Archives for April 2013

FASB Names Russell Golden New Chairman

Russell G. Golden was named as the next chairman of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), effective July 1, 2013. Golden succeeds current FASB Chairman Leslie F. Seidman, whose term ends on June 30.

“After an extensive search, which involved the evaluation of many highly qualified candidates from a variety of backgrounds, the Trustees determined that Russ Golden is the best qualified person to take on the role of FASB chairman,” says Jeffrey Diermeier, chairman of the FAF Board of Trustees. “I’m very pleased that Russ will be moving into this new role. He will bring to his new position a deep understanding of technical accounting issues informed by a broad appreciation of the larger environment in which the FASB operates, which he developed during his years as both a staff member and as a Board member.

“The Trustees wish to express their deep appreciation to Leslie Seidman for her more than 15 years of service to the FASB as a staff member, board member, and chairman. She has set a high standard as a champion of excellence and independence. During Leslie’s tenure, she worked tirelessly to improve U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and to dramatically reduce the differences between U.S. GAAP and International Financial Reporting Standards,” Diermeier added.

Mr. Golden has served as a FASB member since his appointment in September 2010. He previously served for six years on the FASB staff. Earlier, he was a partner at Deloitte & Touche LLP.

The Center for Audit Quality (CAQ) issued the following statement from Executive Director Cindy Fornelli regarding the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) naming Russell Golden as the next Chairman of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB): “The public company auditing profession and the CAQ wish to congratulate Russell Golden on being named the next Chairman of the FASB. A member of the accounting profession who previously served on the FASB’s staff before being appointed to the Board in 2010, Russ has an ideal combination of technical knowledge and perspective on the big picture to serve investors and the public interest. We look forward to working with Russ in his new role. We would also like to thank outgoing Chairman Leslie Seidman for her many contributions to investors, the auditing profession and the capital markets. First as a member of the Board, and now as Chairman, Leslie has consistently demonstrated her commitment to investors by pursuing high quality accounting standards that are responsive to investors’ changing information needs. We commend Leslie on her accomplishments at the FASB and wish her well in her future endeavors.”

Two IPA 100 Firms Join Forces

IPA No. 16, Chicago-based Baker Tilly Virchow Krause (BTVK) (FY12 net revenue of $259 million) and IPA No. 87, Melville, N.Y.-based Holtz Rubenstein Reminick (HRR) (FY11 net revenue of $34.7 million) combined forces today, April 24. The merger will be effective on June 1. The combined firm will be  known as Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP.

HRR will be the platform for BTVK’s New York practice and further expands the firm’s presence on the east coast.HRR was affiliated with DKF International.

“We’ve been looking for the right merger partner in New York and we found that partner in HRR. They have a strong reputation, considerable technical excellence, and a record of success,” Tim Christen, Chairman and CEO of BTVK says. “The combination of these two well-respected firms will result in a $300+ million firm with more than 1,600 professionals, deepening our capabilities to better serve our clients.”

“Baker Tilly and Holtz Rubenstein Reminick are complementary firms,” Barry Garfield, regional MP of HRR says. BTVK’s Executive MP Ed Offterdinger will expand his role and lead the integration of the two firms.

“We are very excited about this expansion of our east coast practice,” Offterdinger says. “With anchor offices in D.C. and New York, the merger will allow us to better serve existing clients and pursue strategic growth opportunities in the highly active corridor that connects our nation’s capital with the largest commercial market in the U.S.”

Allan Koltin, CEO of Koltin Consulting Group who advised both firms on the merger commented, “this discussion started almost exactly two years ago for HRR at a strategic planning retreat. HRR is one of those high achieving firms that could easily have stayed independent but saw even better growth opportunities for their people and clients by virtue of the combination. BTVK had a couple other discussions over the past few years with other New York firms but chose HRR because both firm’s strategic plan for greater New York was identical. Together I wouldn’t be surprised to see the size of the practice double in the next five years.”

Russell Bedford Appoints Alan Bezzant to CEO

Russell Bedford International has appointed Alan Bezzant to the newly created role of CEO. The move was effective April 22.

Bezzant served as Executive Director for both PKF International Limited and Moore Stephens U.K. The appointment comes ahead of Russell Bedford Chairman Geoff Goodyear’s retirement in 2014, when network leadership will transfer to Vice Chairman Bill Rucci.

Rucci is president of Rucci Bardaro & Falzone, Russell Bedford’s Boston area member firm.

