President & Principal CPA
Michele Sweeten, CPA, CVA founded the Sweeten CPA accounting firm in 2000. With a focus on small businesses, Michele has leveraged years of tax and bookkeeping experience to render high-level advisory services for savvy clients expecting above-average results from their CPA/ financial partner. With clients in a wide array of industries including start-ups, construction, retail, professional services, and education, Michele specializes in mergers/acquisitions, transition planning, business valuations, post-tax net worth planning, GAAP-policy implementation, and unique tax issues difficult to solve. She leads a robust team of professionals, exceeding 25 members, creating community, inspiring excellence, and innovating processes that are forward-focused. As a hobby she creates mosaics with fractured pieces of colored glass, thrilled by the magical play that light graces such works in opportune moments.
Client Relations Manager
Jackie Sweeten is the Accounting Services & Client Relations Manager and she joined Michele in her business venture in 2003. Her diverse skill sets as a Tax Drafter, Legal and Executive Assistant in the corporate world, Escrow Secretary, Commercial Accounts Manager for various Savings and Loans throughout Texas, as well as being an entrepreneur, give her a fresh perspective new business owners are looking for to help guide them in the formation process for their new businesses and institute an accounting tracking system that best fits their needs. She is a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor who onboards all new accounting service clients with complete setup and training in QB desktop, QB online, and payroll. Lost your corporate status and need to reinstate? Time to terminate your entity with the Secretary of State? She is our specialist in these areas and will be happy to assist you! An avid hunter and empty-nester, she’s also making memories experiencing adventures on her bucket list!
Senior Accounting Analyst
Meredith Schrup is our Senior Accounting Analyst. She has worked with Sweeten CPA since 2003, is an expert in QuickBooks, and fluent in tax software. She has also headed diverse special projects such as designing detailed job costing systems, converting payroll systems, and reconciling QuickBooks POS to its QuickBooks retail companion. She is a ready and able consultant, whom we are grateful to have on our team. She has added to her original Bachelor of Arts the accounting courses that qualify for an accounting degree. A card-carrying cat lady, she recently added a chihuahua to the family and named her Miss Kitty, of course.
Senior Bookkeeping Team Lead
Christiana Schaefer joined the team as a bookkeeper in 2013. A Summa Cum Laude graduate of Texas State University, she enjoys a challenge and is ready to tackle any bookkeeping problem thrown her way. With experience in handling accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll, cash flow analysis, and preparing tax returns, she uses her knowledge to review, analyze, and keep every set of books running smoothly. She is Quickbooks Online and Xero certified and as a bookkeeping Team Lead, helps new bookkeepers learn the ropes, passing along her proficiency for time management, client relations, and efficiency. She’s also licensed to operate The Sorting Hat.
Bookkeeping Team Lead
With a degree in mathematics and a masters in accounting, Abigail has a love for numbers, patterns, and the organization of a beautiful and chaotic world. A CPA since the summer of 2021, she is an expert in evolving books from a state of default disorder to streamlined and informative financials, including the implementation of Sweeten CPA's standard Chart of Accounts for different industries, for which she was a driving force. She's an agent for change both internally at Sweeten and externally in her relationships with her clients. A compassionate team lead, she guides her bookkeepers in new skillsets and deeper understanding, always encouraging work-life balance and supporting their career goals. On the weekends, you can catch her on stage with her wildly successful band, Gaila Layne, performing her hit singles all over the world.
Ryan Rabinowitz began with us in 2015. He’s a heavy-hitter in both QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online. His superpower is speed, but he slows down quite well to collaborate with clients over the nitty-gritty details. His specialty is long, complicated, recurring processes, especially payroll journals and POS journals. He has a love of eating the world's hottest peppers. Are you strong enough for his dishes?
Sonya Howard joined Sweeten CPA in June of 2018. Prior to joining our team, she worked over 10 years as an office manager and bookkeeper for an industrial construction company. Prior to that she worked diverse roles for semiconductor companies for over 20 years. Working in various industries has provided Sonya with valuable experience that helps her serve a variety of clients. She earned her associate degree in Business Administration at Austin Community College and graduated from St. Edwards University with a bachelor’s degree in Applied Science. She is constantly learning and easy to work with! In her off time, you might catch Sonya on her four wheeler exploring the exotic ranch or on the lake having fun on the wave-runners.
MARY KATHRYN BIRKNER
Mary Kathryn Birkner knew from her high school days that she wanted to be—not an astronaut, not a ballerina—an accountant. She joined our team and immediately began expanding her skillset. She enjoys making things run smoothly and will grapple with finances until they are ironed out. Watch out third party software providers, because she will call until she gets answers!
John Falcon joined the firm at the beginning of Spring 2019. He is a born and raised Houstonian, but he’s called Austin home for nearly thirty years and is a proud UT alum. His friendly, welcoming personality helped him fit right in at Sweeten. With a background in business management and education, John is accustomed to creating structure and solving multifaceted issues. He appreciates the challenge of unraveling complicated bookkeeping matters and relishes giving clients the freedom to run their business as best they can. When John’s not getting books in order, he enjoys spending time with his three awesome kids, his mini Schnauzer, Leroy, and his two cats, Jay and Bey, as well as catching movies, watching the latest game, or listening to live music.
Lyndan Gann, a bookkeeper for Sweeten CPA, is thrilled to be a part of this brilliant team. Working alongside her Team Lead as well as various team members to ensure clean books, truthful reports, and seamless, excellent processes has become her new favorite thing. She has a passion for helping others and working behind the scenes to maximize the client experience. Her prior experience includes corporate executive assistant positions and business coaching. Outside of the office, Lyndan thrives as a counselor for a central Texas camp twice a year and volunteers with various ministries. While she loves people and meaningful connection, she also appreciates the value of a quiet night in, cozied up with a good book, coffee in hand. A born and raised Texan, she dreams of a day when I-35 is free of construction and all cars are equipped with seat warmers.
Jesse Gessel joined the bookkeeping team in 2020 on his path towards his CPA license. A student in his accounting program, Jesse comes to us with years of small business experience, budding QBO skills, and an exuberance for working as a team. His passion is for the synergy of bookkeeping and tax, and hopes to aid his clients with a wholistic approach to both. He's a card-carrying bookkeeping enthusiast and an outdoor adventure extraordinaire!
Stewart Sweeten joined the bookkeeping team in 2020 to round out his business experience. Coming from IT, he’s adept at customer relationships, navigating software, and understanding systems from start to end. He jumped in immediately with a knack for budgetary analysis, and teams up with CPAs to prepare client’s yearly budgets.