Archives for April 2014

People in the News: April 30th

Pennsylvania CPA Passes Away

Terry C. Martin

Terry C. Martin

Terry C. Martin, 60, a Hatboro, Penn., resident, passed away April 24.

A CPA, Martin worked for the accounting firm of Wouch, Maloney & Co., LLP for 30 years.

Martin was a Penn State alumnus, a fan of Penn State football and the Philadelphia Phillies, an avid golfer, and a member of The Succulent Supper Society, where for 25 years he enjoyed monthly gourmet meals with close friends. He spent vacations with his family in Ocean City, N.J., and at Otter Run Fish and Game Club in Lycoming County.

Born in Philadelphia, he was the son of Eleanor (Sinn) and the late Joseph Martin. He was married for 27 years to Linda (Haslinger). Terry was a devoted father to his three children, Andrew (Heather), Jessica and Tyler. He also is survived by his brother and best friend, Ronald (Rhonda), and a sister-in-law, Jean. He was preceded in death by his brother, Larry.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Terry’s name to Make A Wish Foundation, Philadelphia and Susquehanna Valley, 1 Valley Square, Suite 133, Blue Bell, PA 19422.

 

Senften Named Director Of Finance And Operations For Rea & Associates

New Philadelphia, Ohio-based Rea & Associates (FY12 net revenue of $31.2 million) admitted Jeremy Senften as director of finance and operations. In this newly created role, he will be responsible for assisting in firm management and growth of the firm by concentrating on financial performance, performance metrics, identifying and pursuing internal and external growth opportunities and improving firm processes.

“Jeremy brings solid accounting experience and a keen understanding of quality client service. And in his role of controller, he gained CFO-level experience outside of public accounting – all of which makes him a perfect fit for this new operational role,” says Lee Beall, Rea’s CEO.

Senften began his career with Rea & Associates in 2001 and rose to the ranks of senior manager in the firm’s Ohio offices in Medina and Mentor. In 2011, he left Rea and became controller at D&S Automotive and MC Mobility Systems.

 

Dailey Joins Citrin Cooperman as International Tax Partner

New York-based Citrin Cooperman (FY12 net revenue of $131.6 million) admitted Paul Dailey as a partner in its New York City headquarters. Dailey brings more than 35 years of experience as an authority on international tax matters for corporate and individual clients.

Paul Dailey

Paul Dailey

Dailey specializes in tax planning, structuring, consulting and compliance issues for large foreign-owned corporations. He also addresses residency issues and provides tax planning for high-net-worth individuals. Dailey’s international scope includes structuring offshore tax transactions, expatriate planning, entry/exit strategies and related compliance matters.

“Paul’s breadth of knowledge in international tax is a valuable asset to our partnership,” says Joel Cooperman, MP of Citrin Cooperman. “His years of experience navigating the nuances of the international markets will bring an added advantage to the services we offer our clients.”

“I’m excited to join Citrin Cooperman, as the firm’s reputation is unparalleled,” says Dailey. “I’m looking forward to leveraging my expertise and skills with the firm’s partners and drive growth.”

 

Marks Paneth Appoints PIC of New Commercial Business Group

New York-based Marks Paneth LLP (FY12 net revenue of $86.9 million) has named Howard Hoff PIC of the firm’s new commercial business group.

Marks Paneth’s commercial business group helps manufacturing, wholesale, distribution, retail and construction clients improve their organizations, structure and profitability. The group brings together specific expertise and capabilities from a range of the firm’s practices.

Hoff has been with Marks Paneth since 1996. He advises on both the buy and sell side of merger and acquisition transactions from identifying the target to due diligence and structuring. In addition, Hoff serves lending institutions, providing input on initial funding and annual examinations related to borrowers in the professional services, apparel, textile and diamond and jewelry industries.

“Our clients’ businesses are becoming increasingly specialized and the problems they face are becoming more challenging. Howard Hoff’s depth of knowledge and experience in tackling challenging problems and issues will help our clients navigate this complex environment,” says Harry Moehringer, MP of Marks Paneth.

 

KLR Announces Retirement of Founder and President

Providence, R.I.-based Kahn, Litwin, Renza & Co., Ltd. (KLR) (FY12 net revenue of $30.9 million)  announced that Lawrence Kahn, managing director and president, will retire effective May 31, after 40 years of establishing, building and leading KLR.

