Dark Horse CPAs with Chase Birky

Randy connects with Chase Birky, co-founder of Dark Horse CPAs, on Episode 120 of The Unique CPA. Chase explains the platform model Dark Horse uses to support CPAs under the firm’s banner support services. CPAs can start, scale, and grow their practices through collaboration and shared resources within Dark Horse’s innovative structure. The two touch on how this model can help avoid burnout and promote mental health.

Chase joined us a speaker and panelist at the 2023 Unique CPA: Bridging the Gap Conference the week of August 28.

Important Links



Chase Birky on LinkedIn

About the Guest

Chase Birky is a co-founder of Dark Horse CPAs and currently serves as its President & CEO. Chase graduated college during the great recession and started out in the Big Four, but after experiencing the culture there, left to build a firm that specialized in serving small businesses and individuals, oft overlooked by the big players.

Dark Horse was born from Chase’s and co-founder Max Fritz’s belief that small businesses, entrepreneurs & intrapreneurs are often “dark horses” amongst their larger, more well-known competitors, and that the right guidance can help bring success. As Chase himself has said, “especially during these uncertain times, small businesses need a trusted advisor to navigate the highly fluid and often confusing business climate brought about by COVID-19. Small businesses, now more than ever, need a Dark Horse CPA.”

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.