A Path to Wellbeing with Gaynor Meilke
Episode 135 of The Unique CPA features the important topic of mental health in the accounting profession. Gaynor Meilke talks to Randy about her experience with mental health struggles from a young age and how she now helps others, including children, tackle their challenges. She provides insights into the stressors accounting professionals face and signs of burnout. Randy also opens up about his personal journey with mental health after experiencing a stroke. They emphasize the importance of self-care, finding your passions, and getting help when needed. Through this candid conversation, they both hope to shine a light on a longstanding problem facing not just the accounting profession, but people in all walks of life.
Today our guest is Gaynor Meilke. Gaynor is a business strategist, a certified business and transformational coach. She’s the owner of Charisma Ink, which is I-n-k, because it’s Charisma Ink, LLC. She’s the author of multiple books, including the most recent Avoiding App-athy, and, what is the most current The Bank Your Brain Blueprint. Whoa, I got through the Bs without a problem.
You did! Thank you. So Gaynor, welcome to The Unique CPA.
Oh, thank you. It’s an honor to be here with you for sure.
That’s going a little far—an honor. It’s fun. We’ll go with that.
It’s fun and an honor. So thank you very much.
Alright. Well, I’m glad you’re here. You and I really, we met for the first time in person, at least, at QuickBooks Connect. So you and I talked, and I think we had been on, even a panel before together. But you and I started talking and your services have been outstanding, you’ve been helping me with this mental health presentation that I’ve been doing for about the last year. But I really want to dial it in. And so I appreciate the help that you’re giving me on that, we’re getting it rewritten, so we can go out and present this in our profession.
But when we’re doing that, and when we’re talking about this, I found out that not only is this a passion of mine, it’s a passion of yours as well. So I thought this would be a lot of fun for you and I had to get together. Yeah, “talking about mental health will be fun,” but it is.
You and I will get together and kind of talk about this. And you deal with the profession, and you deal with a lot of you know, high performers and whatnot in our profession. But you do see that this is an issue. So why don’t you just give us your insights to what you see in the profession. And then we’ll see where we go from there.
Sure. Well, I’ve been in the accounting and tax profession for 20 plus years, starting at Thomson Reuters in tax and accounting, on the marketing and PR side, probably hundreds of CPAs and accounting professionals. And I see up close and personal, I mean, the stress that people are under, the deadlines, because I lived the deadlines too, you know, trying to help people with their communications and also working around, you know, their schedules. And also on the technology side, you know, all of the things that people are trying to put in place in their practices. A lot of professionals did not go to school to be technologists, you find yourself being entrepreneurs, and you know, I’m an entrepreneur, too. So I know the stress that that can create. Those things alone, the deadlines, not to mention the compliance, the IRS, you know, you’ve got your clients who are clamoring for your attention, and you can’t make a mistake. I mean, there’s a lot of stressors there. And it would be enough to drive anybody crazy at times.
But you know, that’s kind of a good segue into the whole mental health discussion, because, you know, there used to be a real stigma around, oh, well, you know, she’s just crazy.
We use that term pretty lightly. And it’s really a very serious problem. And I know when we met, I was like, I was so excited that somebody was taking this to, like, a new level of the discussion, because not only in the profession, but just in society in general—I mean, it’s just so needed. We talked, you know, about your struggle, you know, I’ll share some of mine today. And then just talk about, you know, I love your solutions focus, right? Because we don’t want to get stuck in our stories, right, which can be an issue too.
So you just mentioned our stories, but I think our stories are important, because it brings things out into the open. I think one of the biggest things you can do as a, whatever, a leader, or somebody that has some kind of influence in whatever field you’re in—for us, it’s public accounting, or accounting in general—is to be vulnerable. And if you can share your story, and show the emotions of it, and be vulnerable, that I think that just has a huge impact. And so I applaud you for doing the sam,e and obviously helping me.
And one thing I want to say you just mentioned just society in general that this is an issue, and I’m really looking forward to and I’m hoping after you and I get this one presentation put together, we can adjust it to any profession or just society, because that—I’d really like to just start talking to as many people as I can, if we can help in general, let’s do it.
