Archives for November 2014

IPA 100 Leader: Despite What Most MPs Believe, Diversity Won’t ‘Take Care Of Itself’

DiversityFirm leaders say they’re interested in promoting talented professionals, applying more brainpower to difficult problems and coming up with innovative solutions for clients.

A more diverse workplace can provide these benefits and more, says Richard Caturano, a leader at Chicago-based McGladrey (FY14 net revenue of $1.5 billion). Most male firm leaders, he believes, have a poor understanding of the connection between a diverse workplace and firm success and growth. “The business case for diversity and inclusion is often misunderstood,” he says.

Caturano, a speaker at the AICPA Women’s Global Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., Oct. 23 and 24, has been on what he calls a “diversity and inclusion journey.” Caturano’s Boston-based firm, Vitale, Caturano & Co., merged in 2010 with McGladrey, the biggest national firm after the Big 4. He now serves as its national leader of culture, diversity and inclusion. He took a break from the conference to speak with IPA.

Richard Caturano

Richard Caturano

Over the last three years, Caturano has immersed himself in research on attracting, retaining and promoting women and minorities to leadership positions within the profession. “I will say that I think the attitude of most of the male leaders who I know and speak to is that diversity is something that will take care of itself given enough time.”

He says MPs look around and see a lot of women being hired into the profession. They also see a generation of young people who are completely comfortable working in a diverse environment, so they think the scarcity of women and minority leaders will fix itself.

In fact, according to the 2014 IPA Human Resources Survey, four out of five firms have not adopted any kind of diversity recruitment program.

“One of the key things I’ve learned is it won’t take care of itself,” Caturano says. While about half of graduate recruits are women, according to the 2014 IPA National Benchmarking Report, only 15.6% of all CPA firm equity partners are women. That means that women are leaving the profession and are not being promoted into leadership roles.

Many leaders believe equal treatment of all equals fairness, but that’s the furthest thing from the truth, Caturano says. Treating everyone the same does NOT result in equality. “Most male leaders wouldn’t even see that.” Firms would be better off economically if they allowed everyone to enjoy professional involvement in their organizations in a way that fits their life, he says.

Caturano contends that the business model of accounting is outmoded. “Accounting firms were built by straight white men for straight white men,” he says. Perhaps it should be no surprise that the leadership ranks of accounting firms look homogenous, but the challenge of reshaping practices that have been in place for 50 years is a daunting one, Caturano says. Accounting firms have experienced years of sustained growth, so changing the fundamentals is like telling leaders to fix something that doesn’t appear to be broken.

In fact, Caturano says, the profession is on a collision course and the stakes of doing nothing are high. “Five years from now the cost will be we are not a profession that has the best and brightest anymore, we’re no longer innovative, we’re no longer representing America and we’re no longer a profession people want to do business with.”

Caturano lays down the challenge to his peers in the profession: “You’ve got to decide as a business how important it is to have diversity.”

According to Tru Access, diversity and inclusion matters to Millennials and it should matter to you too. If doing the right thing isn’t enough, here are a few other benefits of diversity and inclusion: increases innovation; improves profitability; strengthens marketplace relevance; attracts and retains top talent and enhances brand image and reputation.

Freeberg of Janover Elected to the INAA Board

Jay Freeberg

Jay Freeberg

Garden City, N.Y-based Janover LLC (FY13 net revenue of $18.6 million) announced that Jay Freeberg, a partner in the firm has been elected to the Board of the International Association of Independent Accounting Firms (INAA).

INAA is an international association of independent accounting firms whose prime purpose is to assist businesses with cross-border accounting and taxation issues. The independent accounting firms that make up the INAA Group are all committed to delivering quality professional services.

Freeberg has spent his career advising closely held and family businesses, as well as high-net-worth individuals and coordinating the various tax filings, accounting, growth strategies and liquidity aspects that such entities face.

Marcum Admits Curley as Partner

Tracy Curley

Tracy Curley

New York-based Marcum LLP (FY13 net revenue of $350.2 billion) has admitted Tracy Curley as an assurance services partner in the Boston office.

Curley has more than 25 years of experience providing audit and financial reporting services to companies in both the public and private sectors, with a concentration in technology and life sciences. She also has a wide range of industry expertise in the fields of manufacturing, retail, construction, oil and gas and professional services.

Warren Averett’s Hartsock Named to Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Top 40 Under 40

Kin Hartsock

Kin Hartsock

Birmingham, Ala.-based Warren Averett LLC (FY13 net revenue of $122.9 million) announced that Kim Hartsock was named one of Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 40 Under 40, Class of 2014. Hartsock was 1 of 40 selected for this honor from over 600 nominations.

The Atlanta Business Chronicle’s “40 Under 40” recognizes the next generation of Atlanta business leaders, under the age of 40, who make significant career achievements and have demonstrated social responsibility. This class of leaders represents a group of men and women who lead in the workplace and as volunteers.

Hartsock is a partner in the Atlanta office of Warren Averett. She is a member of the firm’s emerging executive group and a leader of the nonprofit and construction industry groups of the firm. Hartsock serves many privately held clients as well as not-for-profit organizations.

