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Ilse Rew Joins Briggs & Veselka as COO

Ilse Rew

Ilse Rew

Houston-based Briggs & Veselka Co. (FY17 net revenue of $36.2 million) announced that Ilse Rew has joined the firm as chief operating officer.

In this newly created role, she will be responsible for overall firm operations and process improvement. For the past 11 years, Rew has operated a financial and business process consulting firm, where she served clients in the manufacturing, energy, real estate, professional services and education industries.

“With the significant growth of the firm in the past few years, including the integration of five other firms into Briggs & Veselka in the past 12 months, we realized the need to evolve our systems and processes,” says Sheila Enriquez, managing shareholder of Briggs & Veselka. “Ilse’s consultative background, insights into process improvement for growing companies, and her overall demeanor are ideal to assist the firm as we ‘scale up’ into new markets, services and discover new ways to grow and challenge our people.”

Prior to managing her consulting firm, Rew held operations, finance and international tax positions in industry and in the accounting profession.

More news from Briggs & Veselka

Dimmick Named Chair of Briggs & Veselka’s Houston Audit Department

Adam Dimmick

Houston-based Briggs & Veselka Co. (FY17 net revenue of $36.2 million) announced that Adam J. Dimmick, audit shareholder in the Houston office, has been named chair of the firm’s audit department.

Meresa Morgan, who had served as department chair since 2010, will continue to lead the firm’s employee benefit plan practice, in addition to serving her longtime clients.

Dimmick started with the firm 13 years ago as a staff associate after moving from Southern California, and was promoted to shareholder in 2015. “From the time I started with the firm, I’ve always felt supported, encouraged and challenged. Assuming the responsibility of department chair is a great honor. Throughout the years, the culture at Briggs & Veselka has remained unmatched, and the opportunities for our future leaders is tremendous,” he says.

In addition to leading the construction and industrial services niche, Dimmick has led the department’s recruiting, retention and mentoring committees for several years.

“We are excited and fortunate to have Adam in a leadership position to help guide the firm over the next several years and continue to scale up and expand our core services and consulting practice,” says managing shareholder Sheila Enriquez.

Briggs & Veselka, Glass & Company, Announce Merger in Austin

Hal Miller

Houston-based Briggs & Veselka Co. (FY17 net revenue of $36.2 million) and Glass & Company of Austin, Texas, have announced a merger, which is Briggs and Veselka’s fifth transaction in the past 12 months.

Glass & Company partners Hal Miller and Larry Dodson will become shareholders of Briggs & Veselka, and it is expected that all employees will be part of the merged group. In early 2018, Briggs & Veselka acquired Bill Love CPAs in Austin, and the two Austin offices will become one soon, the firm says.

“The merger with Glass & Company will deepen our industry expertise in banking, health care, nonprofits, and technology and software, as well provide an even stronger audit and tax departments,” says Sheila Enriquez, managing shareholder. “The combined firms will offer an even better option for middle market companies in central Texas that have more complex business and compliance needs. Shared culture is a major driver of our firms coming together, and I know that the leaders and the people of Glass & Company can embrace our values of excellence, dedication and compassion,” says Enriquez.

Sheila Enriquez

Miller adds, “We have known the leadership of Briggs & Veselka through professional organizations and peer reviews, and have always admired the quality of their work and their people. Now that we’re joining forces, our people and our clients will have more options and solutions to help them grow,” he added.

Briggs & Veselka is the fourth largest independent CPA firm in Texas, with offices in Houston, The Woodlands, El Campo, Austin and San Antonio.

Enriquez Elected Managing Shareholder of Briggs & Veselka

Sheila Enriquez

Sheila Enriquez

Sheila Enriquez was elected managing shareholder of Houston-based Briggs & Veselka Co. (FY16 net revenue of $35.4 million). She will assume the role from John Flatowicz, effective July 1. Flatowicz will continue his roles as an audit shareholder and member of the Executive Committee.

