Archives for February 2014

New Guide: Differentiation for Professional Services Firms

You’ve known that differentiation is the foundation of a strong brand. But why is it so important for professional services firms? What makes an effective differentiator? And how do you identify what sets your firm apart so you can share it with confidence?

Hinge, a marketing firm specializing in branding and marketing for the professional services industry has put together the answers in a new guide, titled: Differentiation Guide for Professional Services Firms.

Whether you’re looking to clarify and revitalize your brand, find new directions for your firm, or start a well-differentiated business, we hope you’ll find this guide an invaluable branding resource.

New SEC Rule On Conflict Minerals Provides Opportunity for Crowe Horwath

Compliance deadlines loom for U.S. public companies that must account for the raw materials in their supply chain. The materials in questions are ubiquitous in the Western economy, from smelters to smartphones, which leaves companies scrambling.

Chicago-based Crowe Horwath (FY13 net revenue of $599 million) is offering a solution. To assist with this complex process, Crowe Horwath has introduced the Crowe Conflict Minerals Tracker.

You can read more about this, and a full interview in the March issue of INSIDE Public Accounting.


People In The News: February 24-28

WeiserMazars LLP Expands Tax Practice

 New York-based WeiserMazars LLP (FY12 net revenue of $132.2 million), an IPA Top 25 firm, has admitted Ilene Mak and Candace Quinn to its New York office as partners in its tax services practice.

For more than 20 years, Mak has provided top level corporate and partnership tax services to entities in the financial services industry, both domestic and foreign. Quinn has more than 25 years of experience providing global executive compensation and benefits services to multinational and domestic corporations at the Big 4 and major law firms.

The firm has also increased its tax and trusts & estates capabilities with the addition of partner Richard Bloom in their New Jersey office.

Frederiksen Inducted into Accounting Hall of Fame

Chris Frederiksen

Chris Frederiksen

Chris Frederiksen, the CEO of 2020 Group USA, has been inducted into CPA Practice Advisor’s Accounting Hall of Fame.

Frederiksen is an accountant who also runs a consultancy that shows other accounting firms become more successful and profitable. He is also frequently a featured speaker at accounting conferences, has authored several books and continues to stay in practice through partnerships in two international accounting firms, and prior accounting firms he has built and managed.



Moore Colson Names New Managing Partner

Moore Colson (FY12 net revenue of $12.8 million) of Marietta, Ga., has admitted Bert Mills

Bert Mills

Bert Mills

as MP of the firm. Bob Kiser, former MP, will remain a partner and continue to serve the firm.

Bert Mills joined Moore Colson in 1991, and has excelled in growing the firm, both financially as well as intellectually, over the past 23 years. Named PIC of Moore Colson’s tax practice in 1993, Mills has since built an exceptional team of professionals during his tenure with the firm.

“Bert provides a clear vision and a big shot of enthusiasm for the firm”, says Kiser. “His desire to better serve our clients and attract top talent to the firm will lead Moore Colson well into the future. We are in good hands with Bert at the helm.”



LBMC Partner, Cindy Harper Selected as 2014 “WOMEN OF INFLUENCE” Honoree

Cindy Harper

Cindy Harper

The Nashville Business Journal named Cindy Harper the honoree in their Community Supporter category for Women of Influence. This award is recognizes years of hard work and dedication to her passions and unwavering support and commitment to help make our community a better place.

“Everyone at LBMC is excited to see Cindy recognized for her dedication to our community and the clients she serves. Community is important to her and that is clearly demonstrated through her passion in all that she does,” says Mike Cain, MP of LBMC.

Harper is a tax partner at LBMC as well as leader of the LBMC wealth management segment. Cindy Harper has been a driving force behind LBMC’s success for the last twenty years.  Cindy has been instrumental in the development and sponsorship of the Women Initiatives Network (WIN), LBMC’s professional women’s program, promoting the advancement of women in the profession.


GBH Names New Managing Director 

GBH CPAs, PC (FY12 net revenue of $3.4 million) of Houston, has admitted Gail Prather as managing director of tax. Prather will lead the firm’s domestic and international tax advisory services.

