Brad Congleton is not just an average CPA; he is “the CPA on 30A.”
And he is celebrating 10 years under that title, which he has earned due to his loyal clients.
“I just want to thank everyone for their support,” said Congleton, adding that his constant customers helped propel his business toward the success that it is today. “I want to thank everybody, all of my clients, future and past.”
On Oct. 1, Congleton marked 10 years serving the South Walton area from his headquarters in Uptown Grayton Plaza.
“It’s like a small town post office,” said Congleton of the hustle and bustle. “Everybody who comes here knows each other. It’s really old school.”
Clients are embodied with that same relaxed feeling when they walk into Congleton’s office, situated above Little Italy Restaurant. The office is comfortable with a mix of antique and modern furniture that makes it feel like a family living room. "I have found that people hate doing taxes and find it very stressful. I try to instill a feeling of calm and try to de-stress people when doing their tax returns,” Congleton emphasizes.
“It’s very casual,” said Congleton, adding the office atmosphere is just mirroring the area. “I like it here, it’s a really relaxed place to live.”
In the past decade, Congleton has watched the area emerge as a tourist-drawing travel destination from its less-developed state.
“It’s grown with me,” he said, recalling the days before Walmart and when the closest grocery store was 15 miles west.
Congleton has been living in South Walton since before he brought his business to 30A, but he has been a local Northwest Florida resident for more than 30 years. He moved to the area with his parents, Roger and Sandra, when he was in high school. Aside from a few jaunts in his early adult years, he has not left the area since.
Congleton credits his parents with not only bringing him “home” but also for helping lay a foundation for his success.
“I wouldn’t be who I am right now if it wasn’t for them,” the 1981 Choctaw High grad said.
After high school, Congleton attended the University of West Florida and graduated with an accounting degree in 1991. He then worked in the title insurance industry at Acquire Corporation in Destin. After a few years there, Congleton made good on a goal he had set for himself in 1989.
“… to have my own CPA firm,” said Congleton, who received his CPA certification in 2000. Shortly thereafter, he came to 30A, and the rest is history.
Congleton’s client base has grown with the area, and between his new and old customers, Congleton stays busy throughout the year, especially during tax season.
He said he spends between 11 to 12 hours working per day during the weeks leading up to the tax deadlines. Though he prepares both corporate and personal tax returns, Congleton offers much more than that. The operation provides a wide range of services to local clients that include payroll, business accounting, financial statement preparation, homeowners' association accounting, estate and retirement planning, and corporation and limited liability company formation.
Congleton says these services allow his clients to regain their free time.
“If you work during the day and then at night you have to do accounting for your business, then you need to ask yourself: ‘how much time do you spend doing that?’ ” said Congleton. “Your free time … it’s very valuable."
“You take care of running the business and I’ll take care of how much you are making and the tax planning,” Congleton said he tells clients. “You can call me any time, I don’t have any qualms about answering calls after hours.”
Because in the end, it’s all about those who have through the years helped him not just persevere in business, but thrive.
“We’ve had an oil spill, hurricanes, and a fire … and I’m still the CPA on 30A,” said Congleton. “It’s all about the clients to me … I’ve grown fond of these people.”
Visit Brad Congleton at his office at 50 Uptown Grayton Circle, Suite 15, call 850-231–0599, or email at email@example.com