Connect with us


Making it in Big Sky: Elevated Tax & Accounting

Avatar photo



Emilee Rutz and her business partner Cherie Spradlin started Elevated in 2016 to fill the need for tax and accounting services in Big Sky. PHOTO COURTESY OF EMILEE RUTZ


BIG SKY—It was a windy path to Big Sky for Emilee Rutz, owner of Elevated Tax & Accounting, but she and her family permanently settled after a few back-and-forths in 2016 and have since enjoyed the outdoor activities it has to offer, as well as the support of the community toward her business. Motivated to have control over her work-life balance, Rutz and her business partner Cherie Spradlin started Elevated  in 2016 to fill the need for tax and accounting services in Big Sky, serving mostly small businesses across Gallatin County.

For this issue’s Making it in Big Sky, Explore Big Sky sat down with Rutz and talked about Elevated, her family and the joy of building her life in a place like Big Sky.

This series is part of a paid partnership with the Big Sky Chamber of Commerce. The following answers have been edited for brevity.

Explore Big Sky: I’d like to start with a little background information on you, when did you first come to Big Sky and what brought you here?

Emilee Rutz: My name is Emilee Rutz. I grew up in Rapid City, South Dakota and moved to Montana in 2008 to attend Montana State University where I met my husband, Adam. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Cell Biology and Neuroscience in 2012. Adam and I got married at Big Sky Resort in 2012 and then we moved back to Rapid City where I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting. In 2014, we moved back to Bozeman and then in 2016 we moved to Big Sky. Since moving to Big Sky, we have had two incredible daughters, Avery and Althea. As a family, we enjoy all the outdoor adventure Big Sky has to offer along with the small community.

EBS: Tell me about the history of Elevated Tax & Accounting? When did it first come to be? Was there a need in the community at the time? 

ER: Elevated Tax and Accounting came to be when my business partner Cherie and I wanted to change our work life balance. We met at a firm in Bozeman and found there was an opportunity to provide a higher level of client service and room for improvement in the typical accounting firm structure. We streamlined what we felt were outdated methods of client communication and procedures and stepped away from sitting in a desk from 8-5 every day while doing so. We wanted to work hard, get our work done and then go enjoy life. Elevated Tax & Accounting was started in 2016. There was and still is a need for accountants in Big Sky. Nationwide there is a shortage of accountants and Big Sky is no exception.

EBS: Have you guys grown and changed over the years as the community has? 

ER: We have grown and changed over the years. Our client base is comprised mostly of small businesses in Gallatin County. 

EBS: Tell me about the different services you offer?

ER: We offer bookkeeping, full-service payroll, business and individual income tax preparation, tax planning and controller services.

EBS: How big is your team? 

ER: There are three of us. Cherie and I as partners and our employee, Susana, in Florida.

EBS: What’s the best thing about working in Big Sky?

ER: The best thing about working in Big Sky is the small community. My husband and I have built our life here and continue to work hard to provide our girls with the opportunity to grow up in the small, but abundant, community of Big Sky.

EBS: What is the best business advice you have ever received?

ER: You are replaceable at your job, but not in your home. Making sure you have a life outside of work is important to prevent burn-out and loss of self.

EBS: Anything else you would like to add?

ER: Thank you to the Big Sky community businesses that have made Elevated Tax and Accounting what it is today!

Upcoming Events

october, 2023

Filter Events

04octAll Day17Fall Community Cleanse(All Day) Santosha Wellness CenterEvent Type :OtherEvent City:Big Sky

04oct7:00 pm9:00 pmTrivia at The Waypoint7:00 pm - 9:00 pm The WaypointEvent Type :OtherEvent City:Big Sky

04oct8:39 pm8:39 pmBSSEF movie night: TGR's Legend Has it8:39 pm - 8:39 pm Event Type :Arts,SportsEvent City:Big Sky

05oct8:39 pm8:39 pmBSSEF movie night: TGR's Legend Has it8:39 pm - 8:39 pm Event Type :Arts,SportsEvent City:Big Sky