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Annapoorani Bhat Joins PYA Executive Team

Annapoorani Bhat

Knoxville, Tenn.-based PYA, an IPA 100 firm, has admitted Annapoorani Bhat as a strategy and integration consulting principal.

Bhat, a member of the executive team, specializes in valuation and related consulting services for companies in the health sciences sector. Her primary area of expertise is in the valuation of businesses and assets for financial reporting, regulatory compliance and internal strategic planning purposes. She provides valuation consulting services to facilitate mergers, acquisitions, affiliations and the financial reporting of acquired intangible assets.

PYA President Marty Brown says her achievements are a testament to years of hard work and dedication. “Our clients have come to know what we know – that her knowledge, skill and experience enable us to better serve them with their transactions needs.”

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HLB Appoints PYA as its Newest Member in U.S.

Mike Shamblin

HLB, the global network of independent advisory and accounting firms, welcomes Knoxville, Tenn.-based PYA (FY18 net revenue of $49.3 million) as its newest member firm in the United States.

With a team of 300 in five offices, PYA provides a multitude of services, including tax, health care consulting, audit and assurance.

“Membership in HLB enhances our ability to serve clients because it allows us to tap into additional audit, accounting and tax resources that span the globe,” says Mike Shamblin, managing principal of audit and assurance services. “This collaboration allows us to share expertise and best practices with other HLB-network firms and leverage experience throughout the network, as needed, to better assist our clients.”

“We are honored that HLB identified PYA as a firm that would align with its goals for growth in the U.S.,” says Shamblin. “Our client-centric focus based on long-term client relationships fits well with HLB’s goals. We are excited about the opportunities this membership affords our clients and how we can assist other member firms with their client needs.”

As an independent member of the HLB Network, PYA’s private ownership structure will remain unchanged. PYA is ranked No. 90 on the 2019 IPA 100 list of largest accounting firms in the nation.


Mathis Joins Executive Team of PYA

Barry Mathis

Barry Mathis

Knoxville, Tenn.-based PYA (FY15 net revenue of $39.5 million) has announced that Barry Mathis is the latest principal to join its executive team.

With more than two decades of experience in both the information technology (IT) and health care industries as a CIO, CTO, senior IT audit manager, compliance officer and consultant, Mathis has performed and managed complicated HIPAA security reviews and audits for countless hospital systems. Prior to joining PYA, he served as principal at an IT consulting firm.

“Barry’s comprehensive experience and knowledge informs his ability to manage the complexities of HIPAA compliance and data security,” says PYA President Marty Brown. “He exhibits strong technical skills and proficiency in IT risk management, physician relations, strategic development and team building. He will be an extraordinary asset to our health care clients.”

“I am passionate about project and crisis management, trouble shooting, and problem solving. In my new role at PYA, I look forward to applying these skills to the challenges our clients are facing,” Mathis says. “PYA has provided, and will continue to provide, clients with exemplary service. I look forward to contributing to that legacy.”

PYA Names Physician to its Executive Team

Dr. Amy Mechley

Dr. Amy Mechley

Knoxville, Tenn.-based PYA (FY15 net revenue of $39.5 million) has announced that Dr. Amy Mechley has been named to its executive team.

A board-certified family practice physician licensed in the state of Ohio, Mechley has led primary care transformation as medical director for a nationally recognized health care system, and serves with the Ohio Governor’s Office of Health Transformation on the task force for patient-centered medical homes (PCMH) redesign for Ohio providers.

According to PYA President Marty Brown, “Dr. Mechley’s addition to our firm will enhance the quality and diversity of our service offerings. With an extensive background in health care transformation, she will take a prominent role in helping develop our value transformation services, and will assist clients with their value transformation projects.”

Mechley’s experience also includes service as a PCMH model design team member and PCMH provider advisory team member for the state of Ohio; providing clinical innovation mentoring for startups in digital health and wellbeing; providing mentoring for peers in both clinical and non-clinical settings; supervising a Comprehensive Primary Care initiative in a national demonstration project for multiple practices and physicians; designing and piloting behavioral change software to be used in patient health promotion and population health applications; and serving as a partner at a 12-clinician independent primary care practice.

