Crunching Numbers and Abs

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HWW 10 - Darsi Casey

Darsi Casey: [00:00:00] You're not going to be able to control everything that comes your way, but you can certainly control how you respond to it. And and I say respond because that's the planning, that's the practice that and you put all this in place, You're you're responding, you're not reacting. And I think there's a big distinction between those two. And I think there's a big distinction on the impact that those those two ways we can deal with things impacts you from a health standpoint. I really do.

Heidi Henderson: [00:00:29] This podcast is sponsored by Engineered Tax Services, a subsidiary of Engineered Advisory, whose goal is to support CPAs and their clients to achieve the highest and best use of time and resources. Etfs offers specialty tax services and incentives, which help expand your capabilities and ensure that your clients are paying only what is required in taxes and nothing more. To learn more about engineered tech services, go to engineered tax services dot com and mention the Healthy Wealthy and Whys podcast to receive project discounts and a free CPA Partnership e-book. Hi, everyone. This is Heidi Henderson, and you are listening to the Healthy, Wealthy and Wise podcast for accountants. I am really passionate about people and the industry and I truly believe that the accounting industry can do better for both our clients and its professionals. So I'm going to share insights from people who have found professional success, and we've managed to balance that with their physical, mental and personal health. So I hope you enjoy and I hope you get inspired. Accountants can earn Free CPE From listening to this episode, just visit earmark CPE Download the app. Take a short quiz and get your CPA certificate. And now onto the episode. Hello and welcome to today's podcast. Our guest today is Darsi Casey, who has managed her own firm. She's actually the co-founder with her partner of Casey Nealon, and it's located in Reno, Nevada, or Carson City, Nevada. They opened their doors in 2006, and before that, she'd been in public accounting since 1989. So she's got obviously lots of experience, though. Her title, I love this bio. Her title is managing shareholder or CEO. Darcy prefers to see herself as the chief problem solver and the strategic planner for the firm, and she values the privilege of working with interesting clients from different personal and business backgrounds, because that's really what fires her up.

Heidi Henderson: [00:02:42] So brainstorming with these people, with these business people and really helping them make informed decisions is one of the things that she absolutely loves the most. She enjoys staying active as well. She's got many hobbies, which I'm hoping we can talk about today. And she's also actually the chair of the Aleut Global Alliance Worldwide Board, and that's actually a CPA association that I've also been involved with for the past 11 years. So Darcy and I have known each other for a while now, and we've worked on a number of projects. I am a huge fan of Darcy's because obviously she's got a women run firm and, you know, she's entrepreneurial just because she started her own firm and has been very successful and has really that sort of outside perspective of really trying to be an advisor to her clients and really thinking outside the box. And I value that so much as well as our relationship meeting at Aleut, which is I said this worldwide CPA Association, if anybody who listens to this is interested in becoming part of a global association of CPAs and attorneys across the world, the network is amazing. The events are just fantastic. I always thoroughly look forward to joining them, typically twice a year and meeting everyone from around the world, and the collaboration that occurs there is fantastic. So that's an amazing association. So with that said, that's enough about Darcy. I'm excited to really dig into some of the personal background and learn more about her as an individual and what she's been building, what she's learned through her career. So Darcy, thank you so much for joining us today.

Darsi Casey: [00:04:17] Thank you, Heidi. I don't know what else to say after all of that, so.

Heidi Henderson: [00:04:22] I'm sure that pales in terms of reality because like I say, I'm a huge fan. So let's start at the beginning. Tell me a little bit about your background personally. Where where are you originally from?

Darsi Casey: [00:04:34] Well, that's an interesting question because I was actually born in San Diego, but I didn't grow up in San Diego. And just due to, you know, life, life's events with my parents and then being divorced, we moved around a lot growing up and actually never went to the same school my entire life. I went to two or three schools every year of my life and ended up graduating at 16 just to kind of be done with it all. So I graduated high school early. And so, you know, that was it was an interesting upbringing and, you know, not a lot of stability there. But I think one of the things that I got out of that was that, you know, you can you can take life's events and, you know, it's all about perspective. You could be you could be really bitter about it or you could take that those tools you learned and use them, you know, to better yourself. And so I think that's where I got that from.

Heidi Henderson: [00:05:30] Wow. That's that's amazing. And it's it's so interesting that you went there because some of my questions are probing into kind of exactly that. Like, what are some of the struggles that we face and how do we turn those around for positive and kind of overcome those in our lives? And, you know, as as kids, I mean, that's something that's huge, not having that stability. Do you feel like that then correlates to what was appealing to you about the accounting industry?

