Swink Smith Coplen & Company Joins CPAmerica International

St. Louis-based Swink Smith Coplen & Company joined CPAmerica International.

Swink Smith Coplen & Company has provided accounting and consulting services in the St. Louis metropolitan area since 1980. The firm prides themselves on being progressive in technology and industry practices, while adhering to the fundamental values of honesty, integrity and professionalism in each of their client engagements.

“The resources available through the association will allow us to expand our depth of knowledge and continue to grow,” says David Smith, shareholder and director of audit services of Swink Smith Coplen & Company.

“They now 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.” says Alan Deichler, president of CPAmerica.

IPA Spotlight On … Colin Farmer, Alliott Group

Name: Colin Farmer

Title: Worldwide Chairman

Association: Alliott Group


Colin Farmer

Colin Farmer

  • MP at Alliotts, founded in 1869, an independent mid-tier firm of Chartered Accountants with offices in London and Guildford, England.
  • Played significant role in helping to develop Alliott Group over the last 20 years from a relatively small and informal grouping of firms into a commercially focused alliance with a foothold in many of the world’s commercial centers.

Alliott Group is an association of more than 170 independent accounting and law firms. Do you foresee competition emerging between the two groups as the Big 4 expand in the U.K. and PwC opens a firm in Washington, D.C.?

From what I can see, the Big 4 are more focused on selectively picking off areas of law that complement their existing services. Areas that are vulnerable include inter alia and immigration, which sit tidily with expat tax work, and employment law, which ties in nicely with HR consulting, compliance, commercial contracts and due diligence. It’s not difficult to imagine the Big 4 starting to offer a one-stop shop service. Competition is healthy, and for clients it makes sense – they can deal with a single vendor, realize greater efficiencies and be more confident that ‘the left hand knows what the right hand is doing.’ Alliott Group has been a multidisciplinary alliance since 2004, so we are firm believers in the benefits clients can enjoy as a result of independent firms of accountants and lawyers working together closely – they are natural partners and able to meet the total needs of the client.

You’ve been involved in Alliott Group for over 20 years. How has the organization evolved?

Alliott Group has been through much change in 20 years – we are now in over 60 countries and have 25 member firms in North America alone. There is now a very solid membership core. There have been the inevitable growing pains that any expanding business goes through, but the end result is that we have become a commercially focused organization that is aligned with the needs of growing professional firms and their clients. Just as important is our success in retaining and developing an underlying group culture that emphasizes the importance to business of strong interpersonal relationships between professional people at all levels of the firm.

What are your plans for expanding geographically?

I always watch with interest as some international associations of independent firms bring in new member firms nearly every month. You have to wonder how rigorous the due diligence process is behind some of these appointments. Organic, sustainable growth is of greater interest to us. While one of our objectives is to have an accounting and law firm member presence in every U.S. state and in every major market worldwide, there has to be a strong business case for expansion. Specific regions we are targeting for further growth include North and South America and Africa. However, firms have to understand from the start what it means to be an Alliott Group member firm. We will continue to hand-pick member firms based on the needs of our member firms’ clients.

Are emerging technologies such as blockchain, AI and data analytics an opportunity or a threat for the accounting profession?

The efficiencies generated by new technologies present threats to specific service lines provided by accounting (and law) firms – however, they will disrupt all industries. Most of these technologies, however, are not quite there yet. Technologies based on predictive analytics are impressive, but we are still some years away from computers being smarter than specialist (human) accountants! New technologies are going to be at the center of accountancy and law services in the future. Accountants need to embrace these changes and collaborate with technology businesses so that they can connect with tomorrow’s business leaders and the next generation of digital native accountants. Firms need to work out now how they fit into tomorrow’s client world, what their competitive differentiator is, and dare I say it, how they will add value rather than provide traditional services that look set to be commoditized.

How do you see Alliott Group changing 20 years from now?