Yeah. And I think it’s, you know, we’ve talked about too, is bringing it out into the light, right? Because so many people are struggling. And I think we’re kind of at a tipping point, I see it, you my daughter is 16, she and her friends are all pretty well versed in like mental health, because people are finally kind of taking it seriously. And the younger generation, I would say, especially, I mean, they’ve kind of lived through their parents probably like having issues, and now they’re encountering issues. So I think, you know, social media is also—
Oh, social media can be very bad, when it comes to mental health, but it can actually get messages of things we can do out there as well. And, boy, being a teenager with social media, I never had to deal with that. I just know that’s not easy. And I applaud the fact that what you said about that they seem to be more on top of it than it was in the recent past, actually.
Alright, so I think a good place to go next now is let’s talk more about the profession and what you’re seeing, and maybe even how you’re addressing things when you see this, you know, people who are potentially struggling with whatever it is—stress, everybody is stressed, but that uncontrolled stress, which could turn into burnout, which can even go further. What do you see, and how are you dealing with that?
Well, you know, first off, of course, I want to say I’m not a mental health professional in any way.
And, you know, if you’re struggling, you know, please contact somebody who can help you who’s a qualified professional.
I just know, part of the reason why I went and got my coaching credentials was sort of as a frontline, you know, maybe beginner, capability to help some of my clients get unstuck from things that were holding them back in their practices. So we do the business coaching side, but then, you know, I’ve had a lot of people tell me, I’m like their therapist—I’m not a therapist—but I have a lot of empathy for people. And I, you know, as we’ll get into my story in a little bit—you know, I’ve experienced a lot of mental health issues around me and myself, so I certainly can walk their path.
And I was giving Randy the example of one of my clients who, you know, I collaborate with quite a bit. And, you know, during COVID, I mean, she really was struggling to the point of being suicidal. She, you know, got help with that. But she ended up really examining her life and figuring out that she didn’t want to be a full-time CPA anymore, and went into some real estate, you know, she became a realtor as well. And so now she feels like she has a better balance. And, you know, she’s like, “I wake up happy.” She’s like, you know, and so sometimes, I think we’re afraid to look at ourselves, because we’re afraid of what we’re gonna find. And, unfortunately, that will prolong the agony.
Yeah, good story on that. And I don’t know if you have an idea of even talking about this. But, you know, when I made a change in my business from managing partner to whatever I am now, I don’t even know marketing. I’m part of the marketing group, probably. But I fought that somewhat, and I shouldn’t have but I fought it because I identified, at least internally, as managing partner—this is who I am, this is what I do. And if I’m not doing this, what am I?
Looking back, that was just nonsense thinking because really, I wasn’t good at it. If I look back, I mean, I wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t my passion at all. My passion is what I do now—getting to talk to people like you, getting to go out and educate. And so I think a huge thing, and it’s not the easiest thing to do, but really look internally and really find out what you’re, one, good at, but then also, passionate about. Make sure that those intersect—I’m really good at, you know, tax preparation. I don’t like it that much, I like it, but it’s not my most passionate thing. My passionate thing is out educating on tax.
So I think if people can do that, which is not the easiest thing, but if you can look at your passion, and your talents, find out where you can combine those, and it’s not that simple. But if you can do it—I feel I’ve done it, and I can’t imagine doing anything else. I am having so much fun with the way my career’s going right now. So, sorry, I interrupted, but that’s just I think extremely important.
Oh, I do too. In fact, it’s kind of ironic you said that because my company, Charisma, really means being attracted to the light in somebody. And so that’s what I truly believe that everybody has some gift, and it’s a matter of bringing it out. And whether that, you know, it’s the same for their company, right? And I mean, that’s really the central crux of a good brand. I mean, it’s, what is it that’s unique, that really resonates with people, that’s what, you know, the market is attracted to. And when it comes to speaking, I mean, it’s the same thing. I always tell people who want to be on the stage, it’s like you have to find the gifts that you have that you can give the audience, right? Because the audience doesn’t owe you their attention. And so it’s really, you know, you’ve got your whole mental health story—that’s something that resonates with a lot of people. And if you can find that story within yourself, like that’s where the power is in speaking. I mean, it really is. I don’t have to tell you, right? You already know this.
I don’t know it, I do it. I think I know it. But having people like you in my corner definitely helps. Because at least it confirms if I’m on the right page, and if I’m not, gets me directed to the right page, so I appreciate that.
