Rethinking the Profession with Hector Garcia
Randy Crabtree talks to Hector Garcia, creator of RightTool, on Episode 126 of The Unique CPA. A QuickBooks expert with QBK Accounting, Hector discusses the future of the accounting profession in the age of AI and automation. He shares insightful perspectives on how software is changing the perception of accounting work, challenging the profession to get creative in redefining its roles and business models. Listen in to learn how to reinvent themselves and their firms to stay ahead of disruption, and get an exclusive look at Hector’s upcoming conference focused on creative business models and future-proofing your role.
Today, my guest is Hector Garcia. Hector is a CPA, a QuickBooks guru—if you’ve ever done any search for how to do something in QuickBooks, I’m sure you’ve seen Hector already. I knew Hector before I knew Hector, which was pretty cool. I got to meet him a couple months ago. And he’s a great guy. Besides QuickBooks, he’s been dealing with small businesses for years on all different types of topics, not just QuickBooks, but all kinds of financial advice, and consulting. Hector out, I’ll stop going on and on about praising you, but welcome to The Unique CPA.
No, thank you for having me. I love your podcast. And I also loved your conference in Chicago, had tons of fun, and tons of thinking about burnout and Bridging the Gap. But I love the topics that you guys brought in the Chicago conference, and I hope you do it every year.
You know, thank you very much for that. And the decision has been made, it is going to be an ongoing conference. At least we’re planning next year already and given ourselves 11 and a half months to plan this time rather than about eight, which was decent. But thank you. Yeah, I had a great time too.
So let’s jump into this because you got your finger on the pulse of everything going on in our profession, it seems like. Lou and I did a webinar together when we talked about branding with Amy Vetter and Chase Birky, and that was a lot of fun. So you’re kind of, you just have this, whole concept of what’s going on in the industry, your YouTube channel, all the comments that come in there, your Facebook groups, everything out there, you just seem to be involved with what’s going on in the profession. What do you see? What are the key things going on now, what are the things that you see that we need to change, need to better, need to keep going with? I just want to get your opinion on the profession, I guess in general?
Sure. There are two things happening. There’s the actual functional, real things going on, and then there’s also the perception of what’s going on. So let’s start with the perception. The general perception is that there is a commoditization of our industry: there’s tons of movement to outsourcing, more and more accounting firms are feeling more comfortable with working with teams overseas. Obviously, COVID helped. There’s also, a lot of employees want to work from home, and it’s made it harder to bring people back to the office. So that’s changing the dynamics, a little bit of what people’s expectations are as to when work starts and work ends. I’ve seen a lot of my clients have a lot more requirements after 5pm post-pandemic than pre-pandemic, maybe because they’re used to themselves also sort of working from home with their own business. So the lines are getting blurred, sort of from an outside perspective, in terms of like the sort of traditional 9 to 5 type of accountants.
Now, what’s actually happening functionally is software is getting better from the perspective that accountants can do the work more efficiently. Integration between apps is just incredible, you know, apps like like Make or Zapier, you can speed up a lot of processes that you used to be doing manually. Now, perception-wise, I think some clients are getting the misperception that the increase, you know in this efficiency, and all these technologies are making the job itself easier. And it’s actually not. I used to be easy, like I long for the days where it was just, it is a debit or it is a credit and that in itself used to be kind of challenging sometimes. Now it’s more like, is this particular field for this particular invoice supposed to be coming from Shopify, the source of truth, or should it be automatically being created based on the default attributes of this customer inside my QuickBooks? There’s just a lot more deeper thinking about systems and databases, especially if you’re being hired to maintain an accounting database and an accounting information system, or where customers eventually will call the source of truth of all their financial transactions. So the work is actually getting more complex, not getting easier. That’s what’s happening functionally. But the perception is that the work is getting easier.
And we as a profession are doing a horrible job at communicating this. I mean, we’re sort of like, we have this blessing and curse of having more demand and supply. We have this blessing and curse of customers just not wanting to kick off their CPA because they’re too lazy to explain their problem over to somebody else. So there’s all these weird factors that are keeping customers with their CPAs. But deep inside, they’re repressing this, this perception that CPAs keep raising their fees keep being more unavailable, more busy, and they have access to all these technologies, and somehow the savings end up being passed through to them.
