Archives for 2018

Moss Adams Combines With AsTech Consulting

Seattle-based Moss Adams (FY17 net revenue of $577 million), ranked No. 14 on the 2018  IPA 100 list, is combining with AsTech Consulting on Nov. 1 to improve its cybersecurity consulting practice.

AsTech is a cyber risk management firm that specializes in application and network security, secure development and security training.

“We recognize that our clients have a growing need for help with cybersecurity,” says Eric Miles, PIC of the Moss Adams advisory services practice. “The high-caliber technical expertise at AsTech will be a critical facet in safeguarding our clients’ information technology.”

Founded in 1997 in the San Francisco Bay rea, AsTech initially worked with financial institutions to design and implement secure network solutions. AsTech has evolved into a leading provider of internet application security consulting services, with clients that include one of the largest banks in the United States.

“Moss Adams has a great history, reputation and culture,” says Greg Reber, CEO and founder of AsTech. “In joining together, we’ll be complementing an established security consulting team, adding our expertise in optimizing clients’ application security programs.”

Thirteen professionals from AsTech will join Moss Adams, with Reber joining as partner.

BPM Expands in Southern California With Kramer & Olsen Merger

San Francisco-based BPM LLP (FY17 net revenue of $89.6 million) has announced it is combining with Kramer & Olsen Accountancy Corporation of Santa Ana, Calif.

BPM CEO Jim Wallace says the combined firm, which will operate as BPM, “will bring enhanced career opportunities to our people and greater access to services for our clients.”

Kramer & Olsen provides clients with a variety of accounting and consulting services across a broad range of industries. The firm’s 14 employees will join BPM’s approximately 470 personnel and 40 partners.

“BPM’s brand promise, ‘Because People Matter,’ is what drew us to the firm,” says Kramer & Olsen MP David Jorgensen. “BPM’s strong go-to-market industry concentration and specialized advisory service offerings, combined with our deep roots in Southern California, allows us to serve clients in an extraordinary way – both domestically and internationally.”

Jorgensen will join BPM as partner and will continue to serve as the MP of the existing Kramer & Olsen Orange County office. Founding partner Gary Kramer will join BPM as “Of Counsel.”

IPA Spotlight On … Chris Geier, Sikich

Name: Christopher Geier

Christopher Geier

Christopher Geier

Title: CEO and MP

Firm: Naperville, Ill.-based Sikich (FY17 net revenue of $152.1 million)

Accomplishments:

  • Became CEO and MP on Jan. 1, 2017.
  • Former PIC of the firm’s advisory services and investment banking practice and a member of the executive board
  • More than 20 years of experience in mergers and acquisitions and capital raising transactions across multiple industries

Among the IPA 100, accounting and audit revenue is declining and non-traditional services are on the rise. Which practice area is growing fastest at your firm and how do you plan to continue expanding this niche?

With a wide mix of practice areas, Sikich is uniquely positioned to help businesses improve productivity and performance. And as technology changes the way accounting services are delivered, we are well-prepared to adapt. We have a robust technology practice that offers innovative digital strategies and technology solutions. We’re a leader in cloud and emerging technologies, and our solutions include everything from cybersecurity to artificial intelligence to blockchain. We are leveraging this expertise to place technology at the center of all the services we offer clients.

What’s the biggest threat facing your firm today and how do you intend to overcome it?

The competition for talent is increasing. We know we must continue to attract talented, innovative professionals to remain a competitive firm that offers impactful business solutions to clients. As a driver of innovation in the professional services industry, we are well positioned to attract ambitious and creative employees who question the status quo and seek to transform business processes. We continue to embrace an entrepreneurial company culture that rewards risk-taking and creative solutions. As a result, talented professionals who are looking to chart a unique, unencumbered career path will thrive at Sikich.

How do you envision CPA firm services evolving over the next 10 years?

Disruption is coming to the industry. Propelled by technological innovation, firms will need to change how they deliver services. Some will, and some won’t. As a result, I expect there will be significant consolidation in the industry over the next several years. The firms that adopt technology-enabled solutions will enhance client service and position themselves for long-term success.

Final thoughts?

My motto for our firm is, “Embrace change and learn to adapt. It’s inevitable in business that you will need to do both well.” That’s a good motto for the rest of the industry, as well.

Armanino Adds Experts in HR and Business Development to Law Firm Services Group  

Terri Oppelt

San Ramon, Calif.-based Armanino LLP (FY17 net revenue of $242.7 million) has welcomed industry veterans Terri Oppelt as director and Kendra Edson as client relations and marketing manager to the firm’s law firm services group. Both professionals bring unique service capabilities that help law firms maximize operational efficiency and value.

