Meet the Tax Influencer Making National Waves

One of Denver’s Tax influencers (and past Future Tax Leaders’ National Board Director), is making waves in other markets while bringing an exciting new player to the local market.

An attribute that has established Chris Becze (pronounced “bee-zee”) as an influencer in tax is his approach to the field: from parties to T-shirts with cheeky slogans, such as “making tax sexy”™ (available at TaxTZs and in FTL’s online store), Chris makes being a tax professional look cool.

Since joining Armanino, a Silicon Valley based powerhouse accounting firm that seems to equal Chris’ energy and innovative style, in 2017, Chris, a licensed attorney with an LL.M in Tax, has helped Armanino expand across the country, including opening an office in Denver late last year.

With Denver’s robust market, talent pool, and embrace of technology, why wouldn’t a company open an office in Denver, asks Chris? This mix drew Armanino to the vibrant city and Denver’s reception to Armanino has been outstanding, according to Chris.

Why wouldn’t it be?

In addition to offering an expanse of services designed to fuel any business, including marketing, transformation, systems implementation, and wealth management services, along with the classic accounting firm staples of audit and tax related services, working on IA, and partnering with behemoths such as Microsoft, Armanino’s approach to managing its team has led to a contagiously vibrant and curious culture.

In Armanino’s Denver office, Chris’ entrepreneurial style flourishes. At a recent open house, members of his team said they feel they are “in charge of [their] destiny” at the firm and have “never worked in a firm as inspiring” as Armanino.

To enable his team to learn through experimentation and exploration, Chris empowers his team to pursue work that inspires them while encouraging them to assume leadership at all levels. For example, he charged his managers with identifying and selecting the space for the firm’s new Denver office. As a result, his team has a unique sense of ownership and personal pride in their office.

Leading a team this way comes with risk for Chris – such as the possibility of having to dress up as Cupid [I’m imaging diapers] in front of 60 business leaders and finance professionals. This specific hazard arose at a recent “Beer with Becze” roundtable, monthly meetings in which the team can pepper Chris with questions and test ideas. During the meeting, Chris’ team formed the idea of Armanino’s upcoming “Stupid Cupid” Archery Dodgeball Tournament on February 20th – and challenged Chris to dress as Cupid during the games if they achieved a certain goal.

Not sure what “archery dodgeball” is but you know you want to give it a try – or just want to see Chris dressed as Cupid? Contact a member of Armanino’s Denver team or email us to learn more. Space is limited.

Chris’ success in developing an inviting culture is reflected in several measures, such as employee engagement – including the frequency in which employees choose to work in the office rather than from home – and an increase in clients and applicants.

Chris’ team is curious, energized, and seems to be constantly seeking to develop new ideas and find solutions, which appears to be drawing clients and applicants to the Denver office. Combine all of the above with Chris’ knack for attracting established and up-and-coming talent and we’re expecting Armanino to make big waves in Denver.


Ashby Walters is Executive Director and cofounder of TaxForward and Future Tax Leaders. She has served as head of or leader in tax for Peet’s Coffee, Inc., Quizno’s, Staples, Dish Network, and other companies. Over her 20-plus year career, Ashby has helped organizations from Fortune 200 companies to start-ups, save more than $200 million in cash taxes, millions in G&A, and thousands of production hours collectively.

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And the winners are…

Congratulations to the following individuals for winning FTL’s inaugural Get Social Contest!

1st Place: Tami Gardner, with 60 points, wins a 6 NIGHT STAY IN BALI!

2nd Place: Heather Elzi, with 44 points, wins an iPad

3rd Place: Matthew Billings, with 24 points, wins $150 to Fogo de Chao

These individuals will be contacted by FTL to coordinate delivery of their prizes.

Didn’t win in 2019? Try again in 2020. Read contest rules here. You don’t need to attend an event to earn points. While Tami earned points by attending the conference, she earned the most points by getting social: by posting about the conference on social media and referring attendees to the conference.

Get Social & You May Win a Week in Bali!

In our Get Social contests, small steps expanding your circle of influence, such as posting on Instagram or LinkedIn, also generate points. The three individuals with the highest point totals win this year’s prizes:

FIRST: 6 nights for two in Bali
SECOND: iPad
THIRD: $150 gift card to Fogo de Chao

What are the current point leaders doing to rack up points? Here are a few examples.

▪ Referred a conference attendee (earn 20 points!)
▪ Referred a new member (earn 5 points – earn an additional 10 if they also attend the conference)
▪ Posted about an upcoming FTL event on a social media platform (earn up to 25 points)
▪ Followed us on a social media site (earn up to 5 points)
▪ You also earn points just by attending the Gala on 11/20/19 (tickets are free with your conference tickets) and for each day of the Conference (11/21-22/19) you attend.  

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