Sure. So I think one of the most important things I think about mental health is sharing stories and bringing it out into the light, as I said, and I know, Randy, you have shared your story, and certainly a very poignant one. And do you want to give like a quick recap, just so that if anybody hasn’t heard it? I know we’ve been working on it a little bit together.
We have. Yeah, for sure. Let me go through it. And I’ve mentioned a little bit in the past on the podcast, probably a lot more lately, because it is such a passionate topic for me. And the struggles that I started having are probably set up different than a lot of people’s struggles, because mine was basically on a traumatic event, a health thing that happened with me, which was a stroke, which most people have listened to show know that I am a stroke survivor—nine years ago, had a stroke. And I am like the poster child for physical recovery from a stroke. I mean, I have no deficits, nothing. I mean, everything works. I could, you know, if I wanted to, if my knees allowed me I’d go out and play basketball tomorrow. I mean, it’s, there’s nothing there from that standpoint.
What I struggled with after the stroke was just the whole mental aspect of my brain getting in my way—my brain thinking that every time I felt a twinge of what’s in my head, or my arm, or my leg, or whatever it is, normally the head, I’d feel something and boom, that means I was about to have a stroke again. It was coming, there was inevitable, I couldn’t get away from it mentally, that’s what was going to happen, and this time, I was not going to be lucky, I was not going to be physically able to do everything I could do today. This is what my brain was thinking—this time, I’m going to die. This time, what’s my family going to do? I’m not ever going to see grandkids, you know, all these thoughts would just be going through my head and would just be triggered by something that happened a split second. A little, you got dizzy, boom, I’m having a stroke. You’re tired? Oh, I’m having a stroke. I mean, whatever, just little teeny things.
And then for me, it was a five year struggle to get past that. It was like, at one point, somebody, one of the counselors I talked to did say yes, you have PTSD. So I assume I did. But also it turned into depression. Because what was the point? I’m just gonna die anyways, I’m just gonna have another stroke, I’m gonna die. So what’s the point? Why should I care about anything else? And so that went on. And then that also turned into panic attacks because whatever, I’d just be in a situation, which actually a lot of times was work related, so work stress did kind of trigger panic attacks. But for me, then, that’s what would kick and so that’s what happened.
And just like you said, at the beginning, I’m not a professional. I’m not a health professional. I did go see health professionals—which was important. And that’s what got me past this was I finally realized that, and I kinda like this story. So now this is about me, you’re supposed to be the guest. But let me go one more.
I think it’s important!
Yeah. Let me go one more story real quick, because you can go see counselors, and we’re probably you already mentioned, and we’re probably talking about longer, and I did see counselors, and the first counselor I saw or therapist or whatever you want to call them. I don’t even, I should know what their title was. And I just call them a counselor or therapist. She was a great person. I mean, I’d go hang out with her today. But the problem with her and I Is she told me basically, don’t worry about it, because you can’t control it. And you deal with people in our profession. I am in that profession as well. You know, that’s what we do. We control things. We’re in charge. We’re the solutions. We have all the answers. We’re going to help you with this. And you do the exact same thing. I mean, you’re always helping people. And that’s the mindset we all have.
And for me, it was like, no, are you crazy? Do you know I’m a CPA? I control things. That’s what I do. You can’t tell me that. And so it took me another counselor, a couple more, but then it finally got to a point where I realized I could actually control my thoughts. Now, there’s sometimes where there’s chemical imbalances, and all these other things where maybe people can’t. For me personally, I could, and I finally took charge and got past that.
So for me, it was this traumatic experience that happened for you know, 15 minutes where I lost control of my entire body, having a stroke, couldn’t talk, couldn’t walk, couldn’t do anything. But that’s not how everybody’s struggles happen. You know, a lot of times it’s childhood, a lot of times it’s even just work related. A lot of times, it’s just personal stress related, you know, someone’s getting divorced, or someone’s family member is ill, and there’s all these different things. And so I know you have a story, and I know you can kind of go into for you personally, the way you got into this, and the way you got passionate about the way this affected you was different than how it affected me. You want to go into that?
Yeah, no, I think it’s, as we’ve said, multiple times—telling your story, I mean, it’s scary at times, but it’s so important, because, you know, you are not the only one who has faced these things. And the more you talk about it, the more you realize that. And that’s like super important.