Jeff Houston, CEO, says, “We are pleased to have Gail lead our tax practice.  Her broad experience brings unique business solutions to her clients, not just tax services.  She will assist us in deploying our larger combined resources to the marketplace.”

Mergers: February 24-28

Boyer & Associates, LLC joins Wipfli LLP

Boyer & Associates, LLC of Brookfield, Wis., has joined Milwaukee-based Wipfli LLP (FY13 net revenue of $165.2 million), an IPA Top 25 firm.

“We are thrilled to welcome Boyer & Associates, a nationally recognized consulting firm in the senior living industry, to Wipfli and our health care industry practice,” says Steve Thompson, PIC of Wipfli’s health care industry practice. “Together, we look forward to continuing to provide high-quality services to health care organizations across the country.”

Pat Boyer, sole owner of Boyer & Associates, has worked both on the provider side (including high-level positions at Extendicare, a national senior living chain based in Milwaukee), as well as on the consulting side having spent five years as a clinical operations consultant for BDO Seidman.

New Canaan and Stamford Firms Merge

Stamford, Conn.-based Haims Buzzeo & Co., PC has merged with John B. Nelson CPA LLC, of New Canaan, Conn.

The merged firm will continue to operate out of its office in New Canaan as well as its current office in Stamford.

MP of Haims Buzzeo & Co. PC, Michael Buzzeo, has more than 35 years of experience as a certified public accountant. He will retain his role as managing partner of the firm in both locations.  John Nelson will continue to provide accounting and tax services in the New Canaan office.

Haims Buzzeo & Co. PC is a full service public accounting firm which provides a broad spectrum of financial advisory services including

Firms in the News: February 14-20

Anchin, Block & Anchin Receives Award

New York-based Anchin, Block & Anchin (FY12 net revenue of $93 million) has been named the U.S. Overall Accountancy Firm of the Year for the second year in a row in the annual International Hedge Fund Awards. Winners were selected by Acquisition International Magazine.

“Anchin is thrilled to once again be recognized by Acquisition International Magazine’s International Hedge Fund Awards as the U.S. Overall Accountancy Firm of the Year,” says Jeffrey Rosenthal, PIC of the firm’s financial services practice. “This recognition is a testament to our hard work and devoted team, who consistently bring the highest levels of service and technical expertise to our clients.”

Bedel To Chair Indiana CPA Political Action Committee

Mike Bedel, a partner and director of audit and assurance services at Indianapolis-based Sponsel CPA Group (FY12 net revenue of $3.1 million), has been elected chairman of the Indiana CPA-Political Action Committee (CPA-PAC).

Mike Bedel

Mike Bedel

The Indiana CPA-PAC supports the legislative interests of the CPA profession. Through contributions from individual CPAs statewide, the CPA-PAC supports the campaigns of candidates for the state legislature who support the best interests of the clients, employers, businesses and the public served by the CPA profession.

Bedel served on the Indiana CPA Society Leadership Cabinet for two years, and has been a Trustee of the PAC since January 2012.

“I have been proud to represent Hoosier CPAs as a trustee of the Indiana CPA-Political Action Committee, and am now honored to take up a leadership position,” says Bedel. “We will work together to uphold the high standards of our profession and address their concerns directly to our elected officials.”

Sobel & Co. Launches New Practice Group

Livingston, N.J.-based Sobel & Co. (FY12 net revenue of $15 million) announced the launch of its valuation advisory, due diligence and commercial damages consulting services group, led by Christopher Young, a corporate finance industry veteran.

In this position, Young will be responsible for sourcing and the preparation of valuations, due diligence and commercial damage assignments, as well as testifying as an expert witness, when called upon.

Mountjoy Chilton Medley Is Rebranding

Louisville, Ky.-based Mountjoy Chilton Medley (FY12 net revenue of $37.2 million), an IPA 100 firm, is in the midst of re-branding.

Re-branding occurs about every five years at Mountjoy Chilton Medley (MCM), in part because the business world inevitably changes, but even more so because the firm is constantly evolving. In the past year alone, two services were added to the consulting department, itself the newest addition to the firm, joining the traditional assurance and tax departments.