So right now the industry is ripe for disruption from a software company, like QuickBooks, a software company, messaging, “Hey, we’re gonna build the AI that’s going to allow you to automate all these things.” Now, while Intuit may not have the guts to say it, even though it sure feels like it’s happening, but they have the guts to say, hey, what we’re doing is going to replace some of the function of accountants. Now, Intuit doesn’t want to get rid of accountants and accounting, I doubt it—accountants are a very important part of the ecosystem and all their software companies sort of feel the same. But a software company is supposed to make processes easier and more efficient. That’s what they’re supposed to do. And if artificial intelligence or machine learning or automation, or whatever you want to call it, that word, artificial intelligence seems to be just a scary thing for no reason. But just optimizing systems. So they can do things automatically, that essentially replace a mundane, boring type of repetitive work that an accountant used to do, it is the duty—it is their fiduciary duty to their investors for software companies to head in that direction.
While this is happening, and this has been happening for years, while this is happening, accountants now have to learn how these systems automate, they have to learn what the rule system looks like, they have to learn what the policy system looks like. And in many ways accountants become the authors or the monitors of these rules systems, so we can create an ideal automation sort of behind the scenes, or if you’re using Zapier or Integromat, Make, whatever, you’re the one that’s sort of connecting the pipes—digital plumbing, as our friend, Doug Slater used to say—you’re the one that’s doing all these things behind the scenes, to ensure the smooth operation on the front end. And because this is not traditionally what customers used to see as the core number crunching accounting work, they’re misperceiving that we’re doing less work. And unfortunately, this might come and backfire, with customers coming back and going, “Hey, if I have AI, why do I need an accountant?”
So that I think that’s the biggest challenge that we’re having right now. It’s not so much in reality, what AI can do, it’s more of what people perceive AI can do. And in my experience of like, doing tax returns, for example, I’ve done the experiment, we’ll have the same tax return done by two or three other CPAs. And the tax returns will be different, they absolutely will be different. Especially if it’s any sorts of bookkeeping or adjusting of financial statements. I mean, there’s different types of judgments different perspective and how the customer answer a certain question, some CPAs will ask something about a personal account or a personal transaction, some won’t, some do leading questions that drives the customer onto like, you know, saying, oh, yeah, this is this or not that. So there’s different styles and different things that will drive you to have different financial statements. But in reality, you can have these four different financial statements, just four different tax returns. But there always seems such an immaterial difference, okay, where accountants make such a big difference about accuracy or whatever, where, at the end of the day for the customer, if they don’t get audited, it doesn’t matter. And if they get audited, and the variance is small, like, you know, let’s say $2 or $3,000 difference, it doesn’t matter. Like this notion of accuracy, that accountants make such a big deal of, customers don’t. And that’s such an important thing that we often forget to do. Like we obsess over the chart of accounts being this perfect, and travel meals being different than local meals, and being different than eating with a customer, you know, between eating with an employee or buying food for a corporate event, like we obsess so much about like whether it should be this category, that category and to the customer, that’s all marketing, that’s the whole cost of doing business.
So I think that we might be going in the wrong direction, if we try to like mire ourselves in like, traditionally what accounting meant or what a good accountant meant. If we fool ourselves into thinking that accurate accounting is the end-all, be-all, okay, the reality, the perception of accurate accounting, it’s a lot more important than the actual accurate accuracy of accounting, especially when the material levels are so small.
Right. So one thing you said there that I’m interested in, because you’re hearing, so when QuickBooks or Intuit, announced this whole, they had this webinar a few weeks ago and they talked about, you know, the new AI involvement in there—I don’t know if they even said that, I didn’t see it. I’ve just heard about it. Because I’ve heard, I’ve seen a lot of people talking about okay, is Intuit looking to replace accountants, what you just said, or not? But what my Question is, is that I think you kind of just said it, is that we’re just going to be changing our role somewhat. I mean, yes, let’s have QuickBooks let’s have, you know, whatever, do a lot of these mundane tasks that we don’t need to be doing, and in reality, it frees up for something. That perception, the problem is, do the clients see what we’re doing? Do they see the change? Would you see our role changing as accountants now that AI is getting more involved in QuickBooks and other software? Is it we’re not going to be replaced, it’s just now we have a different set of skills or different roles that we’re going to have when working with a client?
