HMWC CPAs Remembers Marilyn Millare

Marilyn Millare

Marilyn Millare

Tustin, Calif.-based HMWC CPAs & Business Advisors (FY17 net revenue of $11 million) joins family and friends in remembering former partner Marilyn Millare, who passed away in late March.

She joined the firm in 1977 and was named partner in 1985. For many years, Millare headed up the firm’s tax department. With her strong expertise in real estate and pension plans, she worked with many sophisticated real estate clients. In addition, she sat on the board of CRS, the firm’s pension administration company. Millare, the first female partner at the firm, retired in 2013.

“She was doing her part to help advance the cause of female leadership in the business world,” says retired partner Gerry Herter. When the firm changed its name, Millare became the ‘M’ in HMWC.

The firm says that she was a trailblazer. At the time of her retirement, the firm had 50% female partners. And today, the firm maintains a 50% parity of females to males in leadership positions. That is a tribute to Marilyn’s legacy. She will be sorely missed.

Withum Marks Opening of its Learning Lab at the University of Central Florida

Princeton, N.J.-based WithumSmith+Brown (FY18 net revenue of $207.6 million) has partnered with the University of Central Florida (UCF) to establish a new learning lab, which offers students a place to seek tutoring services as well as collaborate with fellow accounting majors.

The lab, which was designed by Withum’s Creative Director Jin Park, features state-of-the-art workstations and amenities. The décor also features inspirational messages that align with Withum’s corporate culture.

“The Withum Learning Lab is an extension of our ties to UCF and its College of Business, where the next generation of business advisors and accountants are being challenged to refine their skills and creativity,” says Russell Goldberg, PIC of Withum’s office in Orlando, Fla. “At Withum, we take our responsibility very seriously to contribute to and pave the path for the future of our profession, which will only soar to new heights that not-too-long-ago once seemed unfathomable.”

The Withum Learning Lab was established in memory of three of the firm’s late team members who were an inspiration to their peers: Sandi Breitenstein and Barb Sorenson, who passed in 2015, as well as Robin Word, who passed in 2016.

Gregory Trompeter, director of the Kenneth G. Dixon School of Accounting at UCF College of Business, says, “For those who are being tutored, they obviously receive one-on-one education from more senior-level students. Less obvious, is the expertise developed by the tutors who really solidify their knowledge of the subject by teaching it to others. In both instances, Withum is helping UCF develop future leaders for the community and the profession.”

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Deloitte Study: Only 19% of Business Leaders Say They Are Ready to Lead Social Enterprise

Amid rapid technological, economic and social change, it is important for social enterprises to move beyond mission statements and social impact programs to put humans at the center of their business strategies, a new Deloitte study says.

In “Leading the Social Enterprise: Reinvent With a Human Focus,”  the Big 4 firm examines various ways organizations can change the experiences of the workforce to “build identity and meaning for workers.”

A social enterprise is a cause-driven business that exists to achieve a social mission. In the report, survey respondents – nearly 10,000  in 119 countries – say the role of the social enterprise is more important than ever and noted a positive link between leading the social enterprise and an organization’s financial performance.

In fact, 73% of industry-leading social enterprises expect stronger business growth in 2019 than in 2018, compared to only 55% of those where the social enterprise is “not” a priority. However, only 19% of respondents reported being “industry leaders” in their organization’s maturity as a social enterprise.

“What’s missing for many organizations is the focus on the individual and the day-to-day challenges that workers are facing,” says Erica Volini, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, U.S. human capital leader. “The reality is that while technology is helping organizations gain competitive advantage, if not managed appropriately, it can simultaneously mean that workers lose their identity in the workplace. We see a call to action for organizations to reinvent their approach to human capital with the worker in mind to create opportunities for continuous learning, accelerated development, and professional and personal growth.”

The report says, “As organizations look to effectively lead the social enterprise, they must adapt to the forces restructuring work and the implications to the workforce – both in composition and capability – while embedding a meaningful experience for workers.”

This focus on the workforce comes as more than 86% of respondents cited reinventing the way people learn as important or very important – the No. 1 trend for 2019. Lifelong learning has evolved from a matter of career advancement to workplace survival. However, even with this emphasis on learning, only 10% of respondents said their organizations are “very ready” to address this topic.

Organizations are also being challenged to “up their game” when it comes to the employee experience. This emphasis comes as only 49% of respondents believed that their organizations’ workers were satisfied or very satisfied with their job design and only 42% thought that workers were satisfied or very satisfied with day-to-day work practices.

