DHG Welcomes New Coach for Partners and Principals

Bob Kunkle

Bob Kunkle

Charlotte, N.C.-based Dixon Hughes Goodman (FY19 net revenue of $462.5 million) announces that Bob Kunkle has joined the firm as director of executive coaching and development.

Kunkle will provide executive coaching to DHG’s partners and principals through their career stages, leadership roles and retirement.

“Bob will partner with our leaders to accelerate performance, maximize professional development and make high-value transitions as we continue on our journey to be the ‘Firm of the Future,’ ” says Mike Crawford, DHG’s COO.

Prior to joining DHG, Kunkle was an executive coach at a Big 4 firm. He also owned an executive and life coaching practice. “Bob has a passion for coaching people to live out their full potential personally and professionally, a complement to DHG’s people strategy,” the firms says.

More news from Dixon Hughes Goodman

Brian McCuller Joins BDO’s Atlanta Office as Tax Partner

Brian McCuller

Brian McCuller

Chicago-based BDO USA (FY19 net revenue of $1.64 billion) announces that Brian McCuller has joined the firm and been admitted as a tax partner based in Atlanta.

McCuller is an attorney and CPA with more than 26 years of experience. Specializing in multi-state taxes, he has advised Fortune 500, as well as middle-market companies, with multi-state and multi-national operations. He previously served as tax practice leader at a regional firm for three years, as well as state and local tax practice leader for 14 years at both regional and national firms. He is a frequent speaker and author on multi-state tax issues.

“His strong leadership skills, combined with his technical knowledge and commitment to client service, will make him an asset to BDO Atlanta,” says Karen Stone, tax MP for the Southeast region.

Prior to joining BDO Atlanta, McCuller spent much of his career in Tennessee, where he was actively involved in the community.

More news from BDO USA

Kelli Winter Named Tidwell Group’s New PIC of Audit and Assurance

Kelli Winter

Birmingham, Ala.-based Tidwell Group (FY18 net revenue of $24.1 million) announces that Kelli Winter is the new PIC of audit and assurance.

With extensive experience in real estate and construction accounting, Winter has played an integral role in the audit engagements for affordable housing partnerships financed through the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Additionally, her areas of expertise include budgeting, forecasting and mergers, and acquisitions.

“We could not have been more fortunate in our acquisition of the level of talent and capability that Kelli brings to our team. With Kelli managing audit and assurance for Tidwell Group, our ability to continue the growth trajectory of our firm with security and confidence is greatly enhanced,” says MP Barry Tidwell.

More news from Tidwell Group

MBAF Names John Vides Principal

John Vides

Miami-based MBAF (FY18 net revenue of $132.5 million) has announced that John Vides has been admitted as a principal in the tax and accounting department.

A member of the accounting profession since 2001, Vides has nearly 20 years of experience working with high-net-worth clients related to pre-immigration tax planning and international estate and trust planning. He commonly assists clients on inbound and outbound structuring of investments, wealth transfer strategies, sales and acquisitions of business entities, offshore voluntary disclosure, and more.

“John’s tax and accounting expertise and commitment to furthering MBAF’s mission of providing clients with the highest level of service have made him an instrumental team member,” says CEO Antonio Argiz.

Vides is trilingual, speaking English, Spanish and Portuguese. He is based in Miami.

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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.


AICPA: Non-Accounting Majors Make Up Growing Percentage of New Hires

College graduates without accounting degrees made up nearly a third of new graduate hires in public accounting in 2018 – an increase of 11 percentage points from 2016 and nearly 30 more than in 2014, according to the AICPA.

While undergraduate accounting enrollments were the second-highest on record in 2017-2018, CPA firms are focusing more heavily on technology skills and 31% of all new graduate hires are coming from outside accounting. As firms continue to embrace technology and evolve their approach to the audit, they are seeking employees with data science and data analytics skills, according to the AICPA.

Additionally, the number of CPA exam candidates and newly licensed CPAs in 2018 dipped to the lowest level in 10 years.

The data, from the AICPA’s biennial report, “2019 Trends in the Supply of Accounting Graduates and the Demand for Public Accounting Recruits,” is based upon university responses for the 2017-2018 academic year and firm responses for the 2018 calendar year.

The results echo data analyzed by INSIDE Public Accounting (IPA) in its annual survey of more than 500 accounting firms across the nation.

“As firms continue to expand service lines and seek to hire the most qualified candidates to serve clients in many non-traditional services, we’re seeing more non-CPA professionals in the ranks of the IPA 100,” says Mike Platt, principal with INSIDE Public Accounting. “In fact, we discovered that 28% of all client-serving professionals at the IPA 100 have no intentions to pursue a CPA license.”

