Archives for July 2013

Arthur Andersen Disappears from Road Sign

Arthur Anderson Parkway in Sarasota County, Fla., is being renamed Paramount Drive. The road sign, the last physical reminder of the “Big Five” accounting firm that once employed 1,000 people in Sarasota, has been taken down and replaced.

The name change was pushed by a company that plans to soon announce its relocation to one of two large office buildings in the Sarasota Commerce Center complex, the Herald-Tribune reported. The company insisted that “Arthur Andersen” had to go.

“It was a deal breaker. We are working with a tenant who felt very strongly about it,” said Lori Hellstrom, director of leasing at Osprey Real Estate Services, whose parent company owns the building.

“Arthur Andersen is not something they wanted to be associated with. Most people would agree with that. It was long overdue,” Hellstrom said. The street retained the Andersen name for 11 years after the auditor for failed energy giant Enron shut down. Paramount Drive was chosen from a list of names provided by county government officials.

Eckerle Admitted as Partner at Smolin Lupin

Connie Eckerle has been admitted as a partner at Fairfield, N.J.-based Smolin Lupin (FY13 net revenue of $18.2 million), the firm announced.

Since joining the firm in 2004, Eckerle has worked in the firm’s Juno Beach, Fla., office. She provides tax planning, consulting and compliance services for private and closely held businesses, individuals, and trusts and estates. “Connie is a tremendous colleague with considerable versatility and depth,” said Tom Cole, head of the Juno Beach office. “She is a true professional who provides great advice and insight to her clients.”

Brislin Admitted as Partner at Citrin Cooperman

Mary Brislin has been admitted as a partner at New York-based Citrin Cooperman (FY12 revenue of $131.6 million). Brislin, previously a director in the firm’s Philadelphia office, brings 20 years public accounting experience to Citrin Cooperman, including work in audits, tax compliance and business consulting.

KDV Admits Four Partners

Steve Leen, Jean Massmann, Stan Vander Lugt, and Paul Radeke have been admitted as partners with Minneapolis-based KDV.

The elections were effective on July 1, bringing the total number of partners in the firm to 23.

Leen works within the tax and accounting department assisting companies with financial statement preparation, income tax planning, estate tax planning and other business consulting issues.

Massmann has more than 25 years of experience providing tax, accounting and consulting services to individuals and closely held businesses and their owners.

Vander Lugt has more than 20 years of experience in accounting and works within the tax and business advisory departments of KDV’s Minneapolis office.

Radeke serves as Wealth Advisor Vice President and has been with KDV Wealth Management since January 2009.

Walthall, Drake & Wallace Admits Two Partners

Judith Mondry and Paul Weisinger have been admitted as partners at Independence, Ohio-based Walthall, Drake & Wallace (FY12 net revenue of $6.7 million).

Mondry, the first female partner at the firm leads the real estate group and is a member of the nonprofit and business valuation groups.

Weisinger is responsible for engagement planning and supervision, staff training, and business development. He chairs the business valuation group and is a member of the construction and real estate groups.

PwC Tax Partners Join Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky Market

Tax partners Joanne Cresap and Wayne Robinson have joined the greater Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky market for New York-based PwC (FY12 net revenue of $10.2 billion), the firm announced. Cresap will be based out of PwC’s Cincinnati office, where she will focus on the international tax needs of the firm’s clients in the area, while also remaining a strategic advisor to companies in Missouri and Nebraska. Robinson will be based out of PwC’s Columbus, Ohio, office where he will help companies of all sizes solve complex tax issues.

Lambert Appointed to CAMICO Investment Committee

CAMICO, the nation’s largest CPA-focused program of insurance and risk management for the accounting profession, has appointed Deborah D. Lambert to the company’s Investment Committee.

Lambert is MP of Falls Church, Va.-based Johnson Lambert (FY12 net revenue of $21.4 million). Lambert has overall responsibility for the operations of the firm, including its vision and strategy, and is located in the firm’s Raleigh, N.C., office. “Debbie’s expertise and knowledge will add even greater value for CAMICO policyholders,” said Ric Rosario, CAMICO CEO and president. “We’re fortunate to have someone of her accomplishments and dedication on our team.”

Bader and Zhu Admitted as Partners at Petrinovich Pugh & Company

Andrew Bader and Jie Zhu have been admitted as partners at Petrinovich Pugh & Company of San Jose, Calif. (FY12 net revenue of $7.8 million).

“We measure our firm growth and prosperity by the growth of our people and our clients, and by the quality of service that we provide,” said MP Marc Parkinson. “Andrew and Jie have been an integral part of that growth and excellence and it is fitting that they be admitted as partners.” Zhu, a first-generation immigrant, joined the firm in 1999. Her specialties include assisting international start-up companies with accounting and tax needs, helping international investors with tax planning and compliance, estate and gift tax planning, and trust and probate accounting. Bader came to PP&Co in 2005 and is chair of the firm’s Construction Practice Group.

 

PCAOB May Drop Some Firms That Have Registered

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) may drop some of the nearly 1,000 accounting firms that do not audit public companies or broker-dealers, yet have registered with the board, Accounting Today reported. “Currently 923 firms are registered with the PCAOB even though they do not conduct audits that would subject them to mandatory PCAOB registration,” said PCAOB member Jeanette Franzel in a speech at the Association of Government Accountants’ Annual Professional Development Conference in Dallas July 17. “The board is examining the extent of this practice and the risks that may arise from gaps in expectations about what a PCAOB registration may signify.”

As Compliance Week reported, “Smaller firms have been known to tout their PCAOB registration as if it represents some kind of seal of approval, even when the PCAOB takes no action related those the firms until or unless they perform audit work in the capital markets that falls within the PCAOB’s authority.”

Franzel also said in her speech that based on 2012 year-end data, the Big Four and their global affiliates audited more than 98 percent of the global market capitalization of U.S. issuers. While the concept of mandatory auditor rotation appears dead for now, the PCAOB hopes to address the problems it is seeing among audit firms.

“For the large firms, the number of serious audit performance deficiencies we reported spiked in our 2010 inspections, and remained high overall for the large firms in the 2011 inspections,” Franzel pointed out. “We are starting to see some limited improvements in the 2012 and 2013 inspections.”

She added, “If we see significant improvements in the level of compliance with PCAOB professional standards on audits, the Board will have an opportunity to consider adjusting its inspection approach and methodology to take advantage of firms’ more effective compliance approaches.”

Survey Says Dissatisfaction With Big Four Firms Growing

According to a new survey, 26.3% of CFOs and controllers have recently replaced or are planning to replace their primary audit firm―up from 18.5% two years ago. Fortune 1000 companies also now rely on four audit firms rather than three in 2011, the BTI Survey of Big 4 Client Service Performance says. “The upheaval increases competitive pressure on a daily basis,” comments Michael B. Rynowecer, president of The BTI Consulting Group. “Adding a firm drives increased competition and a considerable redistribution of dollars flowing to CPA firms.” He added that CFOs and controllers would choose PwC if forced to switch firms tomorrow. BTI interviewed 259 financial decision-makers at Fortune 100 companies for the survey. Learn more at http://www.btirankingthebig4.com.