Founder of CPA Firm Mueller Passes

Alfred “Al” E. Mueller, founding partner of Elgin, Ill.-based Mueller & Co. (now Mueller) (FY14 net revenue of $13.6 million), passed away on March 19 peacefully at home. Mueller, through his vision, leadership style and skills, has left a lasting legacy for firm employees, clients, the Elgin community and beyond.

He served in the U.S. Army/Air Corps as a gunnery instructor from 1943 to 1946 and received his accounting degree from Northwestern School of Business. In 1968, he founded Mueller & Co. LLP to serve the region’s growing base of small to medium-sized businesses, local municipalities and not-for-profit organizations.

“In 1968 Al was at a crossroads in his career with the choice to join a large firm or to embark on an entrepreneurial journey and start his own firm. His focus on making sure clients received personal attention versus feeling like a number aided him in his decision,” says David Nissen, Mueller’s current MP who was a young CPA under Mueller in the mid-1980s.

Mueller retired from the firm in 1988 but continued to leave a lasting mark on the firm as it grew to become one of the top 20 accounting firms in Chicago. “We would not be the firm we are today if not for Al’s vision, determination and entrepreneurship. Beyond firm longevity and size, Al’s strongest contribution was to our culture. He was a people person who was always interested in other’s stories and experiences. To him, employees were more family and friend and that culture exists here today,” says Nissen.

In retirement Mueller continued to take part in client appreciation events, employee events and company milestones. When the firm moved in 2012 to their present location in Elgin, he was able to join the employees, share a few memories and cut the ribbon recognizing Mueller’s move and its new beginnings.