Archives for March 2013

Stende To Lead IPA 100, Eide Bailly On May 1

In November 2012, the partners of Fargo-N.D. Eide Bailly (FY12 net revenue of $157.7 million) elected Dave Stende to MP/CEO, succeeding Jerry Topp. Topp is retiring, but plans to remain with the firm for a few years to work on M&A activities and special projects.

When Topp accepted the MP/CEO role in 2003, the firm had $54 million in net fees, nine offices, 75 partners and 577 staff members. Today, the Top 25 firm has grown to $158 million, 21 offices, 165 partners and 1,016 staff members. “The past 10 years have been an exciting ride,” Topp says. “Eide Bailly is a firm of the future and Dave has the knowledge and experience to make this a seamless transition. He has served as the firm’s COO for the past seven years and, during this time, we have worked as a team to build our firm and achieve our growth strategies.

Stende says he feels well prepared to take on the role. “I am ready and excited to take on the challenge of growing the firm, while maintaining our culture – which is the core of who we are,” Stende says. “Eide Bailly has experienced positive growth, even during the recent recession. To experience similar success in the future, we must continue to grow our footprint and enhance our service offerings in order to add value to our clients and to provide more opportunities for our people.”

Stende has 31 years’ experience in public accounting, providing client services in the areas of auditing and consulting for a variety of industries. He was appointed Chief Operating Officer in 2006, following one year as PIC of the firm’s Fargo, N.D., office.

Topp has been in public accounting since 1978. He has held many leadership roles in his 35 years with the firm, serving as PIC of the Fargo, N.D., office from 1997 to 2000 and COO from 2000 to 2003, before being appointed MP/CEO in 2003. nIPA

Whitepaper: Effective Team Management A Challenge in the Virtual Workforce

The virtual workforce in the U.S. ballooned from 9.5 million in 1995 to 13.4 million in 2010, growing to an estimated 20-30 million people currently working remotely at least once per week.

According to new whitepaper from global consulting firm PI Worldwide, despite more employees embracing – and even expecting – a distributed work environment, research indicates low levels of confidence in the ability of managers to adequately motivate, coach and develop employees within a virtual environment.

The whitepaper titled, Managing the Challenges of the New Virtual Workforce: The Use of Personality Data to Build and Develop High Performing Virtual Teams, examines the pressures facing leaders to manage and develop teams operating virtually and the benefits behavioral assessment data provides for enhancing communication, collaboration and efficiencies across different time zones and cultures.

“The most successful virtual teams are led by managers who understand what motivates and drives performance at the individual and team levels, assigning people to tasks in line with their natural behavioral styles,” says Nancy Martini, President and CEO of PI Worldwide.

“Managers who apply behavioral insights produce teams that function with stronger working relationships, communicate more effectively and deliver on the team’s collective goals.”

According to a Forrester survey cited in the whitepaper, “effective communication” is a top concern for managers of remote teams (49%), followed by “managing projects and deadlines successfully (43%)” and “creating consensus during decision-making (43%).” Martini notes additional challenges of remote team management include:

  • Difficulty in building a shared sense of purpose
  • Over-reliance on electronic communications
  • Low team cohesion and trust
  • Less satisfaction with the team experience.

In a remote working environment, it can be difficult for team members to build rapport or a sense of camaraderie which can jeopardize productivity.

Through behavioral assessments (sometimes called personality assessments), Martini says, managers can uncover the natural behavioral characteristics of team members to better define high performance, facilitate workflow, reduce conflict and improve group synergy.

Download a complimentary copy of the whitepaper and view the infographic at http://bit.ly/WS8JCq.

Armanino Expands Technology Practice in Midwest

San Ramon, Calif.-based Armanino LLP (FY11 net revenue of $84 million) has hired business consulting veteran Bryan Rogers and sales executive Brian King to provide additional consulting expertise and service in the Midwest, where Armanino plans to grow more rapidly, the firm announced.

Rogers is a former vice president of finance who led an IT transformation at an internationally recognized U.S. medical organization. King has a successful track record in sales of enterprise technology solutions for companies like Oracle, SAP/Business Objects and Kogent. Rogers and King will introduce more clients to the benefits of implementing Adaptive Planning, QlikView Business Discovery and Intacct Financial Management software, the company said.

BeachFleischman Launches Anti-Fraud Program for Arizona Businesses

BeachFleischman of Tucson, Ariz. (FY11 net revenue of $14.9 million) has launched an anti-fraud service to Arizona businesses through its affiliation with red Flag Reporting, a fraud prevention company.

The program, which includes training and a toll-free, anonymous fraud tip hotline and online reporting system, is designed to help businesses detect employee fraud and other unethical behavior. The national average for loss to fraud reported by companies without a hotline is $180,000, the firm said.