“Sheila’s vision and drive are ideal for the firm–and an industry–in transition as future growth and relevance will be driven by the rapid adoption of new technologies and the expansion of consulting services,” says Flatowicz. “But more importantly, Sheila’s passion for developing people and promulgating the firm’s values is what makes her ideally suited for leading the firm to the next level.”

“I am honored to assume this role from John, who has been so vital in driving firm growth and client satisfaction during his tenure as managing shareholder,” says Enriquez. “My goal is to grow to a top 50 CPA firm so we can provide more value to our clients and opportunities to our people, by strengthening our core services of tax and audit, expanding our related advisory services, and staying on top of innovation and technological developments in our profession.”

Enriquez has been with the firm since 2007 and has been a shareholder since 2010. In addition to her responsibilities as an audit shareholder, she leads the firm’s forensic, valuation and litigation support services, and its consulting practices. Enriquez was named one of Women Who Mean Business by the Houston Business Journal in 2017.

Briggs & Veselka Expands Risk Advisory Practice

Sonny Brandtner

Sonny Brandtner

Houston-based Briggs & Veselka (FY16 net revenue of $35.4 million) welcomed Sonny Brandtner as senior director in the risk advisory practice. Brandtner has more than 30 years’ experience in industry and in public accounting, providing internal audit, risk advisory and process improvement consulting experience in the energy, health care, restaurant and financial services industries.

“The firm’s market reputation is first rate among clients and referral sources, and it was a pleasant surprise over the course of our conversations with leadership to hear not only the size of the firm, but the scope of services that in my opinion, rival any regional firm,” says Brandtner.

“As the firm expands its value-added services to help our growing clients address and navigate through new and different risks, Sonny will be a valued resource in helping solve – or avoid – the issues oftentimes associated with growth,” says Sheila Enriquez, leader of the advisory practice.

“His presence will help expand our evolving internal audit, SOX, and routine accounting processes through use of robotic process automation. And Sonny’s deep experience in all four segments of the energy value chain will provide a valuable resource to our energy clients, as well as other OFS, upstream, midstream and downstream companies in the region.”

Briggs & Veselka Expands Houston Tax Practice with Acquisition

Houston-based Briggs & Veselka (FY16 net revenue of $35.4 million) acquired William M. Shields of Houston. Bill Shields will join the firm as a shareholder, and all the firm’s professional employees will join Briggs & Veselka in various positions. Shields currently represents more than 1,000 clients domestically and internationally.

“Shields has a reputation for great client service, which is one of the many commonalities we discovered in the discussions leading up to this acquisition,” says John Flatowicz, managing shareholder of Briggs & Veselka.

“We are hoping that additional resources – international tax, state and local tax, audit and attestation, and consulting services will be a great resource for our clients in the Southwest and elsewhere,” says Shields.

“Being a legacy firm means we intend to remain independent through the consolidation in the industry. The shareholders and I strongly believe that preserving our unique culture will allow the firm to invest in the resources our clients need today and into the future,” says Flatowicz.

Briggs & Veselka Acquires Pathway Forensics

Houston-based Briggs & Veselka (FY16 net revenue of $35.4 million) has acquired Pathway Forensics, a digital forensics firm specializing in computer forensics, eDiscovery processing and hosting, data analysis, corporate investigations and expert witness testimony.

“We believe this will be a great partnership because of our similar cultures and complimentary skill sets,” says Sheila Enriquez, leader of the Briggs & Veselka forensic, valuation and litigation support practice and the firm’s consulting group. “Pathway has received numerous kudos statewide for their computer forensics, corporate investigations, expert witness, and eDiscovery services, and they will be an excellent resource for our clients and the law firms we serve.”

“Pathway is excited to join a firm with such a remarkable market reputation, and with such a high degree of client loyalty. And our cultures align well, which was a critical point for me and our management team,” says Noel Kersh, partner with Pathway. “We’re excited about the ability to collaborate on litigation matters as well as the middle market corporate clients that Briggs & Veselka serves.”

The firm leadership brings more than 75 years of experience in conducting digital forensics acquisitions and analysis on a variety of cases involving business and employment disputes, investigating theft of intellectual property, compliance with discovery requests, family law, harassment, in-house investigations for large corporations, copyright infringement and criminal cases.