Darsi Casey: [00:05:59] You know, it's really interesting how I ended up in accounting. I did not choose I did not choose accounting. It it kind of chose me. So I, I had moved from Las Vegas up to Reno to go to college, completely unsupported in that endeavor. And so just I was just taking classes and I was actually pursuing a major and marketing and and that's what I did graduate with. But in the meantime, as I was working my way through school, I worked for a small accounting firm in Reno. And so, you know, I was doing receptionist and receptionist job for several years. And then when I graduated, I went to work for a small casino in Reno. Family owned. And it wasn't it wasn't the greatest environment. I felt like, you know, I did actually take a step back and pay just to kind of get a foot in the door there. And so then once I worked there, probably about six months and my. Said The accounting firm asked if I would come back and he doubled my salary. And and so I thought, well, you know, this isn't really my ideal where, you know, the the casino that I was working at. So I went back and within a month or two, you know, he said, well, you know, why don't you just take the CPA exam? And so that's that's how I became a CPA. And so I, you know, I pursued that. And, you know, within a relatively short amount of time, I realized the potential, not just from a salary perspective, but, you know, the challenge that, you know, that the challenge of the job itself and the challenge not only of accounting, but public accounting in particular, because there's never a dull moment. There's never a day that's the same as another day. And you have to I always tell people, you either you either have to love accounting, public accounting, or you're going to hate it because it's very demanding. But it can be a lot of fun to and thriving on. I think all those differences that you see every day is really important to be successful in public accounting.

Heidi Henderson: [00:08:02] Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, with with all of that, like the stress, the timelines, the perpetual deadlines, how do you manage currently the sanity of all of that personally right now?

Darsi Casey: [00:08:14] You know, I I'm really big on, you know, routines and you know and some sometimes I'm on it and sometimes, you know, you fall off it and but I really been able to over time develop ways to keep my sanity. And you know, it's kind of a combination of things. So I would say when I'm when I'm at my very best, sticking to all the things that I know works for me a day looks like getting up at four or five in the morning, starting with, you know, just my vitamins, migraine drink, you know, all that kind of thing. And then and then going through this kind of ritual of of reviewing my goals, going into my journal and kind of organizing myself and my thoughts and that sort of thing, and then taking my dog, Jackson, who's right there, taking him up on the trails behind my house and doing like about a half an hour little hike up there. And that's a those days are the best because I feel like when you start your day out, you know, kind of clearing, clearing your mind so that you're preparing yourself for what's going to happen during the day or what you want to have happen, as opposed to just showing up at work. And then the flood of everything starts happening, you know, it starts happening to you rather than you controlling it.

Darsi Casey: [00:09:30] And maybe control isn't the right word, but so on those on those morning walks, what I do is the first 5 to 10 minutes is just gratitude. It doesn't matter. You know, you don't let a negative thought come into into my mind. I just think about whether it's gratitude for being alive and having fresh air to breathe or the people in my life or my dog or whatever it is, just taking that time to just solely think about gratitude and what I am actually grateful for. And then after that, it's the rest of the walk is all about this visualization. And so it might be just that particular day. What I would like to have happen that day, maybe I have, you know, meetings back to back or difficult things to deal with, and I just visualize it all working out positively. You know, maybe more specifically, I'll think about things. So everything from like visualizing my day to visualizing what I want my life to look like five years from now or what I you know, And so in that process, what I've learned is there's never a point where you stop yourself from believing that you can do something. So sometimes I'll think, Oh, well, that's too much to ask for, you know? And it's like, Nope, cut that out of the thought process and really get clear on what it is you see for yourselves in the future what you would, you know, down to how you would feel about it.

Darsi Casey: [00:10:54] You know, how you feel waking up in that state and and having those things right in front of you. So those are some powerful things that I do. And like I said, sometimes I'm really on it. Sometimes I'll go a month or two without doing those things, but I know they work for me so I can always gravitate back to them, you know, just depending on what's happening. The other thing that I do is exercise has always been a part of my life and and I like variety, So I do a lot of different things. But like right now my major component of exercise is hot yoga. And, and I try to do that, you know, several times a week at least, and and then mix that up with some cardio and strength training. But I feel like that that keeps the healthy body. But even more so for me, it's really mental. You know, it really clears my mind to, you know, get a good workout in and just get into that space.

Heidi Henderson: [00:11:53] Wow. So I've known you for a long time and I didn't know most of that stuff. And I think it's amazing because I identify with a lot of that stuff, too. I try to adhere to a lot of that. I'm not as good at doing, you know, that that visualization. Aspect that you talk about, you know, the morning, because I think to your point, taking the time to be really intentional about our day changes everything because it's so tempting and not even tempting. It's like it's just automatic if you don't do that, that you come in and you literally spend your whole day just reacting to what's being thrown at you and you don't take or get the time to be able to then look and say, okay, what should I be focusing on for me to actually achieve my goals? And it's like you just never even see that. Yeah.

Darsi Casey: [00:12:42] And I'm also a true believer in that you, you know, you create your you create your reality. I really believe that. And I think too many times people don't take the time to even decide what they want, you know? I mean, and it's harder than you think when you start doing it because if you know if if the sky is the limit and anything, you know, anything you can imagine you can make happen, it's it's harder than you think to actually determine what you want to have happen because there's so many choices. But, you know, it's and I tell our staff that a lot to do coaching with all of our professional staff and you know I tried to get them you know, we have a series of questions in preparation for each coaching session. And, you know, it's just trying to get them to start thinking about what they want out of their career. Because what we've found is we can offer people all kinds of things, but if they don't know what they want, then there's no way we can give it to them. You know, it's it's impossible. It's an impossible scenario. So we really just try to get people to at least start thinking about what they want, at least out of their careers. And, you know, hopefully that kind of catapults them into thinking beyond that as well.

