August 2009 Of Interest

Former Tidwell Dewitt Leaves the Reznick Group Family

Twenty-two months after merging their 50-person Birmingham, Ala. practice into The Reznick Group (FY09 net revenue of $257.8 million), former Tidwell DeWitt (FY06 net revenue of $13.7 million) MP Barry Tidwell announced today that they have broken away from Reznick and will form a new firm.

Two IPA Top 100 Firms Announce Intent to Combine Forces

Two IPA Top 100 firms, Reading, Pa.-based Beard Miller Company (bmc) (FY08 net revenue of $75.2 million) [No. 35 on the 2009 IPA Top 100 ranking] and Philadelphia-based Parente Randolph (FY08 net revenue of $74.3 million) [No. 36 on the 2009 IPA Top 100 ranking] announced their intent to merge effective this fall.

CPA Practice Mobility Laws, AICPA Turns to Nationwide Implementation

Forty-five states have passed CPA practice mobility laws as of July, marking a national success in the collaborative efforts of CPA state societies, the AICPA, and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy.

Closing Arguments on the Billable Hour

Evan Chesler, head of the old line New York law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore, caused jaws to drop when he challenged lawyers to dispense with the hourly billing system that had sustained the industry for generations. The system rewards inefficiency, frustrates clients and has little economic logic, Chesler argues.

Audit Overseer Faults BDO, Grant Thornton

The PCAOB says BDO had trouble testing revenue-recognition controls, while Grant Thornton did not adequately identify GAAP errors. Both firms complain that the board criticized judgment calls.

Two Judges Rap Washington State Accountancy Board Over Handling of CPA’s Case

Two judges have described the Washington state board that regulates accountants as showing “a pattern of incompetence” and making “significant misrepresentations.” The comments were made in separate but related court cases stemming from a long-running dispute between the state Board of Accountancy and one Redmond accountant, D. Edson Clark, over a disciplinary action.

Plante & Moran Puts Social Networking on its Training Agenda

Southfield, Mich.-based Plante & Moran has added a trendy new topic to its orientation agenda for entry-level practice staff: Leveraging LinkedIn: Tips to Better Utilize Social Networking Tools.

IRS Commissioner, Mark Everson Joins alliantgroup

Mark W. Everson, who served as Commissioner of Internal Revenue from 2003 until 2007, has agreed to serve as Vice Chairman for alliantgroup, a provider of tax services to small, medium, and large businesses. In the role of Vice Chairman, Everson will advise alliantgroup on strategic, operational, and client service initiatives.

Former Arthur Andersen Partners Resign from Huron Consulting Over Accounting Missteps

Chicago-based Huron Consulting Group, formed in 2002 by former Arthur Andersen partners, has lost three of its top executives due to an accounting misstep. CEO and Chairman Gary Holdren, CFO Gary Burge and Chief Accounting Officer Wayne Lipski resigned from the company after Huron announced it is restating financial statements for three fiscal years.

BDO Seidman Mourns Passing of Ben Neuhausen

Ben Neuhausen, 59, BDO’s National Director of Accounting passed away on July 31 in Chicago after a prolonged illness.

Williams-Keeper Partner Dies at Age 63

Stephen B. Smith, partner of Williams-Keepers, died August 1 of a heart attack. Smith was 63. Smith’s wife, Bea said she was heartened by news from doctors that because of her husband’s status as an organ and tissue donor, his body could help as many as 24 other people.