According to IPA’s data, 1 of every 11 equity partners is not a CPA. These non-CPAs include client-accounting service staff, MBAs, computer scientists, COOs, data analytics professionals, wealth managers, cyber-security experts, consultants, engineers, entrepreneurs, health care specialists and others.

AICPA president and CEO Barry Melancon says the accounting firm hiring model is shifting. “This is leading to more non-accounting graduates being hired, particularly in the audit function. CPAs have an unmatched reputation for trust and integrity, earned through decades of working in the public interest. However, to play this vital role in the future will require an increased focus on technology.”

On the supply side, nearly 208,000 projected students were enrolled in undergraduate accounting programs during the 2017-2018 school year. More than 33,000 projected students were enrolled in master’s programs in 2017-2018. This reflects a 6% decline from 2015-2016 but remains comfortably above any level pre-recession. Declines in graduate student enrollment is due largely to more students opting to enter the workforce in lieu of pursuing an advanced accounting degree, the report says.

There were nearly 55,000 projected bachelor’s and more than 21,000 projected master’s degrees earned in 2017-2018. This reflects a decline of 4% each from the previous report.

New CPA exam candidates increased significantly in 2016, largely attributed to the new version of the exam launching in 2017. For 2018, CPA candidates fell 7% to 36,827, while newly licensed CPAs fell 6% to 23,941.

Some of these initiatives to attract the next generation of CPAs include:

  • The CPA Evolution project, launched in partnership with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy, seeks to ensure that CPAs continue to have the needed skills.
  • A CPA Exam practice analysis focused on the impact of technology and the critical skills for newly licensed CPAs. An exposure draft and invitation-to-comment will be published in late December.
  • Accounting Accreditation Practitioner Engagement Program, which places CPA practitioners on AACSB accounting accreditation teams and committees.
  • Accounting Doctoral Scholars Program, which provides funding for CPAs to obtain their doctorates and teach.
  • Accounting Program for Building the Profession, which trains high school educators to teach a college-level accounting class.

Additionally, the AICPA is working with organizations and offering scholarships and programs to increase the likelihood that racial and ethnic minority students consider accounting early in their career decision-making process. The report found that racial/ethnic diversity has increased, with the highest percentage of non-white enrollees to date. Enrollment by gender is nearly even at both the bachelor’s and master’s levels.

More news from the AICPA

HMWC Conquers Big Sur Hike, Its 41st Team-Building Event

Professionals, friends and clients of Tustin, Calif.-based HMWC CPAs & Business Advisors (FY19 net revenue of $17.9 million) have covered 15 miles of hikes in the Big Sur area of the central California coast, marking the firm’s 41st annual team-building hiking trip.

The hike, which was held over several days and included participants aged 5 to 76, is part of an effort to create a work environment that fosters “trust, initiative, loyalty, work/life balance, and mutual employer/employee success,” the firm says.

The annual “Death March,” so-named because of the physical challenges, was started in 1979 by then-MP Gerry Herter, who has attended all 41 outings. According to Herter, the event is rigorous but fun. “With the intense demands placed on members of the accounting profession nowadays, the Death March provides an enjoyable opportunity for team-building amidst some of the most spectacular scenery North America has to offer,” says Herter, who wrote a book about the tradition: Ledgers to Ledges, Four Decades of Teambuilding Adventures in America’s West.

Previous Death March events have been held in national park around the West: Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Grand Canyon, Glacier, High Sierra, Yosemite, Sequoia, Channel Islands and Crater Lake. Hikes have also covered portions of Kauai in Hawaii, Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest in Oregon and California, and Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada.

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Jay Persaud Named Americas and U.S. Vice Chair for Risk Management

Jay Persaud

Jay Persaud

Big 4 firm Ernst & Young (EY) has announced that Jay Persaud has been appointed Americas and U.S. Vice Chair–Risk Management.

Persaud succeeds Ted Acosta, who was named regional MP for the Latin America South region.

“In an era of dynamic change, Jay understands how our business is evolving and can apply that experience in his new role as we develop new and expanded offerings,” says Kelly Grier, EY U.S. chair and MP and Americas MP.  “His leadership will position our risk management function front and center in helping us understand evolving risks to better enable our business.”

Grier adds that Persaud’s team will support EY’s growth goals by being “strategic, innovative and collaborative.” He will lead the risk management function and focus on helping EY grow and increase market agility while managing existing and emerging risks.

