounting podcast. Unbelievable, great information out weekly—right? You’re a weekly show?
Every week. Yep.
Every week, which is amazing. We’re every other week—I don’t know how you do every week. I don’t know how Scott does what his schedule is. I’m not sure what his schedule is. But he’s got a lot out there. Also, the creator of Earmark, which this show you are watching, listening to right now, will be on Earmark eventually and you’ll be able to get CPE, as long as we educate you on something I guess, you’ll be able to get CPE for listening to this show. So that was something that when we started The Unique CPA, one of my first ideas was I want people to get CPE for this. As I said at the beginning of the show, I don’t really do anything but talk, so I never implemented that. Luckily Blake did the implementation, and now The Unique CPA podcast is on the air and you can get CPE for listening to it. Blake, welcome to The Unique CPA for the second time.
Thank you, Randy. Thank you so much. And thank you, Scott. It’s great to see you again. And Matthew, hello.
Nobody knows who Matthew is. We haven’t announced him yet.
Transition to Matthew! Matthew May, CPA, joined Acuity to translate accounting for entrepreneurs. He does this by helping navigate tax and accounting—
You’re just reading my LinkedIn! You can’t just read my LinkedIn to introduce me! We’re friends!
I thought that was the way to do this.
We’re friends, dude! Are you kidding me?
I bring no context to this. So Matthew is one of my idols—first, because he’s got the alliterative name, and he’s an M&M in my mind, and he’s got one of the best episodes, Matthew is on a mission to make accounting scalable, along with his partner from our first segments, Kenji, another alliterative name. Matthew’s home is Atlanta, from El Paso. And he’s on a journey to make my life better too. He’s teaching me how to implement better habits into my life. And I appreciate him as a friend, one of my best pals.
So we can go into, we can talk about you for a long time.
We could talk about Scott.
Matthew has a penchant for psychology, currency and blockchain and he likes to volunteer in the Georgia technology community. Like I want to bring in the whole full body of Matthew May.
Oh, thanks, dude. That’s nice of you to say, it’s great to be here. Thanks, Randy for having us, man.
It’s again, I’m just amazed that people say yes to me when I ask them.
Well, to be fair, our podcast is Drink While You Think, and you hosted this at The Beer Temple. So it was like when you said, “Hey, it’s The Beer Temple,” and we’d be like, “Yes,” and you’re like, “I didn’t explain what it was.” We’re like, “It’s at The Beer Temple, man. Come on, let’s go.” It’s like and by the way, if you’re ever in Chicago, Illinois, if you’re listening to this, you have to come here. It’s like heaven. Like you walk into the bottle shop, and it’s like your heaven.
So that being said, and we haven’t done this, but what are you drinking right now?
Well, I just switched to the raspberry stout.
You took my beer!
I’ve been working on the Imperial Stout that’s on the board.
And yeah, I’ve had a couple of those, done all three stouts now, and Scott just shared with me the raspberry stout and I gave him the Imperial Stout.
You’re good to go for the segment though? Those strong beers. You sound great.
Hey, they call it “Sunday Matthew.” This is like Matthew at the tailgate party.
Sunday primetime on Monday.
Primetime on Monday.
This is the Monday night game.
So we need to educate other ways or Blake is not going to put this on Earmark.
So let’s do a little bit of education right now. More than a little. So there’s a bunch of topics we can talk about. One that I really want to talk about because I think you guys fight about this, is cryptocurrency. Should we start with a little crypto?
Well, we seem to be on different sides of the aisle on this one.
So because I mean, we have a pretty thriving cryptocurrency practice. So we’re like actually trying to fix this for clients. And every time I listen to the Cloud Accounting podcast, Blake is sometimes a little critical to cryptocurrency.
He might be a little bit of a skeptic, right? So it’s gonna like, I mean, Blake, don’t you think we got to figure this out as a profession, though? Like, can you give me that much? Like, we need to figure this out? It’s here, right?
Absolutely. And I think the word you used, that is appropriate for me, is” skeptic.” I am a skeptic. I believe as a CPA, I should exercise professional skepticism when it comes to all things. And crypto is one of those things. And as somebody whose show is all about accounting and technology, I can’t help but cover crypto.
