PrimeGlobal Welcomes HoganTaylor, K·Coe Isom

PrimeGlobal announces that two firms have joined the North American region: Tulsa, Okla.-based HoganTaylor (FY18 net revenue of $47.3 million) and Salina, Kan.-based K·Coe Isom (FY19 net revenue of $69.4 million).

HoganTaylor is ranked No. 91 and K·Coe is No. 66 on the 2019 INSIDE Public Accounting (IPA) 100 listing of the largest accounting firms in the nation. Recently, HoganTaylor was named an “IPA Fastest Growing Firm” in North America.

“At HoganTaylor, we move forward optimistically and expect to be better tomorrow than we are today,” says Randy Nail, CEO at HoganTaylor. “This ‘get better’ philosophy has always been a part of who we are and what we do as a firm. It drives our desire to be leaders in the markets of those we serve and ensures that we continually improve upon our service to our clients and our communities. Our commitment to PrimeGlobal reflects our adherence to this philosophy.”

Michelle Arnold, PrimeGlobal’s Chief Regional Officer for North America, says, “As I have grown to know HoganTaylor and its people, it’s clear they are a wonderful addition to the PrimeGlobal family. The remarkable growth at HoganTaylor is testament to the talented professionals at the firm, and the leadership at the top.”

K·Coe Isom is a nationally known specialist in the food and agriculture industry. For over 85 years, K·Coe Isom has been working with operators that cover over 1 million acres of land and thousands of heads of livestock combined.

K·Coe Isom CEO Jeff Wald says, “Our customers and advisory teams will certainly benefit from the additional resources, international accounting best practices, and premium network of global contacts the association provides.”

Arnold says, “As leaders in the food and agriculture industry, K·Coe Isom offers PrimeGlobal member firms an excellent resource in an important and growing market. Our member firms and their clients will gain immediate benefits from the knowledge and expertise that the K·Coe Isom team maintains, and clients will gain the same advantage from the connections that KCoe now has with hundreds of high-quality firms worldwide.”

PrimeGlobal is comprised of approximately 300 successful independent public accounting firms in 80 countries.

BKR Welcomes GW Carter Ltd.

BKR International has accepted GW Carter Ltd. (GWC) of Edina, Minn., into its membership.

GWC was established in 2010 by Gary W. Carter, who continues to lead the firm. Carter and the staff of three specialize in tax services for foreign nationals and U.S. citizens abroad.

DS+B of Minneapolis remains the exclusive BKR representative in the Minneapolis market. The firm gave consent for BKR to engage in membership discussions with GWC, BKR says.

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Morison KSi Names New CEO

Memoria Lewis

Morison KSi, an international association of accounting firms, has announced that Memoria Lewis has joined its London-based global executive office as CEO.

Lewis has worked globally and held senior leadership roles with professional membership organizations, including the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, and the National Landlord Association. She has been responsible for increasing engagement, services and overall members’ satisfaction. She has experience in working with volunteer boards and committees like those of Morison KSi.

“I am delighted to be the new CEO of Morison KSi and I look forward to driving the growth of the organization and building on our position as a leading, high-quality association of professional service firms,” Lewis says.

Morison KSi consists of 155 independent member firms across over 80 countries, representing a combined revenue of $903 million.

Moore Stephens North America Rebrands

Moore Stephens North America has become Moore North America.

The change is part of a wider rebrand of the Moore Stephens global accountancy and consultancy network, of which Moore Stephens North America is a regional member. The rebrand includes a new logo, visual identity and brand positioning.

Moore North America CEO Tony Szczepaniak says, “Our North American members have always exemplified the values of Moore Stephens, and this updated identity helps us better communicate those strengths. We present our new brand position – “Helping you thrive in a changing world” – to our members and their clients to ensure we’re doing our best to help them succeed today and tomorrow. It’s more than a brand…it is our message to the world that we’re here and we care.”

Moore Global CEO Anton Colella says the new brand means the following for clients: “In our changing world, business is increasingly conducted internationally and digitally. Everyone must adapt.”

He adds, “So as we look to the future, our brand honors our Moore Stephens heritage, reflecting the strengths that clients have, and can always expect from us: straightforward advice, high quality, and the passion we bring every day to our belief that relationships with clients are about much more than simply a job.”

Moore is an international network of more than 260 independent firms in 112 countries and a professional community of more than 30,000 people.

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EFPR Group Joins CPAmerica

Rochester, N.Y.-based EFPR Group (FY17 net revenue of $25.4 million) has joined the accounting association CPAmerica, which has welcomed seven firms this year.

