Archives for August 2015

Super-Mobile MPs Can Bear the Brunt of Travel Downsides

Long flights, hotels check-ins, back-to-back meetings. Repeat.

Such is the life of some MPs of professional services firms, and North Sydney, Australia-based Lawyers Weekly recently reported on the stress of travel and its effects.

In addition to the obvious impact of jet lag, “there are potentially nastier long-term effects – such as increased rates of aging, heart attack or stroke,” Lawyers Weekly says, citing research by the University of Surrey in the U.K.

The study showed that business people who fly regularly between time zones experience “travel disorientation” and suffer stress due to a lack of down time and absence from friends and family.

“Life as a leader of a law firm or a senior manager in a law firm can be stressful enough, but when you add absence and long travel to just the day-to-day issues that you face, it is a pretty potent mix and could contribute to you being stressed, anxious, depressed and ultimately unwell,” legal consultant Philip Gleed told the publication.

“Frequent flying can be classed as a ‘problem of the 1%’ as it only affects the top echelons of business. But spare a thought for the gender diversity issue before you file away this story away under ‘schadenfreude’,” Lawyers Weekly reported. “Women continue to be locked out of the top jobs in the legal profession. One reason, according to Mr. Gleed, could be that women do not (or cannot) put their hand up for jobs that require them to spend a lot of time away from home.”

Read the full study, “A Darker Side of Hypermobility.”

Four Professionals Honored with “Bridging the Gap Awards”

Four accounting thought leaders were selected as this year’s “Bridging the Gap” awards by Boomer Consulting, Inc. during the recent Boomer Technology Circles Summit in Kansas City.

Three of the awards honor firms and individuals within the accounting profession that excel in aligning technology and firm management while the fourth award recognizes an outstanding emerging leader.

Rachel Godwin

Rachel Godwin

Rachel Godwin, principal, Alabama-based Hartmann, Blackmon, & Kilgore, was presented with the 2015 Bridging the Gap as an Emerging Leader award.

Godwin was promoted to principal in January 2014 and has been a major part of several initiatives. As chair of the firm’s technology committee she led the group in initiatives to improve technology by migrating to a third party hosted environment, evaluating major software applications for implementation, and updating hardware replacement programs. As director of accounting and auditing services, she, along with the firm’s Lean Six Sigma staff, championed the audit team through a Lean Six Sigma analysis of the firm’s audit processes leading to higher efficiency, enhanced communications and a consistent culture.

Jim Bourke

Jim Bourke

Jim Bourke, PIC of firm technology at Princeton, N.J.-based WithumSmith + Brown (FY15 net revenue of $113.5 million), was presented with the 2015 Bridging the Gap in Firm Management award. According to presenter Jim Boomer, Bourke was nominated because “he continuously challenges others to lead with new technology initiatives…and many individuals consider him to be a great mentor who has helped them achieve success within their firm.” Bourke won the same award in 2013.

Don Logan

Don Logan

, director of technology at Livingston, N.J.-based Wiss & Company (FY15 net revenue of $35.4 million) was presented with the 2015 Bridging the Gap in Technology award. Logan has been a key player in evolving his firm’s technology from its core internal technology services to offering advisory services to clients. Since migrating its internal systems to private/public cloud and applying best practices for efficiencies, autonomy and aligning technology with the business goals and plan, the technology group has taken what they have learned and applied that to its clients.

Peter Henley

Peter Henley

Peter Henley, senior director at Clark Nuber of Bellevue. Wash. (FY14 net revenue of $33.3 million), was presented with the 2015 Bridging the Gap award for Technology and Firm Management Project, an award that recognizes a firm’s project to leverage technology to accelerate the achievement of the firm’s vision and goals. With their project, IRS Form 990 Board Questionnaire, Clark Nuber was able to streamline firm operations, give their clients a better tool for collecting data, and help their client relationships with some of their own constituency.

“These awards are meant to showcase the amazing passion and talent we have working in our profession,” said Jim Boomer, CIO of Boomer Consulting, Inc. “It’s naturally an honor and a privilege to have these individuals participating in our programs so that we can network with, and learn from some of the brightest and most influential people in accounting.”

The winners were chosen from nominations submitted by around 100 eligible firms that are either members of the Boomer Technology Circles™ or participants in the P3 Leadership Academy.