The re-branding is nothing new to Diane Medley, MCM’s MP. The only female managing partner of the Top 100 accounting firms nationwide, Medley and John Chilton founded Chilton & Medley with five people and a revenue budget of $350,000 in 1988.

PwC Faces Malpractice Suit Over SemGroup Audit

PwC (FY12 gross revenue of $10.1 billion), an IPA Top 25 firm, is facing a trial in a malpractice lawsuit related to SemGroup, an Oklahoma oil-and-gas service company, which filed for bankruptcy in 2008 after risky investments in futures cost the company more than $2 billion.

SemGroup, based in Tulsa, emerged from bankruptcy in 2009, and two years later, the former chief executive settled civil charges. Thomas Kivisto was accused of misleading investors about energy trading conducted by the company. No wrongdoing was admitted in the settlement, but he paid a $225,000 penalty and gave up his rights to more than $1.1 million in stock.

Now, the Wall Street Journal reports that SemGroup’s creditors are seeing $1.1 billion in damages from PwC, which stated that SemGroup’s financial statements were fair and accurate. PwC was SemGroup’s auditor from 2004 to 2008.

The case is “one of the most egregious instances of auditor malpractice in Oklahoma history,” according to Bettina Whyte, the lawyer in charge of pursuing litigation to recover funds for creditors.

“During the time Kivisto was engaged in the speculative trading activity and his own self-dealing, rather than sounding alarm bells, PwC issued unqualified opinions in support of the company’s financial statements year after year,” court papers say. “In so doing, PwC committed malpractice, causing SemGroup and its stakeholders to suffer billions of dollars in damages.”

A PwC representative told the Wall Street Journal in a statement that the firm “looks forward to defending its work” at the trial, set for August. “SemGroup’s financial statements were correct and PwC’s audit work complied with professional standards. The losses at issue in this case resulted from business decisions made by SemGroup management and an unprecedented rise in the price of oil in 2008.”

People in the News: February 14-20 Part 2

Herbein Wealth Management Admits Worley as Partner

Scott Worley

Scott Worley

Herbein Wealth Management of Wyomissing, Pa., admitted Scott Worley to partner.

Worley joined the firm in 2007 as an investment advisor associate and has been involved in the financial industry since 2000. Worley develops and monitors personalized plans for individuals that cover wealth enhancement, protection, transfer and charitable giving. He also works with corporate clients on retirement plans.



O’Connor Davies Promotes Five New Partners

Harrison, N.Y. based-O’Connor Davies (FY12 net revenue of $84.5 million), an IPA Top 100 firm, has admitted Robert Cordero, Joseph Izzo, Gemma Leddy, Christine Pronek and Michael Provini as partners.

Cordero, partner in the accounting and auditing practice, specializes in auditing and business consulting, working with several types of organizations, including private schools, general charities and other not-for-profit organizations, government and commercial entities.

Izzo, partner in the accounting and auditing practice, has experience serving both not-for-profit and commercial clients on audit and tax engagements. He has served a variety of clients, including a large subsidiary of an international manufacturing company and not-for-profit organizations, including social service agencies, foundations, fundraising, churches and faith-based organizations, and those receiving government funding.

Leddy is partner and the director of O’Connor Davies Wealth Services. Leddy provides comprehensive financial management and CFO services to high-net-worth individuals, family offices, executives, entrepreneurs and their businesses.

Pronek is a partner in the estate and trust practice. Pronek has experience in all areas of taxation, including corporate, individual and partnerships. Her areas of specialty are estate and trust planning; estate, trust and gift compliance; and foreign financial reporting.

Provini is partner in the financial services practice group. Provini’s experience includes hedge funds, fund of funds, private equity funds, offshore funds, master-feeder structures, commodity pools, private foundations, employee benefit plans, family offices and registered investment.


ParenteBeard Appoints New Leader For Philadelphia Region

Julius Green

Julius Green

Philadelphia-based ParenteBeard (FY12 net revenue of $168.7 million), an IPA Top 25 firm, has admitted Julius Green to tax practice leader in the Philadelphia region. In his new role, Green will oversee tax quality control, as well as build service teams with the audit practice to enhance client service.




