People Power with John Garrett
John Garrett returns to The Unique CPA for episode 62, and he talks to Randy Crabtree about the importance of ensuring that a firm’s people are actually treated like people. The author of What’s Your “And”, John specializes in helping especially CPA firms attract and retain talent by emphasizing the human element and ensuring that a firm’s culture doesn’t just exist, but is thriving and aspirational for its employees.
Today, our guest is John Garrett. John is a nationally recognized speaker, author, podcast host and corporate culture consultant. He’s been named one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting by Accounting Today—extremely important. He was recently the keynote speaker for a recently highly acclaimed, often copied, never duplicated, the first annual Unique CPA Virtual Conference, which—I guess I’m a little biased in that intro there—but he did a great job on our conference we had in December of ‘21. And I really appreciate him being out there.
John’s written a book called What’s Your “And”?—his book has actually greatly impacted me personally, and my family. We use it a lot, and what he talks about in that is really the basis of his consulting efforts. And really, I want to get into those consulting efforts today, because I think it’s extremely important. We’ll get into that. But first, John, welcome to The Unique CPA.
Thanks, Randy. It’s so great to talk with you again. And it’s always a blast. So this is gonna be fun.
Yeah, it will be fun. So you know, I’ve heard you speak on the podcast. I read your book again, which is awesome. But I got to see you speak at two conferences—one of them being our own—but another conference this year. And, honestly, you do a great job, and not only entertaining, which you definitely are, but educational and putting the message out there that people can use. So it was it was great to see.
I appreciate it—it means a lot, because you’ve been to a lot of conferences and seen a lot. So thanks, man.
Well, no, and I’m not being biased just to try to get my numbers up on the podcast. But you’re the best speaker I’ve seen out there at these conferences, so I appreciate that.
Well thanks, man. I appreciate it. Just trying to do something unique. You know, I mean, people are taking time to be there and spending money to be there. Like, let’s give them something that there’s an experience beyond the content. So you know, there’s content as well, but, you got to provide an experience there. And I think a lot of speakers, especially in the professional services world, sometimes miss the experience part. It matters.
Yeah, it’s—I agree. I try to do the experience, although you know, it’s just trying not to be boring.
It doesn’t have to be a positive experience, Randy!
Yeah, just an experience!
Alright, well, let’s get into this because this is important. So first, let’s just set the stage. So this is one of the key things that when I say talk to every guest, when we do the show, is we have to have fun. And so hey, right now we’re doing number one, right? We have to do number two, as well, which is educate.
(John groans sarcastically)
So we’re gonna get to that in a second. But the first time around, we really, we really didn’t dig deep into what you do, as a profession. This consultant, we got to know who you are, which was great. Yeah, but I want to get deeper into what you’re doing. But before we do that real quick, some intro on you, because you came out of public accounting. So give us a little bit of your history to let people know you’ve been where they are.
Yeah, I mean, I graduated from the University of Notre Dame, went to PricewaterhouseCoopers, was one of the first promoted in my start class, passed the exam, did mostly M&A work, and then a lot of internal audit. Then I was on the largest financial services client that PwC had at the time. That was great. And then had a little bit of a hobby of doing stand up comedy on the side. Ended up leaving public accounting, going to industry—worked for a pharma company and product contracts, and then later a huge hospital network. Yeah, it was great doing comedy on the side, a little bit of improv, but mostly stand up.
And then in May of 2005, the accounting profession and I decided that I should use my talents elsewhere. And so yeah, I went standup full time, moved to New York City, wrote two Emmy-nominated award shows, my comedy was on Sirius/Pandora, opened for Louie Anderson in the Borgata in Atlantic City, hanging out with Leno. You know, I mean, it was in New York all over, you know, I mean, so it was great.
And then about, I don’t know, six or seven years ago, kind of married those two together—the corporate John and the comedian John. So that’s where a lot of the speaking at conferences started. But then I had a guy remember me, at one of the conferences, he told the meeting professional, “I know John Garrett, that’s the guy who did comedy at night.” And I had never heard this guy’s name in my life. And it’s because he was in the tax department in my first PwC office, and I’m one of the cool accountants that doesn’t know how taxes work. So I never met this guy, I never went to that floor. I never worked with him. I don’t even know what he looks like. And yet 12 years later, he was like, “I know John Garrett,” and then he remembers me for all these other things, you know, this hobby outside of work. And so that’s how What’s Your “And” started is, you’re an accountant and something else: a beer connoisseur, a world traveler, a volunteer at the dog shelter, a ballroom dancer, a runner, a golfer—you know, whatever it is that lights you up. And that’s so much more fascinating and rich. And you know, there’s so many cool people that are doing neat things around us that we don’t take time to find out.