“Terri and Kendra bring deep expertise in issues critical to law firms, such as profitability and HR compliance, to a practice that is unique in the market,” says David Roberts, PIC of law firm services at Armanino. “Our team has decades of experience working with and inside of law firms, providing a wide array of solutions such as outsourced accounting and operations, firm strategy, succession planning, compensation strategies and more. With the addition of Terri and Kendra, we can now offer solutions to meet even more law firm operating needs in areas such as business development, marketing and HR.”

Armanino is the only firm in the western U.S. with a combined consulting and accounting practice that is exclusively dedicated to serving the business needs of law firms

Oppelt consults in all areas of law firm management and operations, including strategic planning, compensation, accounting and billing, administration support strategies, HR and leadership, organizational change, training and retreats.

Edson leads the team’s business development and marketing initiatives. In her role, she oversees efforts to expand and improve relationships with law firm clients and strategically engage new clients.

Robert Allen Returns to Whitley Penn as Managing Director

Robert Allen

Fort Worth, Texas-based Whitley Penn (FY17 net revenue of $97.6 million), an IPA 100 firm, announces that Robert Allen has rejoined the firm’s Fort Worth office as a managing director in the forensic, litigation and valuation group.

Allen previously worked at Whitley Penn from 2002 to 2008 in the same department. His areas of expertise include business valuation, intangible asset valuation and value enhancement consulting. He works with a number of industries for a variety of purposes, including tax reporting, financial reporting, regulatory compliance, litigation support, management consulting, succession planning and transactional advisory support.

Allen has extensive experience with purchase price allocations (ASC 805), goodwill impairment testing (ASC 350), stock-based compensation/options (ASC 718/IRC 409a), intangible asset valuation, estate and gift tax valuation, litigation and collaborative law matters, buy/sell agreement valuations, fairness opinions, solvency opinions, health care compensation studies and transfer pricing studies.

In addition, he has experience consulting with business owners on valuation and strategic planning issues, including the identification of value drivers and business risks to evaluate the impact on business value, identification of critical success factors and key performance indicators, the development of budgets and forecasts, and strategic benchmarking.

Marks Paneth Admits Tax Partner

Anthony Delfiner

New York-based Marks Paneth (FY17 net revenue of $131.4 million) has announced the addition of Anthony Delfiner as a tax partner in the firm’s Jenkintown, Pa., office.

Delfiner joins the firm’s commercial business group, which provides customized audit, tax planning and consulting services to clients in a variety of industries, including retail, restaurants, jewelry, manufacturing, wholesale and distribution.

Delfiner specializes in serving high-net-worth individuals and their closely held businesses, with extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions. He frequently assists clients with negotiations related to buying and selling businesses and advising on the tax implications of these transactions. He is also experienced in estate, gift and inheritance tax matters, both at the federal and state levels.

Prior to joining Marks Paneth, Delfiner was a tax partner in the Philadelphia office of a global accounting firm.

Applied Artificial Intelligence Leader Joins Grant Thornton

JT Kostman Ph.D.

JT Kostman, Ph.D., an internationally recognized leader in cognitive computing, applied artificial intelligence and data strategy, has joined Chicago-based Grant Thornton (FY17 net revenue of $1.75 billion) as managing director of applied artificial intelligence.

In this new role, Kostman will lead the development and delivery of artificial intelligence, machine learning, IoT, blockchain, and advanced analytic solutions and services for the firm and Grant Thornton clients. He will be based in the firm’s Iselin, N.J., office.

Kostman is a data scientist, mathematician and psychologist renowned for his expertise in applied artificial intelligence and cognitive computing. He has served as chief data officer and a member of the executive committee for Time Inc., chief data scientist for Samsung, and chief data scientist and big data psychologist for Aptus Insights. In addition to his corporate experience, Kostman has served U.S. intelligence, security and defense agencies, including the CIA, FBI and Department of Homeland Security, as well as President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.

“Grant Thornton and I are like-minded in our views on the potential for artificial intelligence, machine learning, IoT, and robotics to improve operations and create new opportunities,” Kostman said in a statement. “We share a commitment to helping enterprises move past the hype and focus on how they can use these technologies to improve their businesses. It’s all about bottom-line outcomes.”

UHY Advisors Announces Alliance with A.I.- Powered MinerEye

Yaniv Avidan

Chicago-based UHY Advisors (FY17 net revenue of $140.8 million) announced that the firm has formed an alliance with MinerEye, which uses artificial intelligence to track and protect sensitive data.

UHY, ranked among the top 50 firms in the country, says MinerEye will bolster its risk advisory group.

MinerEye’s Data TrackerTM enables business and government organizations to continuously identify, organize, track and protect vast information assets including undermanaged, unstructured and dark data, for safe and compliant cloud migration.