So let’s unpack that a little Blake: tell us why. Tell us why you’re skeptical about crypto, like what makes you anxious about it.
It all started years ago, back in my childhood. No, it’s the crypto bros. Okay? I can’t handle the crypto bros. And especially it was actually this past Super Bowl, when Matt Damon came on with Crypto.com pumping up crypto and telling everybody you got to invest in crypto, crypto is for the brave. And I realized at that moment, I’m like, “Crypto is a scam. A lot of it is.”
Was it because I called you Matt Damon before like I’ve said you’re the Matt Damon doppelganger. So is that also why? Did he betray you?
Maybe. I feel like a little bit of a kinship with him.
So this is where Blake and I are getting to common ground.
Because a lot of this s*** is just, it’s just off, right? Like there’s a lot of people trying to take advantage of a lot of people. But the stuff I like to talk about is the cool projects going on.
And that’s what I want to hear about from you, Matthew, is like, what is happening in crypto that gets you excited. Because I agree that crypto and blockchain technology is really fascinating and interesting, and there’s a lot of amazing applications of it. The problem is that so much of it that we hear about—again, like Super Bowl commercials—is just scams, the outright scam.
So like, I’ll give you this: Every crypto that’s like designated as like, it bills itself as an investment, I’m with you on.
So like my favorite ones—I’ll give you two.
So the first one is one called Yellow Card. And what they’ve decided to do is like go after, in Africa, and serve the underbanked. So they partnered with all the retail shops in Africa. They like, all the grocery stores, whatever, so people could send money cross-country across, like, within Africa, but cross-border by using either Bitcoin or USDC, which is like a what we call a stablecoin, which is just like sending US dollars as long as it’s a legitimate one. We don’t have to get into details so we don’t get down rabbit holes.
But so they’re literally helping families that can’t get bank accounts send money to each other. Like that is a legitimate—and they’re like, wildly successful. They’re like, oh, I love this stuff. Then one of my other favorite clients is trying to compete with Amazon’s s3. They’re de-centralizing cloud storage and had to issue a cryptocurrency to be able to fund the way to do that.
So that’s one of those blockchains where it actually stores data.
It’s not a blockchain, they use their crypto currency as like a gift card. Like I call it, like there’s different types of cryptocurrencies, right? Their crypto is not an investment. It’s kind of like a gift card where you can, the reason you buy their cryptocurrency is to buy storage on their network. And buy storage on the network. It’s like, Scott could even have a, like a terabyte in his house that he could be competing with Amazon with, like as this decentralized Amazon s3 product. So there’s really cool stuff that people are doing. The ones I’m least excited about are the ones that are investment-driven. That are like, you can make a ton of money like that, I’m giving you that one.
And I think the real failure in the system is not crypto itself. It’s the people who are supposed to be regulating these products like so all these crypto exchanges that are acting like banks and selling investment products to consumers. Like where’s the SEC in regulating them?
Oh, don’t worry. Well, I tell accountants, I start my, I do a “crypto 101 for accountants.” I’m like, “Oh, don’t worry. The first thing you do is look to the regulators! And the IRS says its property. The SEC says it’s a security. FinCEN says it’s a commodity—” there’s five different ones!
Well, and even the SEC waffles depending on Bitcoins, a commodity, but Ethereum is a security. Like it doesn’t make sense.
Oh yeah, because they’re all different things.
Like crypto, they’re not trying to be the same thing. Bitcoin is trying to replace gold—that we know. So there are those Kryptos that are trying to be a store of value, like whatever commodity like—
I still don’t understand how that works.
But like Ethereum, like their Smart Contract protocol, it’s like, it’s more like Kickstarter, when I explain it to people. Like Ethereum, the closest thing in the commercial world for us for Ethereum is Kickstarter. If you look at it, they have all of these projects that started based on it, and they were able to issue tokens. They’re all just spin offs of Ethereum. They’re like ERC-20 tokens, right?
So that’s like Kickstarter. Right? Then you have all these, like, the problem regulators have is that they say “Cryptocurrency is this one thing,” and they’re not all trying to be these one things. NFTs. I explain like, we had a charity issuing NFTs, it’s basically they’re issuing receipts. So like, do you remember and Suzanne Somers did like the if you donate to a child in Africa, you get a picture? Well, our client did that. But with homes, like they 3D-print homes, and they’re like, “Oh, you can get an NFT of the home, which is basically like a receipt.” Well, they were worried about having to take income, like whatever, for selling NFTs. They just took a donation and the people got like their receipt was an NFT. So like an NFT can be like a mural. One of our clients does for songwriters.