Yeah, and all what you just said—and meaningful—it’s gonna be important to what people are doing within your firm, and what they’re doing outside. And I know that’s what you get into.
So let’s set the stage for that, then, because I think this is right now in general, you know, CPA firms, businesses, everybody—having a hard time attracting and retaining employees.
And you have, I think, a solution to that. But what you do I really feel is extremely important. It is anybody can get a job anywhere, right? Now, it seems like, why are they gonna come to you, and then how you going to keep them? And so let’s dig deeper into this whole consulting you do for industry in general, but for CPA firms, I know, you do—
Especially, okay. And so let’s dig into what that is—what is this business that you’ve now created in the last six years?
Well, it started, you know, when, when I would speak, and then you know, it was great, everyone would talk about it, you know, lunch conversations were different and deeper, and at conferences, or even within, you know, corporate retreats, or partner retreats, or all-staff meetings and things like that. But then I would leave and like, you know, it was simple, but I I didn’t realize that it was not easy. And you know, people hear this, but then they go back to their job, and there’s a hundred emails and a stack of stuff on their desk, and, you know, then it gets pushed aside. And it’s one of those things that I realize that people need some guidance on this, and they need some accountability. But they also, you know, need to create something that’s unique, especially in the great migration, or great resignation—whichever side of the fence you are on that—they’re leaving. But they’re going somewhere. And you can create a place where they come.
And then don’t leave. And you know,so many firms, they thought they had a culture, and it was passing each other in the hallway, saying, “Hey, how’s it going? Fine, fine. Alright, great, coffee’s kind of terrible today.” And then that’s it, like, that’s it. But when all of a sudden, we’re forced to work remote, now you have zero culture. And you probably—you actually had zero culture before, but now you found out.
But if you build your culture around what people are doing outside of work, then working remotely doesn’t matter, because the culture is still there. And I still care about you as a person, because I hired the whole person, not just the accounting part. And so how about, we care about, and shine a light on, and have a genuine interest in, the whole person, instead of just the billable hour part, you know, that’s doing the work?
And so that’s really, it’s working with organizations to, you know, just create a culture that keeps their best people, attracts more good people, and then more importantly, as a leader of a firm, it’s your legacy. You know? Like, what are you building here?
And I think what you said earlier, is that we can equate to one thing, you know, hey, you were out there, you were giving this message, you were saying something that sounded obvious—let’s install this.
But the disconnect was, they really need the help to implement. And I think a good example of that is, as a CPA, I can be out looking at someone’s financial statement, and I could see that their AR has just gone crazy, and I can give them a list of five things they can do to improve this, and they’re all grateful, I say, “Okay, here’s the list.” And then if I stop there, it’s not going to get implemented. It’s going to sit there, and I’m going to go back in next month or next quarter, and their AR is going to be worse.
And so it’s kind of equated to that, but now you’ve seen that with what your message is, and so now you’ve created this, this, you know, opportunity to go out and consult with firms. And so how do we start to implement this one they need to buy in that there is something that needs to be changed. And once they do, how do you get out and implement this?
Yeah, I mean, that’s the thing, like I mean, we’re where we’re at, because of actions that have been taken in the past. And so if you’re at a place where you’re like, “You know what, our firm’s great. We’re killing it, it’s awesome,” then great, keep doing what you’re doing. But if you’re in a place where you’re like, “Wow, this is a little bit uncomfortable,” then maybe do something a little bit different.
And so that’s really—and when I come in it’s very customized, because what works for one firm is not going to work for the same firm down the street.
