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Meet Cathy Mueller of Mueller Accounting and Tax Services in Littleton and Cherry Creek

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cathy Mueller.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Cathy. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
After several very different careers (ballet teacher, fitness instructor, pastry chef), my husband suggested that I go back to school to be an accountant. He thought it would be a good fit because I’m good with numbers and processes, and very detail-oriented. At that time, we had a young daughter with whom I wanted to be able to stay home as much as possible, and the accounting field was in high enough demand to be able to reasonably expect that I might be able to get a decent job working from home, at least some of the time.

I graduated from Regis University in May 2010. In July of 2011, I started working for an accounting firm in the Denver Tech Center. The CPA and founder of that firm was a great guy named Tom Monaghan, and he was a fantastic mentor for me. At his suggestion, I studied for, and took the CPA exams and became a licensed CPA in Colorado in August 2014.

In March 2016, Tom passed away. The loss of my friend and mentor, during tax season no less, was devastating both personally and professionally. However, he had, over the course of thirty or so years, built an amazing clientele, and with the very hard work of everyone else at the firm, and even some friends-of-friends who were willing to help out, and the understanding of our clients, we managed to get through that tax season. Tom’s widow and I spent the next few months negotiating and in August 2016 I bought the accounting firm.

I had been working with the clients for about five years already at that point, and am proud to say that a great number of them stayed with the firm after the transition, and many are still clients today. We have also added many, many new great clients.

In June 2017 we moved from the Tech Center to Littleton, and I have since added a new office administrator and a staff accountant to my team. In the next year or so, I envision bringing another CPA into the firm and continuing on from there.

Has it been a smooth road?
Like any other business, we’ve seen transitions over the past three-plus years. Some long-time clients chose to move on, but we have acquired other clients at the same time. The first employee I hired did not work out well at all, and that left me apprehensive of going through the process again. But I now have two employees who are fantastic, and I love working with them.

There are always challenges as an entrepreneur, but the rewards are amazing, and make the effort so worthwhile!

Please tell us about Mueller Accounting and Tax Services. What should we know?
We are an accounting firm that provides business accounting services, individual and business income tax preparation services, and tax planning services. Our focus is on small businesses — fewer than 100 employees. We provide monthly accounting services for small businesses, and many of the individual income tax returns we prepare are for the owners of the small businesses for which we prepare tax returns.

We pride ourselves on the level of customer service we offer our clients. There are many good accounting firms in Denver, but we frequently hear from new clients that the biggest challenge they have with other accountants they’ve worked with is a lack of communication. Stories of unanswered emails and phone calls are the norm and are really unfortunate. I’m a small-business owner myself, and I know how frustrating it can be to reach out a service provider for needed information and not get a timely answer, or to have to repeatedly request the same information over and over before I get what I need.

We also offer more planning opportunities than many other accounting firms. Many other firms simply take the information provided at the end of the year, prepare the tax returns, and consider their jobs finished. We prefer to work with our clients more frequently during the year to be more proactive. I love nothing more than when a client calls me in May and says that they want to look at what their business is on track to make for the year, and ways to manage the associated tax liability. It provides a great opportunity for me to add value to my clients’ relationship with me, as well as a way to help them learn more about their businesses’ financial information, and how business decisions impact their personal finances as well.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I’m originally from Minneapolis, and most of my extended family is still there, but we moved to Littleton when I was ten years old, so I really consider Littleton my hometown. I love the weather, I love the opportunity to be outside on a regular basis for most of the year. I love that the Denver area is big enough to have so many amazing entertainment opportunities, yet small enough that we’re not a crazy metropolitan area like Los Angeles or New York. And, of course, I love the mountains — looking at them, being in them, everything about them.

Being from Minnesota, I do miss being able to be around water. I know there are a couple of areas here in Denver that offer some opportunity to be in the water, like Chatfield Reservoir, but it’s really not the same. Every time I go to visit family back in Minnesota and spend a day out on the water, I’m reminded of how much I love that and miss it when I’m here in land-locked Colorado.

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Image Credit:
KBenfield Photography

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