Kirkbride Becomes New Partner at UHY LLP

Chicago-based UHY (FY12 net revenue of $188.3 million), an IPA Top 25 firm, announced that Josh Kirkbride has been admitted as partner. Based in the Sterling Heights, Mich., office, Kirkbride is a leading member of the audit and assurance department. He is one of the youngest people to make partner at UHY. Kirkbride specializes in strategic business consulting, tax planning and compliance, financial reporting, operational improvements, industry-specific tax issues, and estate and business succession planning.


Windes Announces New Partner

Long Beach, Calif.-based Windes, Inc., (FY13 net revenue of $23.8 million) admitted Gary Curtis as partner in its tax and accounting services practice. Curtis is based out of Windes’ Irvine, Calif., office.

Curtis joins Windes from Irvine, Calif.-based Haskell & White (FY13 net revenue of $11.1 million), where he was a corporate tax partner and led the firm’s mergers and acquisitions practice.

“We are very pleased to welcome Gary to the firm,” says John Di Carlo, MP. “Gary’s background and expertise are a very nice fit for the firm and we look forward to continuing our practice growth by adding talented professionals such as Gary.”

Curtis’ expertise lies in complex corporate transactions, including consolidated income tax return issues, multi-state taxation and cancellation of debt issues. He specializes in tax consulting and compliance services for privately held and public companies.

“I am very excited to join Windes, as the firm has a stellar reputation and I believe I can contribute to the continued success of the organization,” says Curtis.


Rivette Named Principal At Yeo & Yeo

Jamie Rivette

Jamie Rivette

Jamie Rivette has been admitted to the position of principal at Saginaw, Mich.-based Yeo & Yeo (FY12 net revenue of $27.5 million).

Rivette started with the firm in 2001 and has more than 14 years of experience, and serves in the audit department of the firm’s Saginaw office and is co-leader of the firm’s government services team and a member of the audit team. Her areas of expertise include audit services for government entities, school districts and not-for-profit organizations.

People in the News: February 14-20 Part 1

Baker Newman Noyes Announces New OMP

Portland, Maine-based Baker Newman Noyes (FY12 net revenue of $27.7 million) admitted Jeremy Veilleux as OMP of the firm’s Manchester and Portsmouth offices in New Hampshire. Veilleux serves as a member of the management committee that oversees strategic direction of the firm. Veilleux will help carry out the firm’s strategic plan for growth and continues to lead the recruiting efforts for the firm.

“I look forward to the future of Baker Newman Noyes as we embark on our 15th anniversary serving Manchester, Portsmouth and the surrounding communities,” says Veilleux. “We see the current business climate, as challenging as it is, as an opportunity to bring fresh ideas and creative solutions to our clients.”


CBIZ MHM Announces Promotion of Managing Director

Mitchell Plattman

Mitchell Plattman

Cleveland-based CBIZ & Mayer Hoffman McCann (FY12 net revenue of $615 million), an IPA Top 25 firm, announced the promotion of Mitchell Plattman to managing director.

Plattman has more than 20 years of experience in providing business advisory and consulting services to private equity groups and privately held companies in the apparel and consumer products industries.  He has extensive experience providing due diligence services for potential acquisitions.

“Mitch’s experience in mergers and acquisitions has been a tremendous resource for private equity clients,” says Jeffrey Gluck, senior managing director. “His continuous efforts will help us strategically grow this important segment.”


Gampel Joins Cherry Bekaert as Litigation Support Principal

Richmond, Va.-based Cherry Bekaert LLP (FY13 net revenue of $125.9 million) admitted Peter Gampel as a litigation support principal, in the firm’s Florida office. Gampel will assume leadership of the commercial litigation practice and will provide consulting services in the areas of commercial litigation, fraud and forensics.

Gampel has prepared more than 1,000 business valuation and damages reports for a wide variety of businesses. His expertise has been sought in cases associated with business damages, lost profits, disputes with the Internal Revenue Service, patent infringement, breached of contract, personal injury, false advertising and shareholder and marital disputes. Gampel has testified in U.S. Circuit Courts, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, U.S. Tax Court, the American Arbitration Association and Quebec Superior Court.