“It was important for me to align with an organization that matches my dedication to quality of care and innovation in health care,” says Mechley. “I am happy to have found both in PYA. I look forward to collaborating with PYA’s outstanding team of health care professionals and assisting clients and colleagues as they implement care transformation in their practices.”

PYA Admits Two Consulting Principals

Chris David

Chris David

Knoxville, Tenn.-based PYA (FY14 net revenue of $31.1 million) has announced the addition of consulting principals Chris David and Bob Paskowski. David will serve within PYA’s valuation service line, while Paskowski will be joining its strategy and integration team.

Bob Paskowski

Bob Paskowski

PYA president Marty Brown says, “Chris and Bob are consummate professionals driven to providing clients with outstanding service. Their diverse range of experience and strong business acumen will increase the value we bring to clients across the consulting spectrum.”

David has more than 15 years of experience in business valuation, accounting and finance. His work has involved the valuation of private health care companies, physician compensation/arrangements, joint ventures, intangible assets for regulatory compliance, federal and state tax compliance, financial reporting, litigation, marital dissolution, and mergers and acquisitions.

“It is an honor to join the valuation team at PYA,” says David. “PYA is known for delivering reliable valuation opinions and providing sound business advice for its clients. I am eager to draw from my experience in the areas of business and health care valuation to assist clients and further the goals of the firm.”

Paskowski brings more than three decades of health care leadership, business strategy, finance, reimbursement and managed care expertise to PYA. He has senior-level experience in managed care organizations (MCOs) and integrated health systems, as well as a wealth of accomplishments in team-building, business growth and operational performance.

Larry Felts Joins PYA

Larry Felts

Larry Felts

Larry Felts has joined Knoxville, Tenn.-based Pershing Yoakley & Associates (PYA) (FY14 net revenue of $31.1 million) as principal in its Nashville office.

PYA specializes in health care and business management consulting, tax, audit, valuation services and public policy. Felts comes to PYA having spent most of his career at two Big 4 firms, KPMG and PwC. He works with Security Exchange Commission (SEC) entities, both public and secondary offerings; financial institutions; retail and distribution; higher education and not-for-profit entities, including church-related and governmental entities; manufacturing; and privately held businesses.

PYA CEO Ed Pershing says, “I have known Larry personally for many years and can attest that he is dedicated to helping individuals and firms grow and be successful. His reputation for building loyal business associations aligns with PYA’s approach, as we also share a desire for building trusted, long-term relationships. His track record reflects many successes. We look forward to what he can help us achieve and how his vast experience across multiple sectors can benefit our clients.”

Felts says, “I have watched PYA’s tremendous growth over the last three decades and am excited to take the next step in my career with the firm to further its mission of providing timely insight and world-class strategic support to its clients. Assisting clients from the Nashville office, I will be able to help expand our footprint and service offerings in a rapidly growing and diverse business market.”

PYA Expands Nashville Office

Knoxville, Tenn.-based Pershing Yoakley & Associates (PYA) (FY13 net revenue of $30 million) celebrated an open house for its expanded Nashville office and plans to recruit individuals to fill 30 open positions.

“We have served the market for three decades, but we recently saw an opportunity to expand our presence to better serve our clients,” says Marty Brown, the firm’s MP for consulting services. “When we found the executive we wanted to lead the expanded effort, we moved forward.”

That executive is Shannon Sumner, former senior vice president and chief quality officer for CHAN HEALTHCARE, who rejoined PYA as a principal in late 2013. She had previously served as a senior consultant in audit and physician services at PYA before joining CHAN in 1997.

“During the past year, about 30 PYA professionals have worked on either a full-time or part-time basis out of our Nashville office supporting more than 40 Nashville area clients,” says Sumner. “As a result of the Nashville client base, our opportunities have continued to expand nationally.”

“We are committed to expanding this wide array of nationally-recognized services to better support existing and new clients in the Nashville market,” says Sumner. The services used by the 40 Nashville clients in 2014 covered a broad spectrum of the capabilities of the PYA family. They included compensation and business valuation, compliance, data analytics, mergers and acquisitions, construction and real estate project management, tax, audit and assurance, reimbursement and revenue cycle and physician advisory services.

