Jerry Henderson Takes Over National Advisory Services at BKD

Springfield, Mo.-based BKD, an IPA Top 100 firm, announced that Jerry Henderson will succeed the retiring Mike Burlew in the role of regional managing partner for the firm’s national advisory services (NAS) practice effective June 1.

A member of BKD’s governing board with more than 30 years of experience in the profession, Henderson currently serves as MP for the firm’s transaction advisory services and performance advisory services.

“I am humbled and honored to have the opportunity to work closely with the talented leaders in our NAS practices,” Henderson says. “Our clients are facing an unprecedented level of change and NAS is well positioned to help them navigate a rapidly evolving marketplace.”

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PKF O’Connor Davies Offers Remote Work for the Remainder of 2020

Recognizing the uncertainty surrounding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, New York-based PKF O’Connor Davies, an IPA Top 100 firm, has launched a pilot program that allows eligible employees to continue working remotely through the end of 2020.

Even as some of the firm’s 12 physical offices across five states begin to slowly reopen, the new policy – which also removes the rule requiring employees to have worked for the firm at least one year before working remotely – acknowledges that many employees still may not feel comfortable returning amid an unsettled environment.

“We transitioned to remote operations to protect all of our employees as the risks associated with COVID-19 grew,” says MP Kevin J. Keane. “I’m proud to say that transition was flawless, and our company culture and commitment to clients has not skipped a beat. This pilot program gives longtime employees and new hires alike the flexibility to work in a way that’s best for their families and for their peace of mind.”

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Baker Tilly Adds Michael Brim to Lead Real Estate Client Accounting Services

Chicago-based Baker Tilly, an IPA Top 100 firm, has hired Michael Brim as managing director of its real estate client accounting services (CAS) practice.

Brim is charged with expanding the team dedicated to serving the growing demands of real estate developers and investors for managed client accounting and advisory services. He brings more than 30 years of experience to the firm, having previously held leadership positions at several top real estate firms.

“We are continuously looking for ways in which we can enhance and protect our clients’ value,” says real estate practice leader Todd Carpenter. “The addition of Mike allows us to play an integral role in our clients’ management team by providing a customizable service bundle that combines our industry expertise with outsourced accounting and advisory solutions.”

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SEC Charges Three Former KPMG Partners

The SEC announced settled charges against three former KPMG audit partners for improperly sharing answers to internal training exams and for subsequent wrongdoing during an investigation at the firm.

The orders against Timothy Daly, Michael Bellach and John Donovan find that each engaged in misconduct in connection with exams KPMG administered to test whether its audit professionals understood certain accounting and auditing principles. The three also subsequently lied about and/or attempted to cover up their actions during an investigation of the matter, the SEC asserts.

Without admitting or denying the findings, Daly, Bellach and Donovan agreed to be suspended from appearing or practicing before the SEC as accountants. This means they will not participate in the financial reporting or audits of public companies. The three have the right to apply for reinstatement after three years, two years and one year, respectively.

“Audit professionals play a critical role in the integrity of the financial reporting process and the protection of investors,” says Steven Peikin, co-director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. “These actions reflect our commitment to hold these gatekeepers responsible for breaches of their professional obligations.”

Allinial Global Taps Mark Koziel as New President and CEO

Mark Koziel

Allinial Global has selected Mark Koziel as its new president and CEO. Well known and highly regarded within the profession, Koziel was selected from a field of more than 100 qualified candidates to take over the top role in the organization from the retiring Terry Snyder effective Aug. 1.

“It’s a pleasure to welcome Mark to Allinial Global, and I look forward to working with him to coordinate a smooth transition,” says Snyder. “Mark’s commitment to serving CPA firms and his longstanding leadership within the profession make him an ideal choice to ensure that Allinial Global continues to lead the way with the innovative strategy and world-class service our members and their clients have come to expect.”

Koziel is currently finishing his tenure as executive vice president of firm services at the AICPA.