In addition to Kersh, Pathway principal, Dustin Hager, directors Chris Graham and Dennis Williams, and the staff, will be part of the new organization.

Briggs & Veselka Expands into Austin

Houston-based Briggs & Veselka (FY16 net revenue of $35.4 million) acquired William C. Love CPAs of Austin, Texas.

Bill Love provides forensic accounting analysis and testimony for litigation matters primarily related to family law, as well as individual and corporate tax planning and compliance services.

“Bill’s 40-year career that spans from leading a Big 4 office in Austin to his experience in operating his own firm will be a great asset to our firm. And his insights into forensic accounting will be a boon to our own growing forensic accounting practice,” says John Flatowicz, managing shareholder of Briggs & Veselka.

“Above all else, joining forces is a great cultural fit,” says Love. “Mergers are only successful when the companies can first come together on shared values, and we’ve found that to be the case with the Briggs & Veselka team during the past several months.”

Briggs & Veselka Taps Cooney to Head SALT Practice

John Cooney

John Cooney

Houston-based Briggs & Veselka Co. (FY16 net revenue of $35.4 million) announces the addition of John Cooney as head of the firm’s State & Local Tax (SALT) practice. Cooney brings more than 25 years of experience in working with a wide range of companies developing solutions to complex state and local tax problems.

Cooney joins the firm from a Big 4 firm, where he was a SALT partner for 19 years.

Cooney’s specialization is in assisting clients with identifying and obtaining large sales and use tax refunds, audit reductions and tax credits in addition to building processes and procedures that reduce the overall SALT burden. His philosophy is to teach a client why they overpaid tax as opposed to getting them the same refunds over and over again.

“The professionals I met at B&V are people of integrity working in a team environment, and they are obsessed with delivering high-quality, value-added services to their clients. I am convinced our SALT team will save B&V clients a lot of money and heartache in the area of state and local taxes,” says Cooney.

“As our clients grow in their level of sophistication and in their footprint, we saw the need to expand our tax services to address new opportunities,” says Briggs & Veselka MP John Flatowicz. “Adding someone of John’s caliber and experience will be an asset not only to the tax practice, but to the firm overall, as he will bring a different perspective that will benefit the firm and our clients,” he added.

Briggs & Veselka Announces Partnership with IntrapriseTechKnowlogies

Donny Shimamoto

Donny Shimamoto

Houston-based Briggs & Veselka Co. (FY16 net revenue of $35.4 million) has entered into a joint agreement with IntrapriseTechKnowlogies (ITK) and its managing director, Donny Shimamoto, to provide IT consulting and innovation services to middle market companies in the Texas Gulf Coast and South Texas.

MP John Flatowicz says, “Our firm is dedicated to being progressive and this partnership will keep us and our clients ahead of the curve.”

Additionally, B&V has licensed the Intraprise Architecture® methodology and use of the Intraprise Blueprints® intellectual property with clients. Shimamoto will train the B&V staff on how to use these proprietary tools to support work in audit, tax, internal audit, and other advisory services. He will also be helping to develop the B&V team through a variety of engagements. The partnership began with ITK and B&V co-publishing the results of a 2017 Briggs & Veselka Cyber Security Survey. The interactive survey showed that 65% of respondents conveyed a perception of a high or moderate risk of a cyber security incident while more than half were not confident, neutral, or didn’t know if their company was properly secured from internal cyber threats, and an equal amount were not confident, neutral, or didn’t know if their company was protected from external threats.

The study also found that IT governance and IT risk management are very different from IT execution, which can present a false sense of security for middle market companies.

Shimamoto says, “The increasingly targeted digital space makes firms and their clients a greater target than before. It is important each strive to capitalize on innovations in the marketplace and learn from highly trained professionals. The programs we will jointly deliver to Houston area corporations will not only educate, but protect assets for years to come and provide Houston organizations with improved agility and competitive advantage.” Shimamoto is immediate past chairman of the AICPA’s Information Management & Technology Assurance Executive Committee and was recently awarded the AICPA Standing Ovation Award.