Yeah, so I’ll go back and answer a quick comment on something that you said. A software company building AI or automation systems, especially in accounting, might not seek to replace accountants. But they also don’t care if, you know what I mean?
It’s not about, it’s not about them attacking the industry, it’s them not protecting the industry. And you cannot fool yourself into thinking that a software company that has been your partner for a very long time, wants to actually protect your industry. They have a vested interest on having a healthy relationship with the industry, but they don’t necessarily need to go out of their way to protect it. So if industries die because of AI, that’s sort of okay. And you and I should also be okay, you know? Like, there’s certain industries that, like, you know, there’s certain types of jobs that happened 50, 60 years ago, that were disgusting, and unsafe, and like, we’re glad they don’t exist. Not that accounting is disgusting and unsafe, but the reality is that our capacity or like our, like, the intellect of the average accountant, it’s really high, like in terms of education and self-discipline. And you know, the way we look at the world and our use and understanding of math and logic and accounting principles, we have a very specific type of intellect that is mostly underused, and sort of undertaken by really mundane and boring concepts. And because it’s the only thing that we’ve known securely to be our source of revenue, we try to protect it as much as we can.
But I think there will be an explosion of not just AI and software companies doing the stuff that we perceive to be the fundamental things that we need to do, but there will be an explosion from our side from individual accountants in the profession, re-expressing what’s the true meaning of their profession. And maybe the word accounting will be replaced by something else. And we’re certainly fearful of that. But I think we should go back and think of the fundamentals of accounting, like, the actual rules of accounting are not as important as the people that we serve. Like, the people that we serve is the most important thing. If you think about it, the rules of accounting are meant to protect the public, right? They’re meant to protect people. They’re meant for other people to be able to understand each other in the language of business. That’s our fundamental role. Our fundamental role is to be the arbiters of accuracy, when it comes to two separate parties discussing the concept of the financial health of an organization—that is our role.
Look, if the word accounting is replaced by something else, who cares, if we’re doing the exact same thing? Okay? Because what we’re doing is, many people call accountants, the financial first responders of the pandemic, because essentially what we do is we make sense of numbers. We make sense of numbers between two parties, we make sense of numbers for the leaders and owners of organizations. And ultimately, we give people confidence that what they’re looking at, it’s ready to be interpreted. Like, it’s accurate enough, so then they can interpret it. And in some cases, our role is to also help people interpret that information. And that’s, I think that’s what’s going to be evolved to. For many, many years, our role was to certify the accuracy, the historical accuracy of numbers, and sometimes kind of explain it. But I think that this accuracy of numbers is essentially, we’re still going to have the role of making sure it’s correct, but the work that goes behind building these numbers, most of that stuff is gonna get automated.
Again, you look at ChatGPT now, and the AI tools and it doesn’t look very good. But it looks a lot better than five years ago, and it looks certainly a lot better than ten years ago. So the progression is there, like, you have to be able to see the writing on the wall. So it is the time to reinvent ourselves as individuals and that might require personal branding work, which is the exercise that you and I did on the pre-conference.
Yep. That was fun.
And it will also, may require a significant business model change—like how we think of organizations with systems thinking, how we think about the stakeholders of organization, our customers, our community, our employees, the management team, the investors, how we think about our customers from the perspective of what is the true value we create? How do we become an added value to the organizations, how do we align our intellect, as I mentioned earlier, with their goals, and really be able to use those to our full potential to then give them confidence in the numbers, give them confidence in understanding what the financial health of their business. So we may need to like rebrand, not just rebrand ourselves as individuals, but rebrand the entire profession, to go back to the sort of root of why we got into the business in the first place, which is to help people.
So we can like, just get stuck in thinking accounting must be how accounting has always been.
Yeah, I think that’s great. We’re so into, same as we did last year, “SALY” stuff all the time. And you’ve got a conference coming up at the end of October, which is really going to be the theme is, you know, creative business models for accountants. So that’s gonna go right to what we were just talking about, you know, redefining what we do and all that. Why don’t you give us—I wanted to ask you about RightTool, but I think this was huge, and we will at the end—I want to ask about RightTool a little bit too. But why don’t you talk to us about this conference? Because I’m very excited about what you’re doing here.
