Welcome New Partners

We’re thrilled to announce Ashley Kerzman and Kayla Backes as two new partners to the firm! Ashley is a proven leader in her dedication to our clients and unwavering commitment to firm administration while Kayla brings a wealth of experience in the tax and accounting arena. 

As a CPA partner, Kayla will be instrumental in driving innovation, developing client relationships and ensuring the delivery of high-quality services that meet the evolving needs of our clients. Ashley brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise around directing the day-to-day operations of Landwehr Tax & Accounting, implementing processes to better serve our team AND our clients, and is instrumental in driving firm culture.

Cherie Landwehr believes that bringing on new partners means infusing the company with new ideas, energy and enthusiasm.  “It’s extremely important to me to pass ownership privileges on to the next generation while there is still time to mentor and grow these new leaders.  More than ever, it’s important for small businesses to be healthy and thrive in these changing times. This new partnership keeps Landwehr Tax & Accounting relevant and impactful well into the next generation.”

As new partners, Ashley is excited about the partnership because, “I wholeheartedly believe that this company does incredible things! We have amazing co-workers and wonderful clients and I am excited to see what the future holds for us!” Likewise, Kayla is thrilled to join forces with two women who are great leaders and have a passion for their career and helping clients. “The three of us make a great team with our own strengths that benefit the company when joined together.”

Please join us in welcoming these two dynamic women to our leadership team!

You can connect Cherie, Ashley, Kayla, or any of our other incredible team members by scheduling an appointment with Landwehr Tax & Accounting today.

Meet Stefanie, Payroll Processor

Stefanie has been with Landwehr since fall of 2020 and is an integral part of the payroll department. Her passion for research has earned her the title of the “go-to” person for any type of research that needs to be done when new laws are passed, especially when it deals with payroll. “Stefanie has been the perfect addition to our team. Her calmness and go-with-the-flow attitude is unmatchable, especially during the hustle and bustle during tax-season,” reveals Ashley.

“My first venture into the bookkeeping/payroll world was over 20 years ago when I worked for the family trucking business. To say I didn’t know what I was doing was definitely an understatement,” chuckles Stefanie with a smile on her face. Through much trial and error, and patience and knowledge of a great accountant, Stefanie found her passion and obtained her bachelor’s degree in accounting.

After graduating college, Stefanie knew she wanted to work in a place where clients are more than just a number – a place where developing a working relationship and helping the client understand the “how and why” are just as important as the end result. “I consider myself blessed to have found that at Landwehr Tax & Accounting and am thankful to be part of a team that works together and appreciates the gifts each person brings to the table.”

In her down time, Stefanie enjoys spending time with her husband and their family, which consists of 5 children and 8 grandchildren at their home near Sauk Centre.

Meet Linda, Accountant

After leaving the public accounting industry for 2.5 years, Linda missed the work so much and decided it was time to get back into it. “She is extremely caring, down-to-earth and one of the most kind-hearted individuals we know. Her attitude, knowledge and desire to give it her all makes her the perfect fit and we are so lucky to have her,” exclaims Ashley, reflecting on a few of many reasons why everybody loves Linda.

Linda joined the Landwehr Tax & Accounting team in October of 2018. When asked what she likes most about her career at Landwehr working mostly with accounting and taxes she states, “I really enjoy the friendly atmosphere, the variety of work and the client focused core values of the company. I have worked in a variety of businesses over the years but truly enjoy my time in public accounting the most.”

Growing up in the small town of Freeport and graduating from Melrose High School, Linda chose to go to Moorhead State University where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1994. Later that year, Linda married Brian Gertken. They have lived on a farm in between Albany and Avon since and have raised their three children on the property. They have one daughter, Kiersten, and two sons, Brady and Tanner. They also have been blessed with three grandchildren: Gabriel, Addyson and Arya.

In Linda’s spare time she enjoys going for walks, spending time with family and friends, and finding refurbished antique projects to work on with her husband.

Learn tax strategies that could save you thousands!

The 2018 Tax Reform bill is the biggest tax law change since 1986 – and it’s GOOD for business! Landwehr Tax & Accounting has been gearing up to help businesses implement strategies that could help your company pay less taxes. Now is the time to plan to take advantage of these new opportunities.

Entity Choice:  revisit your Company’s entity configuration to make sure it is still the best choice under the new regulations.

Cash or Accrual:  tax law changes allows for greater flexibility on what accounting method is allowed for tax purposes.

Reasonable Compensation:  the new law puts this old concept back into relevancy…make sure your compensation is not too low, nor too high.

Individual Taxes:  changes on the individual side of tax law is also addressed during your planning service.

Year-end tax tips:  there are less than three months left to implement changes before the year is over…don’t wait!