Lawrence Kahn

Lawrence Kahn

Kahn, who turns 65 in May, will remain as chairman emeritus and consultant. He will also be leaving his position as a board member of the Leading Edge Alliance and his board seat at the Massachusetts Society of CPAs.

“It is a bittersweet moment in time,” says Kahn “We were under $1 million in revenue when Alan Litwin and I teamed up in 1983, and here I am leaving a $35 million revenue firm, 95th largest firm in the USA and third-largest regional firm in New England. I have complete confidence that our team members, shareholders and emerging leaders will continue to propel the firm forward in the New England marketplace in the upcoming years.”

Kahn has been deeply involved in the business community sharing his knowledge and experience in senior leadership roles. He is a member of the Massachusetts Society of CPAs, the Rhode Island Society of CPAs and the AICPA.

In addition, he is a member of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Financial Services Committee, The Entrepreneurship Institute (TEI), the Boston College CEO Club, National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD-NE), Bentley University Executive Club, The CEO Roundtable, the Rhode Island Estate Planning Counsel and Department of Accountancy Advisory Board at Bentley University.

Firms in the News: April 29th

Wipfli LLP Adds New Sustainability Services

Milwaukee-based Wipfli LLP (FY13 net revenue of $165.2 million) recently announced that it has expanded its sustainability services to include a variety of assessments.

“We’re excited to offer our clients a competitive advantage through sustainability,” says Bob Cedergren, sustainability practice leader of Wipfli LLP. “Each of these new assessments brings opportunities to evaluate current sustainability initiatives, increase employee and stakeholder participation and satisfaction, or improve compliance issues.”

The new assessment services include:

  • Compass Assessment – This assessment evaluates goals, policies and management practices in 35 areas of an organization’s sustainability efforts. It also analyzes how effectively they are integrated in operations and how well they are reported relative to absolute or ideal sustainability standards.
  • S-CORE Assessment – This rapid assessment tool measures the degree to which an organization has embedded sustainability into its day-to-day operations. It illustrates what the path to sustainability looks like over the long term.
  • Performance Improvement Assessment – This assessment evaluates processes such as leadership, strategic planning, customer and market focus, measurement, analysis and knowledge management. Employees can provide valuable feedback to identify opportunities, areas for growth and deployment gaps.
  • Facility Audits – These audits measure and monitor efficiency in energy, waste, water, and greenhouse gas production. The findings can help increase a company’s bottom line by reducing expenses and lost assets, providing accurate information for supply chain requests and transparency to increase the organization’s reputation with stakeholders.

Wipfli’s sustainability services group provides assessment and reporting, planning and advisory services.

 

SS&G Expands With New Cincinnati Office

Cleveland-based SS&G (FY12 net revenue of $79.1 million) is expanding with a new office in downtown Cincinnati’s central business district. All employees from SS&G’s Erlanger, Ky., office and some from the Sycamore Township, Ohio, office will move to the new location with plans to grow and add more staff. Currently under construction, the downtown SS&G office is slated to open in fall 2014.

“We wanted to establish a presence downtown to be a part of the city’s revitalization and central core. The move is also in line with SS&G’s commitment to work-life balance. We wanted to have an office at the center of where our employees live and play,” says Brian Berning, a managing director at SS&G.

 

Two Wisconsin Firms Merge

Sitzberger Widmann & Company S. C. of Brookfield, Wis., and Hau & Associates of Milwaukee have merged to form Sitzberger Hau & Company S.C. The new firm, which will be based in Brookfield, includes more than 40 staff members across three locations.

People in the News: April 29th

McGladrey Enhances Focus on Forensics

Gregory Cowhey

Gregory Cowhey

Chicago-based McGladrey LLP (FY13 net revenue of $1.4 billion) has admitted Gregory Cowhey as a partner. Cowhey, who will be based in Philadelphia, will guide the firm’s investigations and dispute practice for the Philadelphia-New Jersey market. His duties will include developing business, managing client relationships and developing employees.