New Leader Appointed to Burr Pilger Mayer

Edward Webb

Edward Webb

San Francisco-based Burr Pilger Mayer (FY14 net revenue of $74.3 million) has appointed Edward Webb as leader of its consulting practice group.

Webb has been managing director of the BPM’s transaction advisory services team since 2013 and has over 25 years of experience in consulting and financial management, including specific experience in restructuring, business turnarounds and corporate finance.

“Our team is organized and focused – now more than ever – combining deep functional expertise with the type of practical experience which addresses our clients’ biggest challenges,” says Webb.

Prior to BPM, Edward was a partner at Walker Nell Partners, an advisory and restructuring boutique providing financial analysis, fiduciary services and the resolution of problem asset situations nationwide.

Grassi & Co. Responds to FASB Proposed Accounting Standard

New York-based Grassi & Co. (FY15 net revenue of $45.6 million) has issued a comment letter on the Financial Accounting Standards Boards’ proposed Accounting Standard Update on Not‐for‐Profit Entities’ (Topic 958) and Health Care Entities’ (Topic 954) Presentation of Financial Statements of Not‐for‐Profit Entities.

Overall, Grassi & Co. supports the proposal, but has some concerns that the proposed improvements in certain areas will increase financial reporting complexities, cause confusion and create inconsistencies within the not‐for‐profit (NFP) industry, the firm announced.

“This is the first proposed major change in the NFP sector in over 20 years,” says David M. Rottkamp, Grassi & Co. partner and NFP practice leader. “As leaders in the NFP industry, Grassi & Co. felt it was our responsibility to provide comments and contribute to improving the financial reporting process for our clients and all NFP organizations.”

The firm offered several recommendations in its letter.

Grant Thornton’s LA Office Admits Two Partners and Managing Director

Mark Bottom

Mark Bottom

Chicago-based Grant Thornton (FY14 net revenue of $1.4 billion) admitted Mark Bottom as audit partner, TaMiya Dickerson as advisory partner and Scott Hamilton as tax managing director in the firm’s Los Angeles office.

Bottom joined the firm’s San Jose, Calif., office as an audit manager in 2005. He spent two years in Beijing, China as a senior manager from 2011-2013.

TaMiya Dickerson

TaMiya Dickerson

Dickerson has nearly 15 years of experience overseeing corporate governance consulting projects. Her expertise includes risk management, governance risk and compliance assessments and audits, standards for attestation engagements No. 16 audits; Sarbanes-Oxley IT compliance services; systems selection and configuration; and payment card industry data security standards reviews.

Scott Hamilton

Scott Hamilton

Hamilton joined Grant Thornton in 2005 in the firm’s Phoenix office. With nearly 15 years of corporate tax experience, Hamilton has spent the last 10 years primarily focused on research and development tax incentives, cost segregation, and accounting methods and periods.

Grant Thornton Grows Office of Strategy Management Leadership

Jeanette Gorgas

Jeanette Gorgas

Chicago-based Grant Thornton (FY14 net revenue of $1.4 billion) is growing its Office of Strategy Management leadership team with the additions of Jeanette Gorgas, David Boland and David Porges, who join as chief strategy officer, chief knowledge officer and community engagement director, respectively.

David Boland

David Boland

Gorgas is based in the firm’s New York office, Boland is based in the Dallas office and Porges is based in the Los Angeles office.

Gorgas will spearhead the design, alignment and implementation of the firm’s strategy. She will focus on accelerating firm performance through cohesive strategy planning and execution, knowledge management and the development of critical, results-driving capabilities.

Boland will lead the strategy and continued development of the firm’s formalized knowledge management organization.

Porges will lead the firm’s community outreach and corporate social responsibility programs. He will be responsible for developing the firm’s community engagement strategy and aligning it with the firm’s mission.

EisnerAmper Partner Appointed to AICPA Panel

Kriste DeAngelo

Kriste DeAngelo

Kriste DeAngelo, a partner in the pension services group at New York-based EisnerAmper (FY15 net revenue of $284 million), has been appointed to the AICPA Employee Benefit Plans Expert Panel.

The panel is comprised of volunteers who monitor employee benefit plan industry developments, trends and opportunities to identify and advise on reporting, attest and assurance issues unique to employee benefit plans.