So we’re in Chicago right now. So there’s a lot of paintings on the walls, right? You’re referencing murals, right? I saw a big one on the way here. Could that be an NFT?
Yes. So like, I tell people who want to invest in NFT’s, if you would fund a mural, that’s a great use of your money. Until people can monetize these things and really understand it, and one of our clients is trying to—so they’re doing for artists, for recording artists, they’re putting the NFTs, their songs, as an NFT, with the hopes that down the road, they can monetize those, as those get played, those songwriters get the money back.
So an NFT is just not a picture of something, you can actually have the song play as an NFT?
An NFT is a non-fungible token. So it’s just data—
—that is unique.
An mp3 is data.
So the entire song could be an NFT?
It could be a mural. It could be a digital artwork. It could be a song. So an NFT could be a number of things.
I am too! So Matthew, you’re supposed to make the complex simple. I’m not getting the simple part yet.
Sorry, sorry. So a non-fungible token, so you’re just representing something unique. Okay, do you want me to give a practical example of what crypto could do.
Yes, if it’s less than 10 minutes.
Oh, sorry. So have you ever bought title insurance for a house, Randy?
Okay. A blockchain could overtake the title insurance, because what a perfect use case, to separate all the lots in the United States, and assign them lots. And then you would just record, the ownership changes.
All a blockchain does is record how ownership changes over time.
So title insurance could theoretically be replaced by blockchain.
Okay. See, look at that. You are an expert and making the complex simple.
Well, you asked me to be like, esoteric before you asked me to be practical. I can get it down to brass tacks.
Alright, so let’s wrap up crypto because my brain is spinning right now. Unless, is there any—did you want any final thoughts on this, Blake?
I think the interesting thing is Matthew’s very bullish on crypto, but you don’t own any.
Because I’m not bullish on crypto as an investment.
Right. And that’s where we agree.
Okay. So if I own blockchain, is that I shouldn’t?
If you own blockchain?!
I don’t even know what I’m talking about!
Blockchain is decentralized.
What’s the big one? Bitcoin!
Oh! Bitcoin! So what my answer to that is, the best wealth managers in the business are telling people, “If you’re highly aggressive, you should have less than 1% of your net worth in cryptocurrency.” So that’s your barometer. So you can only spend 1% of your net worth—I’m gonna tell your wife when she gets back—
So I could put a million dollars in Bitcoin.
You can, yeah, ‘cause you’re like a big baller. For me and Blake, it’s like ten grand.
Okay, how about Ethereum? Those are the two I own.
Ethereum and Bitcoin would be—if I was going to invest in crypto, I’d invest in Ethereum, because it’s a platform, and I understand that thing.
Bitcoin is more of an energy arbitrage. Like if you want to do it, it’s the biggest one, that’s great. So keep it under a percent
Keep it under a percent. Alright, I will do that, I will take your advice, but then I’m going to have to pay capital gains when I get under 1%, right?
Now we’re going to stop. Nobody wants to talk, tax talk.
I’m already getting the five minute mark, but we’re gonna go a little longer than that, because we haven’t gotten anything yet that I want to talk about, because there’s such interesting things. I know one of the top ones I want to know, Blake before I miss it, let’s just talk Earmark little bit. You want us to give us an update of what you’re doing and where you’re going with this?
Yeah, I’m very excited. We actually announced today, the launch of Earmark Media. So my partner in the Cloud Accounting podcast, David Leary, is joining Earmark, and we are providing video podcast production services. We’re creating an advertising network for sponsors of podcasts, like what we’ve done on our show. We want to help more accountants, more apps in our space, create video content.
And everybody here today—well, Alan doesn’t have a podcast, but everybody else has a podcast and everybody else… Dawn is not on Earmark, but she’s about to be on Earmark, and everybody else is, right?
I mean, Drink While You Think is on Earmark?
Yeah, it is.
And I mean, this is pretty much I mean, as far as a CPA, this is the best thing that’s happened for CPE, since—in my career.
