Moss Adams Welcomes Managing Director of Technical Accounting Consulting Group

Dee Mirando-Gould

Dee Mirando-Gould

Seattle-based Moss Adams (FY16 net revenue of $527 million) welcomed Dee Mirando-Gould as the managing director of its new technical accounting consulting group.

“Over the last few years, we’ve noticed a significant increase in requests from clients for consultative guidance to assist them in adopting and implementing complicated accounting guidelines and policies,” says Eric Miles, partner and a leader in the consulting group. “This trend led us to create the new technical accounting consulting group and hire Dee to lead it.”

Mirando-Gould joins Moss Adams from MorganFranklin Consulting and has more than 25 years of experience addressing issues such as revenue recognition, stock-based compensation, debt and equity instruments, derivatives, business combinations and lease accounting.

Marks Paneth Acquires Dylewsky Goldberg & Brenner

New York-based Marks Paneth (FY16 net revenue of $127.7 million) acquired Dylewsky Goldberg & Brenner of Stamford, Conn. The acquisition brings two partners, Scott Brenner and Dannell Lyne; one director, Lawrence Goldberg; and eight professionals.

Since its founding in 1991, DGB has provided accounting and consulting services to high-net-worth individuals, families, financial and professional service providers, commercial businesses and nonprofit organizations.

“Marks Paneth’s outstanding reputation in the key markets we serve made the firm an ideal choice for us,” says Brenner. “We now have access to an expanded pool of resources that will enable us to service our client relationships even more effectively.”

“Over the years, DGB has demonstrated the same client-centric approach that is at the core of all Marks Paneth service offerings,” says Harry Moehringer, MP of Marks Paneth. “We look forward to working alongside our new colleagues to enhance our strengths in key market sectors throughout Connecticut.”

Zettle Rejoins Aldrich Group as CFO

Lucas Zettle

Lucas Zettle

Salem, Ore.-based Aldrich Group (FY16 net revenue of $47.1 million) named Lucas Zettle as chief financial officer. Zettle began his accounting career as an associate with Aldrich in 2010 and later moved on to private industry to expand his breadth of financial knowledge.

“As CFO, I want to empower Aldrich with key financial and operational information that supports our drive for growth. My vision for this role is to create a world class accounting and finance team within Aldrich, and to continue to enable our clients achieve their goals,” says Zettle.

“Lucas’ technical skills as well as familiarity with our firm’s culture and vision will be extremely valuable as we continue to grow,” says Martin Moll, CEO.

Survey Finds Only 11% of Organizations Are Ready for Digital Disruption

According to an AFP MindShift survey, a poll of 279 finance and treasury professionals found that just 11% believe their organization is “fully prepared” or “very prepared” for these new technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain and robotic process automation.

“The benefits of new technology for finance and treasury are clear: increased productivity, reduced costs and better decision-making,” says Jim Kaitz, president and CEO of the Association for Financial Professionals. “However, the challenges are just as clear: lack of control over technology, cybersecurity, company-wide consistency, maintaining employee skills and the potential loss of jobs.”

In addition to the on-site survey, AFP MindShift released a whitepaper, “Emerging Technologies and the Finance Function: Prepare for Disruption.”

“When finance and treasury roles consider applying emerging technologies, such as robotics process automation and AI, to their processes, there are a number of attractive capabilities that can potentially transform the way they operate and enable their business to be more competitive,” says Leslie Chacko, director, Marsh & McLennan Companies Global Risk Center. “However, there are serious challenges and considerations in governance, talent strategy, cyber risk, and more that have to be very carefully considered. That said, ignoring these technologies isn’t an option.”

Deloitte Survey: Cognitive Adoption Resulting in Economic Benefits

The report, “Bullish on the Business Value of Cognitive: 2017 Deloitte State of Cognitive Survey,” released by Deloitte shows that early adopters of artificial intelligence and cognitive technologies are reporting strong opportunities for economic gains and job creation.

“There is a concern that ‘the rise of the machines’ will replace human workers, but we should look at how people and machines can work in collaboration as co-bots,” says Deloitte CEO Cathy Engelbert. “The ability to leverage new technologies to retool our workforce will ultimately lead to new opportunities to build high value skills for our workers.”

Contrary to public sentiment, 69% of respondents expect minimal to no job loss within the next three years.

“Organizations today that want to create a cognitive advantage should reimagine when, why and how humans and machines work together to achieve better outcomes,” says Ryan Renner, principal, Deloitte Consulting, and Deloitte’s cognitive advantage leader. “Cognitive technologies are disrupting how organizations conduct tasks, make decisions and complete interactions internally; and with their customers. The true value is created by knowing how to apply the technologies most effectively within the context of your business, marketplace, corporate culture and industry.”

Eighty-three percent of respondents report moderate to substantial economic benefits from AI and cognitive technologies. According to the report, organizations that claimed the greatest economic benefits feel that cognitive should be used for transformational change versus incremental improvements.

More than 1 in 3 (37%) companies have invested $5 million or more in AI and cognitive technologies.