“The work done by the AICPA Volunteer Expert Panels, such as Employee Benefit Plans, is invaluable to our goal of continuous improvement and the adherence to the highest standards of performance,” DeAngelo says. “Serving on the panel is also my way of giving back in time and effort some of what I’ve gained in knowledge over many years.”

DeAngelo has 25 years of experience and is an expert speaker and writer on employee benefits topics.

AAM Marketers Play Key Role in Their Firms’ ‘Best of the Best’ Success

Results matter. Association for Accounting Marketing (AAM) members live by this truism in business, and they play a key role in their firms’ success. They raise awareness of their firms, cultivate new business and measure their results.

INSIDE Public Accounting has been measuring results of the nation’s CPA firms for 25 years, and we annually honor “Best of the Best” firms that have ranked highly on more than 70 metrics. These 2015 Best of the Best firms, which boast AAM members among their ranks, are exceptional, both operationally and financially. Congratulations to:

Donna Erbs, Anders CPAs & Advisors

Lori Colvin, Armanino

Allie Blessing, Bennett Thrasher LLP

Mark Viguet, BKD LLP

Taryne Spirovski, Doeren Mayhew

Frank Vitale, Grassi & Co.

Gunda Knese, GreerWalker

Kim Van Eeckhout, Hein & Associates

Ronelle Sellers, Henderson Hutcherson & McCullough PLLC

Carol Carlile, Holthouse Carlin & Van Trigt

Nicole Gantz, Honkamp Krueger & Co.

Jennifer Moore, Katz Sapper & Miller

Scott Carrico, Lutz

Caroline Rosen, MaloneBailey

Staci Sprayberry, Maxwell Locke & Ritter LLP

Tabitha Yanulavich, McPhillips Roberts & Deans PLC

Maria Barrett, Padgett Stratemann & Co. LLP

Leah Yoneda, Seiler LLP

Julie Barnes, Smith & Howard

Kristen Lollar, Whitley Penn

Rhonda Maraziti, WithumSmith+Brown

Scheffel Boyle Named a ‘Future 50’ Firm

St. Louis-based Scheffel Boyle has been selected as a “Future 50” company by St. Louis Small Business Monthly, the firm announced.

Each year, the publication selects just 50 fast-growing, top small companies in the St. Louis region from hundreds of nominations.

According to Ron Ameln, President of St. Louis Small Business Monthly, “these companies will play a large role in the future of business in St. Louis.”

Scheffel Boyle saw significant growth and change in 2014, which had a part in the firm’s recognition for this award. In early 2014, Scheffel & Company and J.W. Boyle & Co. merged to form Scheffel Boyle, which increased the firm’s geographic footprint from five offices to eight and added approximately 20 employees. Then, in October of that same year, Scheffel Boyle joined forces with Allison Knapp & Siekmann, which further expanded Scheffel Boyle’s reach in southern Illinois.

“We had a very dynamic year in 2014, and came out of it as a stronger firm. We didn’t just expand in numbers, we added a greater depth of knowledge and expertise to our team,” said Dennis Ulrich, MP of Scheffel Boyle. “These transitions made us an even more dominant force in our region and a better resource for all our clients.

Baker Tilly and SF&Company Announce Merger

Chicago-based Baker Tilly Virchow Krause (FY15 net revenue of $478.1 million) and York, Pa.-based SF&Company (FY14 net revenue of $14.4 million) have agreed to merge and expand professional services in central Pennsylvania and the Northeast.

SF&Company, with over 100 employees and offices in York, Harrisburg and State College, has provided outstanding professional services to clients primarily in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware for 65 years.

With the merger, Baker Tilly would add an accomplished team of SF&Company professionals and will further strengthen its growing position in the Northeast. The combination with Baker Tilly, a top 15 accounting and advisory firm, will provide SF&Company with expanded resources and specialization to help clients.

The anticipated effective date is Nov. 1, and the name of the combined firm will be Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP.

“A merger with SF&Company is another step in the growth of our national footprint and our commitment to provide exceptional services and value for our clients,” said Baker Tilly CEO-elect Alan D. Whitman.

SF&Company MP John J. Cardello says, “Our clients can look forward to working with a growing and influential firm while keeping the value, local points-of-contact and exceptional client service to which they’ve become accustomed.”