So one person that’s here today that I just thought there’s Dan Chodan, you’ve probably all met Dan.
Shout out to Dan.
Yeah, shout out to Dan. Dan is like one of my favorite—Dan and I are both ERC geeks. And he’s amazing. I’ve learned so much from him, and I appreciate what he’s done for the ERC industry, because there’s so much crap out there going on with ERC, and he knows the right way to do it. And that’s what we try to do.
But what he had said, I think on Twitter for some reason, was like, “yeah, I just looked at my Earmark app, and I got like 61 hours of CPE on Earmark so far.”
As far as I know, he’s our number one earner of CPE.
Is he really?
Yeah, I’m putting him at the top of the leaderboard tonight.
Well, I actually have a prize for him.
I have a prize for all of you just so you know, at the end of the night.
So we don’t have a ton of time. So Earmark’s great. That was something that when I say that came out, I was like, “This is amazing. This is what I wanted all along.” And again, you did it. So I appreciate that.
One thing, and we don’t have a lot of time, but I think I want to kind of try to wrap up where we started today with Allan and Kenji, and talking about this new structure and firms and all that, because I know Blake, that’s something that you’re passionate about this this whole, I think you call it the “slow death of the partnership model.” But you see this change happening in public accounting, you see a change needs to happen, and you want to expand on that?
So my career has been extremes. I have worked in a traditional partnership model accounting firm, and I’ve also worked for tech startups. And they’re so different, and I think that there’s a lot of room for a compromise, and I find that with partnerships—like especially big partnerships—they operate on consensus. And in a time of disruption that we’re in now, you can’t really operate on consensus, because it’s too slow, and the solution ends up being not extreme enough.
And so it’s been fascinating to watch over the last ten years, firms crop up that have a different type of model, firms like Acuity that are more of a corporate type of model. A lot of small firms are figuring out that, and instead of growing into these big partnerships, they’re gonna figure out a different way to do things that allow them to be more agile. So I honestly, I think that long term, that’s where we’re headed as a profession.
It’s not rocket science, everybody else is doing it.
Every industry you mean?
So like the regular ownership model is like the standard everywhere else. I don’t understand why accountants are so slow to adopt it. Like it just blows my mind.
So here’s—our firm started using EOS, which is like the Entrepreneurial Operating System, which said, “You should run your firm, like a normal company! Like a corporation!”
You should run a firm—there’s a book! I mean, just saying, for accountants, that is like, “you should run your firm like a business.”
That’s basically what I’m saying. And then all of a sudden, we’re learning off hundreds of years of running businesses, and 140 years of running accounting firms, right? But this is still a big shift for a lot of practice owners and traditional partnership models. They thought that’s a business model. They think they’re running a business. Would you disagree?
I think actually some partners might be insulted if you called what they do a business, right? It’s almost like you’re not supposed to operate in that manner.
Right? It’s just a mindset. “This isn’t a business. We’re just helping other people,” No, you’re building a business. And you have an asset there.
“This is our turf! It’s not our business.”
It’s like, we have to go back in time—not that long ago, like CPA firms used to not be able to advertise? Until like the 60s and 70s, it was illegal to advertise your services. So we’ve come a long way.
I didn’t even think it was that long ago. I mean, I honestly it seemed like the last ten years is the first time I’ve heard a commercial for an accounting firm. I’m sure it’s, you know, probably longer ago than that, but that’s how it feels.
Now I see them, like on YouTube. I see, even like, BDO advertises all the time on like TV. It’s interesting.
Yep. I see buses driving around Chicago with Markham written on it, big CPA firm, headquartered out of New York. And so do you think, what do you think of the private equity then? And does that change your business model? Is that good? Is it bad? Do you have an opinion?
Well, that’s how the transition is happening for some of these larger firms, right? You got to buy out all the partners at once. And who’s gonna do that, except private equity?
A big pile of money.
Yeah. That will motivate anybody to change, right?
Money is the motivator.
I mean, the thing nobody’s talking about though, is like, I know, people will say, I mean, I know eventually, you have to worry about money. But like, private equity, only cares about EBITDA. So accountants historically have like been famous for caring about their clients, and being trusted by their clients. So this is a monumental shift that this industry is going to have to keep its status while taking money. It’s gonna be interesting.