For me, and we talked about this a little bit beforehand, was really, the whole mental health piece has been sort of like a lifelong issue for me. And it’s kind of a “where do I begin”—I’ll kind of start at the beginning. And as I was telling you, you know, my first kind of major depressive episode was about 11. And, I mean, I specifically actually remember the day where it was like, I just feel like I want to cry—I feel like, you know, I told my mom, I’m like, I don’t want to go to school, I want to like, stay home. And I didn’t, you know, I think she probably thought oh, this is like a passing thing. But it wasn’t. And I ended up really like, through my teens, struggling with depression, eating disorders, all kinds of different mental problems.
And one thing that you kind of touched on was the whole PTSD standpoint, and that was something that I had to come to terms with after I was able to leave my childhood home, because it was really a perfect storm of, you know, my parents both struggled with some substance abuse, and they had like, almost zero self regulation skills in a number of different ways. And so it was pretty chaotic, we moved a lot when I was a kid, which we didn’t really have any, you know, this was my dad’s job. So it was, we didn’t have a strong community around us. And, you know, for me, I was also kind of, I guess, selected to be deemed “special” at school, because I was always in this gifted program. So I didn’t have a whole lot of friends who were like me. And it all confounded into, you know, really a lifelong kind of depression with some genetic factors playing in there.
And so, you know, as I was sharing, and before we started recording, too, I think it’s as important to understand your kind of genetic mental health as it is your physical, you know, genetics. And that’s something that we don’t talk a lot about. But, you know, I certainly, with my own experience, like with my parents, you know, I had the opportunity to kind of go back and talk to some relatives and really understand the context in which my mother grew up. And, you know, there were issues, you know, during her adolescence. My own daughter has had mental health issues, and my ex husband as well.
So I think there’s a lot of things that are generational, and I think we need to pay attention to that from a mental health perspective. And really, the reason why I do what I do, and I haven’t really explained sort of my end, and I love—that was another thing that we talked about with was John Garrett and his, you know, What’s Your “And?”, and for me, you know, you really have to get a window into your own soul, and understand what’s important to you, and like what’s driving you. And for me, I’ve always wanted to help people. But I really, really, really am passionate about helping kids with mental health because when I went through all of my struggles as like a very young person, there wasn’t really a lot of help for me, and like, my family wasn’t really capable of helping me. And then there weren’t programs. So it was sort of, I was 11, 12, 13 years old, but I needed to be 16 or 18 to get into like a mental health facility, or—I did see child psychiatrist, like, twice, and it was nobody my family really wanted to talk about anything. So it wasn’t super helpful. And my parents didn’t want me to be medicated. So I sort of had to figure out how to unwrap my mind myself to a certain extent. I did a lot of reading, even at a young age, on understanding some of my issues, but not the best strategy and it really prolonged the struggle for a long time.
So now I do these children’s workshops based on a book that I wrote, that is really all about resilience and mindset training for kids. And that’s the way that I’ve taken my struggle and tried to help, like, in small ways as well. But I think the incidence of mental health among youth—mental health issues is, I mean, it’s astronomical. I live with a 16 year old and so I, you know, I just see her and her friends, and it’s definitely something we need to pay attention to. And they’re a little bit more clued in, you know, about mental health than probably past generations, but I would also say the prevalence is so much higher.
They’re under a lot of stress, you know, and they’ve got social media telling them a lot of things. And we know that the degree to which you interact with social media is actually, like, negative to your mental health in a lot of cases. So there’s that balance to be had. But I definitely, just from my own experience with say, not everybody has like a deep traumatic past they need to examine, but if you feel like there’s something that you’ve gone through, that you need to explore, it’s certainly well worth it. I know, until I was able to do it, I really struggled a lot with depression. And since I’ve “done the work,” as they call it, and I don’t, I don’t recommend that you do it alone, I recommend that you really do see therapy—
Yes, for sure.
—definitely, I’ve been able to do things that I didn’t think I would probably be able to do before, like, write all these books, you know?
Yeah. It’s awesome.
I’d blocked a lot of things. So definitely another area of mental health for people to think about and not be afraid of. I mean, I’m happy to talk about it because I know, when I was struggling, I mean, I was like, really in college, and as a young teen, like suicidal. it was a very, very, very dark place to be and to be there, alone, you don’t you don’t want anybody to suffer like that.