EFPR Group has three offices in New York in Rochester, Buffalo and Corning, and one in Jupiter, Fla. The firm’s services include tax planning and preparation, international business consulting, attest and compliance services, forensic accounting and litigation services, business valuation and M&A support, government and nonprofit services, client accounting and finance outsourcing, and IT/cybersecurity services.

James Marasco, MP of EFPR Group, says he looks forward to the collaboration the association provides. “The services and talents our firm offers should meld well with those of the existing members.”

Alan Deichler, president of CPAmerica, says, “They belong to a group that is determined to improve through sharing and where members support each other’s success through discussing best practices, sharing experiences and building professional relationships.”

Each firm undergoes a rigorous quality review prior to obtaining membership. CPAmerica is a member of Crowe Global, which has members in more than 750 offices in more than 130 countries and ranks among the top 10 global accounting networks.

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Albin Randall & Bennet Joins CPAmerica

Albin Randall & Bennet of Portland, Maine, is the sixth firm this year to join CPAmerica, an association of independent CPA firms.

Albin Randall & Bennett (ARB) is a full-service CPA firm that works with organizations throughout New England in the automotive, construction, manufacturing, credit union and nonprofit industries. The firm also serves closely held businesses and family groups.

“Our memberships in national associations, including CPAmerica, provide us with additional resources to serve clients of all sizes with a broad range of needs. This is why our new tagline ‘National Savvy. Local Sensibility.’ feels genuine to us. It’s sending the right message to the marketplace in a time when national firms are acquiring local firms, shifting the landscape of professional services in Portland, and New England as a whole,” says MP Cheri Walker. “ARB is committed to the New England economy and the businesses and families within it, so it’s important that we have access to national industry leaders through our association memberships.”

Each firm undergoes a quality review prior to obtaining membership in CPAmerica, which provides shared best practices, networking opportunities and access to experts for member firms. CPAmerica is a member of Crowe Global, which has members in more than 750 offices in more than 130 countries.

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BKR Survey: Full Adoption of Remote Work Slow, but Possible

Aiysha (A.J.) Johnson

Aiysha (A.J.) Johnson

By: Aiysha (A.J.) Johnson, BKR International

Professional job posts have a newer feature. It’s called “remote,” and it proactively tells applicants that the physical location of their work is negotiable. Depending on the job search site, applicants can find 30,000 to 60,000 listings for remote work at any given time. It is defined as employees working in a physical location almost exclusively outside of the company’s offices – even another state or country. And it’s not limited to sales positions.

Although remote work has always been an option in some industries, the accounting profession is moving slowly toward this option as a way to retain and attract the best talent. For the industry’s more consultative future, will remote work become the norm rather than the exception?

To get a pulse, BKR International asked member firms about their expectations for remote work arrangements in the near future. Their responses indicate that full adoption may be slow, but possible and attractive. Here are four real scenarios to consider for your firm.

Scenario 1: It is a unique situation.

Some firms adopted a remote work arrangement years ago in order to employ a professional with a special skill set. At Hauppauge, N.Y.-based Albrecht Viggiano Zureck & Company, one employee has worked remotely for two decades.

“She lives in Maryland and works on government entities on the audit side of the practice,” says Kenneth Laks, a partner at AVZ and a BKR Americas board member. “Around six times a year, she will come up to New York, but most all of the work is done remotely from her home,” Laks adds. “It has worked out very, very well…but again she is known and trusted from building a confidence with us over time.”

Many firms note that a remote work arrangement is still considered on a case-by-case basis rather than as a general opportunity available to anyone. While firms have written policies regarding flexible scheduling arrangements, including occasional work-at-home options, a true remote work arrangement is still tailored to the needs of the firm and clients as much as for the employee.

Scenario 2: It’s a method to keep key talent.

For Gumbiner Savett of Santa Monica., Calif., (FY18 net revenue of $21.1 million), a formal work-from-home policy for qualified individuals as well as one full-time remote employee communicate options to candidates — as well as to current staff.

“We are open to remote work options with existing staff we want to retain,” says Irene Valverde, director of human resources and practice development. “We are a digital office, so everything is accessible to employees via our network. Our phone system also allows for forwarding of outside calls so that communication is seamless.”

Although Valverde doesn’t see remote work as a possibility for all positions, the firm evaluates the option based on individual talent and responsibilities. “We have no formal plans right now to hire remotely, but we are open to it,” she says.

Scenario 3: It’s a method to hire needed talent.

