Moore Colson Names New Managing Partner

Moore Colson (FY08 net revenue of $13.5 million) of Marietta, Ga., has named Robert R. Kiser as the new MP. Former MP, Greg Colson will remain a partner and continue to serve the firm, his clients, and advise the partner group. Colson has been the MP since 1981.

Kiser has been a partner for over 11 years, and has been with MC since 1985. As a partner, CPA, and certified financial planner, Bob leads the firm’s financial services practice. Kiser also serves a number of closely held companies and their management / owners with strategic planning and profitability enhancement, and traditional accounting and tax services.

“Bob offers a multitude of strengths for the firm, says former MP, Colson. His experience and respect in the industry coupled with his unique relationship building abilities will afford the firm continued success going forward. Bob’s strong bond with the firm’s other 13 partners and admiration by the staff is a direct reflection on his leadership skills.”

Two IPA Top 100 Firms Announce Merger – Baker Tilly Firms Join Forces

Madison, Wis.-based Baker Tilly Virchow Krause (FY09 net revenue of $207.2 million, 10 offices) and Beers + Cutler (FY08 net revenue of $60.8 million) of Vienna, Va. have announced the merger of the two firms, effective December 1, 2009.

“Merging with B+C, also an independent member of Baker Tilly International will enhance our ability to serve clients and strengthen the brand in the U.S.,” says Tim Christen, CEO of Baker Tilly Virchow Krause.

“The merger is about creating opportunities,” Beers + Cutler MP Ed Offterdinger added. “In looking out at the next five and ten years, it will become increasingly important to have a national and global platform to maintain a competitive advantage in the marketplace.”

On June 1, Virchow Krause & Co. re-branded as Baker Tilly Virchow Krause. The agreement gave VK&Co. the exclusivity of being branded Baker Tilly in the U.S. while also working within the Baker Tilly International Network. As for VK&Co., the move was intended to give the firm a chance to vie for the mid-market accounting, tax and business service work the Big Four doesn’t touch. “We believe there’s a tremendous amount of work that requires a global brand. Our strategy is not to be a Big Four firm. We are looking for the next tier and to compete for a big part of that space,” Christen says.

“When we look for merger partners, we focus on the quality of the people and the reputation of the firm. There are many synergies between Baker Tilly and B+C, and we see Washington, D.C. as a critical market as we continue to develop the Baker Tilly brand in the U.S.,” says Christen.

“Merging with Baker Tilly will allow us to better serve our clients while providing additional opportunities for our people,” says B+C MP, Ed Offterdinger. B+C, will serve as BTVKs east coast hub as Baker Tilly continues its national expansion. The combination of these firms will result in a $250+ million firm with more than 1,400 team members.

BT currently has offices in Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis, New York and throughout Wisconsin.

AICPA Files Suit Challenging Identity Theft Rule

According to the Journal of Accountancy, the AICPA filed a lawsuit on Tuesday seeking to bar the Federal Trade Commission from applying its so-called Red Flags Rule to CPAs. The Institute says the rule, which is designed to help prevent identity theft, would “impose onerous and unnecessary requirements on AICPA members.”

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, alleges that the FTC is exceeding its congressionally granted powers under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 by seeking to apply the rule to accountants engaged in the practice of public accountancy.

“We do not believe that there is any reasonably foreseeable risk of identity theft when CPA clients are billed for services rendered,” AICPA President and CEO Barry Melancon says in a press release. He added, “CPAs are personally acquainted with their clients and already adhere to strict privacy requirements governing identifying information.”

New York-based Eisner joins PKF International

The Board of PKF, headquartered in London, has approved the formal application of New York-based Eisner (FY09 net revenue of $133.2 million) to join the PKF network. Simultaneous with the vote of the PKFI Board, Eisner also joined PKF North America (PKF NA), an association of independent accounting firms throughout Canada, the U.S. and Mexico.

Eisner MP, Charles Weinstein says, “Eisner conducted substantial research and we determined that the PKF network was a great fit for us. Our new relationship with PKFI is all about client service as we share our resources and plan together with other PKF member firms to achieve significant growth.”

Eisner had been associated with Baker Tilly International.

Armanino McKenna Acquires F.T. Andrews Tax and Accounting Practice

San Ramon, Calif.-based Armanino McKenna (FY08 net revenue of $73.2 million) acquired Walnut Creek, Calif. based F.T. Andrews tax and accounting practice as part of the continuation of AK’s expanding resources and growth.

AM has been named one of the top ten fastest growing accounting firms in the nation by INSIDE Public Accounting over the last five years and this merger is the latest in a series of growth initiatives for AM that has included new offices, new services and strategic acquisitions.

“I am excited both personally and professionally for the opportunities this merger will offer,” Pitchford says. “In getting to know the leadership at Armanino McKenna, I knew it was the right move to make.”

Andy Armanino, MP, says Armanino McKenna has the depth, resources and commitment to quality client service that position it to take advantage of the economy’s turnaround. “This merger is in alignment with our overall business strategy,” says Armanino. “They share our business culture and philosophy of hiring top-quality talent and providing unmatched customer service.”

Pitchford will become a partner at AM and brings 30 years of experience in tax, estate planning and real estate. He will be joined by his staff of five.