Yeah, I’ll actually answer both of the things you want to talk about.
So, prior to discussing the conference, I have been obsessed with creativity. In general, I’ve been obsessed with creativity. I’ve gone down the rabbit hole to truly understand creativity not as a word, but creativity as an action, creativity as a function. And I’ve been reading about these organizations that foment creativity as a regular exercise in their business. And I’ve been, even in my own organization, when I sit down with my employees, we do exercises with post-it notes and say, “Hey, let’s just do word association. What does this mean to you? What does that mean to you?” Doing tons of brainstorming, doing tons of, a word I’m trying to coin, “mindcrafting.”
Inspired by my kids, because my kids play a lot on Minecraft, but mindcrafting, which in my mind means purposeful, group driven, brainstorming, that at the end is to build something out of nothing. So the process of mindcrafting, which is like using your brain creatively, in abstract form, to create something out of nothing, is something I’ve been studying really, really deeply.
And last year, I got into the software business, I started a company called RightTool. And we went into a really different approach of developing software. And I don’t develop any software, I’m just sort of the designer—I’m the ideas guy and the creative guy, I didn’t do the coding.
I mindcrafted the hell out of it, I’ll you that much. So this app, actually, it’s a Chrome extension—it doesn’t use traditional API. So we have this unique set of restrictions of what we can and cannot do, by adding this Chrome extension to QuickBooks to add additional functionality that QuickBooks doesn’t have as at its core. Most software developers, or actually all of them, they’ll use the API, which uses a list of doors that Intuit gives you to say, okay, these are the things you can write and read from QuickBooks, and we said screw it, we’ll skip the API, we’ll do a Chrome extension.
And essentially, what we’re doing is we’re pretending to be a human. And then we’re doing functions that a human person would do—multiple clicks, click here, here and there. And we build this incredibly popular app called RightTool has over 7000 downloads in the Chrome store. If you read the reviews, I mean, I’m blown away.
Oh yeah. A lot of positive reviews.
Yeah. But these exercises in the last year, has been a really deep personal exercising of creativity, because I have to think outside the box, big time in terms of thinking, could this be done? Could this not be done? I don’t have an API set of rules that I have to follow. Like I don’t, I don’t actually have a guide. So everything is sort of like open canvas. So it’s been really, really cool. And it’s been a deep, rewarding experience to be able to use my brain in a very, very creative sort of design fashion.
So through like, this journey of like, being the designer of the app, not the coder but the designer only and also inspired by your by your conference, that’s significantly different. Inspired by our friend, Ron Baker’s book, about subscription models, inspired by my friend, Chris Do’s YouTube channel, who’s a graphic designer, highly creative individual. It’s a YouTube channel that I love that is called The Futur, and he talks a lot about branding and branding exercises and sort of creative thinking. So inspired by all these things going on in my life, I’m like, you know what, I am going to will fundamentally change my own firm. I am going to “creative” my way out of having this very traditional firm that I have my own accounting firm that I have built over the years, and I’m going to switch to a subscription model, I’m going to change the way I offer services to my customers, I’m gonna get creative with working with my employees on their own development and compensation plan. So I’ve been doing all sorts of experiments in my own firm that has led me to, to be inspired to be you know what, I’ve done so many cool, interesting things. I’ve been exposed to so many cool, interesting things in the past year or so—I think that all these things, deserve a conference.
So this conference is called Creative Business Models for Accountants, the logo is the big word “Creative” “Accountants” and then really small “Business Models” to kind of get the shocking element that most accountants look at creative and accountant, and they just don’t like it, they just have a negative feel for it. And even when I posted in my Facebook group, hey, what do you think about these conference titles, the overwhelming majority were against using the word “creative.” And that’s why I used it, by the way.
Because that’s kind of the point I’m trying to make is that the word creative has been hijacked against the profession. And I think that part of the reason that we have such disdain for the word creative, because creative accounting has its own implication, but the word creative in itself, and even if you’re scratch creative, and you use innovative, okay, because we’re more friendly towards innovative than creative, but the reality is, you cannot be innovative without being creative, right? Like, creative is sort of the raw state of creating something out of nothing. Innovative is sort of the application of it. So the creativity is a theory. And that innovation is the thought of application.