Heidi Henderson: [00:13:57] Well, it's pretty neat, though, that you're taking the time to do that, because at a time in this industry and really in the economy in general, I think the number one issue we're all facing right now, staffing issues and retention and finding staff, keeping staff and then sort of changing with younger demographics coming in that have a different focus and and are a little bit more focused, I think, on a better work life balance and maybe not so much the you know, what what I kind of had growing up, you know, is that grow up, graduate college, get married, have babies, you know, buy a house. You do all these things. I see some of the you know, my kids in their twenties have such a different focus and it's more about experience. It's more about living life and enjoying the process along the way rather than accumulating some of those things. Obviously not with everybody, but, you know, allowing you to give them a voice and take the time to think about those things. I mean, that's got to have a huge impact. And so. So do you feel like your focus and commitment to your health, both both mentally and physically, how does that then, in fact, affect your staff and the culture really of your whole company?

Darsi Casey: [00:15:14] You know, that's hard to really pinpoint. I mean, I think it's you know, it definitely helps me to be calm and present when when I'm here and when I'm with people. That's something that I do try to practice on a regular basis. I think, you know, as far as staff, you know, it's always it's really hard because, you know, we do invest so much time and, you know, just energy, all the things. And that just the nature of our profession is that, you know, in public accounting, you've got you've got people who are getting their experience requirements to get their license and then they're moving out of public accounting into private and onto something else. And and that's always been the case, right? That's not something new. And so it's something that you just kind of have to accept. But I don't think the fact that, you know, that there is, you know, relatively high turnover just naturally, not just in this day and age, in this profession, it shouldn't change the way that you like you were saying intentionally or, you know, help people and help them develop. So we know that. We know that that's going to happen. But I think it it speaks to who we are that we're going to do it anyway. You know, we're going to do all the things to make this a good place to work and a culture that we can be proud of, regardless of what the turnover rate is. And and I think that, you know, in a lot of times we've had people who have left and come back, we've had people who have left and become clients. We have you know, there's all kinds of scenarios where you're just you're building bridges continuously and you never know where that's going to take take you or then.

Heidi Henderson: [00:16:57] Yeah, well, that's a pretty neat perspective to keep in mind, you know, and to not have or harbor hard feelings if someone moves on and changes careers as well. You know, looking at the. Long road in terms of potential opportunities or relationships going forward. So before I'm actually anxious to kind of dig in a little bit more to your firm and kind of how you got here. But before I do that, I have a couple more questions back to kind of talking about your daily habits, your personal habits. And for for listeners to one reason I do this podcast is because having now worked in this industry for the past, I think about 17 years, I feel like there is a really significant lack of focus on taking care of oneself. Especially you get tied into tax deadlines and understanding that most are working really long hours. But I think that it really does correlate to how we're able to take care of clients and and when we're taking care of ourselves mentally, physically, all those things, it does trickle down to staff and to clients and how you handle all those things. But that it's kind of going back to my next question, which is what led you, I guess, what this might be a difficult question. It's hard to ask. I guess it might be hard to answer. What was kind of the path that got you to where you are right now, that you realize the value of those morning walks and getting your head straight and and setting those intentions. That's usually something sort of you've evolved through your life to kind of get to that point. What do you feel like was that process for you?

Darsi Casey: [00:18:34] Well, I think initially, you know, I think I've just always been a really optimistic person. I don't I don't know why that is. I just always have been any situation that happens, you know, I'm always looking for the the silver lining, the the good thing that comes out of it, even if it, you know, on the surface seems difficult or bad. So that's kind of that starting point where I came from. And then just over the years, just, you know, educating myself. I've read a lot. I read a lot about, you know, just human behavior, about health, about, you know, fitness, about, you know, mental and just business and emotional intelligence type of concepts and and energy. And so one thing I guess would be that just a continuous self-education is part of that path or has been for me. And then like I said, you know, and then as you know, as life kind of kicks you around a little bit, you know, it's easy to become a little more cynical. And so I think it becomes even more important to develop habits that keep you sort of on track with with those. And I don't want to just say, like positive thinking. It's so much more than that. It it's a lifelong dedication to building habits that are healthy. And and like I said, it's, you know, some some months it's my habits are very poor. But I know what I need to go back to to kind of ground myself and get back in the groove. And so I think that's where, you know, it's trial and error. Like a simple example is, you know, I hate taking vitamins like pills, you know, and I could never get a good routine going with that.

Darsi Casey: [00:20:21] And so I kept just exploring different options. And I finally found an option where it's like a little machine and it it dispenses it dispenses a powder and then some water and it shakes it up and you take it like a shot. And and so that's been a you know, as far as taking vitamins as a habit, that changed that whole thing dynamic for me, because I do it every day now, because it's so easy. And I, you know, I can tolerate it. So it's just little things like that where, you know, I'm always just trying to find like the best way to to incorporate those good habits where they will stick. And it's you know, it makes it it makes it easy. And, you know, because we all get decision fatigue from all the things we have to do all day long. So finding those little things and and like I said, it's just really trial and error and self-education because I think a lot of times people want to be told what to do and how their life is, how they can make their life better or what they, you know, are like going to the doctor. They want an answer and a pill and this and that. And I feel like I look at life as it's your responsibility, it's your life. You have to determine what's going to work for you. And a lot of times it's just trial and error.