Meyers Norris Penny Continues Growth With Latest Acquisition

Calgary, Alberta, Canada-based Meyers Norris Penny has increased its presence in Southern Ontario, Canada with the acquisition of the independent firm of Collins Barrow Region of Waterloo LLP.

Effective Jan. 1, 2010, the two locations will begin operating under the MNP name. MNP is the seventh largest chartered accountancy and business advisory firm in Canada, and now has 70 offices across Canada and 2,700 employees.

MNP was founded in Brandon, Canada, 45 years ago and is headquartered in Calgary. It has offices from Vancouver Island to the Greater Toronto Area.

MNP recently left a long-term relationship Baker Tilly International, to join Praxity.

Illinois CPA Society Names 2009 ‘Women to Watch’

The Illinois CPA Society has named the recipients of their fifth annual “Women to Watch” awards, which recognize notable contributions to the accounting profession, their organizations and the development of women as leaders.

Chosen from nominations by their peers, the Illinois CPA Society’s Women’s Executive Committee and American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Work/Life and Women’s Initiative Executive Committee selected the following six leaders from throughout the state as their 2009 “Women to Watch:”

Experienced Leaders:

Genevieve Burns a PIC of Chicago-based Blackman Kallick’s Not-for-Profit practice.
Geralyn Hurd a partner and tax exempt practice leader at Crowe Horwath in Chicago.

Emerging Leaders:

Kathy Ford a tax partner with Ernst & Young, where she is the lead tax executive for some of the firm’s largest multinational clients.
Sherrie Krowczyk-Mendoza a managing director at RSM McGladrey, Inc. where she leads the Great Lakes Financial Institutions Risk Management Practice.
Heather Paquette a partner in KPMG LLP’s Midwest Advisory Services Practice.

Two Moore Stephens Firms Join Forces to Create A New Top 100 Firm

Walnut, Calif.-based Moore Stephens Wurth Frazer and Torbet, (FY08 net revenue of $23.6 million) is merging with Little Rock, Ark.-based Frost, PLLC, (FY09 net revenue of $24.2 million) formerly, Moore Stephens Frost, effective Jan. 1, 2010.

Dean Yamagata, MP of MSWFT, says, “Both of our firms have built practices which include specialization in the animal agriculture industry, spanning the past five decades. In addition, our West Coast offices have a great deal of experience working with Chinese and Pacific Rim companies that are publicly traded in the U.S., along with having a strong niche in the construction industry. This merger combines our unique individual and combined expertise in the dairy production, animal agriculture, food processing and construction industries – along with our rapidly expanding international business – and positions us to be an even stronger leader in those areas.”

The merged firm will be known as Frazer Frost, LLP and will continue to operate out of all current locations. Frazer Frost will enter the IPA Top 100 firms list in 2010. IPA welcomes the newly merged firm.

After the merger, Frazer Frost will represent business in 47 states in the U.S. and 15 countries, internationally. The firm will be led by co-MPs Yamagata (West coast operations) and Dan Peregrin MP of Frost, (Midwest and East Coast operations). The firm will employ a total of 272 staff.

Frazer Frost will continue its membership in Moore Stephens North America, Inc.

Johnson Lambert & Co. Expands Into The Atlanta Marketplace

Falls Church, Va.-based Johnson Lambert & Co. (FY08 net revenue of $21.2 million) announces its plans to open an office in the Atlanta in January 2010. The Georgia office continues the firm’s national expansion and strengthens the firm’s commitment to growth in the Southeastern U.S. The firm has seven additional offices including three in the Southeastern U.S.: North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida. The Georgia office will provide audit and tax services to clients in the insurance and alternative risk and employee benefit plan industry niches.

Marcia Jerding, a partner associated with Ernst & Young in Atlanta for over 17 years, will join JL&Co. as a partner effective January 1, to lead the firm’s Atlanta office.

JL&Co.’s, MP, Deborah Lambert, says “I am thrilled to have the opportunity for JL&Co. to open an office in the Atlanta area. While further expanding our geographic footprint, we are still able to maintain our disciplined focus on providing high quality cost-effective audit and tax services to distinct industry niches. Marcia is absolutely the right person to lead this expansion. She not only brings a tremendous depth of experience in two of our core niches, insurance and alternative risk and employee benefit plans, she also provides leadership skills and entrepreneurial spirit consistent with the firm’s historical culture.”

Rucci Bardaro & Barrett, Partner, Named to Russell Bedford Management Board

Russell Bedford International has named Bill Rucci Jr., a partner with Rucci Bardaro & Barrett, Boston, to the international board of management at the accounting network’s 2009 annual general meeting.

Rucci will be one of two directors (Peter Stefanou, of RBSM LLP, in New York) representing North America on the nine-member board and will serve initially for a three-year term. He continues to serve as chairman of the network’s Family Business Consulting Group and as co-director of the Russell Bedford North American Tax Services Group.

Following his appointment, Bill Rucci commented: “I am deeply honoured to have been elected by my peers to this important post. Today, the complexities of doing business on a global scale require resources that can assist enterprises at the international level. I look forward to working with the Russell Bedford board and our member firms as we continue to promote the network’s understanding of the big picture – as well as its vast force of professionals with local knowledge – to growing businesses everywhere.”