Archives for April 2016

Sikich Acquires BCG & Co.

Naperville, Ill.-based Sikich LLP (FY14 net revenue of $106.7 million) announced that it will acquire Akron, Ohio-based BCG & Co. (FY14 net revenue of $14 million). BCG & Co. represents the largest corporate acquisition for Sikich.

BCG & Co. offers audit and assurance, tax, technology and wealth management services. BCG & Co. staff will continue to work from the firm’s existing offices in Akron and Atlanta.

“We are excited to establish a presence in Akron and Atlanta with a firm that holds a proven record of success and broad-based expertise,” says Sikich CEO Jim Sikich. “The BCG & Co. team will be a valuable addition to Sikich and our clients. They will help build our talent base and bolster our service offerings and knowledge in key industries as we work together to grow as a firm and increase our presence in northeast Ohio.”

Founded in 1986, BCG & Co. serves companies across industries, including manufacturing and distribution, construction and real estate, and not-for-profit. The firm has also expanded its service offerings to include wealth management and technology – with particular expertise in Microsoft Dynamics GP, Office 365, Azure, CRM, NetSuite and cloud solutions.

“The BCG & Co. team brings complementary skills and experience to our technology group,” says Jim Drumm, PIC of technology services at Sikich. “Their strength in cloud solutions and managed services will benefit our clients and add increased depth and capabilities to our already robust portfolio of technology solutions.”

In addition to its presence in Ohio, BCG & Co. has an additional technology office in Atlanta, which will continue to operate under Sikich.

“Sikich is a growing national firm that operates at the forefront of technology,” says David Brockman, co-founder and MP of BCG & Co. “Culture fit was our biggest priority in making this move, and Sikich offers valuable resources that will provide new opportunities for our employees and increased value for our clients. The move will also enable us to continue to enhance our offerings and help clients solve complex problems by integrating expertise from a wide mix of disciplines.”

The acquisition of BCG & Co. comes on the heels of Sikich’s acquisitions in 2015 of Altico Advisors, a technology firm based near Boston, and the audit, accounting and tax practice of Jannsen + Company, a firm based near Milwaukee, Wis.

Crowe Horwath LLP Announces New Brand Platform

Chicago-based Crowe Horwath LLP (FY15 net revenue of $700.7 million) has unveiled a new brand platform: Smart decisions today. Lasting value tomorrow.

“Our new brand identifies what Crowe stands for and is something we were already living on a daily basis,” says Jim Powers, Crowe CEO. “It reflects who we are to our clients, our people, our prospects and our alumni. The focus is on helping our clients and our people make smart decisions today that create lasting value tomorrow. It is important to us that this brand promise applies not only to the external market, but that it applies internally to our people as well.”

According to Powers, the new brand platform is a reflection of Crowe’s growing footprint both within the U.S. and globally, with an added focus on technology solutions. The firm’s expanded reach and broader services and capabilities allow Crowe to help its clients make smart decisions and create lasting value.

The new brand was created based on market research and an analysis of the firm’s culture, including its management philosophy, core values and vision, as well as existing client and people engagement feedback.

“The new brand is the culmination of our clients’ feedback, our future plans and the firm’s vision, which focuses on deep specialization and operating as ‘One Crowe’,” says Ann Lathrop, Crowe chief marketing officer. “As part of the process of developing a new brand, we asked our clients what they expect from us and that reinforced what our promise to them should be.”

The firm also looked at how the brand platform would apply to its people. In the past year, Crowe has implemented new programs to create lasting value for its personnel including a new mobility strategy, a virtual Crowe Horwath University and an expansion of its diversity and inclusion programs.

The brand platform will be rolled out throughout 2016. Crowe will update its website, marketing collateral and thought leadership with messaging and imagery that supports the new brand. The firm’s logo and core purpose, “Building Value with Values,” remain the same.

DHG Healthcare Announces Opening of New Office

DHG Healthcare, the national health care practice of Charlotte, N.C.-based Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP (FY15 net revenue of $351.3 million), announced the opening of its new office in Cleveland.

The new office supports DHG Healthcare’s rapidly growing presence in the Cleveland metro area and broader Ohio and other upper Midwest markets and building on the practice’s commitment to DHG Healthcare’s Center for Industry Transformation (CIT).

“In alignment with DHG Healthcare’s CIT, we have purposefully designed our offices to be at the apex of a dynamic Cleveland health care community. With its world-class health systems and unique infrastructure of medical institutions and universities, the Cleveland area is a vibrant health care market where DHG Healthcare has committed to advance the dialogue around innovation, education and research connecting health care visionaries and leadership,” says Brad Benton, MP, DHG Healthcare.

Jim Yanci is DHG Healthcare’s MP for the Cleveland office, and he brings extensive insight into the Ohio market along with a team of dedicated health care professionals. “We have been working in the Ohio market for nearly 15 years and have a high-performing team of health care professionals who understand the issues facing health care leaders from a national and local market perspective,” says Yanci.