Heidi Henderson: [00:21:33] I, I couldn't agree with you more. And I think that's pretty amazing that you've continued to commit to that continual learning. I think evolving. And it's the same as business owners. You know, we constantly have to adapt and evolve to changing environments. And if we continue to do that personally, it's amazing how we can kind of continue to grow. Okay, so you mentioned lots of books you like to read on different topics. So from a personal perspective of kind of what you've learned? Is there one book that stands out that you would recommend is kind of one of the most personally impactful books you read?

Darsi Casey: [00:22:06] And, you know, I think books are interesting because. Depending on when in your life you're reading something you can. It can have different meaning and you see different things in it. And I would say so. I mean, there's a lot of really great books out there, but I would say the one is kind of a funny story, and I don't know if you know, like you've seen movies like, I don't know, 17 again or maybe Freaky Friday also falls in that category. But there's like the unknown janitor that nobody else sees that gives some weird advice and then you never see them again. And, you know, and then you're trying to struggle with the meaning of it throughout, you know? So we had an experience. I was in Florida with my business partner and another staff, and and we were we had gone to see the client and then we were at the bar afterwards and we were talking and this guy, he wasn't in the bartender. I think he was like the bar back. We were talking about something and you kind of like pops up and he says, Read the book, The Vortex. It will. It changed my life. It'll change yours, too. And so long story short, I read that and it just at that point in my life, it was really impactful. And so I always that that's the one that always comes top of mind to me.

Heidi Henderson: [00:23:22] Amazing. Okay, that's one that I haven't read. So I'm adding it to my, my playlist. I always end up on audio books. I drive a lot. So. Yeah. Okay. That's interesting. I'm fascinated by that. And I agree with you. I feel the same thing. Like I read a lot of books and it's strange because sometimes I'll pick up a book and it doesn't quite resonate and I don't finish it. And then for some reason I'll, I'll pick it back up, you know, a year or two years or sometime down the line, and then all of a sudden it's it hits home. So sometimes, you know, it correlates to what we're dealing with at that moment. And I agree that, you know, it resonates at different times with what we're going through. But that's interesting. So I'll I'll I'll read it and let you know what I think.

Darsi Casey: [00:24:06] Yes. Another one, it was not even really I guess it's not really a health cell, you know, like improvement type or book. But I on Audible Shantaram, I don't know if you've ever read that. It's an amazing it's very long, but it's very well read if you're listening to it on Audible.

Heidi Henderson: [00:24:26] What how is that spelled?

Darsi Casey: [00:24:28] Or it's s h a n t a r am I Shantaram?

Heidi Henderson: [00:24:35] Oh, interesting. Okay. Yeah. Okay. There's another one. Perfect. I have some audible credits I need to use, so. Okay, now I have two, so I'll let you know how those go. Okay. So back again to one other question as it relates to then kind of your your fitness practices, I like what you're saying about you kind of change it up. And I think this is so fascinating because I think you and I are I feel like we're very similar in a lot of these ways, which I think is very cool because I really look up to you. I have a lot of respect for you, Darcy, and I do the same thing. I get really bored, so I changed up all the time, constantly doing something different and I feel like that's good, you know, for our bodies anyway, you know, to build muscle to flexibility, endurance, you know, all those different things. What I want to ask you about specifically, especially for listeners, is hot yoga. So I do hot yoga at times as well, you know, only like once a week or something. You know, it's really good, kind of especially like yesterday I did a weight day, so I'm kind of sore and it's a great way to just kind of work it out in my system. But I feel like hot yoga has a. Certain persona about it or, you know, people think hot yoga and I don't know, at least it's just me. I envision like, you know, this guy with nothing on but like, you know, little Speedo shorts in a hot, sweaty room, pouring sweat all over. And it's just really disgusting and nasty. And why would anybody want to do that? And I feel like it can be really intimidating for people to think about, you know, especially if they've never done yoga, to think, hey, I'm going to go to this yoga studio and do yoga if they've never done that. So I don't know if you it's something you've done for a long time and maybe you're comfortable with it, but what would you share with listeners to to, I guess, counterbalance those fears a little bit?

Darsi Casey: [00:26:28] Well, I've been doing hot yoga on a regular basis for probably eight years. Eight or nine years. And, you know, even though, like I said, I do like to mix it up and I do other types of exercise, I believe I'll do this for the rest of my life. And it's it's kind of my church, you know, it's it's so you're able to get on your mat and just be in your own head, but be present in that moment because you're concentrating on what you're doing. And it's so cleansing. I mean, and yeah, I mean, we we sometimes will joke, you know, in class that people will be like, Oh, you go to yoga. Oh, that's nice. You do some stretches and it's like, No, it's intense. But you also shouldn't fear it because that I've never been and I've gone to a lot of yoga studios. In fact, one of the things I like to do because I travel a lot, being on the Aleut board and all over the world is I like to go to yoga class in every city that I visit. And it's in particular, I like to go. I've been to at least six different classes in different languages where they're teaching the class in a different language.

