New MSNA Program Tackles Technological Disruption

Moore Stephens North America has launched a new program to provide informational webinars and discussions surrounding the evolution of technology.

The Digital Transformation Webinar Series brings together discussion leaders from QuickStart Training, CloudPulse Strategies, AICPA and Boomer Consulting, along with moderators from member firms, to provide insights on the technological disruptions accounting firms are facing.

“Our members are addressing the evolution of technology internally, but many are concerned they are not where they want or need to be regarding planning for the future,” says Tony Szczepaniak, CEO of MSNA. “By bringing the conversations into the forefront and engaging our members, we’re taking the guesswork out of it. Our members thrive and grow through collaboration…we’re just giving them the opportunity to do so!”

Members are encouraged to form digital transformation committees within each of their firms, attending the webinars as a group and leading active conversations that stretch beyond the sessions, resulting in the implementation of necessary changes.

“At this point, the what and the why of digital transformation should be clear to firm partners and leaders,” says Cody Page, COO and IT risk services practice leader for Peterson Sullivan of Seattle. “This series is designed to help MSNA member firm committee members focus on the how: educating members on specific technologies impacting the industry and how to deploy them internally and as a service to clients.”

Twelve sessions are available to members through September and address a variety of topics including “Understanding Audit Analytics,” “Preparing for Blockchain’s Disruption of the Profession,” and “Practical Applications of Artificial Intelligence in Public Accounting.”

The Digital Transformation Webinar Series is just one of the association’s new programs, aimed towards advancing member knowledge and enhancing resources. To learn more about the Digital Transformation Webinar Series or other MSNA programs, contact MSNA Program Manager, Audrianna Schenck at aschenck@msnainc.org.

HLB International Appoints New Member in Vancouver

HLB International has appointed a new member firm in Vancouver, Canada, Facet Advisors.

Established in 1998, Facet supports local, national and international businesses and individuals with services in audit, business consulting, succession planning, corporate tax planning, U.S. tax services and personal taxation. In particular, Facet is a full-service accountancy and business advisory firm, helping clients structure their affairs in Canada, the U.S. and internationally.

“Our clients are growing, successful, privately-owned enterprises who do business globally,” says Darren Millard, CEO of Facet Advisors. “HLB is one of the top 12 accounting networks in the world and its member firms undertake significant international work. It is important to Facet Advisors that we have business and taxation expertise worldwide we can draw on, to support our clients’ international needs.”

Facet Advisors is already working closely with other HLB members in the region, Asia and Europe, and forms part of the HLB Canada federation.

TIAG and TAG Alliances Welcome Eleven New Member Firms Across Four Continents

TAG Alliances has begun the first half of 2018 with tremendous growth by adding 11 member firms that span four continents. These new additions bring TAG Alliances’ overall global reach to 295 member firms located in over 750 offices in 110 countries.

The newest member firms include:

  • Al Busaidy, Mansoor Jamal & Co. in Oman (TAGLaw);
  • Ashok Maheshwary & Associates LLP in Gurgaon, India (TIAG);
  • Calegari & Morris Accountants in San Francisco, Calif., U.S. (TIAG);
  • Camero Camero & Associates in Panama (TIAG);
  • Gecić Law in Serbia (TAGLaw);
  • Marwick & Co. in South Africa (TIAG);
  • Monroe Moxness Berg in Minnesota, U.S. (TAGLaw);
  • Owen Gleaton Egan Jones & Sweeney LLP in Georgia, U.S. (TAGLaw);
  • SEUM Law in Korea (TAGLaw);
  • Varin Wardwell in Idaho (TAGLaw); and
  • WOOIN Accounting in Korea (TIAG).

“This has been a fantastic start to 2018 for the TAG Alliances and all our members around the world,” says Richard Attisha, president of TAG Alliances. “Not only are we growing numerically, but the bonds between our members continue to grow as they leverage the multidisciplinary global resources of TAG Alliances. We are seeing an increase in collaboration, cross marketing and business development between our members. All of this translates into an increase in the volume of referrals worldwide and ensures that our members’ clients receive the highest standards of service and responsiveness wherever they may be doing business.”

Collectively, TAG Alliances members provide legal, accounting, financial and business support services on a worldwide scale. TAGLaw is an international alliance of independent law firms and TIAG is a similar alliance of independent accounting firms. TAG-SP, an accompanying association, consists of strategic business partners for TAG Alliances.