“Gregory’s knowledge, experience and proven focus on building strong client relationships aligns well with McGladrey’s client-centric approach,” says Mike Dubin, OMP for McGladrey’s Philadelphia-New Jersey market. “We look forward to continuing to provide our clients with the best possible litigation support and forensics services under Gregory’s guidance.”

Cowhey has significant experience managing engagements providing various consulting services including: intangible asset appraisal; financial accounting impairment and other analysis; economic damage assessment; forensic and investigative accounting and litigation support services for individuals, closely held companies, medium to large public and private corporations, government agencies, banks, attorneys and accounting firms.

 

Resnick to lead Grant Thornton’s New England Practice  

Peter Resnick
Peter Resnick

Chicago-based Grant Thornton LLP (FY12 net revenue of $1.2 billion) named Peter Resnick MP of its New England practice, which includes the firm’s offices in Boston, Westborough, Mass. and Glastonbury, Conn., effective Aug. 1.

Resnick currently serves as a member of the New England leadership team and the forensics and litigation services practice leader for the firm’s Boston office, a role in which he will continue. As MP of the New England region, he will succeed Joel Anik, who will serve in an advisory role for the New England practice through Dec. 31.

“Peter is an exceptional leader who has consistently demonstrated great value to our dynamic clients and to our firm through his commitment to excellence and accountability,” says Rick Gebert, MP of Grant Thornton’s Northeast region. “He will be integral in driving the strategy and continued success of our New England practice.”

 

KPMG Names National Co-Leader of Venture Capital Practice

New York-based KPMG LLP (FY12 net revenue of $5.8 billion) named Conor Moore as national co-leader of the firm’s venture capital practice.

In his new role, Moore will be responsible for setting the practice’s strategic priorities and growth agenda. He will drive strategy and client services, broaden KPMG relationships with venture capital firms, venture-backed companies and start-ups, and serve as the lead partner on several large client engagements. Moore is based in San Francisco and succeeds Packy Kelly, who has been appointed as the leader of KPMG’s global semiconductor practice.

“Conor is a recognized leader in the venture capital community, and we are confident that his deep industry knowledge and strong client relationships will continue to grow our practice,” says Brian Hughes, national co-leader of KPMG’s venture capital practice.

 

Denver Business Journal  Publisher Scott Bemis Joins EKS&H

Scott Bemis

Scott Bemis

Scott Bemis will join Denver-based EKS&H (FY12 net revenue of $63.4 million) as director of business and community partnerships, effective May 5.

“For my next chapter, I really wanted to team up with an exceptional company, known for their culture and the essential services they provide,” says Bemis, who adds that he was also looking for a company known for its outstanding client partnerships and community relationships. “EKS&H fits that bill.”

In his new role, Bemis will work on developing relationships for EKS&H in the business community, as well as in the community at large, says Bob Hottman, CEO of EKS&H.

“We thought if he had a desire to continue to be active in the community, we’d find a way to utilize his skill set and passion, because he’s a wonderful human being,” says Hottman. “We’re incredibly excited as an organization to have someone of Scott’s caliber joining us.”

Bemis will represent EKS&H on boards in the community, which is a role he often took on as the DBJ’s leader, as well as work with current and prospective clients of the firm. He will also serve on EKS&H’s marketing committee.

 

Firms in the News: April 29th

Marcum Financial Services Launches Marcum Benefits Marketplace

Marcum Financial Services, an affiliate of New York-based Marcum LLP (FY12 net revenue of $275.5 million) announced the launch of the Marcum Benefits Marketplace, a one-stop online shop for health insurance for groups and individuals.

Marcum says it is the only national accounting firm to offer multiple private exchange platforms to help clients and others comply with the health insurance mandates of the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act.

The Marcum Benefits Marketplace is designed to help users select, enroll and administer health insurance as well as other benefits for small to middle-market businesses. The Marcum Benefits Marketplace is geared for employers with 1,000 or fewer employees. The exchange also offers a prescription discount program, dental insurance and travel insurance. Additionally, members are given access to financial planning and portfolio management services available from Marcum Financial Services.