Give us a call TODAY to schedule your appointment and see how the new tax law pertains to your business with our newly developed planning packages. Space is limited so call now before the year is over…we’re ready to help!

BASIC Package ($850)

Planning based on new tax law

  • Entity choice
  • Cash or accrual
  • Reasonable compensation to maximize QBI deductions
  • Impact on personal returns (for 1 shareholder)
  • Year-end tax tips

All-Inclusive Package ($1,250)

Everything from the BASIC package PLUS:

  • Past 3 years tax review
  • Observations on financial health of business

Meet Shawn Landwehr, Payroll Coordinator

“From reading business magazines and tuning in to what is going on with surrounding companies, I am a sucker when it comes to business,” says Shawn Landwehr, with a grin. Just get him talking on the subject and his passion for all things small business is evident.

As payroll coordinator for Landwehr Tax & Accounting, Shawn interacts often with our clients—many of which are small business owners. He says this is one of his favorite aspects of the job.

“I’m always asking questions and informing myself about our clients’ business operations,” he says. “I learn a lot from those conversations and I enjoy using that knowledge to help them.”

In addition to his entrepreneurial spirit, Shawn brings 17 years in retail management experience to his role at Landwehr. After studying supervisory management at St. Cloud Technical College, he worked at a local office supply store as the furniture sales lead and as the backroom coordinator and receiving supervisor at other retail stores.

“After all that time spent in retail, I was ready for a change,” he says. “Landwehr was growing and I wanted to work in a place where I could interact more directly with small business owners.”

Shawn—who has a tattoo on his right shoulder that says “Stay True”— believes strongly in living with honesty and integrity. These values, coincidentally, align with Landwehr’s company values – what a great fit!

When Shawn isn’t engulfed in a business magazine, you can find him spending time with his wife or working on his 2006 Pontiac GTO (cars – one of his favorite hobbies). He also enjoys playing with his new German Shepherd, Maya and Miniature Schnauzer, Snickers.

Meet Cherie Landwehr, Owner

Cherie Landwehr, Owner“I’m not your stereotypical accountant,” says Cherie Landwehr, laughing. “I do love spreadsheets and numbers, but I find even greater joy in the relationships I develop with my clients.

A certified public accountant (CPA) and certified financial planner (CFP) with over 25 years of experience, Cherie started Landwehr Tax & Accounting in 2006 with the heartfelt desire to serve others.

“Helping people achieve financial security in a way that feels good to them is our main goal,” Cherie shares. “Yes, it is our duty to complete our client’s taxes well, and we do. But, people come here because they can ask questions and never feel stupid.”

Cherie’s focus on connection and personal relationships isn’t the only way her company differentiates itself from others. Every year since 2006, Landwehr Tax & Accounting has earned the distinction of being Central Minnesota’s only Dave Ramsey Endorsed Local Provider for Tax Advice and Preparation.

“The first time I encountered Dave Ramsey’s book, Financial Peace Revisited, I read it from cover to cover in one day. His philosophy was so inspiring that I attended his debt counseling class in Nashville and began incorporating his ideas into my work with clients,” she says.

When Cherie’s not meeting with clients, crunching numbers or strategizing with her fast-growing team, you can find her reading, gardening, watching movies and spending time with her family at their home in St. Augusta, Minnesota.

There’s No Such Thing As Too Prepared

WhetLandwehr Tax & Accounting - Be Prepared for Your Tax Returnher you’re making a switch or working with the same provider as last year, your initial meeting will go more smoothly if you bring everything your tax preparer needs to file your complete tax return. These are some of the items people commonly forget.

Your long-term tax advisor should have your last year’s tax return on file. But, if you’re making a switch or you’re a DIYer getting professional tax help for the first time, you’ll need to bring this with you. Here’s why: if you had capital loss carryovers or paid income taxes with your state return during the previous year, you can deduct those items on this year’s return.

TIP: A brand new tax partner can also check to see whether credits or deductions were missed on your previous return. If that’s the case, they may be able to file an amendment and put some of your money back in your pocket—where it belongs.

You’ll need to know the amount of money you paid for the tabs you put on your license plates last year.

TIP: If you don’t remember, you can visit www.dmv.org and look up the amount by entering your driver’s license number.

Most people don’t take the time to track and record the items they give away, but these donations can save you money on your taxes. You’ll need to provide item descriptions, dates and relative values, as well as receipts from the charitable organizations.

TIP: Visit goodwill.org for the estimated fair market values of clothing, toys, furniture and more.

Those $10 and $15 donations you made throughout the year may seem insignificant, but they can really add up. Be sure to keep the receipts and bring them with you.

TIP: Create a digital or physical folder where you can place receipts for donations as you make them.

These expenses are easy to overlook and often missed. Some items that qualify include parking, business subscriptions, professional dues, union dues, supplies and business mileage (except your drive to and from work).