John Eusanio Joins CohnReznick As Partner

John Eusanio

John Eusanio

New York-based CohnReznick (FY13 net revenue of $481.8 million), an IPA Top 25 firm, has admitted John Eusanio as partner in the firm’s New York office. Eusanio is a member of the firm’s not-for-profit and education industry practice and health care industry practice. He comes to CohnReznick from a Big 4 accounting firm, where he completed a three-year national rotation in which he assisted engagement teams serving significant governmental and not-for-profit clients.

“John’s expertise in both the health care and not-for-profit industries will be essential to our growing practices in the New York Metro area,” says Steven Mayer, OMP.


CohnReznick LLP Announces Promotions To Partner/Principal

New York-based CohnReznick LLP (FY13 net revenue of $481.8 million), an IPA Top 25 firm, admitted 11 new partners in February 2014.

Gil Bernhard, based in the firm’s headquarters in New York, has more than 25 years of experience in public accounting. Bernhard serves as co-managing director of the firm’s health care industry practice, concentrating on health care audit, financial management and reimbursement issues.

Peter Epp serves as co-managing director of CohnReznick’s health care industry practice alongside Bernhard. Based in the New York office, Epp has more than 25 years of experience, and is a nationally recognized expert in ambulatory health care reimbursement and financing.

Stephanie O’Rourk, based in the firm’s Jericho, N.Y., office, leads the firm’s hospitality industry practice.

Corey Rosenthal, based in the firm’s headquarters office, is part of the state and local tax practice.

Alan Wohl has more than 15 years of diversified public accounting experience. He leads the firm’s entrepreneurial services group in the New York office and is also a member of the firm’s private client services group.

Jonathan Collett, based in the firm’s Glastonbury, Conn., office is a member of the financial services industry practice, providing tax services to the firm’s New England and New York Metro clients.

Ryan Henigan leads the construction industry practice in the firm’s Baltimore office.

Ken Slater, based in the firm’s Bethesda, Md., office, has more than 17 years of experience in providing audit, tax and management advisory services to various types of real estate entities and not-for-profit organizations.

Jason Burian leads the firm’s commercial real estate industry practice in the Chicago office.

Linda Rowland, based in the firm’s Atlanta office, is a member of the firm’s affordable housing industry practice and not-for-profit and education industry practice.

Garrett Ushiyama is a member of the firm’s assurance practice and is based in the Los Angeles office.

The firm also announced new leaders in the following offices. Jim Martinko will serve as the OMP of the firm’s Bethesda, Md., office. David Kessler, who shared the role with Martinko, will focus his full-time efforts on leading the firm’s commercial real estate industry practice. Eric Jones has been promoted to OMP of the Sacramento, Calif., office. This move enables Beth Mullen, previous OMP, to dedicate her full-time attention to the substantial efforts required to lead the firm’s affordable housing industry practice. Mark Hooley accepted the role of OMP, San Diego. Mark has been with the firm since 2003 and has more than 15 years of experience providing audit and consulting services to both publicly traded and privately held companies. Southern California represents a strategic growth market for the firm’s dedicated renewable energy, technology, and life sciences practices.

Associations in the News: February 14-20

TIAG Continues U.S. Growth With Expansion Into Philadelphia  

TIAG recently announced that Pritchard, Bieler, Gruver & Willison (PBGW) of Colmar, Pa., will be admitted as members. Over the past year, TIAG has experienced significant growth as a result of its North American expansion strategy.

“PBGW is very excited to join TIAG,” says PBGW’s MP, Robert Pritchard. “Unlike other options in the marketplace, TIAG provides its diverse international members with superior opportunities for collaboration and resources to assist its members with their own strategic planning. In addition, the leadership of TIAG is committed to focusing its efforts on its members through its conferences, educational partners and technology offerings.”

UHY Strengthens Presence In Europe

Chicago-based UHY (FY12 net revenue of $188.3 million), an IPA Top 25 firm, welcomes a new member, Mont Audit Plus, in Montenegro to the global accountancy network UHY.