Decosimo CPA Firm Acquires Solvability Consulting Practice

The Huntsville, Ala.-based cost accounting and federal compliance solutions group Solvability has been acquired by Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Decosimo (FY11 net revenue of $34 million), The Chattanoogan reported.

The move is intended to improve Decosimo’s existing audit, tax and business advisory service offerings for government contractors, while extending Solvability’s reach and resources.

Decosimo Principal Ken Conner told the newspaper, “With the government contractor concentration in Huntsville and our regional firm’s growing client base in this industry, it was important for us to complement our traditional assurance and tax services with the compliance advisory and specialized accounting solutions that these businesses need to effectively operate and report on their federal contracts.”

The practice will continue to do business under the Solvability name and will keep all of its personnel. Solvability’s founder Jenny Clark and CEO Joe Yearta will each serve in director roles under the new arrangement with Decosimo.

BlumShapiro and Tagetik Partner to Provide CPM Solutions

West Hartford, Conn.-based BlumShapiro (FY11 net revenue of $47.3 million) and software provider Tagetik are partnering to make Corporate Performance Management (CPM) support services available to clients, the companies announced.

The companies will work together to provide CPM solutions that leverage BlumShapiro’s Microsoft partnership. “There are so many companies who are unhappy with their current CPM solutions or would like to replace a spreadsheet-based system,” says Mark Corsetti, vice president and general manager of Tagetik North America.

“With BlumShapiro we can now help customers fix these common issues, and then go beyond that by using BlumShapiro’s Microsoft expertise to help companies extend their ERP or SharePoint applications with CPM functionality or a cloud-based solution.”

PwC Appoints MP of Fort Worth office

New York-based PwC US (FY11 net revenue of $8.8 billion) announced that Pat Alford, a 21-year veteran of the firm, has been appointed as MP for its Fort Worth office.

In addition to his new role, Alford will continue serving his existing clients in the Dallas – Fort Worth area, which include a variety of public and private clients in the financial services industry.

He succeeds David Evans, who will be relocating to New York.

Rhonda Guidry Admitted to Partner

Rhonda Guidry has been admitted to partner at Lafayette, La.-based Prejean Romero. She practiced public accounting for 10 years with Prejean Company/PRM prior to being made a partner.

Guidry will continue her concentration in tax and accounting services as a partner in the firm. PRM was formed in 2011 with the merger of Prejean Company and Romero & McGee.

CohnReznick Names Two MPs to Central Jersey Office

CohnReznick partners John A. Corsaro and Rose Ann Slawson have recently been named Co-MPs of the firm’s Central Jersey Office in Eatontown, N.J., the firm announced.

Corsaro, who leads the tax practice in Central Jersey, has more than 30 years of experience. Slawson leads the audit practice in Central Jersey. Her client base includes distributors, service organizations, manufacturers, real estate developers, and retailers.

CliftonLarsonAllen Co-MP McMasters Announces Departure

McMastersKrista McMasters, Co-CEO of CliftonLarsonAllen announced her retirement from the firm following 35 years of distinguished service. McMasters’ retirement is effective April 1, 2013.

When the firms officially joined forces on Jan. 2, 2012, it was announced that McMasters, CEO of Clifton Gunderson, and Gordy Viere, CEO of LarsonAllen, would lead the firm together. Viere would oversee the CLA holding company, the wealth advisory practice and the outsourcing practice, and McMasters would oversee CLA LLP, the public accounting practice.

Steve Meindl, Chairman of the CLA Board said, “At the first anniversary of our merger, the CLA Board reviewed the firm’s co-CEO structure and determined that operating under the leadership of one CEO will increase the pace of integration of our two firms and give better definition to our firm’s strategic initiatives. As a result, Kris elected to retire and Gordy Viere will assume the sole CEO role.” Meindl added, “Kris has been an incredible asset to our firm during her 35 year career. Her vision, passion and dedication to our firm played an integral role in our growth and success over many years. Her legacy lives on in our firm through the many people she mentored and developed.”

McMasters joined Clifton Gunderson as an associate accountant in 1978. She was admitted as a partner in 1985, became Director of Assurance Services in 1991, and served as Chief Practice Officer. McMasters succeeded Carl George as CEO of Clifton Gunderson in 2009, becoming the firm’s fourth CEO in its 60-year history. McMasters became the first and only female to serve as CEO among the nation’s current IPA Top 25 firms. Under her leadership, the firm rolled out and executed an aggressive growth strategy focused on external expansion and increased specialization, collaboration, discipline and communication.

Over the next few months, McMasters will be exploring new opportunities in business and board service, which leverage her leadership, experience and passion for growing people.