Marcum Acquires Cornerstone Accounting Group

New York-based Marcum LLP (FY12 revenue of $275.5 million) announced the merger with Cornerstone Accounting Group, an accounting and assurance firm, focused on the real estate industry, with headquarters in New York City. The merger is effective immediately.

The Cornerstone team consisting of five partners and 75 staff will join Marcum. Cornerstone’s MP Daniel Vitulli will become National Leader of Marcum’s Real Estate industry group and will join Marcum’s Executive Committee.

Cornerstone provides a full range of accounting and assurance services to its industry-leading clients, including private equity funds, hedge funds, real estate investment trusts, pension advisors and private real estate companies. “Daniel Vitulli and the Cornerstone team are a best-in-class national organization and this transaction firmly establishes Marcum as a premier national real estate accounting group,” says Jeffrey Weiner, Marcum’s MP.

“As a national accounting firm with a footprint in over 20 regional markets, Marcum provides the Cornerstone Accounting Group the opportunity to significantly expand our reach and grow services for both our local and national clients,” says Vitulli.

Community Mourns Unexpected Death of Daszkal Bolton Co-Founder

Jeffrey Alan Bolton, CPA, Co-founder, Partner, and member of the Executive Committee of Daszkal Bolton LLP, died in a tragic swimming accident in the Bahamas on April19, 2013.

Having co-founded the firm in 1992 along with Michael Daszkal, Jeff focused on helping business owners achieve success by increasing cash flow, expanding revenue streams, reducing expenses, protecting assets, and implementing business processes. A frequent public speaker on this topic, Jeff was passionate about educating the business community which earned him national recognition as a “Pathfinder” by the AICPA and as the “Small Business Leader of the Year” by the Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce.

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Reported Last Week:

Eleuthera Police Search for American Tourist Missing at Sea – Police at Eleuthera along with U.S. Coast Guard are searching for an American visitor, who reportedly went missing at sea on Friday 19th April, 2013. Preliminary reports indicate that around 6:30 pm the 31-year old resident of Sonoma Court, Palm Beach Florida was swimming in waters at Eleuthera along with family and friends, when he and three (3) others were swept away by a high tide and current. The three (3) people were able to swim ashore; however, the male has not been seen since. Police along with officers from the Royal Bahamas Defense Force and the US Coast Guard are continuing with their search efforts.

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Jeff was instrumental in helping to create several Daszkal Bolton divisions such as Strategic Business Solutions, Benchmark Financial, White Knight, Family Office, and turning a fascination with sports and professional athletes into a division called “Game Plan”.

Outside the office, Jeff was just as passionate and dedicated to numerous charitable causes. He served on the Board of Directors for the Bone Marrow Foundation and was Chairperson of the annual “Sports Legends” Event. He was the Corporate Chair of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s “Light the Night Walk” for many years in honor of his son Jason’s fight with the disease. By spearheading fundraising efforts and helping to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for local charities, Jeff served as a role model who inspired clients, associates, and friends to get involved. Jeff also took a leadership role in the professional community and served with the South Florida Manufacturers Association as Treasurer, Board Member, and Member of the Executive Committee.

Michael Daszkal commented that “Jeff was one of South Florida’s best accountants when it came to entrepreneurs and family owned or closely held businesses. His passing is a tremendous loss not only to family, friends, clients and the community at large. Jeff was instrumental in the growth of our Jupiter office which will remain strong, as will the entire firm.  I and all the Partners will work hard to support Jeff’s family and take care of Jeff’s clients, while preserving his vision and legacy at the three offices he helped build here at Daszkal Bolton”.

Born and raised in New Jersey, Jeff attended Arthur L. Johnson Regional High School in Clark, New Jersey, graduating in 1983. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Accounting from American University in Washington D.C. in 1987. Jeff was a Certified Public Accountant through the State of Florida, and a member of both the American and Florida Institutes of Certified Public Accountants.

Jeff is survived by his wife Mirka, his two children, Jason and Lexi, as well as his brother Brian Bolton, and his parents Joel and Barbara Bolton.

In lieu of flowers or gifts, the family asks that donations be made to the Jeffrey A. Bolton Children’s Education Fund, 2401 N.W. Boca Raton Blvd., Boca Raton, FL 33431.

Funeral arrangements will be posted on our website www.daszkalbolton.com as soon as information is available.