  • 73% are exploring mature cognitive technologies such as robotic process automation
  • 70% explore statistical machine learning
  • 49% employ deep learning neural networks

“Cognitive technologies are still maturing, but our study shows that early adopters are experiencing benefits, especially those that have jumped in with both feet,” says Jeff Loucks, executive director Deloitte services, Deloitte center for technology, media and telecommunications. “The more experienced companies are, the more likely they are to see gains. That should provide an incentive for others to get started.”

View the full survey report here.

Two Louisville Firms Merge

Louisville, Ky.-based Strothman and Co. has acquired Ecken & Smith, also of Louisville.

Founders of Ecken & Smith, Ron Ecken and Joyce Smith, will join Strothman but continue to work out of their office. The combined company will have 70 employees across their three offices.

“We share a similar desire to serve all of our clients with many years of combined experience in a caring, hands-on manner,” says Smith.

Strothman and Co., founded nearly 35 years ago, focuses on serving entrepreneurs. Ecken & Smith has experience in tax preparation and planning, audits, business valuations, personal financial planning, litigation support and accounting services.

Scally Joins Marcum as PIC of Litigation Services

William Scally

William Scally

William Scally has joined New York-based Marcum LLP (FY16 net revenue of $449 million) as PIC of litigation services in the Boston office.

As a valuation specialist, Scally provides financial, economic and statistical services, with a focus on equity and debt valuation, business enterprise valuation, business model due diligence and contract compliance. He also has experience applying valuation principles to assist companies pursuing strategic initiatives and to analyze economic damages pursuant to government and commercial litigation disputes.

Scally’s 16 years of management consulting experience includes engagements in private equity and early-stage ventures, professional services, software, technology, manufacturing, financial services, life sciences and health care.

Windes Welcomes Lorenzetti as Principal

Robert Lorenzetti

Robert Lorenzetti

Long Beach, Calif.-based Windes (FY16 net revenue of $25.6 million) welcomed Robert Lorenzetti as principal to serve clients with tax and business advisory services. He is based in the Irvine, Calif., office.

Lorenzetti has more than 25 years of experience as a strategic business advisor specializing in securing debt and equity placements for small- to medium-sized businesses across a broad range of industries. Additionally, he has experience in tax preparation, compliance, and dispute resolution for complex and highly technical tax-related issues.

“His experience and skillset nicely complements our services along with his expertise and deep level of contacts and relationships that he has developed over the years,” says John Di Carlo, MP.

Hantzmon Wiebel Names Lehman CEO

Jennifer Lehman

Jennifer Lehman

Hantzmon Wiebel (FY16 net revenue of $13 million) of Charlottesville, Va., names Jennifer Lehman as chief executive officer. She previously served as chief operating officer and is the first female CEO of Hantzmon Wiebel.

“We have been working together on this transition for some time now and I know that Jennifer will be a great CEO and leader for us going forward,” says Phillip Shiflett, previous CEO, who will continue to work with clients on a full-time basis. “I see her guiding the firm through its 100-year anniversary and beyond. She has the vision and abilities to continuously improve our organization and promote our shared values.”

Lehman joined Hantzmon Wiebel in 1997 and served as the COO since 2007. She is a co-PIC of employee benefit plan audits, and also works with high net worth individuals and a variety of clients.

“We are poised to embrace the fast-paced change in our profession with an outstanding team of professionals. I am honored by this opportunity to continue facilitating the success of the community and businesses that we serve as we prepare for our centennial anniversary in the next decade,” says Lehman.

Friedman Launches New Cybersecurity Service, CyZen

New York-based Friedman LLP (FY16 net revenue of $94 million) has launched a new service, CyZen. This will consist of a five-person team of cybersecurity advisors that provides clients cybersecurity support against the growing risk of cyber threats.

The CyZen team will safeguard individuals and companies in both the public and private sectors spanning a broad range of industries. CyZen offers clients cutting-edge cybersecurity through a customizable suite of services, including assessment, testing, remediation and monitoring.

Jacob Lehmann, managing director of CyZen, has more than 10 years of experience spearheading proactive, innovative and custom-tailored solutions that help safeguard clients from cybersecurity risks. His engagements span small and medium businesses and high net-worth individuals to big enterprise-level engagements and start-ups across broad spectrum of industries including, technology, banking, finance and real estate.

William Mendez, director of Friedman CyZen, has more than 10 years of experience strategizing and executing innovative cybersecurity solutions for entities ranging from small and medium-sized businesses to large corporations in the finance, real estate, nonprofit, education and energy sectors.

Sean Johnstone is a senior specialist who focuses on penetration tests and vulnerability assessments in the cybersecurity space. He has led cybersecurity awareness training for northeast clients.

William Keppler is a senior specialist with more than five years of experience in the cybersecurity space. He has conducted ethical hacking, software security, web application security, programming and vulnerability research.

Eric Freeman is a senior specialist focusing on building tailored solutions to help defend endpoints and networks from advanced threats.