Mont Audit Plus was established in 2007. With a team of 12 staff including four partners, the firm’s headquarters is based in Podgorica, the capital city. The firm provides audit, consulting, assets and capital valuations, tax counseling and accounting services to clients in a variety of private and public sectors in the region.

The firm will soon be adopting the UHY branding and will be known as UHY Mont Audit DOO.

Mergers: February 14-20

ParenteBeard Acquires Invotex

Philadelphia-based ParenteBeard (FY12 net revenue of $168.7 million), an IPA Top 25 firm, has acquired Baltimore-based Invotex.

Invotex will rebrand as ParenteBeard. Its addition will enhance the larger firm’s insurance consulting practice, and its forensic, litigation and valuation consulting services, ParenteBeard announced.

“By combining the nationally recognized financial consulting capabilities of Invotex with the consulting, accounting and tax services of ParenteBeard, our clients will benefit from enhanced resources and a deeper range of skill sets in litigation and transactional work,” says Raymond Peroutka, Invotex’s former managing director and CEO.


Greenwich Firm Merges Into Marcum LLP, Two Partners Added

Thomas E. Finn of Greenwich, Conn., has merged into New York-based Marcum (FY12 net revenue of $275.5 million), an IPA Top 25 firm.

Thomas Finn and Ari Manula have joined Marcum as partners. Marcum’s John Mezzanotte was named PIC of the Greenwich office.

“Tom Finn’s deep roots in the Greenwich community strengthen Marcum’s presence in the Connecticut market and bring an important new asset to our New England region,” says Jeffrey Weiner, Marcum’s MP.


Nashville Firm Merges With Kingston Firm

Collinsworth, Bright and Co. of Nashville, Tenn., and Daniels, Uselton and Clay of Kingston, Tenn., have merged.

The two firms will operate as Uselton, Clay and Bright and provide tax, accounting and financial services for businesses and individuals, including those in the music industry that Collinsworth, Bright and Co. has served from its Nashville office.

“The decision to merge was based on the idea that we can leverage synergies and provide more efficient and better service to our clients,” Clyde Bright, president of Collinsworth, Bright and Co., says.

The firm’s Kingston office will focus on small to medium-size businesses, non-profits, local governments and individuals.

The 2014 INSIDE Public Accounting Survey and Analysis of Firms Is Under Way

The 2014 INSIDE Public Accounting Survey and analysis of firms is under way.

The IPA 100, 200 and best of the best firms!


The opportunity to be included in the annual IPA Survey, be benchmarked with more than 500+ firms nationwide and potentially be ranked among this year’s top firms in the: IPA 100, IPA 200, IPA Best of the Best, the IPA All-Stars and/or the Fastest-Growing firms in the nation.

A complimentary copy of the IPA 100 firm rankings, along with a detailed financial and operational analysis of the rankings. (Delivered in August 2014.)

A complimentary electronic “Executive Summary” of the IPA National Benchmarking Report. Sent in October 2014.

Discounted pricing on the 160+ page 2014 IPA National Benchmarking Report. Due out in October 2014.

Special pricing on the IPA Financial and Operational Performance Report Card. You may view a sample of the Report Card.

Preference for selection in articles written by IPA throughout the year, (an excellent opportunity to market your firm).


…July 2013 through January 2014  May 1, 2014

…February 2014 through March 2014 May 30, 2014

…April 2014 June 9, 2014

If you have not received your invitation to participate – please contact The Platt Group.


If you’d like to participate in a complimentary webinar hosted by The Platt Group / INSIDE Public Accounting on the best practices for completing the IPA annual survey, sign up for dates and times.


[Firm Administration; Human Resources; Information Technology] are ALL included on the IPA survey form. In addition to the IPA survey on TAB 2, you are INVITED to take part in the THREE additional surveys, TAB 3, 4 AND 5, at no cost. The deadline for the completion and submission of the “optional” surveys is June 9. Each tab on the attached spreadsheet consists of one of the four unique surveys. If you complete any or all of the internal operational surveys, you will receive a full complimentary executive summary of the survey(s) you completed.

If you’d prefer to receive the optional surveys separately, please contact our office for your copies.

Please contact The Platt Group / IPA with any questions at (317) 733-1920 or at