“Companies cannot protect, manage or utilize information they can’t find,” says MinerEye CEO and co-Founder Yaniv Avidan. “We believe Data Tracker will be an essential solution for UHY clients seeking to continuously automate data classification to reduce redundant data risk as well as complying with GDPR and other privacy regulations.

MinerEye Data Tracker helps companies consolidate internal file server data into OneDrive as part of Office 365 and Azure adoption. MinerEye helps customers swiftly identify, classify and tracking the on-premise data before, during and after it moves to the cloud.

As part of the alliance, UHY will oversee the professional services aspect of the offering, which includes advising clients regarding the implementation of the technology, as well as acting as the point of contact for clients after installation of the product.

“This alliance will add to the cybersecurity services we provide clients and ensure that they are well positioned to safeguard their most critical asset, their data,” Warren Zafrin, the leader of the Risk Advisory Services practice at UHY.

Aprio Combines with Magoon Freeman Spain & Jones, LLC

Joe Spain

Atlanta-based Aprio (FY17 net revenue of $85.1 million) has combined with Magoon Freeman Spain & Jones (MFSJ) of Alpharetta, Ga., expanding the firm’s presence in the state.

MFSJ is a boutique accounting firm serving closely held businesses, nonprofits and individual clients for more than 40 years. About 15 former MFSJ team members will continue to operate from their Alpharetta office as Aprio | MFSJ

Aprio says that its combination with MFSJ will increase the firm’s retirement plan business by 15%.

“Our existing clients will benefit from Aprio’s unmatched breadth of services as they look to their next,” Joe Spain, MP and co-founder of MFSJ, said in a statement. “Aprio’s reputation is well established for providing clients with future-focused advice and we’re delighted about the combination of the firms.”

Aprio MP Richard Kopelman says, “This combination will allow the MFSJ team to take advantage of our investments in business process automation, data analytics, as well as increased opportunities for skills building and career development through Aprio University.”

Gary Adamson, CEO of Adamson Advisory, advised both firms on the merger. “MFSJ has been a leader in the North Atlanta market for many years and was attracted to Aprio’s outstanding talent pool and extensive range of services focused on the middle market.”

MFSJ is the third merger announced by Aprio in 2018 and the sixth transaction in Georgia since 2007.

ConvergenceCoaching Announces the Graduates of Transformational Leadership Program

Tamera Lorerzel

ConvergenceCoaching has announced the 2017-18 Fall Transformational Leadership Program™ (TLP) graduating class.

“Leading the TLP participants in their leadership journey this past year is some of the most rewarding work we do at ConvergenceCoaching,” says Tamera Loerzel, partner at ConvergenceCoaching. “These TLP participants courageously developed new skills and behaviors to take their leadership to the next level, allowing them to take on new roles and responsibilities in their firms.”

Shannon McCain, senior manager at HoganTaylor, says, “I realized from my leadership assessments at the beginning of the Transformational Leadership Program (TLP) that I wasn’t always the most approachable leader. So, in my TLP journey, I set out to become the kind of leader that people say, ‘Yay! I get to work on a project with Shannon!’ ” The TLP has helped me enhance my communications and approach to others to move closer to the inspiring leader I aspire to be.”

Congratulations to the graduates of the fall 2017-2018 program:

  • Andrew Grice, manager, BerganKDV
  • Michael Chrichton, manager, Burdette Smith & Bish LLC
  • Kevin Hamaker, manager, Burdette Smith & Bish LLC
  • Jill Bosnjak, firm administrator, Echelbarger Himebaugh Tam & Co.
  • Jenny Hashley, senior tax manager, Echelbarger Himebaugh Tam & Co.
  • Gloria Zhao, principal, George Johnson & Company
  • Brian Ray, partner, Hertzbach & Company
  • Shannon McCain, senior tax manager, HoganTaylor
  • Ashley McAdams, partner, Horne
  • Jessica Gooch, shareholder, Huselton Morgan Maultsby
  • Kimberly Lyons, shareholder, Huselton Morgan Maultsby
  • Katie Davis, partner, James Moore & Co.
  • Stacy Joyner, partner, James Moore & Co.
  • Eric Troyer, shareholder, Kerkering Barberio & Co.
  • Mike Varner, partner, Kruggel Lawton CPAs
  • Alex Schaeffer, senior manager, Kruggel Lawton CPAs
  • Heather Lewis, director, Marvin and Company
  • Darrick Lamb, partner, Sallan Nemes Lyman & Strakovits
  • Karl Wolpert, tax manager, Weinstein Spira
  • Mike Lamb, principal, Wessel & Company
  • Chris Weir, principal, Wessel & Company