No, no, that was the thing that got me to a point where it’s like, I need to talk to somebody because I didn’t know what my head was going to tell me. Because I wasn’t in charge, my head was, and I was afraid my head was going to tell me, that I was getting to that point, “Why are you even here? You don’t need to be here.” When I came in, I had a hard time saying the word “suicide,” but that’s what I was afraid of—that was going to be the next step—and I’m like, we have to fix this.
And so I applaud what you’re doing. You’re trying to break that cycle you already mentioned, it was in your family before you, you went through it, your daughter, and as each generation’s gone, it sounds like it’s you’ve gotten a little progression that okay, you started to identify young, and started to figure out things you could do on your own, which was sad that it had to be that way. But then you kept looking for ways to, you know, figure out why and what. And now you were able to identify this in your daughter and hopefully, now, this generational issue, you’re starting to hopefully eliminate the next generation from that, but not only in your family. Now the cool thing is you’re doing this with others because, especially if they’re in the same situation you were in, not that there’s no parent, but the parents don’t want to recognize that there’s an issue, or don’t know how to get the help, now you’re there for them which I think is awesome.
Well, it’s interesting because my daughter actually now—so she doesn’t mind me sharing these things, because she’s actually become sort of an advocate too, which is pretty cool—and she actually wants to become a psychiatrist so that she can help people. And that’s one thing, well, two things really that I have told her, and I was telling her friends, too, is, they’re probably tired of listening to me. But when they’re struggling, I try to like shine a little bit of light, you know, for them. Because I know two of the biggest things for me was one, really understanding the power of your own thoughts—don’t believe a thought you think, or don’t believe every thought that you think because, you know, there’s some dysfunctional thinking that can happen, especially, you know, when you’re exposed to certain things. So it’s kind of like a light switch, right? And kind of flip the switch and try and get your thinking in a better direction.
But also, don’t be alone. I mean, I think we all need each other and not sharing how you’re feeling is not, you know, a badge of honor. And it’s amazing how much better you’ll feel if you talk to somebody, even making connections, we know that like, having a strong sense of community is important for mental health. And I think I mentioned this to you the other day, I always have been, I really like draw on kind of a parallel between all the talk of like AI accounting. So it’s like, you know, artificial intelligence, it’s going to like, change all of our lives. And then I think to myself, but there’s the authentic intelligence that we need, and that’s really what you were talking about getting down into, like, who you are, because we can’t take the human out of humanity. We can try, but that’s where we run into problems. I think when we’re when we get so far away from like, our authentic selves, and we’re looking to the external world, you know, for validation, and for all of those things, and for band-aid solutions to a bigger problem.
Yeah, and I think that’s actually a good segue into, I mean, we talked about me—a traumatic event—you, probably genetics and other things, family dynamics affecting you. But this is also just an issue in our profession. And actually, from what I’ve seen, it’s almost probably more prevalent in our profession than in a lot of professions. And people don’t realize it, and it’s kind of what you’re saying, we’re putting band-aids on things. It’s like, okay, we just need to work like crazy during tax season, and then everything will be fine. And that never is because there’s another deadline. And so, rather than just trying to outwork your to-do list and just power through, whatever it is you’re working on, there’s so many more things you can look at, to figure out how to take care of yourself while you’re taking care of your clients.
And as a professional, that’s one of our biggest issues. And I think we mentioned this a little bit, the beginning, is we don’t think about ourselves enough, we think I just need to help this client, I need to get through this deadline, I need to finish this to-do list, I need this client’s gonna call, I need to get through that. And rather than just say, I gotta run my business smart to the standpoint that I’m leaving the physically and mentally healthy business and helping who I can—which does not have to be everybody. Alright, sorry, I just went on a rant there.
Well, no. And I think that’s part of being aware of your own self worth, right? You’re not going to be any good to anybody if you’re sick, or, you know, have something unfortunate happen, because you’re so stressed out, and you’re not taking care of yourself. And I think part of that is self compassion. And people listen to this and go, okay, they’re like, Gaynor, why don’t you take your own advice? But it’s hard, because we know, we’ve talked about this, and I know, you read about it all the time—accounting professionals want to help people. That’s why you get into the profession, and there’s, you know, it’s unlimited, the number of people that you can help. I mean, and it’s hard work, and it’s just—so the thing that really strikes me about the accounting profession, you know, do I like to make mistakes in my own work? No, of course I don’t. But there’s less on the line. If I, you know, don’t put a period at the end of a sentence, then, you know, the IRS is coming to get you and your clients. And that really does add a whole dimension. But the other thing is, we’re all more than our work and our career, right? We have to look at the whole person.