Now that more firms have adopted cloud-based technology and mobile devices, openness to remote workers has improved from just a few years ago. Still, few if any firms actively advertise for remote positions.

“When we hire, we are hiring for specific talent. So, for the right talent, we are willing to consider remote work arrangements,” says Mark Thomson, managing director of Ostrow Reisin Berk & Abrams of Chicago (FY18 net revenue of $29.5 million). “We currently have four remote employees,” he says.

Technology has made remote work easier and more secure, but firm leaders don’t focus on the tools alone. “We believe that the key to hiring great remote talent is to set expectations at the outset – outline key performance indicators, goals and communication standards to set remote workers up for success,” Thomson adds. “You still must meet with remote employees, and outline their specific arrangement, so that everyone is on the same page and the employee understands expectations.”

Scenario 4: It’s a business strategy.

Performance is paramount whether an employee works in the office or remotely. However, the firm leaders interviewed on this topic agree that the hunt for talent necessitates alternative ways of thinking about service delivery and growth.

“We also recognize that, as the market for hiring public accounting talent continues to be tight, firms will need to search outside of their geographic location, whether it be outside the state or even the country,” says Thomson.

Remote hiring becomes more of a business strategy when it’s about how the team can best serve clients, too. For example, a coastal, mid-sized accounting firm focused on alternative energy may establish a “wind power” team in the Midwest. Maybe the talent is more available there. It’s cheaper for younger professionals to live there, plus it’s also near clients. To adopt this mindset as a growth strategy will take time, policy and technology. But firm leaders are certainly discussing and preparing for their options.

A.J. Johnson is executive director of the Americas Region for BKR International, the global accounting association with 160 independent accounting and business advisory firms in over 500 offices and 80 countries.

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.

 

Association of Government Accountants Elects Officers

Ernie Almonte, partner at Chicago-based RSM (FY19 net revenue of $2.4 billion), has been elected national president of the Association of Government Accountants for a one-year term, and Wendy Morton-Huddleston, principal at Chicago-based Grant Thornton (FY18 net revenue of $1.9 billion) was elected president-elect.

Almonte works in RSM’s Boston not-for-profit/public sector industry team. He is former chair of the AICPA and former auditor general of the state of Rhode Island.

Morton-Huddleston has worked with more than 19 federal agencies in her career. She will serve as national president from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021.

The Association of Government Accountants is a member association for government financial management professionals. It is governed by a 17-member national governing board, made up of volunteer member leaders.

Mazars Announces Alliance with 4 Regional U.S. Firms and MNP in Canada

Mazars, the Rouen, France-based accounting firm, is expanding its presence in the U.S. through an alliance with five of the top 20 firms in the U.S. and Canada.

Mazars announced that the Mazars North America Alliance would include the following firms: Springfield, Mo.-based BKD (FY19 net revenue of $662.9 million), Seattle-based Moss Adams (FY18 net revenue of $691 million), Southfield, Mich.-based Plante Moran (FY18 net revenue of $542.1 million), Charlotte, N.C.-based Dixon Hughes Goodman (FY19 net revenue of $462.5 million) and Calgary, Alberta-based MNP, with net revenue of roughly $760 million.

Mazar’s CEO, in an interview with Reuters July 11, said the move will almost double its size as a way to challenge the market dominance of the Big 4. “Our ambition is to become a European champion with an international scope,” Mazars’s CEO Herve Helias told Reuters. “When they call me the fifth big, I like it.”

Mazars would not take any stake in the firms, but will expand services to its existing international clients through professionals from some of largest firms in North America. Mazars, with about 24,000 professionals worldwide, will increase that number to about 40,000 under the alliance.

According to the Financial Times, the alliance formation may be related to a belief that the U.K. will begin to require two auditors for the 350 largest companies as part of a reform effort following prominent audit failures among the Big 4. The Times says the firm is familiar with the joint-auditor system, as top companies in France has worked under the requirement for many years.

Mazars has also been in the news for another reason: The U.S. House of Representatives oversight committee has issued a subpoena to its U.S. branch, New York-based Mazars USA (FY18 net revenue of $205million), to obtain President Donald Trump’s tax records.

And on July 12, in a hearing in the U.S. Court of Appeals, Trump’s lawyer faced more than an hour of tough questions over his arguments that lawmakers don’t have the power to investigate the president. “President Donald Trump appeared to be facing an uphill battle to keep Congress from obtaining his financial records,” USA Today reported. The oversight committee’s attorneys have argued that it has broad and inherent power to investigate possible conflicts of interest.

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