Yeah, I talked to Allan about that, you know, six months ago or last year, and that same exact concept, and he said that private equity has changed. It’s different now. They are looking at more—they know that clients are the key. They’re more user friendly with that, but they still have that bottom line, “I want to grow. I’m gonna turn this over in five years.” What I don’t see is, you can’t keep turning over five years in perpetuity, it just can’t happen. And what’s the endgame? And I don’t understand the endgame.
Well, I mean, the ones that have talked to us, they believe accountants are the key to the SMB. that accountants can influence the SMB buying decision, or that’s the ones who talked to us. I don’t know that that’s the same ones going upmarket.
So they talked about that. And they’ve been interested in scale—like being able to get these economies of scale. The thing I don’t understand about the firms that are doing this now is they already have economies of scale. They’re already big a** firms that are taking private equity.
So that’s the technical term, right?
The big a** firm is a really technical term. Yeah, sorry.
No, I think I’ve heard that before. But yes, nice. Alright. So they’re already big a** then, very nice. I like the big a** firms.
So they’ve got the scale already. So they’re not really going to get economies of scale from lobbing things together more.
Yeah, and they’re bringing in more different technologies, they’re bringing in different services, they’re merging in different industries. Now, if they didn’t have an IT consulting firm, they’re gonna merge that in. And if they didn’t have an HR firm, they’re gonna merge that in, and I assume that—
—and that’s all predicated on accountants being able to influence SMB buying decisions.
You want to define SMB, for people? I guess everybody knows.
Small and midsized business.
Hey, thank you, I assume every new but those TLA’s always throw me off.
Be sure to turn in your TPS reports by the end of the day.
So you’ve been approached, you sell it now you’ve been approached? Obviously, I would assume you have by private equity.
Since we hit 5 million in revenue, we’ve been approached every year by private equity to do a roll up in the cloud accounting space.
Yep. Not the Cloud Accounting podcast, but the cloud of colleagues know the cloud accounting to—
You could buy us too if you wanted.
We honestly get that all the time, too. It’s nonstop, it seems like, but private equity is everywhere.
As soon as you hit a certain threshold, you I mean, no, you have to get through the chain like, but like we’ve gotten in serious discussions with two firms.
You have. And why didn’t you do it?
Because we were at 5 million in revenue, and they needed to be at 200 million in revenue in a five year horizon.
From 5. And this was four years ago for us.
So how’s that even possible?
I figured it out. We were going to have to do 150 acquisitions in four years and integrate them all.
So it was all acquisitions for them.
It was all a roll-up. We also thought that would not be fun.
You are having fun, now! You’ve opted for the fun route.
We opted for the Bootstrap. Yep, that’s how we did it.
They drink beer and talk accounting every Friday night. And today!
We’re here at The Beer Temple in Chicago, like it’s just, how do you have a better life than this?
Alright, well, this is the final segment, which I’m very sad that we are wrapping up now, and I’m going to give you both, I think everybody this opportunity, but if either of you have anything final to say, you got the floor here for a few minutes each.
Thank you Randy for having us out here.
I wasn’t looking for that!
This has been a true pleasure and honor. Cheers to you.
Well, cheers to all you.
Randall Jack Crabtree’s moments here.
Wait, wait, we’re letting Matthew go right now.
Are you ready for it?
Oh, you can top that?
“Tri-Merit Accounting for all of your R&D and ERC tax credit needs. Tri-Merit Accounting, the best in the business at making you money. How do you not make this decision to just make yourself money? You go to Tri-Merit Accounting for all of your needs.”
You are a voiceover expert! Cheers.
Do you guys do the commercials, normally?
I do all the like, well, you sponsor our podcast by sending us beer which you know. You sent us so far, you’re top two.
Well, somebody sent us Pliny the Elder.
Oh, so I’m going to California Saturday, I’m going to be in that area. I’m going to bring some Pliny, and I’m shipping it to you. Don’t tell them I’m shipping it to you. I don’t think they like it. Although they are on Crab Shack now. Crab Shack, there’s an app out there that they ship beers around the country. Pliny is now on Crab Shack. I just did a commercial for Crab Shack. Hey, Crab Shack, send us some money. Thank you.
