About Gheen & Co., CPA, LLC
If you operate a franchise, you need a partner you can trust to help you make the right financial moves. At Gheen & Co., CPA, LLC, we are that partner. Far beyond the support of a traditional CPA firm, we create a relationship with franchisees that gives them what they need to grow their business and their personal wealth. As your CPA firm, we promise to do the heavy lifting on the financial side of your business so you’re free to focus on running it. From franchise accounting, bookkeeping, and budgeting to money-saving tax strategies, we’ll be in your corner every step of the way to control expenses and optimize profits for your business.
Ready to get started? Call (719) 626-4501 or request your free consultation online to find out how we can make your life easier and your business more successful.
Luke Gheen, MBA, CPA, Certified Tax Coach
“Who is a wise person? Who knows the solution to a problem? A person’s wisdom brightens his appearance and softens his harsh countenance.” --Ecclesiastes 8:1
This quote has both personal and practical implications and embodies my life’s pursuit. Practically – and in business - when people find real answers to problems, the discovery brings joy and relief. Personally, when a person finds true wisdom, he or she finds meaning and purpose.
My professional pursuits first led me into business education. I received both my undergraduate degree and my MBA in business finance. For quite a number of years, I worked in corporate finance for several large and small firms. Eventually I became the Controller for a high-tech manufacturing company and began to realize that I wanted to transition from the corporate world into a professional context where I could more directly apply my knowledge. I considered earning my PhD in Finance but soon realized that public accounting was a much better fit and would allow me to start a firm and work with small to medium sized business clients directly.
I started Gheen & Co., CPA, LLC in 2010. From the beginning, our emphasis has been on small to medium sized service-based businesses that we can serve with a system of tax planning, business planning, and advisory services. We have been diligent – passionate - about applying technology to the accounting and tax industry and have become a model firm of the future. I greatly enjoy seeing our employees grow and develop and am passionate about perfecting the system we have created, which serves both our employees and clients so well.
My wife and I have been married since 2002. We have four kids: three boys and a girl. We work diligently with them, just like I work to find solutions and improve life for our clients, employees, and myself. I am a life-long learner, a scholar, a Christ-follower. I love being outdoors during all four seasons of the year in central New York State. I am a reader. I am an avid rower – both indoor and outdoor. I greatly enjoy tackling the challenges of personal and professional life and helping people around me grow, develop, and flourish in every possible way.
Savannah Bunker, CPA, MST, Certified Tax Coach
"Passion is the log that keeps the fire of purpose blazing." - Oprah Winfrey
At the start of my career, I didn't envision my role within the accounting and tax industry to be as diverse and rewarding as it has become. Working with small business owners was the catalyst that kindled an unexpected passion within my professional career. I strive to not only address my clients' accounting needs but to get to know their business, learn who they are as individuals, not just as business professionals, and discover their priorities and goals. Taking this comprehensive, more holistic, approach to our engagement enables me to not only serve clients as an accountant, but as an advisor, a coach, and a friend.
I began my academic journey at Northern Michigan University, where I completed my undergraduate degree in Accounting/Corporate Finance. Soon after graduation, I successfully passed the CPA exam. Learning has been a lifelong passion of mine, and over the past seven years, I've completed two Master of Science degrees, one in Accounting at Southern New Hampshire University and another in Taxation through the Denver University Sturm College of Law. My accumulated knowledge and industry experience enable me to guide small business owners through the complexities of tax compliance and work with them to establish a strong, dynamic financial foundation that will help them achieve long-term success.
As the longest tenured employee at Gheen & Co., CPA, I've had the pleasure of establishing long-term working relationships with clients. My team and I work proactively with clients throughout the year and strive to foster collaboration and open communication on a regular basis. My unique strengths lie in designing and implementing Advanced Tax Plans, facilitating entity restructuring and buy/sell agreements, and managing my team to ensure all clients enjoy the maximum value our services can offer.
When I'm not working, I enjoy spending time with my husband and my daughter, hiking with my two dogs, and exploring our recently adopted state of Tennessee. After living abroad for three years, I'm an avid traveler; I always have my passport handy and am eager to add to my worldwide adventures.
Dann West, CFP®, Assistant Client Manager
“The money you make is a symbol of the value you create.” Idowu Koyenikan
Money is not the only symbol of created value, but I’m convinced it’s one of the least respected. In a world where money is so often abused in both its use and its accumulation, we are often tempted to see it as a necessary evil, but it’s been my experience that successful small businesspeople are some of the high moral agents of our day. As they create products and services that enhance the lives of their customers and create jobs for their employees, the wealth that creates is a celebration of the better world they are helping to make.
Thirteen years ago, I started a financial planning advisory business focused on helping individuals and businesses to reach their financial goals. As a Certified Financial Planning practitioner, I brought with me to Gheen & Co the knowledge and tools necessary to assist clients on their financial journey. Having walked that path with many friends and clients, I came to understand that it wasn’t just competency they were looking for. Everyone needs a guide, someone who they can go to when they are exasperated or confused by the complexity that life throws at them, especially the financial complexity of running a business. It has been my privilege to come alongside professionals to assist them with both empathy and competency as they wrestle with how to efficiently use and protect the blessing of their hard work and sacrifice; that is, their personal wealth. I know small business because I’ve run my own while advising clients on investment, debt management, college planning, insurance, and tax. Finances can be complicated and taxes especially so. I’ve found my calling at the side of those creators of wealth to simplify the complex, solve the confounding, and facilitate the creative force of the small businessperson with financial solutions.
When I’m not working, I refill my batteries raising my four daughters, cycling, reading, writing, and enjoying my church family. I also like pie.