“The last 14 years at the AICPA have prepared me for this journey, and I look forward to working with the members of Allinial Global,” he says. “I thank Terry Snyder for his leadership over the past 12 years – it is an honor to carry that leadership forward.”

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Tracey Golden Takes Over as AICPA Chair, Bill Pirolli as Vice Chair

The governing council of the AICPA has elected Tracey Golden as the organization’s new chairperson. Golden, an audit partner at Deloitte, succeeds outgoing chair Bill Reeb in the volunteer post, having served for the past year as vice chair.

“We are truly living disruption – not incremental change but a radical break from the familiar,” says Golden. “Our profession has a crucial role to play in helping navigate this disruption. We are here to help businesses and individuals get through these tough times, learn from them and grow. In an uncertain world, CPAs are needed now more than ever as trusted advisors who can lead a path forward.”

At the same virtual meeting, Bill Pirolli, a partner at Warwick, R.I.-based DiSanto Priest & Co., was elected vice chair of the organization.

“I am looking forward to working with the leadership of the AICPA and CIMA, and all of our members and students, as we reimagine what our profession, businesses and lives will look like in the near future and beyond,” Pirolli says. “Never have our roles as trusted advisors been more critical.”

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Moore North America Appoints New Regional Director

Brendan Quirk

Moore North America has brought on Brendan Quirk as its regional director, responsible for almost 40 firms in the association spanning the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Quirk, who will also join the Moore North America executive team, is a CPA who has spent the past decade as a regional leader for Latin America with RSM.

“Brendan’s arrival marks a major step forward for Moore North America,” says chairman Tony Caleca. “He brings a wealth of experience in building associations, developing services and encouraging collaboration.”

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Leaders: The Pandemic Has Revealed the Truth About Your Heart. Do You Like What You See?

Deb Boelkes says how you behaved during the coronavirus crisis reveals some essential truths about whether you lead with your head only or also with your heart. The good news? It’s not too late to switch to a more heartfelt leadership style. Here’s what that looks like.

A couple months ago, a crisis hit the world—one that changed almost everything about how companies operate. We all know the details, so no need to enumerate them here. But as we continue to navigate this fearful, uncertain, emotionally charged stretch of history, Deb Boelkes wants leaders to ask themselves a big question: What has the pandemic taught you about the role your heart plays in your leadership style?

“Times of crisis and extreme change have a way of revealing hidden truths,” says Boelkes, author of Heartfelt Leadership: How to Capture the Top Spot and Keep on Soaring. “It shows us what we’re made of. It shows the people around us what we’re made of. And while many leaders have had to make really tough decisions in the upheaval caused by COVID-19, the way they did those things speaks volumes.”

In other words, if you had to lay people off, did you do it with love and concern? Were you patient as employees struggled to balance their newly remote jobs with home schooling and child care? Did you say thank you? Did you double-down on efforts to keep people engaged and inspired? Did you continue to nurture their growth and push them to live up to their potential?

All these are the attributes of what Boelkes calls a “heartfelt leader.” They mean you don’t lead only with your head—always putting goals and profits ahead of people—but you also care deeply about employees’ well-being. (It’s not an either/or proposition, she says. People who truly believe you care work harder and are more engaged, making it a smart financial strategy.)

In Heartfelt Leadership, Boelkes lays out the path to leading with the heart. Full of real stories and lessons from top heartfelt executives, the book will help you learn to transform from a person people follow because they have to, to one they want to follow.