And I’m not going to do a conference that’s going to tell you, hey, we’re going to show you everybody how to innovate the same. I can’t do that. What I want to show people is how to think creatively, how to think in abstracts, how to think about the industry from a different point of view. And the single biggest inspiration was Ron Baker’s question. Okay, maybe you’ve heard it before. Maybe you haven’t. Ron Baker doesn’t even call it the Ron Baker question. I call it the Ron Baker question, because I think it’s the question that will transcend all these, like it will be the pivotal question that will make you rethink about your industry, which is, what if Disney were to open an accounting firm?
It’s not a ridiculous question, because Disney had a construction company. And that construction company actually built the neighborhood that I live in, okay? Disney has a video production company. Disney, has an HR company, Disney has a video studio, sound studio, sound effects studio. Like if you actually go down the rabbit hole of all the things that Disney does, Disney has a lot of sub companies under it, you know, and this thing has tons of subcontractors. What prevents this need from looking at all the subcontractors are going hey, what if we just create an accounting firm, and we start by just dealing with our small business subcontractors? Now, when you think of that question, and it doesn’t sound ridiculous anymore.
And they take someone that, for example, they say they take someone that’s head of parks, the Disney parks, and they say, hey, your title is to build the experience for this Disney accounting firm. What would this Disney accounting firm look like? And then you start asking yourself the question, well, what is my experience in a Disney park? It’s always clean. Everything is well lit, well signed. There’s bathrooms everywhere. There’s concession stands everywhere. There’s lines, the lines tell you exactly how long it takes you to get there. Through the line, there’s different interactivities you know, before you get to the ride, and you start thinking about like, what a part looks like, and then how would a creative person apply these things to an accounting firm?
I’ll give you an example. One of the things that we’re the worst at, the entire industry is the worst at, is notifying the customer of their process in the queue. Like typically, the customer goes, here’s the documents as a black hole until we’re ready to ask them a question.
That’s that point. We’re horrible at this. The accounting firm would not do that, this new accounting firm would gamify the entire queue process because that’s what they’re really good at, okay? Also, what does Disney call their employees? They call them cast members, because they’re always putting on a show. What do they call the customers? They call them guests, because you’re supposed to make guests feel welcome and serve them always. So what would a Disney accounting firm call the employees? They would call them something like dream builders, right? And then what would they call their customers? They would call them dreamers or they’ll call them future dreamers or tomorrow, you know, tomorrow thinkers, or something like that. So you start thinking about the culture aspects of this thing and you start applying them to this hypothetical accounting firm, and then you go back and go, wow, I still call my employees staff, I still call my, my customers, clients, I still call my job client accounting, the tasks that we do, client accounting services. And how are we supposed to stand out? How are we supposed to beat AI? How are we supposed to beat the software companies if we’re using this slightly better than last year approach to innovation?
Yep, no, this is see, you are definitely the creative accountant. I think there’s nothing wrong with that term. Because man, you just think outside the box with everything. I don’t even know, me saying that, it’s probably me not saying something outside of the box, because you probably have a completely different term for it than outside the box. But it’s really cool. And so these are the kinds of things that you’re going to be talking about, people are going to learn, at the conference, right? I mean, you’re going to be talking about how we change how we become “Disney-fy” the accounting profession.
Not just “Disney-fy.” So we’ll have 100 people, we actually, it’s funny, we record this now, we got nine tickets left to sell, and we for sure gonna sell out. So we’re excited that we’re going to have all 100 people, we’re going to break people into groups of 10. And then each group will have their own exercise. So like one group will get Rolex. And then think about the branding aspects of Rolex—precision, luxury, old school, whatever it is, right? Like, think about, what would that look like in an accounting firm? Another group will get Nike, like all the things that you think about Nike?
“Just do it.”
“Just do it.” And sports and simplicity of branding, right? It’s just a swoosh. And endorsements, with famous artists and stuff like that. So I want everybody to have their own sort of mini experience with their group. We’ll have like brainstorming exercises or mindcrafting exercises, with post it notes, we’ll put them up ot a board, sketch, draw. And at the end, each group will sort of present their hypothetical, this sort of co-branded accounting firm.