M&A Advisor Recognizes Three RSM Professionals as Emerging Leaders

Chicago-based RSM US LLP (FY15 net revenue of $1.6 billion) announced that three of its employees, Jason Fennessy, Vikas Sekhri and Scott Walti, were recently recognized by The M&A Advisor as winners of the publication’s Emerging Leaders Awards.

The M&A Advisor, renowned globally for its recognition of leading M&A, financing and turnaround professionals, created the recognition and related gala event to promote mentorship and professional development among emerging business leaders.

Fennessy, Sekhri and Walti were chosen for their accomplishments and expertise from a pool of nominees by an independent judging panel of distinguished business leaders.

“The Annual M&A Advisor Emerging Leaders Awards began as the 40 Under 40 Awards in the U.S. in 2010 to recognize and celebrate the achievements of young M&A, financing and turnaround professionals who had reached significant levels of success and made a notable contribution to their industry and community. With the expansion of the Emerging Leaders program to the U.K. and Europe earlier this year, the 2016 U.S. award winners join a truly global network of young leaders,” says David Fergusson, president and co-CEO of The M&A Advisor.

“We are thrilled that three of our RSM professionals have received this prestigious recognition,” says Milton Marcotte, national transaction advisory services leader for RSM. “Jason, Vikas and Scott truly understand our clients’ needs, and they exemplify excellence in all of their interactions with clients and with their fellow RSM teammates. This external recognition validates all of their hard work and focus on our clients.”

To view the complete list of this year Emerging Leaders Award Winners click here.

Barfield Murphy Shank & Smith Launches New Wealth Services Firm

Barfield Murphy Shank & Smith (FY14 net revenue of $15.9 million) of Birmingham, Ala., announced the formation and launch of its new wealth services firm, BMSS Wesson Wealth Solutions.

“Building a wealth services business has been a part of our strategic plan for a while and the natural evolution of the CPA firm’s maturity and growth plans. Wealth services has also become a necessary part of serving the needs of our client base,” says Don Murphy, co-founder and managing member of Barfield Murphy Shank & Smith.

Mark Wesson

Mark Wesson

Barfield Murphy Shank & Smith has partnered with a local wealth industry veteran, Mark Wesson, to head up the new wealth services company. Wesson has more than 28 years of experience in the financial services industry.

“We are excited to embark on this endeavor because of the opportunity to better serve the financial needs of our clients,” says Wesson. “Our firm brings decades of experience with thousands of client engagements to draw from, giving us unique insights and expertise for serving clients. Our capabilities span the full spectrum of wealth services including: financial planning, investment management, tax planning, business succession planning and estate planning.”

Senior Health Care Executive Joins Baker Tilly

Jeffrey Strauss

Jeffrey Strauss

Chicago-based Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP (FY15 net revenue of $478.1 million) named Jeffrey Strauss as a director in the firm’s health care consulting practice. Strauss has more than 30 years of health care experience and brings his strategic thinking and ability to leverage technology and processes to Baker Tilly’s health care clients.

“Data is increasingly becoming the key to a successful health care organization,” says Strauss. “Reviewing claims and data elements enables efficiencies for clients that would otherwise remain untapped.”

Strauss’ experience covers a number of disciplines in the management and technology consulting field. He specializes in revenue cycle optimization and is also knowledgeable in ICD-10 transitions, systems implementations and integrations, and provider and payer contract management and claims processing. He has worked in multiple health care segments, such as academic medical centers, integrated delivery networks, post-acute care, physician group practices, community hospitals, Medicare-Advantage health plans and managed-care organizations.

“Jeff brings significant knowledge to the health care consulting practice, and we could not be more pleased to have him on board,” says Baker Tilly’s health care consulting leader David Gregory. “As we continue to grow our national practice and focus on the emerging value-based care trends, Strauss will be an integral part of leading these efforts in Chicago. His specific skill set is extremely beneficial in today’s health care world and will prove to be a differentiator with clients.”

Anevski Selected as a 2016 Leading Woman Entrepreneur Finalist

Rachel Anevski

Rachel Anevski

Rachel Anevski, founder and CEO of Matters of Management (M2), a consulting, growth strategy and executive placement firm, was nominated and selected as a Leading Woman Entrepreneur or Intrapreneur of New Jersey by Leading Women Entrepreneurs.

With receiving close to 700 nominations, judgment criteria for all nominees included innovation, market potential, community involvement and advocacy for women. Leading Women Entrepreneurs is a media and events company that recognizes outstanding women business owners.

“I am humbled to be considered among these 150 esteemed finalists,” says Anevski. “It is ironic that this honor comes on the heels of Matters of Managements’ own Phenomenal Mom Award Contest, where we recognize a mother who goes above and beyond her own call of duty. These contests are a wonderful opportunity to distinguish and empower women with incredible success stories. Both organizations advocate for women to establish goals, and achieve their dreams in a career they are passionate about. Being a finalist really speaks to the heart of what I have worked hard to accomplish as a business owner.”