And if your firm is in different cities, what works in Denver where I live is not going to work in Miami. It’s totally different. It’s creating it with them—and it’s not doing it to your people, it’s you’re doing it with, I’m doing it with them. It’s starting with the leadership group, getting their buy in getting them to understand, like, why it matters, and you know, what their culture is, and, and also just their role in this. You know, they can kill it quickly. But they need to, you know, embrace it and encourage it and get others’ ideas to come in. It’s not a leadership-only thing, and then we dictate down—it’s kind of then working with, like an ambassador group or a culture committee of people where “I have some ideas, but they have ideas too.” And you know, maybe it’s a hybrid of those two, and it’s working with that group to get these ideas, but they’re also the ones that are enabled to roll out, you know, one or two ideas at a time, where it’s simple.
And then another big thing, too, is like an employee journey map, where it’s looking at—through the employees eyes—what does it look like before they’ve even heard of the firm, through recruiting, through onboarding? What’s their journey, employee experience-wise, and even exit? What does it look like through their eyes? What are they feeling and seeing and hearing from the firm? And how can we create experiences that matter, that show that you care, and that, you know, are unique and different? So many accounting firms, especially, and accountants themselves, they try to become the same as everyone else. I mean, how many blue logos are out there? Good Lord, you know, and it’s like…
You’re looking at my logo right now. It’s cool though. All right. Thank you.
Now you got some purple in there, you got some purple. Not much purple in the world. But yeah. But you just, you throw it out there. It’s interesting when you’re at a college recruiting thing, and a college student says, “Well, what makes your firm different than the booth that’s right next to yours,” and you hear that people just fumble around on the answer. And it’s like, ah, you know, it’s not the software. It’s not the office building. It’s not—it’s that your firm has people that like to do these outside of work hobbies, and passions. And we embrace them, we shine a light on them, we celebrate them.
It’s just, that employee journey map is super crucial to actually see, because a lot of people, you know, in leadership positions, you’ve been there a long time, and you forget what it’s like to be “the new person.”
And so how about we look at it through their eyes and do that, and then, you know, in that that culture committee, it’s getting a bunch of ideas, but it’s coming to leadership—”here’s the three or four, we think, what are one or two that we roll out?” And then it’s going back to that culture committee and saying, “Okay, here’s the one or two, let’s run with it.”
And then they’re also the pipeline for your succession plan, probably. They’re your future leaders. And so it’s enabling them and giving them some power and letting them have some training wheels on the bike—let’s ride it, you know, type of thing. And then meet every two weeks following up with that culture committee: How are things going, what’s going well, what’s not quite landing? What do we need to tweak? And then it’s just making sure that things are still moving the right direction. And it’s looking at that, kind of that employee experience piece, do that a couple of months, get the plates spinning, if you will, and then it’s coming back. And okay, what’s onboarding look like?
And onboarding is super, super crucial, super crucial. Like, there was a study done, like 69% of people will stay for three years, if you have a great onboarding experience. They’re never more excited than they are on their first day, and how many organizations trip out of the gate, you know? The race is starting, the gun goes off, and then you just trip, fall flat on your face. And it’s like, how about we embrace that and pour some rocket fuel into that? You know, and really nail that?
And so, yeah, so then it’s working with that. And, you know, throughout all that, it’s just like, creating moments that matter. I mean, because that’s what culture is made of. It’s these, like micro experiences that are positive, and it benefits everybody, you know, and it’s in its building that that firm that people want to come work at, and then they want to stay at, and they’re telling their friends about it. And then as a leader, that’s your legacy. Other managing partners and other partners, they’re going to turn to you like, “What are you doing? How are you doing this? Like, you’re now the cool kid.” And it’s like, “Well, we care. We just care about our people.” Yeah, like, but then “how” is really the hard part, I think, for people.
I can, off the top of my head, when I think of an atmosphere like that within a firm, I can think of two that jumped in my head right away, and I think “Okay, but I don’t know what they do, and I don’t know what the programs they installed to make them this place that everybody loves.” And one of them’s a friend of mine, and they just announced they got like the highest Glassdoor rating in the history of the universe or something like that—which is something—that’s obviously a positive thing. I don’t know how Glassdoor works, but that’s awesome.
Another one, just, they’re constantly showing things online. LinkedIn and social media, all the fun events. And so when you look at, like, you said that we try to implement, you know, one, two, three different things. Give me an example of something maybe you try to implement to help create this culture.