Overheard At The 2018 AAM Summit …

“Brand awareness is one of the worst marketing terms ever invented. Relevance is what you want.” – Jeff McKay, founder and CEO of Prudent Pedal, a marketing consulting firm.

Requiring employees to fill out timesheets is treating your team “like an input and not a creative professional.” – Jody Padar, CEO, New Vision CPA Group, on everyday innovation.

“Don’t let professionalism suffocate personality,” John Garrett, comedian and “Recovering CPA.”

“Pull back and give them space. If they’re going to find their way, they’re going to find it without getting crowded by you,” Guy Gage, owner of PartnersCoach, advising marketers on supporting partners to get involved in marketing without taking on too much responsibility.

“It’s amazing.  When we write things down, they tent to stick with us and they tend to get accomplished.” – Kevin Gienger, MP, Boldt Carlisle, on writing down three priorities for the day and the week.

“If your job gets taken by a bot, your job probably sucks anyway,” Ed Kless, senior director of partner development and strategy at Sage.

“Innovation is more important to today’s customers than relationships.” – Jody Padar

“This blockchain thing is real. Bitcoin may not be,” Ed Kless

On putting the best minds in the firm to work on preparing for the future, Ed Kless says,  “Why do we still have brain surgeons piercing ears?”

PKF International Welcomes New Member Firm in Canada

PKF International announced that Calgary, Alberta-based PFC Accounting has joined PKF International.

PFC offers a wide range of accounting and tax services to mid-market in Western Canada. PFC also provides Management and IT Consulting services to large public companies in Canada and the U.S. They have a particular expertise in assurance and management consulting of oil and gas exploration, oilfield services, construction and steel industries, non-profit organizations, real estate, and tech sector.

“We are very pleased to be part of the PKF International network,” says Erkin Atakhanov, MP. “The relationships we are now forming, both nationally and internationally, will be instrumental in assisting our clients whose growth objectives go beyond their local borders. We will also be well positioned to provide a variety of services to support PKF’s multinational clients who have operations and/or planning to expand in Canada.”

John Sim, CEO of PKF International, added, “We are pleased to welcome PFC Accounting to the PKF family as we continue to expand and strengthen the PKF brand. PFC Accounting fits well with our value proposition of quality with integrity, and also meets our strategic objective. PFC is an important cornerstone firm as we continue to build PKF International’s presence in North America.”

Pic – there should be a PKF logo in the blog imagery already (featured image only)

PKF International welcomes new member firm in Canada

PKF International announced that Calgary, Alberta-based PFC Accounting has joined PKF International.

PFC offers a wide range of accounting and tax services to mid-market in Western Canada. PFC also provides Management and IT Consulting services to large public companies in Canada and the U.S. They have a particular expertise in assurance and management consulting of oil and gas exploration, oilfield services, construction and steel industries, non-profit organizations, real estate, and tech sector.

“We are very pleased to be part of the PKF International network,” says Erkin Atakhanov, MP. “The relationships we are now forming, both nationally and internationally, will be instrumental in assisting our clients whose growth objectives go beyond their local borders. We will also be well positioned to provide a variety of services to support PKF’s multinational clients who have operations and/or planning to expand in Canada.”

John Sim, CEO of PKF International, added, “We are pleased to welcome PFC Accounting to the PKF family as we continue to expand and strengthen the PKF brand. PFC Accounting fits well with our value proposition of quality with integrity, and also meets our strategic objective. PFC is an important cornerstone firm as we continue to build PKF International’s presence in North America.”

CPA Canada Announces New Reciprocal Membership Agreement

Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) announced the signing of a Reciprocal Membership Agreement with the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA).

The agreement, which came into effect June 1, provides for increased recognition of qualified professional accountants and identifies an expedited pathway by which one body’s members are eligible to obtain the credential of the other.

“The signing of this agreement clearly demonstrates the commitment of the Canadian CPA profession to help advance labor mobility through international recognition,” says Joy Thomas, president and CEO, CPA Canada. “These agreements help our members by reducing barriers to global career opportunities as well as attract top talent to Canada which contributes to economic growth as well as social well-being.”

New President for DFK Canada

Nigel Jacobs

Nigel Jacobs, CEO of Hamilton, Ontario-based Taylor Leibow (FY17 net revenue of $12.4 million) has been appointed as president of the national group of DFK International.

He officially took over from Andrew Logan, senior partner of Teed Saunders Doyle, at the annual conference of DFK Canada held in New Brunswick in June.

Chad Knippel, partner at Kingston Ross Pasnak, was made president elect and Beth Porter, partner at Noseworthy Chapman, was welcomed as vice president, becoming the newest member and first woman to serve on its executive committee.