Now that the dust is starting to settle and businesses are—ever so slowly—starting back down the road to normalcy, Boelkes urges you to take a good hard look at your own “heartfelt quotient” and see how you stack up. Here are a few things heartfelt leaders regularly do:

They give their personal best every moment. “My first job working for a major corporation was at Disneyland,” says Boelkes. “My high school drill team auditioned and was selected to perform together throughout the winter holiday season. I was a ‘marching card,’ the ace of clubs with the Alice in Wonderland dance unit. Once we had the job, we each gave our personal best every single moment. We competed against ourselves to set new personal best records with each ensuing performance. If any one of us made a wrong move, it impacted all of us, and it certainly impacted our ‘guests.’ We all depended on each other. Disneyland depended on us. The audience who had paid so dearly to attend depended on us. If any one of us failed individually, we all failed. We had to work together at peak performance, in perfect unison, every single time. We had to be perfect. No excuses. Ever. Disneyland set a bar for job performance and work ethic against which I have measured every other career and customer service experience I have ever encountered throughout my life. My heartfelt thanks will forever go to Walt Disney and all the Disneyland cast and crew members for that incredibly important lesson.”

They build a culture of love. (That’s what draws the talent.) Tim Hindes, co-founder and CEO of Stay Metrics, a provider of driver retention tools, believes that successful companies are the ones that lead with love from the top down. He says, “When we started with two of us in 2008, we basically grew the company to $30 million in under three-and-a-half years. It wasn’t the two of us who did it. By the time we were done, we had thirty-five team members. We constantly had people coming into our offices saying, ‘This guy is talented. He wants to be part of this.’ If you dare to create this type of environment, one so unorthodox, you’ll find talented people will come to you who don’t want to play the old game. So, not only is it the right thing to do, it’s a brilliant move. I do think a lot of the problems we have in business, if you root down to it, are an absence of love and culture at the top.”

They live by the Golden Rule in good times and bad. It’s the foundation of trust. Colleen Barrett, president emeritus of Southwest Airlines, says, “You just have to practice the Golden Rule, on or off the clock, with each other, with your customers, with anybody you come into contact with. It’s really simple. I’m not saying we never fight with our unions. You know, we’re 86 percent unionized. At Southwest, you could be in the middle of a ferocious negotiation over something or somebody or some work rule, whatever. But…if you walk into the room at the beginning of the day, when you walked in as a total stranger, you would not know who was who, because they’re not on one side versus the other. They’re intermingling. They’re talking. They know each other by their first names. They know their families. They know something about them because that’s who we are. Do we argue? Yes. But do families argue? Yes. Do we have disagreements? Yes. But there is such a trust there.”

They use the magic words—”I don’t know”—and use them often. Garry Ridge, chairman and CEO of the WD-40 Company, shares the power of admitting that you don’t have all the answers. He says: “I love three words so much, ‘I. DON’T. KNOW.’ I think they’re the most powerful words we can use as leaders, to say, ‘I don’t know. Tell me what you know.’ Suddenly these barriers come down. Fear goes away. Conversation happens. Dialogue. Learning. Eventually, we come toward a position we both then say we think we agree on.”

They strive to never hurt anyone. This should be a given, but as a leader, your goal should be to enhance the lives of your employees and certainly to do no harm. Garry Ridge says, “When we put on the badge of leadership every morning, we take on the responsibility of other people. As leaders, we have no right, by our actions, to mess up other people’s lives. We leaders need to take that extremely seriously. Too many leaders out there, through their overinflated self, their ego, who are driven by short-term goals instead of long-term thinking, make decisions that hurt people every day. They have no right to do it. The Dalai Lama says, ‘Our purpose in life is to make people happy. If we can’t make them happy, at least don’t hurt them.’ Our purpose as a leader is to help people engage and enable, NOT to hurt them. We want to apply to their positive, not to their negative.”

They keep asking, “How do I help you grow?” Britt Berrett, former president of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, emphasizes the need to show your people who don’t necessarily share your values that you care. “I had a funny experience with one of our chief officers,” says Berrett. “I adore her and work very closely with her. For me, my time is very precious. I don’t have a lot of slack time; for me, it’s my faith, my family, and then my job. I knew there was time we needed to spend together. She needed that one-on-one time. It was in the afternoon, so I said, ‘Let’s go grab lunch.’ My favorite lunch restaurant is Wendy’s. So, we went off to Wendy’s for lunch. I didn’t think anything of it. We sat down. I thought we had a good conversation. Later, I found out she was a little put off we went to Wendy’s. The message to her was I didn’t really care. I didn’t really know. She was absolutely right. In the frenzy of the day-to-day, I kind of forgot that. We laugh about it now, but whenever we go out to lunch, it’s always Wendy’s. We’ve made a joke out of it. But I needed to understand what was important to her and how I needed to show up as a boss. That’s what genuine leaders, I think, do. They ask the question, ‘How do I need to show up to help you?’ You’ve got to modify your strategy and your behavior to help them grow.”