Yeah. And I mean, there’s small things, you know, I want to have small quick wins at the beginning. Yeah, there can be bigger things later, but you can’t start with that.
You know, so simple things, like maybe it’s in your email signature. And there’s one firm where we did this, where at the bottom of the email signature, it’s like, you know, “When I’m not doing taxes, I enjoy boating.” And you know, it’s just in your email signature—not everyone’s gonna see it. But then the people that do see it, “Boating, what’s that all about? What kind of boat, like what?” And then now you’re having like organic conversations with humans, as opposed to work conversations with “automatons” or whatever, you know? Something simple like that.
Or it’s, “Hey, how about a partner, takes somebody from audit, somebody from tax, somebody from ops, somebody from admin, and somebody from accounting services, or advisory or whatever you guys want to call them, and we go to lunch, and no one talks about work. And it’s just five humans or four humans having lunch together and finding out about each other. And now, there’s cross-departmental connections happening, where if you have to go to another department to ask them for a reporter, ask them for something, it’s going to a friend, as opposed to just some random coworker that doesn’t care if he gives you the right report or not or she gives you the right report or not. You know, it’s just bringing more “human” to work.
Because what I found is, you know, for years, people have been saying, you know, AI is coming for your job and all this, and clearly, that’s not the case—because the more AI and the more tech that we’re using, the more “human” you need to have to match that. It’s not a teeter-totter inverse, it’s you have to match the tech with humans. And so it’s really just bringing more of that. And sometimes I’ll get people like, they’ll be like, “Well, isn’t this intuitive?” And like, it totally is. I’m not Albert Einstein over here—it’s totally intuitive, but you’re not doing it.
How to do it is not intuitive.. Simple things. But then, I also want it to be their ideas, too, and co- create with them. And with the firm, and then, you know, kind of like getting a baby to start to walk, you know? And then and then before you know it, now you’re taking steps, you’re walking on your own, now you’re jogging, now you’re running, you know, and then it’s really cool and rewarding for me to see the light switch go on, and to see it come about.
And some of these things are really an immediate impact. I mean, you can see within weeks or less, of the difference that it makes. And just from walking around the office, it’s like, “Wow, this is a different place.” Because not everything’s—always some of it’s measurable. You know, certainly your turnover, and stuff like that. And I mean, that’s the thing, like, a lot of people hear the cost of turnover.
Yeah, that’s a key fact, because this is—CPAs, we like to quantify things.
You can quantify this, you can show that this is going to—even even paying you, let’s say it’s you, whoever. But paying you, specifically you, to come out because I don’t think anybody else is doing what you’re doing that I’ve seen. So paying you to come out and do this and create this new culture, you can quantify the savings that this CPA firm, that this business is going to have. And so really, you’re free. Your services end up being free. So tell us about that.
It pays for itself. Yeah. I mean, you know, I want there to be the ROI. I was a CPA back in, you know, like I, that’s still a part of me.
And you know, I want it to be effective. And that’s why when I talk with firms that are interested, it’s like, well, you know, “I’m not going to work with everybody, because I don’t want to work with somebody that’s not committed or not going to do it.” And so it’s like, “Do you actually want to solve the problem? Or is this something where a bunch of people did a survey, and they said they wanted to whatever?” And it’s like, well, you know, “If you actually want this, then let’s do it.”
It’s interesting, because you know, the cost of turnover, people have heard those numbers before where it’s, you know, conservatively at a minimum, it’s two times a person’s salary.
But it’s definitely higher than that. But I bet no one’s actually done the math. So we’ll do the math here really fast, Randy, like an example I like to use is, if there’s an average salary of $75,000 at your firm, which might be low, and times two, double the salary. And then if you had 15 people leave last year, then 15 times 75,000 times two is $2.25 million that it costs your firm.
I did that in my head actually just so you know. I could have told you that number.
Right? Right? But like, is that a big number?
That’s a pretty big number!
That’s a big number. And year over year over year, over year, 2.25 million last year, the year before that, the year before that, this year, next year, the year after.
And so, you know, how long are you going to let that go on? It shouldn’t be zero—for sure. But it should probably be half of that.
So you know, if I can save you $600,000 to $1 million a year, then, um, hello, you know, it’s really just looking at, are your people an expense, or are you people an asset that you’re investing in?