No, but in all seriousness, it’s like nice to have somebody like in the credits business. We really appreciate when people have integrity and stuff like that. So we really appreciate that you guys here we trust.
I appreciate that.
No, when you’re going after credits—
—oh it’s unbelievable.
That’s a big like, it’s huge man. Like, you can’t understate like being around folks that are quality, so.
I appreciate that. I did not ask for any of that, so, but I thank you for that. You guys, stick around. We’re gonna do a wrap up here, but you guys stay in your seats. You can drink your beer. You can do whatever you want.
I don’t think we can do it, but Scott was hoping to do a rap. Do you want to do a small version without music of your rap? Or how do you want to do this? Are we going to do this another time? No music, no rap?
I’ll make a t-shirt: no music, no rap.
I could do a poem.
Okay, so this is your poem. Give me, do a poem. (pause) Alright, while he’s looking up his poem.
We’re like, “No woman, no cry.”
We’re gonna go with dead air for the next five minutes.
Here we go. So are we really doing this?
Yeah! You’ve been you’ve been building this up for two days!
We’re just doing a short poem, right?
Sure. alright, yeah. Here we go.
Here’s Scott Scarano.
So this is a poem—
—and while before we say it, hold on, hold on. I’m gonna introduce you as Lil’ Toddler.
Lil’ Toddler. So isn’t the one I was gonna perform. This is what I’m working on. This is a “how to say no more,” or at least what I am trying to do with my life. So I’m going to read it as if it’s a poem, not a rap:
Why am I so busy? Why did I say maybe? Let’s have a discussion. Say no when you’re uncertain, saying yes leads to future burden. Next request, deploy a diversion, discretion, avoid overexertion. No rest, monetize my time, invest in asset conversion. Found zest, optimized my life, less stress, no aversion. Digest acquiescent inversion. Protests, disapprove with assertion. Suppress and remove it in person. Unclear, me prone to frustration. Fear of being alone and forsaken. Career and a unique situation appear weak with no aspiration. Severely insecure wreaking mayhem, with clear techniques and phrases, premiere new, sleek presentation, elevation through delegation, elimination of new temptations, elation, with no obligation, exclamation without hesitation. Say sure, but only in moderation. Secure no with no explanation. Period.
Period. Exclamation point!
That’s awesome. So you know, I would’ve loved to hear the rap. I need a Kleenex now because that was amazing.
Thank you. Appreciate it. I didn’t plan on doing that. No, no, not ready for primetime. So appreciate it.
That was great. I appreciate that. alright, so—
“No Randy, no cry.”
I cry all the time. Especially when I do that presentation we talked on the last segment, when I do the Mental Health Awareness Beyond Burnout.
Well that causes burnout. Saying yes causes burnout. I can speak on it, but I tried to limit it to a few words.
Okay, we’re about to wrap up. But you wanted to ask me some questions before we finish, or…?
Yeah, so why fly out a bunch of people in the accounting space to do a live podcast? Why would you even do that?
Because I don’t have any friends. And so I needed to get people out here to pretend that I—people like me. Uh, no. So why?
That was self deprecating humor.
Sometimes I don’t realize that people may not understand my humor. It’s funny to me, but maybe not everybody else.
It was funny to me.
You’re not as old as me. But at least you’re closer than he is to me.
Why do this? It’s fun. Obviously, it’s fun. Obviously, fun is not enough. But for me it is, because I just do things I enjoy. Everybody I had on here today, I enjoy talking to. But we also—it’s marketing. Honestly, it’s marketing. You’re gonna market because we’re out there, people see this, people see—everybody follows you guys, everybody loves you guys, you do what Matthew said, integrity. Everybody here has integrity.
And so if I can surround myself with people like that, and show that we as a company have that as well, it’s big. is marketing the only reason? No. It’s just, I come up with ideas, we do it, hopefully it creates some buzz around what we do. But I honestly don’t think that. It’s just I think, “Hey, let’s get some people together that I like and have fun and enjoy it.” You can call this marketing—and I do call this marketing, and we got Mark, our head of marketing right in front of me here.
“Marquess of Marketing.”
The best name ever for a position.
That’s why he’s in marketing. Oh, you got the camera on you now too!