Darsi Casey: [00:27:39] So it's kind of a cool little hobby that I do when I'm traveling. And like I said, I like to try to at least hit one class when I'm when I'm out of town in a different town. And I can tell you there has never been a studio where they aren't completely welcoming and and they'll ask, you know, have you been to class before? And if they haven't, they'll ask, you know, do you have any injuries or do you have any questions? And they always tell you, you know, if you feel like you can't do it, you just lay down on your back. You know, savasana is fine. You can do that all class. You know, it is. And so I feel like it shouldn't be intimidating because the communities are so welcoming. And like I said, I've never been in a in a studio, you know, foreign or domestic, where people were just very willing to help you in any way. That's kind of what it's all about. So I would not be intimidated at all.

Heidi Henderson: [00:28:37] That's amazing. Well, I'm not going to invite myself, but for the record, next time we go to Aleut, I would love to go with you, if you don't mind company. But like I say, don't feel obligated. But I would love to go and. And I'll second that. I mean, I've been one like I've worked out most of my life. I was a college athlete, but I was never a gym person. So gyms of any type are terrifying to me. I'm one that I don't like to feel like I'm being looked at in any capacity ever. And so the gym environment is really, really terrifying. And that includes yoga studios. And, you know, you're sitting here doing this thing in front of mirrors, and it's really uncomfortable for for me to feel like, oh, gosh, there's mirrors. And I last thing I want to do is sit here and look. But it's really interesting because I'm always it's inspiring to me that when I'll go to a class, there is, you know, a mix of of men and women typically pretty even mix people of all different body types and body styles and sizes and everything else. And the other thing is, once I get in there and I lay on my mat and I begin, it's to your point, it's like you get into this focus where I don't even see another person. It's not really, Yeah, see anyone else. So, you know, if that's just to say, if we can inspire one single person who listens to this to maybe try it, I'll encourage you that nobody's looking. Nobody is seeing.

Darsi Casey: [00:30:07] You, Nobody's looking, nobody's judging. You know, everybody's there likes for their own reasons. And and what's really great about it is one of the things that you learn is many things that you learn or, you know, just kind of patience and and, you know, someday, even if you go all the time, some days are harder than others. Some days you can't balance at all. And some days you're right on point, you know. And so you realize that in this space and this time this is what you have to work with. And that's okay. And that's much like. Life in general. Right? So the idea is that you take all these things, you learn about yourself in that space and you apply it to the rest of your life. Mm hmm.

Heidi Henderson: [00:30:54] Absolutely. I, I completely agree. So then now, shifting gears, how have you been able to apply those practices to your your CPA practice?

Darsi Casey: [00:31:07] You know, I think one of the things is just that patience. I mean, I've always been a pretty good listener, but it it helps, you know, especially in if you run into situations where somebody is upset or, you know, there's something controversial or, you know, that it really helps to just to just breathe, you know, breathe, listen, try to understand what they're going through, what they're saying, and not not react. And like we were talking about earlier, you know, just being able to sort of design your life, you're not going to be able to control everything that comes your way, but you can certainly control how you respond to it. And and I say respond because that's the planning, that's the practice that and you put all this in place, You're you're responding, you're not reacting. And I think there's a big distinction between those two. And I think there's a big distinction on the impact that those those two ways we can deal with things impacts you from a health standpoint. I really do. And I feel like a lot of the you know, there are so many cases of people with anxiety and depression and, you know, that's always been around.

Darsi Casey: [00:32:19] But it's definitely something that we're seeing much more now than ever. And I think that's a response to all of the, you know, the inputs that are coming our way, the data that, you know, it's just everything's moving so fast. The technologies, the news that, you know, all the things that are thrown at you all day long, your emails, your your chats, you're this you, that, I mean it it can drive you over the edge if you if you allow it to. But, you know, I just like for me I don't have notifications turn on and all those different things. You know there's a couple of things that I have, but, you know, I just don't allow it to take me all those things to take my focus because it's already challenging enough, you know, dealing with, you know, people calling and people within the workplace needing things and that it if you can't focus for more than 5 minutes, you're going to feel overwhelmed.

Heidi Henderson: [00:33:14] Yeah, absolutely. So as far as looking at the challenges we face from that perspective, what are some of the opportunities that you've discovered through kind of overcoming those challenges?