“Over the last five years, issues related to productivity, well-being, overwork and burnout have grown,” said Jeff Schwartz, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, U.S. future of work leader. “As a result, organizations need to shift from the traditional employee experience to a new category we call ‘human experience,’ where relationships are enduring, learning is continuous, and work has meaning centered around human identity.”

Organizations are finding themselves in a job-seekers’ market as the war for talent rages on. “As organizations’ workforce needs drastically change, leaders should shift from focusing on acquiring talent to accessing capabilities. While the change may seem nuanced, taking a more expanded view of where skills can be found – whether it’s in automation, the gig economy or current employees – can pay dividends in today’s fast-paced and high-demand business environment,” says Volini.

The survey also reveals that the way many organizations compensate and reward workers is out of date. Today, only 11% of respondents felt that their rewards systems are highly aligned with their organizational goals and 23% do not feel they know what rewards their employees value.

“The combination of shifts in the work, the workforce, and the organization have created a new mandate for HR to shape the future,” says Heather Stockton, principal, Deloitte Global, global human capital leader. “But HR cannot do this alone. The entire organization, led by the symphonic C-suite, needs to come together to help organizations truly take the lead in the future of work.”

LeaseCrunch Partnering with Moore Stephens North America

The lease accounting software company LeaseCrunch has announced that it is now a strategic partner of Moore Stephens North America (MSNA).

“In addition to delivering an expanded distribution channel for LeaseCrunch software to over 40 firms with more than 150 offices and nearly 7,000 professionals, the program offers LeaseCrunch the ability to partner with Moore Stephens North America member firms by providing products that are integrated into their member client solutions,” says Joel Hess, principal at LeaseCrunch.

“We’re always looking to deepen our bench, and LeaseCrunch delivers solutions to problems our members have faced in the past, and the tools to help them plan for the future,” says Laura Metz, MSNA marketing and communications manager.

The LeaseCrunch software is customizable to the size of the company and enables the accounting firm to either act as bookkeeper or set clients up within the system to manage their own lease portfolio. LeaseCrunch is designed to reduce the time it takes clients to prepare for an audit and for CPA firms to perform the audit.

MSNA has 43 member firms in the United States, Canada and Mexico, with 130 collective offices in most major North American markets and nine member firms on the INSIDE Public Accounting Top 100 Firms list.

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Manny Trelles Joins CLA’s Real Estate Practice

Manny Trelles

Manny Trelles

Manny Trelles has joined CliftonLarsonAllen LLP (FY17 net revenue of $866 million) as a principal in the real estate practice.

Trelles brings more than 28 years of experience in real estate and partnership taxation to the firm, and has worked with private equity clients, family offices, residential and commercial real estate developers, real estate investment trusts (REITs), property and community developers, managers, and operators to structure tax-efficient transactions.

Trelles has in-depth experience overseeing the deployment of foreign source capital into U.S. assets, advising international clients on the acquisition, repositioning, operation, and disposition of U.S. real estate.

Trelles was most recently a tax advisor with MMT Advisory Services, and previously served as a tax partner with both regional and national CPA firms.

Tim Forstad Named Minneapolis MP for KPMG

Tim Forstad

Tim Forstad

Big 4 firm KPMG has announced that the leader of its audit practice in Minneapolis, Tim Forstad, has been named the new MP of the 500-person office, replacing George Kehl, who is retiring.

Forstad had served as PIC of the audit practice in Minneapolis and Des Moines for the past two years. He’s been a partner in KPMG since 1998 and has worked in San Francisco, Taipei and Amsterdam. His expertise is in audit and SEC services for food and consumer product companies.

“I am excited to lead a talented and dedicated group of professionals who have the skills and expertise to help clients solve a broad range of audit, tax and advisory-related issues like acquisitions, restructurings, business transformations and many other issues,” Forstad said in a statement.

Over the past nine years, KPMG’s Minneapolis has grown from 336 to more than 500 employees.

“Tim is a respected leader and seasoned audit professional whose global industry expertise and strong local business connections make him ideal for the role,” said John Kunasek, KPMG’s vice chairman of clients and markets, in a statement.

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Center for Audit Quality Names New Executive Director

Julie Bell Lindsay

Julie Bell Lindsay

Julie Bell Lindsay will succeed Cindy Fornelli as the executive director of the Center for Audit Quality (CAQ) on May 6.