But marketing means nothing if you don’t have integrity, like Matthew said—If you can’t back it up with something that is helping others, as Dawn said, as well. And that’s what we do. And that’s my whole goal. My whole goal as an individual—not a business—but it rolls over into the business, is to educate. I have a mantra of giveaway your knowledge, you guys all did that today, you gave away your knowledge today. I always look to try to give away my knowledge. If I do this through this, or I do this through my webinars or I do it through my in-person presentations, I do it being a guest on someone else’s podcast, I just think if you do that, it’s going to come back to you. And that’s my whole reason for doing these things. So I appreciate you guys being here. Appreciate you asking me that.
We appreciate you. How much money did you spend on this event?
I don’t know if I know the final number. My guess is? Do I answer that? you always ask numbers!
I always ask numbers, and I know I told you I was gonna ask numbers.
I honestly probably, going to spend, it’s minimum 30,000. Probably more.
What do you anticipate the ROI is?
I don’t even know honestly. Here’s our Head of Sales here. Barry, do you have any idea on our ROI on an event like this? We’re just spending money? Alright.
But if if you’re an accounting firm, if you’re an accounting firm, if you’re looking for an R&D tax credit partner, Tri-Merit Accounting. Tri-Merit Accounting for all of your R&D tax credit needs.
Three merits. Alright, that’s my next question. What are the three merits?
The three merits. Okay, we’re gonna go into this?
Alright, we’re gonna need to wrap, Mark’s already given me the cut sign.
You can take this out in Post, Mark. You’re good. Don’t worry about it!
I’ll do it real quick. When we started this, there was three people were going to be involved. It ended up only being two. So the tri, was there was three people, and it was compliance, it was production, and it was sales. So there was three aspects to the business as well. To three people were going to head up those three areas. One, the salesperson, did not end up coming with. She went to do something else, but we brought in somebody for business development pretty quick. So there’s three sides to it.
In addition, then okay, we got tri, we got three, whatever. Three what? And then it was like, “Okay, look at what we were doing.” It was R&D tax credits at the time. We do a lot now, as our advertising manager Matthew May has told you, we do additional things as well. But it was the things we do, put money back into businesses and helps businesses—they’ve earned this by whatever they do, and it was not tri-gold, tri-earn, it was a merit. They merit that. I looked up in a thesaurus, which I had a hard time saying there, and that was one of the terms.
And honestly, make a long story even longer, my wife dreamed the name. She dreamed the tri part, and then we filled in the rest with the merit.
Speaking of dreams, then, do you feel like you’re living the dream?
I don’t pinch myself literally, but I am having too much fun that I don’t understand how I got to this point.
I mean, we’re at The Beer Temple, dude. Like, how’s he not living the dream? We’re all living the dream.
Yes, it is fun. And partly it’s because I, I get to—this’ll sound altruistic, but I really I get to help people, I get to help the accounting profession, help their clients, legitimately put money back into their businesses, and that I get a rush out of.
So you’re blending your passion and your purpose. With your profession.
I was gonna say, there had to be another P in there. I think I am. But enough about me. This is about you guys. It’s been great being here. And so I’m gonna wrap it up now Scott. Are we good?
I think it’s your podcast, I think you can do whatever you want!
Well, no, he is now my co-host, at least for today. And this could continue at some point—we will have to see.
That being said, I’ve gone way over time. I’m keeping the video and audio people well past their scheduled time. I appreciate them being part of this. They’ve done an awesome job. We couldn’t have done this without this group here. We couldn’t have done it without Mark and his team, and Hayley, and Dana coming up with this idea. I had the time of my life tonight, and I continue to try to have the time of my life every night. I thank everybody for watching, listening. My goal—sorry, Mark—is to make this an annual event. And so expect to see us next middle of August doing this again. Thank you, everybody!
About the Guest
Randy’s guests for part 3 of the Season 3 Celebration included:
- Blake Oliver, Creator of Earmark CPE and co-host of the Cloud Accounting Podcast.
- Matthew May, Founder and VP of Sales and Marketing at Acuity and co-host of the Drink While You Think Podcast.
Randy was joined by co-host Scott Scarano, owner, Padgett Business Services of North Carolina, and host of the Sons of CPAs podcast.
Meet the Host
Randy Crabtree, CPA
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 bi-weekly “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.
Schaumberg, 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.