And it’s the greatest asset you have—the biggest impact on your firm is your people. The number one factor in the success of your firm is your people. It’s not your software, it’s not, you know, how cool your office is, it’s not, is there a parking garage in the building? No, it’s your people. And so, you know, you need to invest in that, and care about that. And I think, you know, one of the silver linings of the pandemic, I think, is now people are starting to realize like, “Oh, wow, I need to care, you know, about the whole person, really.”
Because there’s no barriers to where you work, or who you work for anymore. Because yeah, I mean, I could live in Seattle and work in Miami virtually.
Or for three firms. You don’t even know. I would probably quit and you don’t even know I quit. ‘Cause it’s like, “Hey, John hasn’t logged in for like two weeks. I wonder what’s going on?” “Oh, yeah. Sorry. I forgot to tell you. I quit.” But if you actually have like, normal conversations with people, then it’s like, “You know, hey, I haven’t talked to John about, you know, college football in a while, or what concerts he’s been to, or you know, what song he’s working on, on the piano, or anything like that, or Randy, like, what new beer he’s had, or whatever.”
You know, you mentioned that earlier. There’s discussions you start having with people, and you and I’ve talked about this before, people have more discussion with me about craft beer than—they don’t start with Hey, well, you know, well, at times they do right now what’s going on in R&D? Because there’s some stuff going on.
Well, right now there’s some stuff going on.
Yeah. But they start with “Hey, Randy, you know, hey, I had this beer, what do you think of if, have you ever had it?” That’s what they come to me with, you know, as an opening more often than not—and that’s not—they know I do especially tax they know this, but they know the passion’s beer, so.
Yeah, and I mean, it’s that you love talking about it. They know you love talking about it, and they love connecting with you on a little bit of a deeper level, and it creates a sticky relationship. And for so long, like firms have, have, you know—the clients are at the top. “We got clients, okay, we need to do the work. Okay, well, let’s get some people to do the work.” But the only reason you have people is because of clients, that’s what you think. “And then I’m going to accidentally care about some of the people—but the clients, clients all the time clients, clients, clients.” It’s upside down. You got to care, care about your people that you have now—care. And then from that, you’re going to get more and better people, and then from that, you’ll get clients.
Like, if you care about the people you have, everything good falls out from that, and so that’s really what it is, is just building a culture that has a genuine interest in the people around them and cares. And then you’re going to be a place that attracts and retains engaged talent. And then you’re going to leave that legacy as a leader of the firm that matters. And that’s actually, you know, something to be proud of what you built, and what’s happened.
I agree completely.
You know, and it’s through those connections. And it has to be vertical too. A lot of times partner groups, well, we all know about each other. And then well, just does your senior associate even know? I’ve worked with some firms where when we do that leadership meeting, and I’ll be like, hey, just out of curiosity, can we just go around the room, introduce yourself? And then like, what’s an and? Like, what’s something you’d like to do outside of work? Even firms with like, 10 or 12 partners, they’re like, “I had no idea.” And you’re like, “What are you guys talking about? What is going on? It’s not the first time you’ve met, like, you’ve clearly had some meetings. Like, what are we doing?” You know?
And so it’s just creating that sort of a place that people really want to come to work, and then they want to give it their all, because they know that you care about them as well, and they’re going to care back.
Yep. And I think this is extremely important—I mean, even if we weren’t in this, whatever you want to call it, great recession, great migration. I don’t know if I’m a big fan of, THOSE terms. But something’s going on. So whatever’s going on, even if you’re not in that, this is just huge for making you a place people want to go, people want to stay, And really, we’re just talking about employees right now, but then really, that this goes down to your clients then too. Because now you’re a better run operation and better run firm and you’re going to be better dealing with your clients as well.
Oh, totally. I mean, as leadership of the firm, you have succession planning now, you’re gonna have better client service, more consistent client service. All these good things come out of it. Critical feedback isn’t so critical. I mean, all these good things come from caring about your people. You’re going to be more profitable. Everything good is going to come from that.
If you haven’t thought this way, and you’re in a place that’s uncomfortable right now, then you can’t keep thinking the same way. You have to think differently. So maybe, just maybe, flip it upside down—care about your people. Let’s see what happens. Like, it’s so obvious to me that it’s like, take care of your people, because then it’ll happen. Like “well, we have to clients to get the money to be able to pay the people.” Well, that’ll happen.