Jacobs joined Taylor Leibow after moving to Canada from his native South Africa in 1994, the same year that the firm joined DFK International, and has since progressed within both organizations.

He was appointed CEO of Taylor Leibow in 2002, one of the largest independent regional accounting and advisory firms in Southern Ontario, and was made vice president of DFK Canada in 2014 prior to becoming president elect in 2016.

“I am really excited to take on the role of president,” says Jacobs. “DFK Canada is in a strong position and Andrew did a great job in terms of furthering our leadership program by making sure we train our future leaders. I intend to build on this platform by focusing on strategic new member recruitment but not forgetting about effective succession planning within our member firms, and engaging more with our younger partners to make us stronger.”

“Technology is also important and we want to help our firms prepare for change so that they stay ahead of the curve,” Jacobs continued. “The beauty of DFK is that we are independent and yet we share best practices to learn from each other which is very valuable for our firms, and I will be looking to further enhance this as part of a strategic review that I am undertaking with our Executive Director Lynn Morrovat.

Reflecting on his term as president, Logan said, “We have made some significant changes in the last two years or so and I think they put DFK Canada in a much stronger position. We moved to an association management firm to run our affairs – and we hit a home run.  We are seeing the rewards and it will leave a very good legacy going forward.”

Caleca, MP of Brown Smith Wallace, Named MSNA Board Vice Chair

Tony Caleca

Tony Caleca

Tony Caleca, MP of St. Louis-based Brown Smith Wallace (FY16 net revenue of $43.2 million) has been named vice chair of the Moore Stephens North America executive board. MSNA is one of eight regional members of Moore Stephens International Limited (MSIL).

As vice chair, Caleca will serve on the MSIL international policy board alongside leaders of other top performing CPA and business advisory firms throughout the world. This will provide Brown Smith Wallace clients expanded depth of the Moore Stephens worldwide organization, while still maintaining the highest level of local accounting firm attention on a regular basis. Caleca is the first Brown Smith Wallace MP to serve on the MSNA executive board.

Brown Smith Wallace has been an independent member firm of MSNA since its inception. This affiliation allows Brown Smith Wallace to extend its reach to serve middle-market companies across the U.S. and the world.

Saltmarsh Becomes Independent Member of BDO Alliance USA

Pensacola, Fla.-based Saltmarsh Cleaveland & Gund (FY17 net revenue of $18.5 million) has become a member of BDO Alliance USA.

As an independent member of the BDO Alliance, Saltmarsh will be able to expand the services offered to clients by drawing on the resources of BDO USA and other Alliance members.

“The BDO Alliance USA allows us to better serve our clients as they expand regionally, nationally, and globally, while remaining an independent firm,” says Saltmarsh president Lee Bell. “We will have access to the technical knowledge and specialty services of BDO USA and its international organization.”

OnDefend Joins BDO Alliance USA

OnDefend has joined BDO Alliance USA as an independent member of BDO Alliance. OnDefend can provide access to strategic relationships, marketing and resources by drawing on the capabilities of BDO USA and other Alliance members.

“We believe the professionals of OnDefend share BDO’s commitment to exemplary client service and we want to welcome them into the BDO Alliance USA,” says Michael Horwitz, BDO USA, LLP partner and executive director of Alliance Services.

OnDemand is primarily known for enterprise cybersecurity testing and compliance consulting. They recently launched CyberSURE, the company’s new cybersecurity solution for midsize and smaller businesses that previously had no affordable or viable option to become cyber secure.

A proprietary user-led software solution, CyberSURE is a plug-and-play security platform that assesses a company’s real-time cyber risks, assigns a Cyber Score, lists recommendations and provides tools and support to secure the company. Once the client’s Cyber Score improves, they receive a Cyber Secure Certificate to certify they are safe to do business with. CyberSURE clients also have access to a discounted cyber insurance policy to cover issues related to attacks and hacks.

“CyberSURE is a first of its kind solution giving local and regional companies an affordable way to visualize their current cybersecurity risks as well as the tools to become cyber secure,” says OnDefend Cofounder Ben Fink. “CyberSURE will help these companies meet the goal of securing and protecting their company from threats while giving them an easy way to ensure a cyber-safe future.”

“We are excited to expand our relationship with BDO USA,” says OnDefend Cofounder Chris Freedman. “Being a trusted Alliance member allows opportunities to work even more closely in collaboration with BDO USA and its Alliance members across the country.”