Eric Challenger

CPA | Tax Manager

As Tax Manager at Cray Kaiser, Eric Challenger takes his role beyond reviewing and preparing tax returns. He’s not your typical tax expert. Yes, he’s a numbers guy, as you’d guess, but he also possesses a creative side and an emotional intelligence rare to the tax field. Eric translates complicated tax terminology into relatable and understandable language. He tailors communications to each client, giving depth and detail or keeping it fast and sweet.

To help people better understand technical tax issues, Eric relates them to topics the person is passionate about, whether it’s motorcycles, sailing or chess. If a client is into the nitty gritty, he’ll make the tax lingo make sense. If he/she is not a detail person, he’ll cover the need-to-know and let the client get to what he/she does best–running a successful business. Eric’s reward is seeing the light go on in people’s eyes; he knows they got it, and it inspires him.

In addition to working with family-owned businesses, Eric has a passion for and a unique understanding of tax laws for not-for-profit organizations. He streamlines the process and ensures his clients are achieving proper compliance. Eric’s experience with these groups helped a recent client recover and regain their not-for-profit status after a revocation.

Eric has a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and Finance from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois.

Community: Eric is a certified public accountant in the state of Illinois and belongs to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the Illinois CPA Society, and a proud member of Vistage.

The Lighter Side

Athletic hobbies: Golf, biking, and running.
Musical hobby: Guitar.
Listening choices: Depends on the day. He might be in a John Mayer mood, or you might find him rocking out to old school Metallica.
Accounting motto: Let’s talk about tax implications today to prevent surprises on tax day.
First job: Cart boy at the local golf course.
Favorite show: All time favorites: Game of Thrones, Lost, Newsroom. Current addictions: Stranger Things, The Peripheral, The Witcher.