Jessica McCaffrey, Practice Manager
“For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare, not for woe, plans to give you a future full of hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
I am a planner by nature, so this resonates strongly with me. My personal and professional life have not always gone according to my plan; however, the plans of my life have provided many challenges and opportunities, which have resulted in immeasurable growth. I have no doubt there will continue to be many interruptions to my plans, which will be the best laid plans.
My passion has always been working with and helping people, both personally and professionally. This desire has taken me into people’s homes, classrooms, offices, and even the great outdoors to help others grow and thrive. It led me on my academic journey - earning my Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology. Additionally, my personal skills (being a good communicator, highly organized with great attention to detail and managing my time well) have been positive assets when helping others. I have enjoyed being part of and leading dynamic teams, coordinating and implementing high need responsibilities, and balancing the demands of multi-tasking while providing high quality care and services to others.
At Gheen & Co., CPA, LLC I enjoy working with a dynamic team with a focus on maximizing each individual’s strengths, thus enhancing performance, productivity, and efficiency. I also highly value and look forward to the time I spend with clients. I enjoy getting to know each client and how to best meet their needs, providing a positive experience for each of them, and adding value to their life. When I am not working, I enjoy spending my time with my four children, reading, baking, and cooking. I also enjoy outdoor activities and being in nature.
Aileen Joy Bantugon, CPA
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” Mark Twain
This quote has been something that I’ve been holding onto since way back in the early years of my undergraduate program to help me start and keep going. It gives me the drive to push through life. Ideas and dreams are easy, but the execution part always ties someone down. Only by taking initiative and action will those ideas and dreams come to life. So, I believe that by simply starting and doing the best you can in the moment, one-step-at-a-time will make a big difference in reaching your goals.
My professional career began when I landed my first job at KPMG Philippines as an External Audit Associate. I handled various clients from the financial services division. After my journey in the PH public practice, I worked as a US Tax Accountant at a US firm headquartered in California which has a Philippine branch. There, I first learned and experienced US income taxation and other things that accompany it. Afterwards, I joined an Australian BPO company where I served as a US Tax Supervisor overseeing indirect taxes for their US accounts. Through my accumulated knowledge, experiences, and continuous learning, I am hoping to contribute to the goals of the company and be able to efficiently help our clients meet the demands of tax compliance.
I enjoy working in an environment where people are proactive and help each other grow -- professionally and personally. I like sharing ideas and information to continuously stimulate minds and learn unceasingly. When I have free time, I take pleasure in exploring nature, reading, listening to good music, and binge-watching.
Kervee Punzalan, CPA
During my early career, I was employed with various local companies of different industries doing bookkeeping, financial reporting, and taxation. This is where I solidified my knowledge on the Accounting and Financial Reporting side of the accounting field. After six years of working locally in the Philippines, I started to work for a US company. The first one was with an e-commerce business where I first learned how to do basic US taxation, and then I worked for several US tax firms where I gained more knowledge on US tax law.
There are two things that I have learned throughout my career. The first one is the old military principle called KISS that was taught to me which means to simplify things rather than make them complex and focus on those things that adds value. I try my best to apply this ever since I learned this principle. The second is to work carefully with the financial matters of the client as if it was your own, as a small mistake can cause a lot of misfortune.
Anna Baca, Senior Client Manager
“Life's most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others?” Martin Luther King, Jr.
This quote by Martin Luther King, Jr. has always spoken to me. Throughout my life I have always sought to help people. Personally or professionally I’m always looking for ways to assist people in any way I can. Whether it’s helping a friend by lending a listening ear or helping an older family member, doing something most of us find easy to do, I find joy in being there for them.That is what life's all about. Making special memories in service to others.
In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, watching movies, eating out, hiking, looking at fashion magazines, watching makeup tutorials, photography, dancing (even if it’s just in my kitchen - but shhh, don't tell my daughter I told you), traveling, and sometimes just relaxing while watching a good old fashioned murder mystery by myself. My purpose in life is being there for those that need me the most; my mom and teen daughter (she's 17 going on 35). She keeps me grounded, focused and has been my greatest inspiration in life. I absolutely love meeting new people and I am super friendly. That is what happens when you grow up in a small town and have a huge family. Let me not forget about our two little dogs, Oreo and Colt. They give us so much joy and laughter. They have the funniest little (big) personalities.
Professionally, I am currently working on my MBA and am extremely passionate about accounting and tax while helping people find real solutions to mitigate tax liability and adding value to their business. It is extremely satisfying and rewarding to help clients with accounting and tax related questions, so that they can get back to doing what they do best (their business). At the end of the day, that is what it's all about anyway - helping people and serving wherever I am needed! I look forward to getting to know and helping each one of you.
Sydney Kassuba, Assistant Client Manager
Life is all about opportunity. I began my secondary education with a one-track mindset of completing my undergraduate in Criminal Justice and joining the workforce to start helping people. When I graduated from Ferris State University with a Bachelor’s degree, I immediately began working for the Michigan court system as a public servant. After I discovered I care about helping others a little too much to be employed in the justice system, I started looking for other opportunities to help people as a career. Although my time in the professional field has been short thus far, I have discovered what I am passionate about and how I want to use my skills. Through a series of fortunate events, I found Gheen & Co and discovered our interests aligned.
While I navigate my way through the public accounting field, I am confident my interpersonal skills and work ethic will help me successfully assist clients throughout their tax endeavors. Coming from a small business family, I truly grasp the importance of small business and entrepreneurship in the United States and I’m looking forward to working with clients as motivated as I am.
When I’m off the clock, I participate in almost all things the Northern Michigan outdoors has to offer. Between kayaking, fishing, ORV riding, snowmobiling, and hunting, I enjoy staying busy…and my trusty dog Ozzy is never too far behind me.