Armanino Promotes Russell to Lead New High Tech and Life Sciences Manufacturing Industries Practice

Jeff Russell

Jeff Russell

San Ramon, Calif.-based Armanino LLP (FY13 net revenue of $112.8 million) announced that it has named consulting director Jeff Russell as its new high tech and life sciences manufacturing industries practice leader. The move coincides with Armanino’s status as a Microsoft Dynamics High Tech & Life Sciences Manufacturing Micro Verticals.

“Jeff thrives on helping our clients identify and implement solutions that support their growth and address their industry challenges,” says Tom Mescall, Armanino’s PIC of consulting. “He has a unique skill set to evaluate business models and assist clients with implementing solutions for high tech and life sciences manufacturing industries.”

Prior to becoming practice leader, Russell implemented Microsoft Dynamics AX and CRM for more than 20 engagements in semiconductor, electronic device, medical device, pharmaceutical and outsourced technology manufacturing environments. The new practice leader offers a wide range of expertise in critical industry issues as diverse as supply chain management, intellectual property and operations management.

Armanino Admits New Tax Partner

Gerry Clancy

Gerry Clancy

San Ramon, Calif.-based Armanino LLP (FY13 net revenue of $112.8 million) announced the appointment of Gerry Clancy as tax partner. Clancy’s practice areas include tax planning and preparation of corporation, s-corporation, partnership, individual, trust and estate tax returns. He also performs general business advisory and strategic planning services for clients assisting them with entity selection and structure, structuring mergers and acquisitions and also represents clients before federal and state taxing authorities.

“Gerry’s experience with integrated financial solutions fits perfectly with our vision of deploying a full basket of accounting and consulting solutions for our clients,” says Andy Armanino, MP of Armanino. “His two decades of knowledge in business advisory, tax planning and compliance brings an understanding of the needs and issues faced by the CFO organization.”

Before joining Armanino, Gerry served as a partner at Comyns Smith McCleary & Deaver LLP, where he advised clients on entity selection, tax planning, compliance and mergers and acquisitions.

Milo Admitted to Vice President of Tax Services Group of Meaden & Moore

Angelia Milo has been admitted to Cleveland-based Meaden & Moore as a Vice President with the firm’s tax services group in the Cleveland office.

Milo has more than 20 years of experience with national and regional accounting firms providing tax planning, compliance and general business consulting to individuals and their closely held businesses. She has advised extensively on business structuring, mergers and acquisitions and succession planning issues and has worked with clients in a variety of industries including; real estate, development, manufacturing and professional services.

“Angelina’s extensive tax expertise and her approach to client service and collaboration very much fit the Meaden & Moore culture making her an excellent addition to our firm,” says James Carulas, CEO of Meaden & Moore.

BDO Acquires Cunningham LLP

BDO Canada LLP announced the firm has acquired Cunningham LLP (FY13 net revenue of $5.6 million) of Toronto, Ontario, effective Jan. 1. Cunningham will operate under the BDO name to bring an expanded range of services to the Greater Toronto Area.

With locations in Burlington, Markham, Mississauga and Toronto, this merger will expand BDO’s presence in the Greater Toronto Area to almost 70 partners and 500 professionals and staff.

Mark Goodfield, MP, says, “BDO is a like-minded entrepreneurial firm, and this merger enables us to significantly strengthen our ability to serve our clients by providing a greater depth of expertise and access to enhanced service offerings.”

Allan Rudolph, OMP of BDO’s Markham office, says, “We are thrilled to be merging with Cunningham. The combined strength of our teams will help us meet the growing needs of businesses in the Greater Toronto Area.”

Michigan Firms Announce Merger

McCartney & Company PC of Okemos, Mich. and Maner Costerisan of Lansing, Mich. announced a merger, effective Dec 1. The combined firm will be recognized as Maner Costerisan.

“We view this merger as a significant benefit for clients of both firms, as well as for our employees,” says Jeffrey Stevens and president of Maner Costerisan. “Combining our resources and knowledge base is a tremendous win for our clients.”

Jeffery Irwin, president of McCartney & Company says, “Our first priority has always been to provide the best service possible to our clients. We feel confident that this merger enhances our ability to fulfill this objective, as well as giving us the opportunity to more effectively serve as a trusted advisor to our clients.”

O’Connor Davies Expands to Washington D.C. Market

Harrison, N.Y.-based O’Connor Davies LLP (FY13 net revenue of $98 million) announced its expansion into the Washington, D.C. metro area with the acquisition of Grubman Anand PC of Bethesda, Md. This is the latest in a series of strategic acquisitions as O’Connor Davies expands its geographic reach to meet the growing demand for specialized accounting expertise backed by the resources of a national firm.

“O’Connor Davies is growing quickly through strategic partnerships with highly specialized firms that bring the deep expertise our clients demand while aligning with the values and culture that have helped set us apart for years,” says O’Connor Davies MP, Kevin Keane. “We recognize that in today’s dynamic market, you can’t sacrifice depth for breadth and provide the value clients expect or meet the high standard we’ve set for ourselves. Our ability to identify top performers and provide them with support and proven processes has been the key to our ability to scale quickly and stay ahead of the needs of US and global clients.”

“By joining forces with O’Connor Davies, we immediately enhance our position as recognized leaders in affordable and special needs housing,” says Stewart Grubman, president of Grubman Anand PC. “It’s exciting to join a firm that is growing so quickly without sacrificing culture or client service. It was clear from our first meeting that we share a common set of values and a commitment to being the best.”