BKD Offers New Service to Energy Industry

Deanna Duell

Springfield, Mo.-based BKD LLP (FY19 net revenue of $662.9 million) has hired its first energy industry contract compliance leader, Deanna Duell.

Duell will integrate Council of Petroleum Accountants Societies (COPAS) accounting guidance and model form interpretations. This new service, the firm says, will help clients clarify oil and gas accounting requirements for agreements in the form of contract audits and litigation support. These include action plans to provide for contract audits facilitating recoveries for nonoperators and limiting exposure for operators in complying with accounting in contractual agreements unique to the oil and gas industry.

Duell will join the firm as a director and be based in BKD’s Denver office. Before joining BKD, she spent several years working for large CPA firms and also operated her own accounting firm, Duell & Associates. She is experienced in serving the oil and gas industry in various capacities for operated and nonoperating wells throughout the United States.

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Two South Florida CPA Firms Merge

Two Florida firms, Ravan & Company CPAs and Blanco + Co., have merged. The combined firm, headquartered in Miami, will operate under the name Ravan + Blanco LLP.

Ravan + Blanco has 12 employees, including five licensed CPAs and two enrolled agents.

“This merger has been a leap forward for our firm’s growth,” says Ravan & Company founder Cesar Ravan. “Working with the staff from Blanco + Co. LLP has been a great addition to our office environment, and we look forward to serving our collective clients as a cohesive team.”

Ravan + Blanco LLP is now located in three south Florida locations, Miami, West Miami and South Miami.

For more information on Ravan + Blanco, visit www.ravanandco.com.

Dean Dorton Gets New High-Tech Office in Lexington

Lexington, Ky.-based Dean Dorton (FY18 net revenue of $31.6 million) announces that its headquarters office has moved into the Lexington Financial building, 250 W. Main St., Suite 1400.

The firm has called West Vine Street its home for the last 34 years. More than 160 Dean Dorton team members will move into a renovated, state-of-the-art office in downtown Lexington’s most iconic building, known as “Big Blue.”

“We are continually looking for valuable opportunities for both our clients and our team members and this newly renovated space gives us room to operate in a more efficient and productive environment that accommodates the way our people work today,” says David Bundy, Dean Dorton president and CEO. “Our new space is more collaborative, facilitates increased communication and allows us to continue our tradition of innovation as a firm.”

The new office space features nine conference rooms, three break rooms, a large modern high-tech training room with a food service space and a custom-designed marketing studio. Technology has been upgraded.

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Halt Buzas & Powell Celebrates 50 Years

Steve Halt

Alexandria, Va.-based Halt Buzas & Powell announced its 50th anniversary and the retirement of partner Steve Halt.

The firm began as Loeb Roberts & Company in College Park, Md., in 1969. Twelve years later, the firm merged with Charles Gronsbell and Halt’s firm to become Loeb Roberts & Gronsbell in Alexandria, where HBP is headquartered today.

The firm focuses in financial services, corporate philanthropy and community engagement in the Washington, D.C., and Baltimore areas.

“Halt Buzas & Powell has experienced tremendous growth and development over the past 50 years,” says Halt, who has been with the firm since 1977. “What hasn’t changed, though, is our constant commitment to strong client relationships.” Halt plans to retire on Dec. 31. Throughout 2020, he will work a reduced schedule to facilitate smooth transitions for clients and staff.

“Steve has not only been my fellow partner for 17 years, but also my mentor and close friend,”says MP Andy Powell. “When I succeeded him as managing partner, he helped me through the difficult transition and played a crucial role in making sure I knew how to take on the position.”

When he began, the firm had a little over 50 clients. Today, it represents thousands of individuals and businesses.

Grant Thornton Names Bradley Preber as CEO

Bradley Preber

Chicago-based Grant Thornton (FY18 net revenue of $1.87 billion) announces that Bradley Preber has been selected as the firm’s CEO by the partnership board.

The board appointed Preber to the role following a comprehensive search process, and the firm’s partners and principals ratified the selection.

Preber has been serving as Grant Thornton’s interim CEO since June 2019, and will now serve as the firm’s CEO through July 31, 2022, which is his mandatory retirement date.

“Brad is a decisive leader who believes in delivering exceptional value to clients,” says Jim Wittmer, chairman of the firm’s partnership board. “As CEO, Brad will fuel Grant Thornton’s continued success providing innovative audit, tax and advisory services built on a foundation of quality.”

Preber says, “Today’s businesses face formidable challenges – from accelerating growth and keeping pace with technology to mitigating risks and enhancing audit quality. As CEO, I will help Grant Thornton build on our track record of helping clients overcome these challenges through our uniquely differentiated client services, and our singular ‘status go’ culture.”

Preber joined Grant Thornton in 2004, after serving as a partner at Arthur Andersen. He has held numerous leadership roles at Grant Thornton.

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HBK IT Acquires Unicom Solutions Group

Canfield, Ohio-based Hill Barth & King (FY18 net revenue of $93.9 million) has announced that a subsidiary, HBK IT, has acquired Unicom Solutions Group of Mountainside, N.J.

Unicom is a technology consulting firm established in 1991 offering a suite of services to small and mid-size private companies, nonprofits and government agencies. The acquisition complements the offerings of HBK IT, which provides various digital transformation, managed services, cybersecurity consulting and enterprise resource planning to clients in a variety of industries.