 

Judge Dismisses Parmalat Case Against Grant Thornton

A case against Chicago-based Grant Thornton (FY11 net revenue of $1.15 billion), which relates to the 2003 bankruptcy of the Italian dairy company Parmalat, has been dismissed, Bloomberg reported.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge John Darrah ruled in favor of the accounting firm April 9 in Chicago, citing a dismissal by a previous court, the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, where the judge ruled that the company could not recover damages from a fraud in which it was a willing participant.

Grant Thornton asked the Chicago court to dismiss it rather than send it to state court. Parmalat sought bankruptcy protection in 2003 after an accounting scandal and reorganized in 2005 in Italy. A parallel bankruptcy in the U.S. involved suing Grant Thornton, alleging malpractice, negligent misrepresentation and civil conspiracy.

Prosecutors Charge Former KPMG Partner in Insider Trading Scheme

A criminal case against former KPMG auditor Scott London asserts that London gave a friend insider information about clients in return for an estimated $50,000 in cash, jewelry and pricey dinners, the Los Angeles Times reported. The case, filed April 11 in federal court in Los Angeles, states that London told his friend, Bryan Shaw, when to buy and sell and how to attract little attention while making $1.2 million in profits. Companies involved included Herbalife and Skechers.

New York-based KPMG (FY11 net revenue of $5.36 billion) issued a statement by Chairman and CEO John Veihmeyer: “I was appalled to learn of the additional details about Scott London’s extraordinary breach of fiduciary duties to our clients, KPMG and the capital markets. We unequivocally condemn his actions, and deeply regret the impact that his violations of trust and the law have had on our clients and our people. KPMG will be bringing legal actions against London in the near future.” The firm has resigned as auditors to the two companies.

Andre Birotte, U.S. attorney for Los Angeles, told the Times that it’s important to go after insider-trading cases. “He was an auditor at a company that was entrusted to protect the information of respected companies,” Birotte said. “To take that information and provide t to at least one other individual for profit feeds into that perception that the markets are tilted and only for those who are privileged and have inside information.”

The case also brings up a rule considered, but not enacted, by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), which would have required public disclosures of audit engagement partners. The proposal, to require auditors to add their names to audited financial statements, was proposed in late 2011.

“We don’t know how many other audits of public companies this person did,” said Lynn Turner, referring to London, in the Chicago Tribune. The former chief accountant for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission also said, “It is a shame the PCAOB has elected not to move forward with this significant proposal.” Some observers believe the case will give PCAOB the push it needs to require auditor identification.

In other news, the PCAOB is scheduled to hold six forums to share information about PCAOB activities and hear comments from auditors as well as discuss the JOBS Act and how it may affect standard-setting for auditors of smaller public companies. The first will be held June 6 in Seattle. Find the schedule at http://pcaobus.org/Featured/Pages/SmallBusinessForums.aspx

NJ Accounting Firm, 6 Golfers Sign Branding Agreements

Cherry Hill, N.J.-based accounting firm Alloy Silverstein announced branding agreements with six PGA Web.com tour professionals.

According to an announcement, the firm made the agreements following a successful first venture into professional golf sponsorship last year.

The Web.com Tour, formerly the Nationwide Tour, is the developmental tour for the U.S. Professional Golfers’ Association. The golfers are Steve Allan, of Melbourne, Australia, Adam Crawford, of Brisbane, Australia, Ashley Hall, of Melbourne, Australia, Bronson La’Cassie, of Brisbane, Australia, Tyrone Van Aswgen, a Johannesburg, South Africa native and current San Diego, CA resident, and Stefan Wiedergruen, a Waiblingen, Germany native and current Charlotte, N.C. resident.

Mr. Obvious: Tax Code Too Complex, Business Owners Say

Small business owners believe the major problem with the U.S. tax code is its complexity, says a new survey by the National Small Business Association.

One in four small business owners spend 120 hours or more per year on the administration of federal taxes.

According to the survey, the overwhelming majority of small-business owners support broad reform of the federal tax code–corporate and individual tax reform–in conjunction with a reduction in business and individual deductions.

Former CCH President Elected to Doc.It Board

Mike Sabbatis has been elected to the board of directors for Doc.It, which makes Doc.It Suite, document management software products for accounting firms.

Sabbatis served as president and CEO at CCH Tax and Accounting North America – Wolters Kluwer Tax and Accounting. He stepped down last year and recently joined the board of another software company, XCM Solutions.