Gray & Associates was founded in 1993 by Michael Gray and Sid Stuewe.
Since then, entrepreneurs and professionals have come to us for help with understanding taxes, incorporating their businesses, and keeping the tax authorities off their backs.
About Us – Our Team
Michael Gray – President
Michael helps clients and especially business owners deal with tax issues calmly and sympathetically, because his background is anything but typical of a CPA!
He graduated with a BS in business at the top of his ROTC class at Cameron University in 1977. While assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Mike married his college sweetheart and earned an MS in management at the university now called Texas A&M – Central Texas. During his 4-year tour of duty at Fort Hood, Mike served as executive officer and pay officer in the 15th Finance Company, then worked in the III Corps accounting office, supervising the disbursing office and helping the club system convert from traditional ledgers to a mainframe computer accounting system. He also spent three weeks at Fort Benning, Georgia, making parachute jumps and represented Fort Hood in the Army Triathlon competition, winning the pistol marksmanship event at Forces Command level. In 1981, he was promoted to captain, awarded the Army Commendation Medal, and transferred to Germany.
Mike’s first assignment in Europe was Rheinberg, where he helped establish an Army community headquarters for American troops in Northwest Germany. Mid-tour, the Grays transferred to Heidelberg, where Mike ran the U.S. Army Europe central disbursing office, paying bills in seven currencies and making annual inspection visits to Sinop, Turkey. He also periodically replenished the U.S. coin supply for Europe by flying $600,000 of coin from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York back to his vault in Heidelberg. Again, Mike’s end-of-tour bonus was an Army Commendation Medal.
On returning to Texas, Mike established the internal audit office for the 420th Engineer Brigade, whose reserve units covered Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. His audits focused on training activities, logistics, and travel claims, but the highlight of that tour of duty was the brigade’s deployment for the largest Return of Forces to Germany exercise (REFORGER) of the Cold War. Mike’s last assignment of his Regular Army career was the command of Headquarters Company at the 420th. Under his command, the company was one of only two units among 40 in the brigade that passed a grueling inspection by 5th Army with straight As. Mike received the Meritorious Service Medal and transferred to the Army Reserve to pursue a Ph.D. in accounting at UT-Austin.
The Grays moved to Lago Vista and Mike was enjoying the academic life at UT for about 18 months when his GI Bill education benefits suddenly ended. Without missing a beat, he accepted an appointment as assistant state auditor and spent the next five years leading audits of state agencies and, ironically, universities . . . including UT-Austin.
In late 1993, Mike persuaded another CPA at the State Auditor’s Office to join him in founding a private tax practice in Lago Vista.
While building the firm, Mike continued to serve in the Army Reserve and, after promotion to major, he deployed to Saudi Arabia as a senior auditor in General Schwartzkopf’s headquarters during Desert Storm. His audit of the purchasing system in Dhahran saved the Army hundreds of thousands of dollars and earned Mike another Meritorious Service Medal. Returning to Texas, he continued serving several weeks a year as a Reserve auditor at the Pentagon, receiving another promotion to lieutenant colonel while working in the Office of the Joint Chiefs. Before retiring in 2003, Mike succeeded in convincing the Defense Inspector General to deploy auditors for the first time in a combat theater (Iraq) to minimize the loss and waste of tax dollars. His retirement award was the prestigious Legion of Merit.
While running his accounting practice and serving in the Army Reserve, Mike was invited back to UT-Austin to teach accounting and tax from 1997 to 2000. That teaching experience added significantly to Mike’s ability to assist clients and explain complex tax issues. In 2002 at an AICPA conference in Miami, he discovered the hidden benefits of the S Corporation for family-owned businesses. Mike came back to Texas and started helping clients save thousands of dollars by converting their sole proprietorships and LLCs to entities that file as S Corporations. Those savings continue, year after year, for clients whose profits range from less than $100k to millions. By 2020, Mike and Jim Hughes had set up more than 300 corporations for clients in a wide variety of fields.
As cyber-crime became a larger issue, Mike shifted all of the firm’s data from on-site servers to the cloud in 2014 – 2015. Using cloud hosting provides the 24-hour cybersecurity that today’s environment demands while also providing full-time tech support and anytime access for clients. Even the telephone services of Gray & Associates are internet based, giving clients more hassle-free access to their preferred tax pro.
In 2022, a client persuaded Mike to evaluate his dental practice for a new type of payroll tax credit, the Employee Retention Credit. After researching the peculiar IRS definitions, limitations, and formulas for ERCs, Mike has done several ERC projects with refunds ranging from $7,000 to $1.5 million. After 45 years of professional service, Mike is still looking for the next new way to help clients minimize taxes.
Mike loves spending time with his wife and son, attends weekly Mass, jogs a couple of miles before work, hunts whitetails, works crossword puzzles, and plays bass guitar. Admittedly, not your typical CPA.
Jim Hughes – Vice President
Jim Hughes joined Gray & Associates in 2002 and works in the Lago Vista office. Jim was already a seasoned business manager, with jobs involving import/export sales, the oil business, and non-profits before devoting his career to tax. That experience makes Jim an invaluable resource to the firm and its clients. Jim pioneered the corporate secretary services for which Gray & Associates is known. He has also authored five books, two government manuals, and over 150 technical magazine articles while advising the Smithsonian Institution and other historical organizations. Jim has traveled extensively, over 30 foreign countries and all 50 U.S. states.
Jacquelyn Gray – Vice President
Jacque earned a bachelor of arts degree from UT Austin while serving as the model wife of an Army officer, Capt. Mike Gray. She traveled with Mike to Germany and visited most of western Europe, but also worked full time as a military awards editor. From there, Jacque went on to write radio ad copy, broadcast country music shows, write political campaign materials, edit state audit reports, and manage the famous “Don’t Mess with Texas” and Adopt-a-Highway programs. Now Jacque helps Texas corporations stay current with their shareholder and board meetings.
Sandra Ashlock – Office Manager
Sandi is the office manager for our Lago Vista office.
Please contact us if you have any questions about us and the services that Gray & Associates provides.