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It's now Eichstaedt CPA & Accounting

Kay Eichstaedt, left, is the owner of the former Butler CPA firm in North Hudson. Other staff members, from left, include receptionist Jessica Frierson, firm administrator Gaylene Wendle and accountant Amber Tischhauser. (Hudson Star-Observer photos by Randy Hanson)1 / 3
The sign didn’t change until the start of 2014, but Certified Public Accountant Kay Eichstaedt bought out her former partner Barbara Butler more than a year ago. Butler remains with firm as an associate.2 / 3
Eichstaedt CPA & Accounting is located at 550 Sixth St. N. in North Hudson. The building is a former Kingdom Hall of the Jehovah Witnesses.3 / 3

The “Eichstaedt CPA” sign that went up in front of a prominent North Hudson accounting firm in early January announced an ownership change that actually took place more than a year ago.

Certified Public Accountant Kay Eichstaedt purchased the firm from Barbara Butler in December 2012 after being a partner in the business for four years. The official name is now Eichstaedt CPA & Accounting.

Eichstaedt joined the firm 14 years ago, shortly after graduating from UW-River Falls with a degree in accounting.

“We’ve slowly been transitioning things, so January 2014 is when we officially made our name change,” Eichstaedt said. “Part of that was due to state regulations for CPAs.”

Not much has changed recently at the firm, formerly Butler CPA, other than the name.

Butler is now an associate of the business that she started more than 20 years ago. She continues to serve many long-term clients.

“Anyone who has worked with Barbara in the past can still work with her,” Eichstaedt noted.

Eichstaedt has a Master of Business Taxation degree from Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota, in addition to her CPA license.

She completes corporate and partnership tax returns, and also works with estate and trust taxes.

“I think taxes are kind of fun,” Eichstaedt said. “You can probably say I’m a tax nerd.”

Eichstaedt and Butler are the CPAs of the firm. The staff also includes firm administrator Gaylene Wendle, accountant Amber Tischhauser, bookkeeper Julie Flaherty and receptionist Jessica Frierson.

In addition to preparing business and individual tax returns, Eichstaedt CPA & Accounting offers bookkeeping and other services.

“Our expertise ranges from basic tax management and accounting services to more in-depth services such as audits, financial statements and financial planning,” the firm’s website says.

The mission of firm, according to the website, is to “help clients maintain financial viability in the present, while taking a proactive approach to achieve future goals.”

“This requires open communication to reach an understanding of our clients’ needs through research and sound analysis,” the statement continues. “…We have been a staple of the area’s business community for years, and pride ourselves on the level of esteem we have earned.”

Eichstaedt said they meet with all of their clients to talk about their completed tax returns.

“We really enjoy educating people,” she said. “Our goal is to help them -- maybe not understand things fully -- but at least have it make sense in general.”

Eichstaedt grew up north of Star Prairie and attended the Amery schools.

Her father, Ron Eichstaedt, was director of St. Croix Industries at New Richmond for 28 years. The agency provides training and work opportunities for disabled people.

She went to UW-River Falls planning to major in chemistry, but discovered she enjoyed accounting more. Butler hired her within a month of her graduation from college.

Eichstaedt said the firm works with a wide variety of businesses from around the St. Croix Valley, including manufacturers, building contractors, trucking firms and more.

Her significant other, Tim Platz, is a trucker, which may explain why she gets along so well with trucking companies, she said.

Eichstaedt volunteers each year for the KARE 11 TV tax call-in line, and said she enjoys the experience.

“We do get some interesting questions from people,” she said. “Some are questions I’ve never heard before.”

Eichstaedt said her firm’s website,, has some great tools for both clients and the general public. The former address for the website also is still active.

Eichstaedt CPA & Accounting can be reached by phone at (715) 386-5166.

Randy Hanson

Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.

(715) 426-1066