Darsi Casey: [00:33:26] I guess it's just the opportunity to, like I said, design your own life. It's a real thing and you can do it. It's it just takes practice. And I think, you know, you have to push away the urge to to respond to everything that pops up because you're never going to get there. It's if you can't focus, you know, whether it's focusing on what you want out of life or focusing on a project, it's, you know, so I think that's an opportunity. If you're struggling with something a particular or not, your life isn't going the way you want or your career or you've got a problem you can't solve. If you can just kind of push out all the noise and be able to singularly focus on what it is that you feel you need to solve that problem. I feel like that's an opportunity, but I think so many people, especially, you know, the younger generation that's been raised in this environment, you know, cell phones and constant pinging, that it's an addiction. I mean, it's you know, if you study, you know, those sorts of things, that's that's what it's meant to be. Right. You know, all of these things are meant to get you to participate in whatever platform they're selling. And so it actually, you know, having somebody like something or kamie or whatever, you know, it secretes a chemical in the brain that basically says, I like this, this is good, you know, But over time, that really is not healthy. And if you're not getting what you want out of your career or life or, you know, or have a problem you feel like you can't solve, I say the opportunity is to shut all those things down and really start thinking about what you what you do want, not what you don't want. Hmm.

Heidi Henderson: [00:35:09] I think that's huge. Yeah, that's. It's such a great point. And yeah, I mean, I think social media, I think the notifications, even on emails, I mean, controlling that stuff does provide the opportunity to kind of empower oneself again, to really focus on what matters.

Darsi Casey: [00:35:27] Yeah. And using those platforms as tools rather than having them run you.

Heidi Henderson: [00:35:34] Hmm. Oh my gosh. Yeah, that's a great point. So I would imagine that. You deciding to start your own firm? As a I should know this statistic, but maybe you do. Pretty sure there are not very many women run CPA firms. Most firms are run by predominantly male. And not only are you a partner, but you've started your own firm with your your other partner who is also a woman. So tell me a little bit about what motivated you guys to to do that. And then also kind of two part question what some of those challenges were with doing that. I mean, that that had to be a little scary. So I feel like you're you're pretty powerful to have come up with that, to be determined to do that and to have accomplished what you've accomplished. So I'm so fascinated by that.

Darsi Casey: [00:36:24] So again, it kind of the events unfolded that that led us here. I think one point to make is that when you just like in a romantic relationship, when you enter into a partnership, I feel like the key components that you need to have in common are you have to you have to share the same values and have similar work ethic. I think those two things. My co founder, Nikki and I, we are very different people. Like we can go into meeting and come out and we have a completely different perspective on what just happened and, you know, and that that can be helpful. You know, it's complimentary, but sometimes you can head over that as well. But I think if you have those foundational components of shared values and work ethic that can carry you through those differences, you know, when they're not when they're not synchronized or complementary. So I think that's the key. And that's kind of what led us here is and, you know, to want to disparage anybody, and that's not the point. But, you know, we found ourselves in a situation where so I was in a situation where I just felt like there were some things that didn't align with my values and how I realized that was, you know, I was I've always loved what I do, excited to get up and, you know, do my job and go to work.

Darsi Casey: [00:37:43] And I found myself waking up with my stomach hurt. I just, you know, just felt like something was happening that wasn't in alignment with who I was. And I could feel it in my body physically. And so long story short, you know, that went on for a while. And it was one of the scariest because I was a partner in another firm prior. And one of the scariest things was to, you know, to break that apart and and leave that firm and lead that partnership. But, you know, at the end of the day, you know, we just kind of split the sheets, have the staff have the clients. You know, it was kind of a 5050 deal. And while it was it was one of the scariest things that I ever did. I couldn't not do it. It's like there's no way I could have stayed in that situation just for me personally. So while it was scary, it was necessary. And then, you know, once we made that decision, it was actually really exciting.

Darsi Casey: [00:38:40] Like there was no fear after that point. You know, we already had I'd already been practicing for 20 years, close to 20 years. So, you know, I had a client base and, you know, when we opened up our doors here, you know, we were literally having, you know, the last bit of carpet put down and things happening while we're opening our doors. And we always laugh about, you know, Nikki would say, well, you know, CCH isn't going to be able to convert that out. And I'm like, No, no is not an option. You know, it has to be done by this date or we're going to find somebody else. And so we just it was just literally like, you know, take no prisoners. This is happening. If you can't do it, we'll find somebody else to do it and, you know, is not an option. And and that was it. And it's been you know, there really hasn't been any scary times to speak of financially since we started. And I think that just speaks to, like I said, both of our work ethic. You know, we just we just work hard and we feel like that's, you know, that's part of the deal.

Heidi Henderson: [00:39:43] Well, kudos to you because, again, I mean, that's I am conservative and we very much kind of accounting. Also. The other thing I was going to tell you is I also studied marketing, graduated with a degree in marketing and then sort of ended up later going back and getting a master's in tax and moving into accounting. So so I think that's a good perspective and that probably, I would assume, helped you with starting your firm because you have just kind of that marketing mindset, a little bit of background to kind of guide you down that path. But regardless of the knowledge, it's still one of the scariest things to take that leap of faith and to to branch out in that. So again, I think it's been phenomenal and I think your perspective and how you work with clients is amazing, which is why I've referred clients to. I hope to refer more because I always tell people that you are fantastic at what you do. So one interesting question I have is. So what do you know now that you wish you knew when you were 20?