“Bringing Unicom into the HBK family gives HBK IT even greater scale and technical expertise,” says Tom Angelo, HBK principal in the HBK Clark, N.J., office. “The merger will bring us a team of talented individuals as we continue to grow our advisory services and help our clients use technology to drive the growth of their business in an ever-changing digital world.”

CEO and MP Christopher Allegretti adds, “We continue to seek out new and innovative ways to transform our organization in this digital world through modern cloud solutions, financial applications, messaging and communications as well as infrastructure and cybersecurity.”

Unicom founder Roman Sawycky says the move gives the staff additional opportunities for personal development and professional training, while clients gain access to more products and services.

Baker Newman Noyes Plans to Expand to Woburn, Mass.

Portland, Maine-based Baker Newman Noyes (FY18 net revenue of $45.4 million) has leased new offices in Woburn, Mass., to expand its presence in the Boston area. The firm has also hired new employees.

The new office, expected to open by the end of the year, will be led by Bob Croak, a longtime Boston business leader who also oversees the firm’s downtown Boston office.

The firm first expanded to Massachusetts in 2011 with the opening of its downtown office in Boston. Today, the firm has 265 employees, five offices across New England and, with this new office in Woburn, will be looking to add 15 to 20 employees over the next 12 to 24 months.

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Prager Metis CPAs Acquires M Moskowitz and Company

New York-based Prager Metis CPAs (FY18 net revenue of $98.2 million) has combined with M Moskowitz and Company of River Edge, N.J. Michael Moskowitz has been admitted as a partner.

“We welcome their addition,” says Ronald Friedlander, OMP in Hackensack, N.J., where the Moskowitz team relocated. He says the merger allows the firm to “provide excellent, personalized service to the diverse businesses and individuals throughout New Jersey.”

“Prager Metis has a level of expertise and a reputation that is unique for an accounting firm of its size,” says Moskowitz. “We look forward to bringing these resources to our clients.”

The deal was facilitated by Dom Esposito of Esposito CEO2CEO.

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MGI Worldwide and CPAAI To Merge in January

Two professional accounting organizations, MGI Worldwide and CPA Associates International (CPAAI), are planning to merge on Jan. 1, and will represent more than 250 accounting, tax and consulting firms in almost 100 countries.

MGI Worldwide is a global network of independent audit, tax, accounting and advisory firms, headquartered in the U.K., and CPAAI is headquartered in Glen Rock, N.J. The new organization will have revenues approaching $1 billion, placing it in 16th position in the current global accountancy network ranking.

MGI Worldwide and CPAAI have complementary cultures and client service philosophies, the organizations say. They were both formed more than 60 years ago and are well established and active in their markets. The combination offers clients access to more than 9,000 professionals with a wide range of specialists.

Clive Viegas Bennett, CEO of MGI Worldwide, says, “This merger greatly strengthens the already solid market positions of both organizations and enhances our global reach, knowledge base, member offerings and services to valued clients. Our new global and regional management team will provide the leadership to take the combined organization to greater levels of success. The shared goal is to help keep all members up to date on the latest technical and business developments, exchange business best practices and expertise, and deepen our strong regional structure.”

Michael Parness, president of CPAAI, states, “Clients remain at the heart of all members’ firms and their goals and objectives are always paramount. The merger ensures that they will have additional ‘trusted advisors’ to call on for the industry expertise and support they need – regardless of where they operate in the world.”

The new group will be co-chaired by Roger Isaacs, chairman of MGI Worldwide, and Jim Holmes, the international chairman of CPAAI. Bennett will serve as CEO with Parness as COO.

HoganTaylor Moves Its Oklahoma City Office

Oklahoma City OMP Richard Wright and the firm’s other Oklahoma City partners host a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Tulsa, Okla.-based HoganTaylor (FY18 net revenue of $47.3 million) has relocated its Oklahoma City office to a new, expanded space at 1225 N. Broadway Ave., Suite 200, in the city’s new Innovation District.

“In the accounting industry, we spend a lot of time thinking about the future and what changes may come as a result of new technology,” says Oklahoma City OMP Richard Wright. “At HoganTaylor, new technology is driving our transformation from a public accounting firm to a full-service business advisory firm. Our new space is a reflection of that transformation.”

The firm says the move not only accommodates additional growth but allows for greater participation in the city’s efforts to form innovative partnerships in the new district.

The new office is designed to allow for increased interoffice collaboration and idea sharing.

“The No. 1 thing that’s going to change for our profession is that our clients are going to demand that we help them get better and not just do their compliance work,” says Randy Nail, CEO of HoganTaylor. “Our new space fosters the kind of collaboration and innovation we’ll need to help our clients get better, but it’s just one of many ways we’re innovating our future at HoganTaylor.”

HoganTaylor is also investing in new service lines through a merger with RainRock IT Services. A new subsidiary, HoganTaylor Technology, began doing business Nov. 1, offering a suite of information technology services, including managed information technology services, outsourced CIO and technology solutions, cybersecurity services, and IT strategy and assessments.

“In the future, if a client needs anything related to a business issue, whether it’s an IT need, a marketing need, an HR need or really anything, we want HoganTaylor to be the first place they turn,” Nail says. “Our move in Oklahoma City and this beautiful new space both support that goal.”

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