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Friday, April 19, 2024

Doing Business as a Couple: Teresa and Paul Mueller

By Jamie Folsom
Berthoud Recorder

Business: Mueller & Associates, CPA, LLC
Services: Tax, accounting and business advisory services to closely-held businesses, their owners and families
Married 31 years; two adult children

The Muellers moved to northern Colorado from Houston in late 2008 after buying an existing tax firm from Del Benkendorf, who continues to add his expertise by serving as director of client and community relations. It has long been the Muellers’ dream to come to Colorado and work together in complimentary roles; each brings a unique expertise based in more than 40 years of combined experience.

Starting with an existing client base, they also came just in time for tax season, where Paul takes the lead. He believes his role is to “creatively minimize the tax burden” for his clients, and to “focus on how to save them money.” He said, “I look at the client’s information and ask how is the best way to treat it for taxes. For instance what to minimize and what to emphasize.” He added, “It takes creative analysis.”

“We have different ways of viewing same transaction,” Teresa says of her role as accountant for many of the same clients. “We’re issuing financial statements, and we don’t know who will see that information, so we have to have precise details that are accurate.” It seems the big picture and planning of accounting is a good fit. She served as a chief financial officer for over 20 years in the nonprofit sector.

Nonprofits are still her passion, especially growth planning. “Is it better to open a new nonprofit or should you join with other nonprofits and collaborate?” And her answer from experience, especially in hard economic times, is collaboration. It allows organizations to consolidate services and leverage their fundraising. “You’re able to bring things in house,” she said.

For the Muellers, collaboration is a winning strategy in their own business as well. Paul says that keeping their roles separate keeps them together. “I’m the flash, and she’s the substance, and we each do our own jobs,” he said, adding it prevents them from stepping on each other’s toes. “We work together but still work apart.”

Teresa notes this is the first time they have worked together, and it seems to be successful based on their different approaches. But at the end of the day, she added, “We leave the office, and we’re able to be a couple.”

They also plan on contributing their teamwork to the community. “We made the commitment to come the area and plan on retiring here, so we’re not going anywhere,” he said. “We want to be a part of this community and have roots here.”

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<p><span style=”font-size: small;”><span style=”font-family: times new roman,times;”>Teresa and Paul Mueller work together as a couple by taking separate roles.</span></span></p>

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