“The mandate to provide health insurance is particularly onerous, complex and costly for companies in the small and mid-market categories, as these employers are less likely to have the resources on staff to facilitate ACA compliance,” says Steven Brett, president of Marcum Financial Services. “Many employers are switching to a defined contribution approach when it comes to health insurance, and they need the technology to administer this approach. The Marcum Benefits Marketplace is the solution that provides employers with a centralized, easy-to-navigate resource where they can explore their options and become educated about their different choices, all from one central website. It puts all the information they could possibly need in a single location, saving them the considerable time and frustration of going it alone. ”

In addition to providing health insurance products, Marcum Financial Services also provides cost-benefit analyses to help companies choose the most advantageous benefits programs. Companies electing group plans will receive custom-branded, secure portals where employees can register become educated about their options and make their benefit selections.

For individuals and/or employees without employer health plans, the Marcum Benefits Exchange offers medical, dental and vision plans that are competitive with the federal and state exchange marketplaces. Marcum also offers counselors that are certified to determine eligibility and apply for any federal premium tax credit or cost share subsidy that may be available.

For more information, visit www.marcumbenefitsmarketplace.com.

 

Windham Brannon Announces Separation From Windham Brannon Financial Group

Windham Brannon (FY12 net revenue of $20.1 million) of Atlanta announced an ownership separation from Windham Brannon Financial Group. The separation positions Windham Brannon as the only Atlanta-based regional CPA firm without a competing wealth management business unit.

Windham Brannon Financial Group, a financial planning and wealth management firm, is being rebranded and moving to new office space. The company will retain its team of financial experts.

“That we have eliminated any perception of conflict of interest is important to our fundamental commitment to serving clients,” says David Kloess, president & CEO, Windham Brannon. “Separating from investment planning allows us to remain true to the fundamentals upon which we were founded.”

“Our relationship with Windham Brannon has been extremely successful dating back to 1999,” says James Heard, president & CEO, Windham Brannon Financial Group. “This has been a great success story for both firms, and we are excited about the prospects and opportunities that lie ahead.”

 

Legendary Baseball Manager and CohnReznick LLP Team Up on Advertising Campaign

New York-based CohnReznick LLP (FY13 net revenue of $481.8 million) announced that former Yankees manager Joe Torre will continue to serve as its national spokesperson and unveiled its new, multi-million dollar advertising campaign.

The “Game Changer” campaign featuring Torre, who is now executive vice president of operations at Major League Baseball, will run in national business and trade publications, radio spots, integrated sponsorships, digital/mobile ads, social media, outdoor placements and on commuter rail lines. The campaign will also target key trade print and online outlets, focusing on many of the firm’s practice areas, such as affordable housing, commercial real estate, private equity, renewable energy and the services of CohnReznick Advisory Group.

The firm says Torre is featured with eye-catching “game changer” themes, underlining the need to master the uncertainty in the market that many of the firm’s clients face every day. “The language in the campaign underscores the firm’s core belief and attribute – that forward thinking creates results,” the firm says.

“The ‘Game Changer’ campaign is a real departure from typical professional services advertisements and no other accounting firm has a spokesperson with Joe’s visibility and values,” says Chuck Ludmer, CohnReznick’s chief marketing officer.

 

Associations Team Up For Tribal Government Compensation Surveys

The National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA), National Native American Human Resources Association (NNAHRA) and Albuquerque, N.M.-based REDW LLC (REDW) (FY12 net revenue of $19.8 million) announced they will collaborate on two compensation surveys to benefit tribal governments and tribal gaming enterprises. The three organizations have agreed to work together and endorse each other’s efforts in promoting the adoption of both an industry standard Tribal Gaming Compensation Survey and a unifying Tribal Government Compensation Survey.

In 2010, after members had requested a compensation and benefits survey that included both tribal gaming and tribal government positions, NNAHRA selected REDW to provide those services to its members. In 2013, NIGA re-launched its Tribal Gaming Compensation Survey by bringing it online. NIGA, NNAHRA and REDW recognize that, by joining forces, tribes and their gaming enterprises will benefit from each organization and by having access to national and regional compensation data. Under the partnership, NIGA will make the Tribal Gaming Compensation Survey available to its paid, participating members at no additional cost. REDW and NNAHRA will stop producing their former, separate gaming survey, but will continue to provide related analytical and technical support to NIGA and its members. REDW and NNAHRA will also continue to produce the Tribal Government Compensation Survey. All three organizations will support and endorse each other’s efforts.