Retiring after 12 years as executive director, Fornelli will continue at the CAQ through May 2019 to help with the leadership transition.

Lindsay comes to the CAQ from Citigroup, where she was managing director and deputy head for global regulatory affairs. In March, the CAQ’s governing board unanimously approved Lindsay’s appointment.

“Julie brings deep experience in the capital markets and an appreciation for the vital role of the public company auditing profession in our system of investor protection,” says Cathy Engelbert, Deloitte US CEO and chair of the CAQ board.

At Citigroup, Lindsay worked to develop and execute the bank’s regulatory policy priorities and strategy, engaging extensively with regulators, international standards-setters, trade organizations and peer institutions. Prior to Citigroup, among other endeavors, she served as counsel to SEC Commissioner Cynthia A. Glassman.

“Since 2007, the CAQ has established itself as force in public company auditing, thanks to its convening power, its constructive policy engagement and vision for the profession’s future,” Lindsay says.

Deloitte to Deploy Smart Monitoring Sensors by PointGrab in London

Accounting firm Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd. has selected Israel-based home and building automation company PointGrab Inc. to install smart sensor systems in its London headquarters.

PointGrab’s system will allow Deloitte to receive real-time data on desk occupancy, foot traffic, elevator usage and occupancy of public areas in the 270,000 square-foot building.

According to IoT Evolution, the program is the culmination of a four-year project to define the “workplace of the future,” to accommodate a range of different work activities and styles, with spaces that “fuel creativity and ultimately generate more collaboration across the business.”

PointGrab’s system is designed to enable Deloitte to optimize use of the building. It involves thousands of ceiling-mounted sensors, which provide accurate information about the location and number of people in each space throughout the building.

PointGrab uses foot traffic data to assist in more efficient building maintenance management. For example, the system can alert cleaning crews to focus on spaces with high foot traffic.

“The system serves us both for real-time applications like hot-desking and for space utilization reports of any given area within the premises,” says Dominic McGrory, director of workspace performance, according to IoT Evolution. “PointGrab sensors have a unique mix of high accuracy rates and advanced features, which enable us to truly understand what is going on at any given moment.”

Founded in 2008, PointGrab is based in Kfar Saba, a town northeast of Tel Aviv.

Grant Thornton Recognizes Its Rising Stars

Patrick Hughes

Patrick Hughes

Chicago-based Grant Thornton (FY17 net revenue of $1.8 billion) has announced that Patrick Hughes has been promoted to lead corporate development for the firm and Sylvia Cho has been recognized by Consulting magazine as a “Rising Star of the Profession.”

Hughes, based in the firm’s Chicago headquarters, leads the execution of mergers and acquisitions on behalf of Grant Thornton in the United States. Most recently, he led Grant Thornton’s acquisition of life sciences management consultancy TayganPoint Consulting Group, which closed in October 2018.

Sylvia Cho

Sylvia Cho

For the last decade, Hughes has served as a financial advisor to more than 50 public and private clients. Before joining Grant Thornton in 2014, he spent five years at Phoenix Capital Resources, an investment banking boutique. Prior to that, he was an investment banking analyst for Harris Williams & Co.

Cho, transaction services principal in the advisory services practice, received the Rising Star award recognizing the best young talent the profession has to offer – 35 consultants under the age of 35 poised to change the industry, the firm says.

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California Firm Added to Alliott Group

Rogers Anderson Malody & Scott (RAMS) of San Bernardino, Calif., is the latest addition to Alliott Group’s 65-country alliance of independent professional services firms.

Alliott Group, which includes both accounting and law firms, says the appointment of the firm strengthens its coverage in North America.

COO Giles Brake says, “RAMS has been providing high-quality, timely accounting and related services to its clients for over 70 years. Their reputation is such that an existing Alliott Group member, Dawn Brenner of Grant Bennett Associates in Sacramento, personally recommended the firm to our group. Through the support offered by our global platform and structured program of services, RAMS will be able to extend and enhance its reputation for service excellence and become a local firm of choice for the type of clients sought by the firm.”

The firm provides a range of services to clients across a number of sectors, including government organizations, closely held businesses, non-profit organizations and individuals. The team of 32 includes five partners, and services can be delivered in English as well as Mandarin, Korean and Spanish.

“We believe Alliott Group and its membership of top tier independent accounting and law firms provides a growth platform that can be utilized to retain existing clients and attract prospective clients,” says partner Leena Shanbhag.