In nearly 30 years at EY, Persaud has served in a number of leadership roles while working across service lines and geographies. He will be a member of the Americas operating executive and U.S.executive committee.

More news from EY

Raich Ende Malter Expands to Florida

New York-based Raich Ende Malter (FY18 net revenue of $51.4 million) announces that a partner in its tax advisory/wealth preservation practices is relocating to Florida.

“Now more than ever, Florida is a thriving market for high-net-worth individuals,” says MP Ellis Ende. “The East Coast especially is experiencing an influx of wealthy investors as New Yorkers move south to avoid the onerous SALT deduction limitation. REM is expanding to meet the demand for quality accounting and financial services.”

David Roer will be leading REM’s expansion into the state. He specializes in high-net-worth individuals, closely held businesses, and state and international taxation issues. “I feel this is a logical step for REM,” Roer says. “We’ve dipped our toes into the area before, but this is a genuine commitment.”

IPA Announces the IPA 100 Fastest-Growing Firms

IPA identifies the 10 fastest-growing IPA 100 firms based on reported organic growth in net revenue, without the influence of mergers. While growth with mergers represents the true growth, isolating organic growth provides insight into the strength of the growth engine of the firms.

This year’s IPA 100 Fastest-Growing Firms experienced an impressive average organic increase in net revenue of 17.3%.


The 2019 IPA 100 Fastest-Growing Organic Growth Firms

Whitley Penn LLP / Fort Worth, Texas / 24.4%
The Siegfried Group LLP / Wilmington, Del. / 23.2%
Schellman & Company LLC / Tampa, Fla. / 20.0%
Katz Sapper & Miler / Indianapolis / 16.3%
Gursey | Schneider LLP / Los Angeles / 16.2%
SVA Certified Public Accountants SC / Madison, Wis. / 15.8%
Friedman LLP / New York / 15.0%
Frazier & Deeter LLC / Atlanta / 14.8%
Andersen Tax / San Francisco / 13.8%
MGO LLP / Los Angeles / 13.0%

The 2019 IPA 100 All Growth Fastest-Growing Firms

IPA also identifies the 10 fastest-growing IPA 100 firms based on reported all growth in net revenue, including the influence of mergers.

Hogan Taylor LLP / Tulsa, Okla. / 31.0%
Baker Tilly / Chicago / 30.6%
Cohen & Company / Cleveland / 26.3%
Rea & Associates Inc. / New Philadelphia, Ohio / 23.4%
Rehmann LLC / Troy, Mich. / 23.3%
The Siegfried Group LLP / Wilmington, Del. / 23.2%
RKL LLP / Lancaster, Pa. / 21.5%
BerryDunn / Portland, Maine / 20.8%
Schellman & Company LLC / Tampa, Fla. / 20.2%
Moss Adams LLP / Seattle / 19.7%

Highlights of the 2019 IPA 100 Public Accounting Firms

  • Organic growth (excluding mergers) grew this year to 6.7%, up from 6.3% in 2018.
  • More than 110 acquisitions (both traditional CPA firms as well as other non-CPA firms) were reported, pushing the overall growth rate to 9.9%, also up slightly from the 2018 all-growth rate of 9.4%.
  • Organic growth in net income grew to 9.9% this year, an increase from 6.4% in 2018. Factoring in acquisitions, net income growth is up to 12.2%.
  • Average equity partner billing rates now top $450 per hour for the IPA 100.
  • Professional staff turnover (CPAs and other client-serving staff) averaged 16.2% for the IPA 100; with 1 in 5 IPA 100 firms averaging more than 20% professional staff turnover.
  • Eight female managing partners are now at the helm of the IPA 100 firms for the first time since IPA began tracking this data.
  • Average annual equity partner compensation at the IPA 100 is now $660,000.
  • One out of 11 equity partners / owners in a CPA firm are not licensed CPAs.

In-Depth Financial and Operational Benchmarking of the Accounting Profession

Financial and operational analysis of 550 public accounting firms will be published in late September in the 2019 INSIDE Public Accounting National Benchmarking Report.

Subscribe to the IPA newsletter to receive the upcoming benchmarking analyses and in-depth interviews with key leaders within the profession. IPA offers a complimentary news source, the IPA INSIDER E-News Update. Sign up online.

Purchase any of the 2019 IPA benchmarking products, including the IPA National Benchmarking Report, to gain insider strategies.

To interview or engage the partners at INSIDE Public Accounting, please contact Chelsea Summers at (317) 733-1920 or csummers@plattgroupllc.com.

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