Alright, so let’s do this. Let me give you, you know, you and I—I have been very fortunate over the last year to talk to you quite a few times. And I’ve told you, I’ve implemented things that you and I have discussed in our firm. And that’s right now, we’re going through the roof with new hires. And we just have new people coming in every single day.
I think our people like our culture, but I need to probably have you come in and make sure that culture is good. But in addition, we’re now—when someone new comes in—it’s not, you know, “Hey, here is, you know, Project Manager X. And now welcome to the firm.” It is, here is “Suzy who loves Disney World and goes every time she can and has a collection of mouse ears” and whatever else, and then we get to know her immediately, and building that culture around that. And so we’re doing this every single Monday now on our business development call, is a new person is introducing you know, their “And.”
That’s a perfect example. And how’s that going? Like, how is it different than before?
It’s going great. And we tried to do that. I’ve always tried to do that. But it’s like, sometimes I’ll forget. And now it’s this on the agenda every Monday, it’s this person’s turn. And we’re doing someone else. So the funny thing is, we did that with a new person, recently, and she said, “Hey, I’ve got this idea—what we can also do is a show and tell when we’re introducing ourselves.” And so now because we’re all virtual, bring something to the camera. here’s the here’s some things that I like doing that I can physically show you too. So yeah, pretty neat.
Yeah, I mean, when we were in kindergarten, we did show and tell with like popsicle stick people and like stupid stuff. Now we’re adults with like, adult money. Show and tell—let’s do this! Yeah, like, I want to see this, you know, like, and that’s awesome. And it’s not bragging, it’s what lights you up, like, brings you joy. And sometimes it’s work, but sometimes it’s not.
And that’s such a simple example of something where—and also too, with having what’s your “and?”—it gives it a label, it gives it a name, that now everyone knows what that means, and I could just say, “What’s your ‘and’?” and then people start talking about it, rather than before where it was kind of nebulous, and kind of like, “Well, what do you like to do outside of work? Or what are you? Where would I find you when you’re not here?” Whatever, you know, and it just gives it something that then everybody’s in on it.
But that’s awesome to hear that someone else steps in who’s new, and says, “I have an idea. Let’s take this up to a 201 level, or a 301 level,” you know, and you’re like, “Yeah, let’s do that.”
So that’s exactly what I do working with organizations is just facilitating that and making that happen and giving it some structure and some accountability. And then how do we take that all the way from recruiting, onboarding, employee experience, even exit? Like how do we make this a journey that people are going to tell others, “You got to go there? Like, that’s an awesome place.” You know?
And the more hiring that happens, the more merging that happens, creating those connections over the human level? It’s where it’s at, you know?
Alright, so before we wrap up, and I’m going to come back to this, I want to go one last thing, because before I had you on the podcast for the first time, I had always asked everybody at the end of the podcast before I even met, you tell me what your passions are outside of work.
Then for some reason, in my mind, I’m like, I think like I’m stealing John Garrett’s thing because—
Not stealing at all, man!
Because although I called this The Unique CPA, before I knew you as well, and so everybody’s unique is what we tried to build in here.
Yeah! They are. Yeah.
So, but unfortunately, after I talked to you, and I don’t know if it was immediate, I stopped asking that question. It may have just been a length thing. It may have just been like, “I’m taking too long. I got to just close out the show.” And then about five or six podcasts ago, I said “Nope, not going to skip that. This is so important.”
“And I’ve talked to John so much. I know this is extremely important.” And so it’s been put back in. And so John Garrett: I’m not going to use “What’s your ‘and’?”
Well you can!
Tell me what your passions are outside of work.
You can literally use “What’s your ‘and’” like, this is our message collectively. You know? I just happen to be the mouthpiece—there’s no stealing, it’s how does it manifest in your world? And that’s whyI don’t come in and say exactly what you have to do. It’s like, “Well, how does this manifest for you?” And I love seeing so many different examples that are out there of what works for you. So run with it, man. I love it. So thank you, man.
