Episode 13 - The Social Butterfly with JWellsCFO’s Jeremy Wells

January 27, 2023 Concierge CPA Marketing

Join us today as we sit down with Jeremy Wells. In today’s episode, we’ll cover all things CPA, EA, and every other letter of the alphabet! 

Let’s go! 

About JWells 

Jeremy spent six years at LSU where he obtained a Ph.D. in Political Science. From there he taught at Texas State University for close to five years. 

He started graduate school in 2007 and entered the workforce around the same time as the Great Recession. Jermey quickly realized that his opportunities were not as abundant as he had once hoped for. After receiving multiple rejection letters, Jermey decided to take fate into his own hands and work towards his CPA. 

Between teaching and taking exams for the CPA in 2017-2018, Jeremy received his license in early 2018 as he was also starting his own firm. Fortunately, for timing purposes, he did not have many clients yet, leaving him the opportunity to continue teaching. 

By mid-2018, he was able to leave higher education and focus on accounting full-time. 

The Path to CPA & Lifestyle Design

Jermey and Jackie discuss the difficult route required for CPAs and the perspective of 18-19-year-olds entering college today. The youth will soon be making these important decisions which are crucial for the business workforce of the future. 

Jermey gives us a detailed (professor’s) view of what it takes to become a successful accountant. 

As a young individual entering college, there are many business routes to take. Jeremy tells us, the top three in his experience are: 

  • Marketing
  • Finance 
  • Accounting 

It’s as if accounting education is competing with the other two. 

Compared to their peers who focus on studying marketing and finance, accounting individuals see that the prior two offer less of a time commitment and more potential for higher earnings. 

Whereas in accounting, the narrative has stayed true to long working hours, long study periods, and time spent networking and gaining experience, all for entry-level income 2-3 years later, and it just isn’t cutting it anymore. 

The new generation thinks differently and Jeremy makes this clear. Timothy Ferriss writes in his book, The 4-Hour Workweek

‘Gold is getting old. The New Rich (NR) are those who abandon the deferred-life plan and create luxury lifestyles in the present using the currency of the New Rich: time and mobility. This is an art and a science we will refer to as Lifestyle Design (LD).’ 

Ironically, the book was first published in 2007 and we’re beginning to see this mindset in our workforce today. 

Problem → Solution 

If the problem is saving time and energy, what’s the solution in the accounting industry? 

Jackie and Jeremy discuss the route of EAs and their differences when compared to CPAs. Both are skilled in tax expertise, but there are a few differences. To learn more about EAs & CPAs and the differences between the two, click here. 

EAs, if considered this way, can potentially provide a quicker route to the skill requirement necessary in the accounting industry. We use the term ‘quicker’ very lightly as there are still requirements and education specific to this industry. 

However, when it comes to success in the accounting business, an EA can help individuals achieve highly skilled experience sooner than it would take to obtain a CPA. 

Ultimately, this takes the pressure off of absolutely needing a CPA license in order to succeed in the accounting world. As we learn from Jeremy’s perspective, this makes the CPA license an opportunity to level up in the industry, but not necessarily required for all individuals who are considering the accounting career path. 

Here’s an analogy; it's the middle of a baseball game and your team is down 1 run. If an EA is a triple, and a CPA license is a homerun, sure the homerun would help, but a triple is nice in that scenario too. There is still plenty of game left, and all the coach needs is a base hit. 

The Power of Relationship 

JWells, CFO, or Jeremy’s business, takes the position of focusing on relationships with his clients and not the actual work that is being done. 

This is key, and something we’re beginning to see all over the business world. In today’s culture, more and more businesses are focused on how they’re providing the service and less on the service being provided. Both quantitative and qualitative aspects, if you will. 

Jeremy learned this from his mentor and has strategically implemented this in his business today. 

After his first year, Jeremy learned that he could help his clients by means of referring and outsourcing, but for a cleaner and more successful process, he needed to be more involved. 

For the first few years of back-and-forth, trial-and-error learning processes, Jeremy considers 2020 to be the first year of being a completely independent accounting firm. 

All in all, as we look back at Jeremy’s journey we can see that in the height of his successful, celebratory years, he (and we) have all faced much adversity (2008; 2020 for example). 

He grasps this tightly, as it became his opportunity to shine. 

Working remotely was more of a burden than a luxury prior to 2020, but as Jeremy shares his client base and their locations (NY to LA); we see that his focus on relationships is still beneficial, even if that is via Zoom calls.  

More about Jeremy, Jackie, and the CPA Advisory Show 

The CPA Advisory show is hosted by Jeremy and his co-host, Chris Hirschhorn. 

Jackie and Jeremy connected via social media. You can find ways to connect with them below! 

One-on-one conversations with Jeremy: jwells@jwellscfo.com

Twitter: @JwellsCFO 

As always, ConciergeCPA is hosted by TaxPlanIQ. To learn more about Jackie and how she helps others, visit jackiemeyercpa.com or join her Facebook group - Accounting Firm Influencers

You can also find Jackie on most socials under, Jackie Meyer, CPA. Bye for now! 

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