Darsi Casey: [00:40:45] Oh, I don't know. Like I said, I just I've always been such an optimist that I feel like and I don't I don't feel like that's a bad way to be, you know? I feel like that's kind of the energy bringing in what you what comes back to you. I don't know. I can't really think of anything specifically. I feel like it's just, you know, it's all a journey. And I guess I've always known that. And I think, you know, maybe it's just because of the fact of how we grew up and just bouncing around all the time. You know, I feel like I was an old soul at an early age. And so maybe that's why I can't really think of anything.

Heidi Henderson: [00:41:31] That's a that's okay. I think it's you know, it's reflective, too, of just kind of your your internal journey of growth. So a little bit on that same note with a different spin, though, is if you were talking with a young person who was thinking about public accounting as a career path, what would you say to them in terms of, you know, what they would face in this industry?

Darsi Casey: [00:41:55] I think that, like I said earlier, you know, you've got to love it or you're going to hate it eventually. So, you know, making sure that it's not only the right that accounting is not only the right profession, but that public accounting is the right fit. And you know what? I get it that people have to come in and try it to to see if they're going to like it, you know, And sometimes they don't. But I also, like I was saying earlier, what I would tell them and what I would tell anybody in any profession is to really spend time reflecting on what it is you want, you know, what do you want out of your life. And that changes over time, right? So that's why it's good to always be self evaluating, because the more clear that you can be about that, then the more likely you're going to get it. I know that sounds so obvious, but but I think a lot of times people are not happy with where they're at or they feel like they haven't received what they've, you know, what they deserve or things like that. But, you know, if you can clarify that and be clear with the people that you work with, that those are the things that you want because they can help pave the pathway for you, you know, But when when you're uninsured, then so is everyone else. So I just feel like it's, you know, and it's not it's not as easy as it sounds to do. But that's the advice I do give people all the time is, you know, to really give some thought to what it is they're they're wanting to do with their life. And and you how you got it. You know, there's trial and error involved in everything. And you know, you you start something and it doesn't work out and that's okay And that's part of the process as well. But I think just being honest and communicating with people, especially if you're you know, if you're an employee, the more communication and honesty that you can bring to the table, you're going to get that back.

Heidi Henderson: [00:43:47] Absolutely. Yeah. And to your point, I think it it isn't that easy sometimes to say what we want, because sometimes, especially I feel like with young people, there are so many options and so many opportunities that it's almost it's almost debilitating because, you know, there's so many things in front of us that it can be scary. And sometimes it even feels like we're pigeonholing ourselves if we say, This is what I want. Some people, you know, I know people who, you know, in high school are like, This is what I want. This is my goal. And they just they hit that path and they run. But others, you know, it is absolutely a journey of of, you know, trying things, evolving, maybe feeling we want something and then realizing maybe not, you know, and kind of evolving that process. And and I appreciate what you're saying and agree that, you know, reinventing ourselves is not a bad thing.

Darsi Casey: [00:44:38] No. And, you know, we've got do this coaching that I do. I mean, we've got people who, you know, they're they're struggling with deciding whether they want to stay in public accounting. And and, you know, we help them transition to other jobs, you know, so and, you know, maybe every employer isn't that open minded. But but you might be surprised, you know, and I think I think honesty is really important. And like I said, it kind of goes to those core values and the things that will really carry through life. And, you know, sometimes you're dealing with people that maybe don't have your you're not in alignment. And I feel like you can as you as you define yourself more, you'll also be able to identify more quickly and more clearly when you're not in alignment. Hmm.

Heidi Henderson: [00:45:27] Wow. Well, I think that's kind of powerful because to your point, it's very much like yoga. And you find that center and you find your balance. And you mentioned that earlier in your previous position where you started to feel physically sick, physically, you were feeling like you were off and and not kind of aligned or. Following that path. And I mean, that's pretty powerful because, you know, not everyone feels that or a lot of us, I think, push that aside or bury you and we push that down. Yeah. And and push through it instead of listening to that. And I think it's amazing that you have listened to that and push through and in your success again, has been very inspiring. So before we wrap up for our listeners who are not seeing our cameras, Darcy has her dog Jaxon, who she has this beautiful white couch behind her. It's gorgeous couch. And Jaxon is a black dog and he's been sleeping on the couch most of the podcast. He is adorable. Tell us a little bit about Jaxon. For those guys who can't see him.

Darsi Casey: [00:46:36] There's so much to tell. He's like, He's my soul mate. I think I know he I adopted him when he was eight weeks old. He was a rescue and I thought it was adopting a little black lab. And within a year he started showing some aggression. And long story short, I had him several years and he had he had tried to bite off several people. And and I you know, I started questioning whether it could handle this dog. You know, was it fair? Because he needs a lot of exercise. And and then, you know, I just thought, well, you know, I in a me thinking, can I handle this dog? This does a very traumatic thought to me because, you know, he's been with me a long time and but I wanted to do what was fair to him. I never wanted to see him be his life be jeopardized. But him being put down or something like that. So, long story short, I got him in when he was six years old. I got him into board and train and it was supposed to be like a couple of weeks. It ended up being eight weeks. And where she kept him because she was, you know, can't teach an old dog new tricks kind of thing. But she was a great trainer.