We’ll have an exercise on how would you subscribe to this pencil? How would you subscribe to a pencil? So well, you’re so used to going out there and paying a dollar for a pencil. Well, if you were to subscribe to a pencil and permanently pay for a pencil, you’re no longer subscribing to a pencil, you’re subscribing to writing, you’re subscribing to putting your thoughts down on paper, you’re subscribing to transferring your creativity and ideas onto a permanent record. So we’re no longer selling a pencil. Now we’re selling the idea of being able to record ideas down so that that service is around subscribing to a pencil are going to be significantly different than just manufacturing the pencil.
So like, these are the things that we’re also going to do, we’re going to do a personal branding exercise, the two word brand exercise that we did pre your conference, everybody can think of themselves as a both a heavily flawed and an incredible, great potential individual at the same time.
Juxtaposing these two things. Because in order to truly innovate, you have to be able to take two ideas that seem completely unrelated and build relationships between them too. And that’s ultimately what sparks innovation and creativity. So it’ll be two and a half days of that. So matter of fact, it’s two days of that, and half a daf of ChatGPT, which is it seems like it doesn’t make any sense. But I’m doing half a day of ChatGPT on Wednesday, this is the 25th to the 27th in Miami, Coral Gables. So we’re going to do ChatGPT on the 25th because I’m going to show people how to brainstorm with ChatGPT because you brainstorm with ChatGPT, and you mindcraft with other individuals. So we’re going to show you how to brainstorm with ChatGPT how to get ideas, how to have ChatGPT build relationships between concepts and words to give you inspiration, and then how to use that stuff and then to talk to other people and innovate with other folks.
So it’s AltAccountant.com. Of course, I would call my conference AltAccountant, right? Because that’s sort of the alternate version of what everybody thinks an accountant should be. So AltAccountant.com. You can click on the creative conference link there. So again, as of the date that we’re recording this, there’s nine tickets left is $1,000 per attendee, two days, food will be served, half day of ChatGPT in Miami, Florida. It’s five miles from the Miami Airport. Miami could give you some traffic, but it’s 15, 20 minutes from the Miami Airport even at the worst times. And and so it’s Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, so you can stay the weekend, if you want to hang out in Miami, assuming it’s not rainy in late October, pre-Halloween.
Yeah, what we’ll do is, we’ll put the link in the show notes—we’re recording on September 19th. We’ll get it out there. If there’s no tickets left, you know, but if so, if you’re listening to this, I’d definitely click on the link right away because there’s only a couple of tickets left as Hector said, and it is going to be a great time.
Unfortunately, I cannot be there. I have to be at another conference at the same time, but I would love to be there, it sounds like an awesome event. And just thinking differently is going to be so cool, because our profession has kind of been the same for the last 80 years, and coming up with new ideas and different ways to look at it, not even just do it, but look at the way we do things is going to be amazing.
So I’m very excited for your conference. Everybody that is going is, I know, going to learn a lot and have a great time. And unfortunately, I’m gonna have to wrap this up now because I want to talk to you forever. I could go for the next two hours listening to things that you have to say—I wanted to talk about the new podcast you’ve got going, but maybe we will record another session and we can do that. So any final thoughts before we wrap up today’s awesome recording?
Yeah, no, no, that’s it. Thank you, Randy, for having me. I love your podcast. Looking forward to the folks who are going to Miami to seeing you in Miami. I looking forward to seeing you next year in Chicago as well.
All right, awesome. Thanks, Hector. Appreciate it.
About the Guest
Hector M. Garcia is a CPA and QuickBooks Trainer for Quick Bookkeeping & Accounting LLC. He has over ten years of experience working with small business finance and accounting, along with three Post-graduate degrees from Florida International University (FIU) in Accounting, Finance and Taxation. He developed RightTool, a Google Chrome extension for QuickBooks Online power users that want to enhance the navigation experience and functionality within QuickBooks Online.
Hector’s Creative Business Models for Accountants conference will take place October 25-27 in Coral Gables, Florida.
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.