“This partnership will allow both NNAHRA and NIGA members to benefit from additional information as they make compensation and benefits-related decisions to ensure they stay competitive in keeping and attracting the best talent,” says Tal Moore, president of NNAHRA.

 

 

Abacus Worldwide Admits New Member Firms

Abacus Worldwide admitted new member firm ZBS Group of Plainview, N.Y. In addition, Abacus admitted three international firms: Hamada Law Firm of Amman, Jordan; Acutus LLP Chartered Accountants of Singapore; and Ramierz, Gutierrez-Azpe, Rodiguez-Rivero y Hurtado of Mexico City.

Julio Gabay, Abacus Worldwide president and CEO says, “These recent additions further expand the association’s reach in Asia, Middle East, Latin America and in North America not only geographically but also with their vast knowledge and expertise in key niche industries.”

Former KPMG Auditor Receives 14-Month Sentence

Scott London, the former KPMG partner convicted of insider trading, has been sentenced to 14 months in federal prison, the Los Angeles Times reported.

London pleaded guilty last year, admitting that he gave confidential information about KPMG clients, which included Herbalife and Skechers, to a friend, Bryan Shaw. Shaw used the information to make more than $1 million in stock profits.

U.S. District Judge George Wu handed down the prison sentence April 24 and also ordered London to pay a $100,000 fine. The defense asked for a six- to 12-month sentence while the prosecution wanted three years.

“I deeply regret my actions,” London told the court, according to the Wall Street Journal. “I’m embarrassed and ashamed…I blame no one but myself.”KPMG_Insider_Trader__Wendy_Pierro@vcstar_com_3_t607

A senior partner in charge of audits for California, Arizona and Nevada clients, London gave Shaw inside information at least 14 times, according to prosecutors. They said, for example, that London told Shaw that a KPMG client, Pacific Capital Bancorp, was about to be purchased by Union Bank in February 2012, a month before the public announcement that sent stock prices soaring. Shaw made $365,000. In return for information, Shaw gave London expensive gifts, such as a Rolex watch, concert tickets and cash.

When regulators questioned his perfectly timed trades, Shaw agreed to cooperate and secretly recorded conversations. Shaw pleaded guilty as well and will be sentenced May 19, the Times reported.

KPMG fired London, and Skechers and Herbalife needed to hire new accountants and restate earnings.

London did not comment as he left the court, but his attorney, Harlan Braun, called the sentence “fair,” CNBC reported. He has until July 18 to report to prison.

How to Get Your Article Seen By the Right People: Five Steps to Reach Your Target Audience

Cheryl Oribabor

Cheryl Oribabor

By Cheryl Oribabor

Are you struggling with the best way to reach your target audience? If you like to write, here are five steps to reach your target audience:

1.      Determine your audience
Be specific. If your target is professional services, who in that sector will your article apply to? Professional services covers accountants, law firms, engineers, etc. Perhaps you focus on health care. Small practices, hospital networks, nursing homes, continuing care facilities could all be placed under the health care umbrella.

When you’re focusing on your niche make sure that you are truly focusing on them. Use the same terms they use. If you’re going to pitch similar articles for multiple niches customize them — do more than just a find and replace.2.      Aim for the publications that your target market reads
You should know the answer to this question because if it’s your target market – you’re reading the same thing! Pick the top five to seven newsletters, periodicals, and/or magazines that pertain to your niche and make certain they accept unsolicited articles.

3.      Be proactive and find the right contact
Search for and review any submission/editorial guidelines before reaching out to the editor. He or she may not be the person to contact for your particular article. Find out who the contact is and reach out to him or her. How? See No. 4 below!

4.      Use the right approach
You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Most editors can tell from the first few sentences if an article will be the right fit: not the first few sentences of your article, the first few sentences of your inquiry. Be brief and concise because they likely receive multiple inquiries on any given day. Tell them:

  • Who you are – Include your name and firm.
  • What article you’re pitching – Try to have one or two topics in mind.
  • Why they should choose your article – Mention your years of experience with the audience. Explain that you want to increase your visibility with your target audience. Is there is a hot topic affecting your niche now? Will there be an issue affecting your niche in the near future?
  • How you will approach the article – How can you guarantee that your article will be appropriate for the readership? Explain that your article will not be commercial, an opinion piece or advertorial. Your name and company will be enough of a commercial for your services if it is well received.