Darsi Casey: [00:47:48] And and then they also train you as the owner and train you how to utilize tools so that you can introduce them to new people and, you know, make sure he stays safe. Everybody stays safe. So since then, we haven't had any problems. I know. I know what to do with him. And and so and what she had told me was the deal you make with him is that, you know, he he must listen to you. But in exchange, you're not going to let anybody go into his space without his permission. And that's worked out well. And so, I mean, we go as much as I can. I take him everywhere with me. We do road trips. We I'm going down to San Diego for three weeks renting a house down there in December. And he comes with me. And we just recently in August, we went, I've always wanted to go backpacking and I've never done it because I didn't know what was all involved. And I had some friends who invited me, a couple of girlfriends. And so the three of us girls and Jackson, we hit the trails of the Ruby Mountains and Elko, and we went backpacking for several days. And what an amazing journey. And he had his own backpack as well. Yeah.

Heidi Henderson: [00:49:02] That's awesome.

Darsi Casey: [00:49:03] So, yeah, he's he's definitely, you know, just kind of like part of me. I mean, we're we're definitely attached. So animals are great. If you've got an animal in your life, you're lucky.

Heidi Henderson: [00:49:16] Yeah, absolutely. I am 100% in agreement and I'm inspired. I was like, I wonder if I could fit a couch back here behind me because I think that Bo needs to sleep right here behind me, and he'll be out on my zoom calls. I freaking love that. So how very cool. Well, Darcy, I'm so glad we got this chat. And thank you so much for coming on and kind of sharing your story, because I know sometimes it's a little awkward to just kind of open up your your heart and who you are as a person. But, you know, as I mentioned, I really respect you and I've kind of seen that light in you and that you've really made sure to commit to yourself, both physically and mentally, as well as running a successful firm. And I think it's inspiring. And, you know, hopefully what you've shared can be helpful for other people. But I'm very appreciative for you coming on. And again, thank you so much. And why don't you share your contact information for anyone who'd be interested in in reaching out to you? What's your maybe your website address?

Darsi Casey: [00:50:17] It's Casey Nealon. So c h s e y and I alone dot com.

Heidi Henderson: [00:50:25] Perfect. Yeah. So if anybody's interested in visiting her website or contacting Darci or her team, if you need any assistance in that area or really in any more, it doesn't even matter virtually. They really have a wonderful firm. Last question, actually, I didn't really focus on what your specialty is. Is there a particular client or specialty that you feel like you really shine and people that you could help?

Darsi Casey: [00:50:50] You know it there is it's not necessarily industry driven, although we do do a lot of real estate and trust work and kind of estate planning that realm. But really at the heart of all of that are what we call serial entrepreneurs. So they're crazy people who have multiple businesses that are running a million miles a minute and they're really looking for, you know, a team of people that are people that can be on their team to help advise them in real time. And so, you know, that that that's the shortest version of it. But yeah, and again, like a lot of practitioners don't take on that type of work because it's just a lot but or it's it's not as focused as as it could be if you're just doing tax returns and but but in general we, we don't like to just do a tax return. We feel like that's kind of an after the fact product and transactional. And so we we really look for clients who are looking for advice you know want a partner in that journey whether it be because of their businesses or and or you know there's family office, you know, there's groups of clients. So typically I work with a client who, you know, as a group maybe has ten or 20 different entities at a minimum entities or trusts or family members, you know, just they're all interrelated.

Heidi Henderson: [00:52:17] Oh, that's amazing. Okay. Well, that's that's really good to know because, you know, we certainly run into those. And if anyone listening, you know, has a need, again, I cannot speak highly enough about Darcey and her team. So with that, we will close. But again, Darcy, thank you so much for joining. It's been a pleasure.

Darsi Casey: [00:52:35] Thank you, Heidi. Thanks for having me.

Heidi Henderson: [00:52:37] Absolutely. We'll be talking with you soon. Thanks.

Creators and Guests

Heidi Henderson
Heidi Henderson
I am a Tax Consultant and Real Estate Investor, and podcast host of Healthy, Wealthy & Wise. I advise clients on the application of Tax Efficiencies relating to their investments both directly and indirectly. My education is in Accounting but my entrepreneurial spirit has led me through many business ventures. But I love finding money for people who didn't know it was there! Cost Segregation, 179D deduction, 45L credits, R&D tax credits, Historical Tax Credits, Conservation Easements, Opportunity Zones, Alternative Investments, and Captive Insurance are a few tools we can help you with. As the Executive Vice President and Board Member of Engineered Tax Services I help plan for growth and operational improvements internally, while working externally with investment minded individuals to optimize their investment. I also teach over 30+ Continuing Education courses annually to CPA's, Design Build Professionals and Real Estate Professionals across the U.S. If synergies are apparent, please send me a connection request and let's see how we can work together.
Darsi Casey, CPA, CFE, MST
Darsi Casey, CPA, CFE, MST
For someone who never would have thought the accounting profession could be exciting, after 30 years in the profession I have learned that the knowledge of understanding financial information allows you to assist people in countless ways (no pun intended!) I am a problem solver first and foremost and look forward to assisting our clients with complex issues. That is my passion.
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