They don’t treat employees like assets. Howard Behar, former president of Starbucks Coffee, says, “We hear leaders all the time say, ‘People are our greatest asset.’ They’re not assets. You don’t own them. They can choose or not choose to be part of your organization. There’s nothing keeping them there, except maybe fear of loss. The more we treat people with caring, with love, the more they want to perform, the more they want to be part of the organization. Here’s how it works in the real world. When you trust people and you give them more responsibility and accountability when they’re ready for it—sometimes even when they’re not ready for it—the more they want to perform, the more they don’t want to let you down. They don’t want to let their teammates down. They don’t want to let themselves down. It just works. There’s no magic here.”

They recognize that everyone who works for them is a somebody. Paul Spiegelman, former CEO of BerylHealth, says, “Everybody is a ‘somebody.’ We’re not taking ‘nobodies’ and making them feel like a ‘somebody.’ We’re recognizing they are ‘somebody.’ I can ask people questions. I can learn enough about them and show I care about them to make them feel good about themselves. To me, that is probably the secret sauce, so to speak: Make people feel good about themselves.”

“Even if you have to admit you haven’t been acting like a heartfelt leader, now is the perfect time to turn things around,” advises Boelkes. “Right now, many people all over the world are taking stock of their lives and vowing to become better, kinder, more loving human beings. No reason leaders can’t do the same. Let this crisis be a growth experience—one that inspires you to start making a positive impact on your company, on your employees, and on the world.”

PrimeGlobal Welcomes New Michigan, California Firms

Duluth, Ga.-based association PrimeGlobal has added Saginaw, Mich.-based Yeo & Yeo PC, an IPA Top 200 firm, and BFBA of Sacramento, Calif. as new member firms.

Founded in 1923, Yeo & Yeo is a full-service assurance, tax and advisory firm with more than 200 professionals on staff in offices across the state of Michigan. The firm serves privately held and family-owned businesses in industries such as manufacturing, health care, agribusiness, construction and real estate, in addition to government, education and nonprofit entities.

“As a world-class organization, PrimeGlobal accepts only the most contemporary, state-of-the-art firms and Yeo & Yeo certainly fits that description,” says Michelle Arnold, PrimeGlobal’s chief regional officer for North America. “We’re fortunate to have a firm of this caliber joining PrimeGlobal as a powerhouse in the Midwest.”

BFBA has provided innovative, consistent and attentive service across an array of specializations for over 30 years.

“As the region’s leading local firm, BFBA’s innovative approach to their business puts people first,” Arnold notes. “As PrimeGlobal member firms continue to look at developing staff, promoting leadership and fostering talent, BFBA’s knowledge and experience will be invaluable to members as they continue to explore exciting opportunities.”

PrimeGlobal has also added new member firms in Yemen, Nicaragua and Niger, representing three new countries for the association.

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BKD Launches New National Commercial Services Group

Springfield, Mo.-based BKD, an IPA Top 100 firm, will change the name of its National Manufacturing & Distribution Group to BKD National Commercial Services Group effective June 1. The change reflects how this group has been growing to deliver services to companies beyond the traditional M&D industry.

Traditional M&D, food and agriculture, transportation and retail will be the four main divisions under the umbrella of BKD National Commercial Services Group, while technology and software, energy and telecommunications already have separate service line leaders and will be tracked as separate subniches.

“I am excited about the opportunities this creates by better aligning our internal teams and becoming even more laser-focused in the group’s strategies toward continuing to build into the future,” says national industry partner John Mather.

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