5.      Follow Up
You didn’t hear back one hour after sending your inquiry? Fine. You didn’t hear back one week after sending your inquiry? It might be time to send a follow-up email or pick up the phone. Let them know that you’re truly interested in the opportunity.

Getting to a yes
If you’ve attracted the attention of the editor based on your inquiry, you’re one step closer to a yes. Talk to the editor about your ideas, maybe one topic is more appealing than another. Or perhaps he or she will have an idea to combine your ideas. Be prepared for anything.

As the saying goes, there is nothing new under the sun, and that may be the case, but not always in terms of accounting and business consulting. If you approach a topic differently, if you have extraordinary insight on a hot topic, or if you can cover a topic that’s being overlooked, by all means scream it from the rooftops! Your chances of getting a yes from the editor will be increased and you might actually land a monthly column.

Cheryl Oribabor is a Senior Marketing Consultant & Life Coach, with TIERNEY Coaching & Consulting, Inc., she serves multi-partner CPA firms across the country, offering customized marketing plans, business development coaching, leadership development programs, and LinkedIn training. Cheryl can be reached at (856) 441-0577 or Cheryl@CPAMarketingConsultant.com.

Thomson Reuters Veteran Joins Whitley Penn as COO

Fort Worth, Texas-based Whitley Penn (FY12 net revenue of $49 million) has hired Jim Reeves as the firm’s COO in the Fort Worth office.

Reeves joined the firm after a 26-year career with Thomson Reuters, Inc. and its predecessors.  Reeves most recently served as vice president for the professional market, having held a number of operating, strategic, management, and leadership positions, in the  tax and accounting division where he was responsible for growth strategy, new product development, product management, and revenue attainment for the operating unit’s largest customer segment.  Reeves also served as site executive for the Fort Worth location of Thomson Reuters, representing senior management to 330 local employees.

Jim Reeves

Jim Reeves

Reeves, a CPA and Chartered Global Management Accountant, is a respected author, having written more than 100 thought leadership articles published in professional journals and having co-authored seven tax and financial planning books used by practicing CPAs throughout the United States.

“Jim’s knowledge and experience in the accounting profession is a great asset for Whitley Penn,” says Larry Autrey, MP of  Whitley Penn.  “Having public accounting and industry experience allows him to view growth, development and client service from different perspectives.  We look forward to Jim’s leadership within the firm as we continue to grow and expand our presence.”

Reeves received both his Bachelor of Business Administration and Masters of Business Administration degrees from Baylor University.  He is an active member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants (TSCPA), and a past president of the Fort Worth Chapter of the TSCPA.  He is a frequent seminar instructor and public speaker and a winner of the Dale Carnegie Highest Award for Achievement for public speaking.

Sneak Preview of Early Submissions of Annual Survey and Analysis of Firms

As of April 15, approximately 10% of the expected surveys this year had been submitted. Some firms continue to experience strong, steady growth, and the distribution of “growth” versus “decline” is much stronger than in previous years. Although the 60 responses are too small a subset to make definitive statistical conclusions, a few things jumped out that may be of interest.

  • Nine of every 10 firms saw top-line growth last year; an average of 6.1% over the previous year.
  • Four out of five firms experienced growth in the bottom line, up 8.3% over the previous year.
  • Two-thirds of firms saw net income per partner rise in 2013, up a median 7.7%, with the largest jumps in $10 million to $20 million firms. Median net income per partner in that group was $429,847.
  • Seventy percent of firms added staff last year, with total personnel averaging 4.6% higher than the previous year.
  • On average, profit margins aren’t moving much, with half the firms seeing increases and half seeing decreases in net income as a percentage of net revenue.
  • Business is picking up, with total charge hours growing in six of every seven firms. For the group, average charge hours are up about 6.0% over last year.
  • Net revenue per charge hour – the firmwide effective billing rate – increased in two-thirds of firms, with average growth up ever so slightly at just 2.3%.