We are in an unprecedented era of change – the ground is shifting under our feet on so many levels, with technology changing business models, people and the way professional services are procured. We feel that our vision, strong leadership and strategic plan means that we are well equipped to thrive in a market sector with a clear need for greater efficiency and cost effectiveness. Alliances such as ours will continue to provide an alternative, attractive model for sourcing high-caliber advisory services. In our view, too many associations are living on past glories and failing to learn from what is happening in the wider business world. Alliott Group and our members need to be bold in their thinking and to embrace wider opportunities to collaborate. We plan to disrupt rather than be disrupted.

Moore Stephens North America Elects Board Vice Chair

Rick Davis

Rick Davis

Rick Davis, CEO of Greenville, S.C.-based Elliott Davis (FY17 net revenue of $118 million) was elected vice chair of the board of directors of Moore Stephens North America (MSNA), effective Jan. 1.

“As a member firm, we realize the benefits of the Moore Stephens organization daily,” says Davis. “The opportunity to serve as vice chairperson of the board of directors is a unique honor. I am grateful for the trust of the membership as we all work towards the common goal of creating opportunities.”

“Our executive board is consistently filled with leaders from the top firms in North America,” says Tony Szczepaniak, CEO of MSNA.

In addition to Davis and Szczepaniak, the executive board consists of Andy Armanino, MP of Armanino LLP and chairman of the MSNA board, Beth Kieffer Leonard, MP at Lurie LLP, Cheryl Burke, COO of DGC, Tony Caleca, MP of Brown Smith Wallace, and Greg Hutchins, partner at HCVT.

Prasad and Company Joins Alliott Group

Prasad and Company of Thornhill, Ontario, has joined international association Alliott Group.

“Our business model is focused on bringing together growing independent firms across the world that think bigger and therefore need access to a larger resource base. Prasad and Company is aligned with our vision and we look forward to giving their staff the support they need to grow and to reach their long-term objectives so that they will have real options in their market place in the future. Furthermore, the mind set and tax and related skillsets they bring to the alliance will be invaluable,” says Alliott Group’s CEO, James Hickey.

“We are experiencing growing demand from our clients for tax and legal advice to be provided in various countries around the world. Joining Alliott Group enables us to remain as an independent, single office firm, but to extend our reach exponentially to some 180 cities worldwide through close collaboration with member firms similar in profile and outlook to Prasad and Company,” says Pramen Prasad, MP of Prasad and Company.

Prasad and Company is a two-partner firm with 27 employees who speak several languages that include Mandarin, Cantonese, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian and Punjabi. The firm provides a full range of services including business advisory, assurance, tax preparation, and estate and business succession planning. Staff offer in-depth understanding of Canadian, U.S., and international tax planning, financial and management accounting and reporting, and wealth preservation and management to businesses and personal clients.

Cooper Norman Joins CPAmerica International

Idaho Falls, Idaho-based Cooper Norman CPAs & Business Advisors has joined association, CPAmerica International.

“I’m excited to see our team connect with this great community of firms and accounting professionals,” says Clint Tavenner, MP and CEO of Cooper Norman. “CPAmerica offers many great resources and ways for us to grow and learn as individuals and as an organization. I know that our membership in CPAmerica will make us a better firm as well as more effective advocates both internally and for the clients we serve.”

“We are excited to add a second new firm to our membership this year,” says Alan Deichler, president of CPAmerica. “Cooper Norman is now a part of a top-10 accounting organization that is dedicated to improving through sharing.”

Hutchinson and Bloodgood Joins PKF International

Glendale, Calif.-based Hutchinson and Bloodgood (FY16 net revenue of $27.3 million) is now a member of the association PKF International.

Hutchinson and Bloodgood has prior experience with the PKF network and saw great value from this relationship. The firm works with many multinational clients and the alliance with PKF International will enable Hutchinson and Bloodgood to better support these clients.

“We are committed to producing quality work by going the extra mile to achieve great results for our clients. We have seen significant growth over the years with an increasing number of international clients. PKF is a respected and widely recognized brand in global accountancy and together we will be able to better serve these clients,” says Richard Preciado, MP of Hutchinson and Bloodgood.