The PYA expansion offers career growth opportunities for professionals in the Nashville area.

“PYA is currently recruiting to fill 30 open positions in specialties such as population health management, data analytics, real estate development and advisory services, regulatory compliance, business and compensation valuation, assurance and tax,” says Sumner. “Many of these opportunities are available in Nashville for the right qualified individuals.”

PYA Announces Retirement of Co-Founder

Doug Yoakley

Doug Yoakley

Knoxville, Tenn.-based PYA (FY13 net revenue of $30 million) announced the retirement of co-founding partner Doug Yoakley.

An integral part of the firm for more than 30 years, Yoakley has provided tax planning and compliance services to a wide variety of business organizations, individuals and industries. He is retiring from PYA to join affiliate company PYA Waltman Capital (PYAW), which specializes in wealth management, personal financial planning and estate/gift planning. Yoakley says, “This move allows me to focus on serving individual clients and their families on important planning matters.”

Yoakley partnered with firm President Ed Pershing in 1983 in the midst of an economic recession to form Pershing Yoakley & Associates in Knoxville. Then a three-employee firm, it has since grown to more than 270 employees and five affiliate companies serving in excess of 3,500 clients in 48 states.

“Doug has been an integral member of the firm, instrumental in seeing our company through expansion, acquisition and development. We will miss his insight and daily presence,” says Pershing. “The foundation he has helped build leaves us well-positioned to ensure the firm’s continued growth as the premier tax, accounting, and consulting firm in the region.”

Elliott Named PYA Tax Principal

Eric Elliott

Eric Elliott

Knoxville, Tenn.-based PYA (FY12 net revenue of $28.5 million) has named Eric Elliott as tax principal. Elliot brings more than 15 years of experience with national clients across a variety of industries and a broad background in tax compliance and consulting services to PYA.

“The success we’ve enjoyed over our 30-year history is due to the outstanding individuals that make up PYA,” says PYA President Ed Pershing. “We look forward to Eric continuing in this tradition and to the many contributions he will bring to our firm, the tax department, and most importantly, our clients.”

Elliott’s areas of expertise include transaction due diligence consulting, tax acquisition planning, and year-end tax planning strategies. He has also defended middle market companies in IRS tax examinations throughout the United States.

AICPA Offers Guidance on Working With New Clients in Cannabis Industry

The cannabis industry offers CPAs a bevvy of prospective new clients. But the nature of the industry also opens to door to several potential challenges and pitfalls, the AICPA says.

Several states have legalized marijuana use for recreational or medical reasons, creating a burgeoning industry of growers, distributors, and retailers such as Full Spectrum. Revenue from medical and recreation cannabis is estimated to reach $12 billion this year. Due to how big this industry is set to grow, many people are deciding to start their own careers to help them make as much money as possible. Recreational marijuana has always been popular but in recent years, its popularity has grown considerably. People can smoke the marijuana via glass pipes or like a cigarette, or it can even be put into foods. Marijuana has become very versatile and individuals can do a lot with it. These days it is as simple as making and distributing this cannabis from home through using the rosin press piece of equipment. This will make it considerably easier for people to earn money quicker in this industry. It’s important that you receive all of the information that you think you may need first before making any further decisions about your career choice. The accounting profession, similar to the legal profession, can offer its expertise to clients in the cannabis industry, such as auditing and taxation services, as well as expert guidance for avoiding fraud or theft.

With these opportunities come serious downsides, as marijuana remains illegal at the federal level. As a result, few banks are willing to deal with players in the industry, leaving it largely a cash operation. CPAs providing business advisory or other accounting services to clients in the cannabis industry need to navigate the nuances of federal and state law and to avoid being charged criminally, potentially resulting in fines, jail time or the loss of their license.

The American Institute of CPAs details the risks and opportunities for CPAs working in the cannabis industry in the latest Eye on Fraud report. It offers a review of many of the State Boards of Accountancy positions on working in the cannabis industry and highlights some of the issues and challenges facing both the cannabis industry and CPAs supporting it.

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