Yep. Back to the John Garrett What’s Your “And?” which is—John owes me because he gets mentioned like every episode.
I know, I bought his book because I was like, I have got read this, Randy says so!
It is very good. This message is great.
Well, I think too—I mean, it’s just a great conversation starter, right? Because it’s like, wow, I mean, I’m sure people listening to this podcast had no idea, you know, I write fairy books and work with kids, or write anything about the past, right? It’s just, you know, we only see, like, that one dimension of people when we work with them. And I know you’ve talked about this with Tri-Merit, it’s helping people bring their whole selves to work. Because let’s give each other a break too, like, we’re all humans helping humans. And, you know, it’s like, I want to help you be successful. And so give me a bit of a break sometimes. Right? You know, humor is good too, right? Like, we don’t have to take it seriously so much of the time.
No, it’s “have fun.” I have fun every day, I get to be on a lot of podcasts like you are now. And I sometimes don’t even remember what I talked about. But there was one promoted today, and they had a quote that I said, “I try to find the passion in everything I do.” I go, “Wow, did I say that? Because that’s pretty cool. I’m glad that I do that.”
Alright. I think I mean, this was awesome to go over this with you. And the work you’re doing is unbelievable. And I just want people to understand that this is, if you’re feeling tired, or stressed, or, you know, just your mindset isn’t into the work—you need to look at something, you need to look at reevaluating how you’re looking at things, how you’re doing things. And so hopefully, that came through, you know, not everybody’s going to have depression or panic attacks and all this, but you could be struggling with something that is just affecting you, you know, you’re taking work home, and, and all of a sudden, now, you can’t have a good family life, because you’re constantly, you know, thinking about work. And so I think it’s important, I think it was a great time discussing this with you.
Well, and I think too, it’s important, not only if you’re struggling, but preventative mental health is really important as well. There’s a great book by Amy Morrin. It’s called the 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do. It’s a great book, and it’s like, it’s definitely worth—you can find, like she wrote an article about 15 years ago, and it went viral, then she ended up writing a book. And I mean, one of them is “don’t take yourself too seriously,” so.
I like it. Alright, so with that being said, a couple final questions for you so that we can wrap it up for you. And you and I will be talking about this a lot more. And then we could probably talk all day. But we already found out one of your “Ands”—sorry, John, I’m using “Ands” now. But he’s probably got that copyrighted. I’m gonna get a lawsuit. John’s gonna have a cease and desist letter sent.
You’ll get a bill.
A bill, yeah. That’s what it is. But, we already know one of them—you’re passionate about mental health and working with children. Give us another passion. What do you like doing when you’re not working?
Well, I love to swim and meditate. So those would be two things.
Swim and meditate. Alright. Alright. I’ve had one other person with meditation, which is something that I tried to talk about slightly in the mental health presentation—I need to dig deeper into meditation. You and I talked about this, actually. So I need to dig a little more into that because I think that’ll be important.
And then the last final question is, if people want to find out more about you or what you’re doing, or your work with children or your work with Charisma Ink, where would they find out? How could they get ahold of you?
Well, they can go to CharismaInk.com, or hit me up on LinkedIn—Gaynor Meilke. I love to connect with people. So yeah, I’d love to connect with people and talk about everything from, Fairy on the Fly is the name of my kids program so you can find that on Facebook.
Well, thanks again Gaynor. And thanks everybody for listening today.
About the Guest
Gaynor Meilke, MS, CBC, CTC, CTRSP-E, is the founder of Charisma Ink, LLC, which is dedicated to helping CPAs, accounting firms, bookkeeping practices, financial services providers and the vendors who serve them achieve market ownership, grow their niches, and increase revenue.
Gaynor is an experienced and innovative entrepreneur, business strategist, professional ghost writer, author, business and transformational coach. She leverages market forces and organizational assets, to help executive leaders to create new opportunities and bottom-line results.
An advocate for mental health both within the accounting profession and in all walks of life, her Fairy on the Fly project provides mental health support to childen. Gaynor is the author of several books, including The Bank Your Brain Blueprint and Avoiding App-Athy.
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.