Prior to starting her own business, Anevski worked for Citrin Cooperman and Smolin Lupin & Company.

A listing of the Phase One finalists will be published in the October 2016 New Jersey Monthly, which will reach over 750,000 households. The Phase One list of 150 nominees will be narrowed to the Top 25 and awarded at a recognition event set for Nov. 14 at The Liberty House in Jersey City. For more information on Leading Women Entrepreneurs, please visit

Freed Maxick Welcomes New Senior Advisor to Health Care Practice

Buffalo, N.Y.-based Freed Maxick (FY15 net revenue of $43.8 million) announced that William McAvoy Jr. has joined the firm as a senior advisor to its health care practice.

McAvoy comes to Freed Maxick from Hancock Estabrook, as a consultant to their health law practice group. Before that, he began his career at PwC, where he became PIC of the management of the Syracuse and Buffalo area health care consulting practices. His career spans 35 years in public accounting and management consulting, with a specialization in auditing and financial forecasting, financial systems development and health care accounting.

“Bill is a welcomed addition to our growing and successful health care practice. His experiences over his long professional career will help develop our professional staff and provide strategic guidance for our industry practices. We are very pleased to have him join Freed Maxick,” says Timothy McPoland, managing director.

EY Launches Americas Tax Innovation “Foundry”

New York-based Ernst & Young (FY15 gross revenue of $9.9 billion) announced the launch of its in-house Americas tax innovation foundry, a new services and business accelerator within EY responsible for furthering the next generation of tax services EY firms offer clients.

The group will be led by Chirag Patel, who recently joined Ernst & Young LLP, along with a core team from Highnote Foundry, a business accelerator and venture capital firm that provided entrepreneur-led business building services to startups and Fortune 500 companies in several complex and rapidly changing industries.

“EY’s goal is to be the leading global professional services organization by 2020 with exceptional client service, and that requires creativity, entrepreneurial speed and flexibility, and disruptive technological advances for EY tax services,” says Kate Barton, EY Americas vice chair of tax. “We are excited to have Chirag join our tax innovation movement, led in the Americas by Jeff Saviano, and the entire EY tax innovation network, to identify and help our professionals deploy new services in new ways that will help make the world work better – whether dealing with new U.S. challenges, or helping to equalize the burden of trade growth and compliance among the 50-plus countries and jurisdictions in the Americas.”

Specifically, the EY Americas tax innovation foundry will provide EY firms in the Americas with a systematic approach to address the disruptive forces affecting their clients’ tax liability and functions.

Patel was the managing director of Highnote Foundry since its inception in 2008. He has been an entrepreneur that has taken raw ideas and turned them into new growth businesses, a venture capitalist who has invested in compelling new startups, and a management consultant responsible for helping clients develop and deploy transformational approaches. Another Highnote leader joining Ernst & Young LLP is Illya Rybchin, who was director of that company’s media and entertainment practice.

Patel will immediately start the process of aligning with other EY innovators and hiring to broaden the group’s capabilities.

Smith & Howard Partners with Atlanta Public Schools to Promote Careers in Accounting

Smith & Howard (FY14 net revenue of $22.8 million) of Atlanta, and Smith & Howard Wealth Management announced the launch of a new program for Atlanta’s high school students: Smith & Howard’s Advancement of Rising Professionals (SHARP).

The goal of this program is to introduce juniors and seniors in Atlanta Public Schools to the potential of a career in accounting or finance. SHARP will offer a one-day program for students selected through an application process. The day will offer conversations with a panel of accountants and financial executives who have pursued accounting or finance degrees and have experienced success in their chosen areas. It will also provide an introduction to basic networking skills and other interactive sessions, such as “day in the life” discussions with professionals in the industry.

John Lucht, MP of Smith & Howard, says, “The accounting and finance industries recognize that engaging teenagers prior to their enrollment at college is one important – and often overlooked – piece of developing a pipeline of future accountants and finance professionals. One of our goals in this project is to have Atlanta Public School students interact one-on-one and in small groups with professionals who chose accounting and finance as a career and help them discover that there are surprising – and yes, even often exciting – career paths in those industries.”

Developed with the support and input of the AICPA and Atlanta Public Schools, SHARP will host its inaugural session on April 28 at the offices of Smith & Howard.

Of the importance of an early introduction to careers in these fields, Dr. Florence Holland, lead manager of pipeline initiatives at the AICPA says, “When we survey young CPAs we find that for a lot of them, particularly underrepresented minorities, pre-college courses and exposure were the key and deciding factor as to whether accounting was a field they wanted to pursue. Therefore, we must be engaged in the pre-college space to provide these opportunities for students. Otherwise, we allow other professions to pounce on this highly qualified talent that we need to continue building our pipeline in a robust way.”

On May 3, one junior and one senior from the program will be awarded the firm’s first Jim Howard Scholarship, named after co-founding partner Jim Howard, who graduated from Grady High School.