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About Us

Our History

AKW Team

 

Established in 1972 as the predecessor firm of Krieger Accountancy, the founding partner, Bert Krieger, began the accounting firm in a small office space shared with a realty concern in Coachella. In 1977, he moved the firm to its current location on El Paseo in Palm Desert. Principals David Abel and Robert Wilmeth joined the firm in 1980 and 1987 respectively.

 

Mission Statement

Abel, Krieger and Wilmeth, CPAs is committed to:

  1. Providing a complete range of estate planning, business consulting, tax, accounting, and insurance services on a timely basis.
  2. Providing services that are noticeably superior in quality at a reasonable price.
  3. Accepting only those engagements that fall within the firm's expertise and experience.
  4. Developing a relationship with our clients so they will come to know us as their most trusted financial advisor.
  5. Keeping up with the changes in tax laws and technology, enabling us to offer our clients the best solutions for their circumstances.

 

Our Team

David L. Abel, CPA, MBA, Principal

david@akwcpa.com

David L. Abel joined the firm in 1980, leaving a position as CEO and Controller for a nationally recognized sales incentive company stationed in Palm Springs shortly after missing his first born's first steps and words. Both college degrees were earned in Oxford (Mississippi, not England), better known as Ole Miss. Mr. Abel expanded his tax practice to include estates and trusts with the State of California CPA Foundation's "Estate Planning Certificate" in 1998. Also in that year, he added financial advisory services to his practice, receiving licenses as a life agent/variable contracts, and through the NASD, Series 6 and 63. Mr. Abel is a private trustee for many of his clients, as well as for charitable trusts that he assisted in forming. Professional memberships include the California Society of CPAs, Desert Estate Planners, and the Society of California Accountants, where he is a former president. Community services include board member of the College of the Desert Foundation, past board member of the Eisenhower Medical Center Foundation and advisory to Cal State University Accounting Department students. Active in his church and boy scouting, he has served various callings from nursery leader to bishopric member. Mr. Abel and his wife Valerie Trozelle, live in Bermuda Dunes during the tax season and Garner Valley in the long summer.

Robert D. Wilmeth Jr., CPA, Principal

bob@akwcpa.com

Robert D. Wilmeth Jr., CPA, joined the firm in 1987 after a two-year stint with the international accounting firm of Peat, Marwick, Mitchell (known now as KPMG). He earned his degree in Business/Economics from the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he graduated with high honors. Mr. Wilmeth provides tax preparation, estate and trust planning, business consulting, accounting and related services to clients which include individuals, families, corporations, partnerships and LLCs. Mr. Wilmeth serves as a professional executor/trustee for many of his clients and in 2003 added financial advisory services to his practice after receiving his Series 6 and 63 licenses through the NASD as well as his Californa life agent/variable contracts license. Mr. Wilmeth's professional memberships include the California Society of CPAs and the Society of California Accountants, where he is past president of the Desert Chapter. Mr. Wilmeth is also active in his community where he serves on the leadership board in his church and has contributed his time to various organizations, including the YMCA of the Desert, the Historical Society of Palm Desert, the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission and the Palm Springs Community Concert Association. Mr. Wilmeth and his wife, Dottie, live in La Quinta with their three children, Trey, Travis, and Samantha.

Su Ellen Roberts

Su Ellen Roberts joined the firm in February 1991 and has the distinction of being the longest tenured member of our team (outside of partners/family). Administratively, she is our “go to” person and also serves as our Director of Client Relations. In her former life, Su worked in the nursing profession which comes in handy when a staff member has a tax season ailment. She is married (Dave) with two children (one still at home) and enjoys her wiener dogs (dachshunds) and traveling with her husband.

Ruth Krieger

Ruth Krieger has been with the firm since 1983 when it was known as Krieger Accountancy. She is the widow of the firm’s founder, Bert Krieger, and is commonly known as the “Office Mom”. She assists in the bookkeeping department, helps with client relations, and is always ready with a warm smile and great sense of humor. She love’s spending time with her two sons’ families and her traveling companion Morty.

Erik La Cagnina, Senior Business Tax Specialist

Erik La Cagnina joined the firm in December 2006 and specializes in Corporate and Partnership tax compliance. He received his B.S. degree in Business Management (Specializing in Accounting) from East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania. After relocating across the country he obtained his CPA license in California. In his down time Erik enjoys staying active a variety of ways including running, tennis, disc golf, and swimming. He also enjoys travelling to attend live music performances.

Rachael Rustigian, Senior Estate and Trust Tax Specialist

Rachael Rustigian joined the firm in January 2007 and specializes in Individual, Trust and Estate taxation. She received her B.S. degree in Accounting from the University of Phoenix in Tucson, AZ, and is a licensed CPA in California. Rachael is bilingual and loves to travel, especially to Costa Rica where she once lived.

Patty Sparks, Bookkeeper

Patty Sparks joined the firm in July 2014 as a Full Charge Bookkeeper bringing over 22 years of experience to our firm. She is a QuickBooks certified Pro Advisor who works with both the desktop and online application. Patty is currently working on her associate’s degree at College of the Desert and is a member of Phi Theta Kappa. She plans to continue on to achieve her bachelor’s degree in accounting through UCSB. She has raised two boys who serve our country in the Marine Corps and is a proud grandmother. She enjoys both water and off-road sports as well as traveling.