And right, so yeah, my ands are definitely college football. I mean, I went to Notre Dame so especially that but all of college football. Music—I love going to concerts. I play the piano, like that’s super awesome. Travel. But ice cream. Ice cream is my jam, man. Like if you told me “You can’t have ice cream ever again.” I mean, the world’s over like it’s done. Like it’s just over.
So you have a flavor?
Yeah, probably like a chocolate brownie chunk.
Ooh, going rich.
Or like a cookie dough chocolate chip, or something where there’s like, I got to chew it a little bit.
Like, there’s more calories per spoon. Yeah, I’m efficient in that way.
So that was your “and”—I may use that going forward.
Yeah, please do, man!
But I have to give you credit.
“And now the segment of the show, What’s your ‘And’ sponsored by John Garrett.”
I’ll send you 20 bucks, and then we’re even.
So let’s wrap this up. So one thing I want to point out, you know, we just heard John talk about all this, this importance of what they’re doing. You heard me the fact that we’re using this as a hybrid right now, which I really want to get John in, and my plan is to get John in to help us as an organization, which I really think we have a good culture now, but people may think that and realize when they talk to their people, they don’t. And so I think that’s important.
So I think it’s really important, at a minimum, if you’re listening to a show today, just to look at what John’s doing. Reach out to John. John will answer your call, he’ll answer your email, he’ll do whatever you need.
But it is—every single one of you right now listening are looking for people. I know that’s the case, because everybody is. And so reach out to John. So from that standpoint, John, how can people get ahold of you?
And I appreciate it so much, Randy. And it’s just have a conversation, you know, because if it’s not a fit, I’m not gonna do it.
I got other things to do, you know?
Like eat ice cream and watch football?
Totally, man. At the same time? Heaven. Heaven.
But yeah, so just have a conversation. Is this the right fit? Either way? And yeah, so I mean, TheJohnGarrett.com—super easy. Or you know, on social media, LinkedIn, Twitter, all that stuff, you know. But TheJohnGarrett.com, super easy, or WhatsYourAnd.com gets you to the same place. Yeah, no, I appreciate it. So thanks again.
And I didn’t know this—you have another site—this might be an old one, but TheRecoveringCPA.com?
Yeah, that’s out there. Well, you know, it just kind of explains to people a little bit of my background, and that, uh, oh, this is gonna be a little bit different than maybe what we thought.
I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to bring that up. I just saw it today.
Yeah no, that totally works. It’s just been cool to see how this message applies to a way bigger audience than just CPAs. But those are—that’s the center, I mean, that’s my sweet spot in my heart, because I was one and I get it. And I know what that world’s like, and like let’s make it better for everyone from top down.
Awesome. That’s my small little goal of the show. If we could do a little bit to make the industry better, I’m all for it
And a cool byproduct I’ve heard too is just a generational differences are bridged from your “ands.” DEIA conversations are bridged from your “ands.” So many cool things.
Diversity, equity and inclusion…?
And accessibility. It just brings people together on a more human level.
So John, again, thank you for being here. It was awesome. And your information—and I can’t say it enough is great—and I think everybody should at least investigate. So thanks again for being here.
No, I appreciate it, Randy—I mean, so much, man. Thank you.
And I want to thank everybody for listening.
John Garrett on LinkedIn
John Garrett on Twitter
About the Guest
John Garrett helps organizations attract and retain top talent and build stronger relationships with clients and customers. As a keynote speaker, emcee, consultant, and podcast host, he encourages everyone to share their outside of work passions—the very core of the organization’s culture.
John has a varied background, having graduated from one of the top undergraduate business programs at the University of Notre Dame, working as a CPA for both a large public accounting firm and corporate—all while exploring his passion for comedy. John has opened for Louie Anderson, the band Train, has a comedy album on Sirius|XM, and wrote two Emmy-nominated shows. He’s now joined these two lives together, assisting organizations to recognize the expertise their people have beyond college degrees and certifications.
As a professional speaker who has been on stage over 2,000 times, John creates an experience for audiences above and beyond delivering unique content that makes them think about their culture differently. He also consults with a select group of organizations to develop and implement small changes that make a big difference to their bottom line.John’s podcast, What’s Your “And”? has over 300 episodes that shatter the stereotype of what it means to be a professional today and the importance of differentiation in obtaining goals.
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.