TIP: Smartphone applications, like MileIQ and Expensify can help you track business expenses automatically.

In Minnesota, you can deduct a variety of educational costs you pay during the year, like private school tuition, all-day kindergarten tuition, school supplies, tutoring and more.

TIP: Keep receipts from back-to-school shopping in the fall. Also, don’t forget to include educational hardware and software purchases.

If you’ve already completed your tax return for this year, you may want to brush up on these strategies that will make you happier at tax time next year.

If you’re searching for a trustworthy tax partner who can help you navigate the sometimes-complicated maze of taxes, accounting and finances, we’d love to hear from you! We have more than 25 years of experience preparing income tax returns for individuals, corporations, LLCs and partnerships.

Five Year-End Strategies That Will Make You Happier at Tax Time

Although the deadline for tax returns isn’t until April, the month of December is your last opportunity to make decisions that will positively influence your tax deductions and credits. We encourage our clients to consider these high-impact activities as the year comes to an end.

You’ve still got time. Get busy!

Fund your Health Savings Account (HSA).Landwehr Tax & Accounting - Make Tax Time Happier
HSAs offer a great opportunity to get a last-minute tax deduction. Many people are unaware they can add to the amount deposited by their employer or even start their own
account. You can contribute to your HSA by requesting a deduction from your paycheck or making a payment directly to your HSA administrator.

HSAs are beneficial for a few reasons. First, HSA funds are more accessible in a medical emergency than those in a 401k or IRA plan. Second, the earnings are tax-free if used for medical expenses. And lastly, anyone with a high-deductible health insurance policy qualifies—regardless of income. The contribution limits for 2016 are $3,350 for an individual and $6,750 for a family. People 55 or older can contribute $1,000 on top of these amounts.

Clean out your closets.
Most people have a lot of extra stuff cluttering up their homes and spaces. Now is the perfect time to donate it! You are allowed tax deductions for the fair market value of clothing, toys, furniture and other items you give away. Visit goodwill.org for estimated values. Create a list and assign values as you pack your donation boxes, so you don’t forget what you’re donating. Then, attach the dated, signed receipt you receive from your charity to that list and bring both to your tax appointment. A receipt is required; a photo is a good idea but optional.

Max out your employer retirement plan.
If you’re expecting a bonus this year, plan to put all—or a good chunk of it—into your 401k or SIMPLE plan at work. Check with your human resources department for requirements, and make sure you let them know your intentions before they’ve finished processing your bonus check. While individual IRAs can be funded all the way up to the April 15 deadline, employer accounts must be funded through payroll, which means before your last paycheck of the year is calculated.

Donate your required minimum distribution (RMD).
A relatively new tax law allows taxpayers over the age of 70 ½ to donate their RMD directly to a charity to avoid paying taxes on it. Special and specific rules apply, so call your tax advisor for details before initiating this transaction.

Offset some winners with some losers.
The IRS allows a $3,000 maximum capital loss each year that can be used to offset gains. For instance, if you have a stock with a $4,000 gain and another that will generate a $7,000 loss, you can use the loss to completely offset the $4,000 winner and still get a $3,000 loss deduction on your taxes. This applies to stock accounts outside of your retirement accounts, so plan accordingly and schedule a meeting with your financial advisor to get advice before selling.

If you’re searching for a trustworthy tax partner who can help maximize deductions, reduce tax errors and ease tax stress, we’d love to hear from you! We have more than 20 years of experience preparing income tax returns for individuals, corporations, LLCs and partnerships.

Meet Ashley Kerzman, Business Manager

Ashley Kerzman, Business Manager

Dedicated, passionate, friendly and focused—these are just a few of the ways we would describe one of our newest additions to the Landwehr Tax & Accounting team. Ashley Kerzman began her role as business manager in September 2016. Her responsibilities include managing project workflow, communicating with vendors, completing software updates, fostering team growth and much more.

“I really enjoy the variety,” Ashley shares. “From refining work processes to planning events, I coordinate every aspect of operations.”

Ashley’s experience, education and personality make her the perfect fit for this position. An obsessive organizer and extremely hard worker, Ashley possesses nearly six years of experience in operations and finance. She earned her bachelor’s degree in finance from St. Cloud State University while working full-time and starting a family.

Ashley’s passion for learning and willingness to try new things motivate her to push the business towards even greater efficiency and growth—and her colleagues are noticing.

“I am so excited to have Ashley on board,” says owner Cherie Landwehr. “She will make our client service even better by implementing forward-thinking ideas, seeing projects to completion and freeing up my time to spend with our clients.”

Outside of work, Ashley enjoys volleyball, softball, crafting, and nature walks with her husband Scott and children Kason, Brooklyn and Hannah.