“We are delighted that Hutchinson and Bloodgood will continue to be a part of PKF in North America. They are a highly respected accounting firm with numerous international clients. They are just the type of firm we want as part of our practice. They are dynamic and ambitious with an emphasis on quality,” says John Sim, CEO of PKF International.

Hertz Herson Joins CPAmerica International

Hertz Herson CPA of New York has joined accounting association CPAmerica International.

“We are delighted to be a member of the CPAmerica ‘family’ and look forward to sharing best practices and insights with some of the best accounting professionals and strategic advisors in the country,” says Warren Kissin, MP of Hertz Herson. “We share a common set of values and a commitment to excellence, performance and service that will help drive the future of the industry and the growth of CPAmerica and our individual firms.”

“We are excited to bring Hertz Herson into the CPAmerica community,” says Alan Deichler, president of CPAmerica. “They now 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.”

Baker Tilly France Joins Allinial Global

International association, Allinial Global welcomed Baker Tilly France as a member.

Currently, Baker Tilly France is in the process of completing its withdrawal from Baker Tilly International. As part of this transition, it will be rebranding itself as Walter France and bringing 35 of its 36 member firms along to Allinial Global.

Offering expertise in accounting, audit, tax and business consulting services, Baker Tilly France serves a variety of clients ranging from individuals and small family firms to the largest multinational companies in France and beyond. The firm is active in many specialty sectors, including health care, not-for-profit, tourism, media, the arts, wine, food and agriculture.

With the addition of Baker Tilly France, Allinial Global is projected to move up in its ranking to become the third or fourth largest association in France.

“We are thrilled to start our year with continued growth and the addition of a large and well-established firm like Walter France. With their forward-thinking emphasis on flexibility, innovation, and client service, they are a great match for Allinial Global as we continue to focus on providing tailored solutions to the global tax and business needs of our members’ clients,” says Terry Snyder, president and CEO of Allinial Global.

TIAG Strengthens Presence in Vancouver with Addition of D&H Group

International accounting association TIAG admitted new member, D&H Group of Vancouver, British Colombia. D&H Group was founded in 1951 by David Dyke and Ian Howard.

“D&H Group LLP is one of the most respected accounting firms in Vancouver,” says Richard Attisha, president and CEO of TAG Alliances, multidisciplinary professional alliance, which includes TIAG. “Their level of expertise and entrepreneurial spirit is a perfect fit for our global community of professionals. This addition is especially meaningful due to the fact that Vancouver has been the newly established headquarters for TIAG and TAG Alliances since we took the helm in 2016. It is our belief that TAG Alliances offers the greatest multidisciplinary coverage in key global markets over any of our competitors. This addition only bolsters this belief.”

“Having access to TAGLaw, TAG-SP and TIAG’s global and multidisciplinary community of professionals opens the door to many new opportunities and value for our firm and our clients,” says Arthur Azana, D&H Group managing principal.

TIAG Announces Several Additions to Advisory Board

International accounting association TIAG welcomed four new advisory board members including:

  • Florence Bastin of Luxembourgbased FLUX;
  • Basil Bielich of Browne Craine and Co. of Douglas, Isle of Man, U.K.;
  • Rebecca Goodman-Stephens of New York-based Berdon LLP; and
  • Wendy On of Los Angeles-based Fineman West & Co.

Various roles of the advisory board include assisting TIAG’s management in reviewing prospective new members, offering feedback for the planning of international conferences and providing valuable guidance on future plans and initiatives. The advisory board holds meetings at TIAG’s semi-annual international conferences.

“These are exciting times for TIAG,” says Richard Attisha, president and CEO of TIAG and TAG Alliances. “Our profile in the global accounting marketplace is rapidly expanding and the advisory board is an integral part to the continued success of our organization. We rely heavily on their advice and counsel, and I am delighted to welcome our new advisory board members.”

View additional TIAG advisory board members here.