Abacus Worldwide Appoints Former MSI Global CEO To Advisory Board

James Mendelssohn

James Mendelssohn

Abacus Worldwide, an international association of 58 accounting and legal firms in 31 countries, has appointed James Mendelssohn to its advisory board.

In addition to his strategic development role on the board, Mendelssohn will assist with membership recruitment efforts with specific focus on the region encompassing Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Prior to his appointment, Mendelssohn was the CEO and chair of MSI Global Alliance.  Julio Gabay, Abacus Worldwide president and CEO says of Mendelssohn, “He brings a wealth of knowledge and practical experience from his previous association management roles. Combining his wisdom with Abacus Worldwide’s dynamic membership will only lead to great things ahead in terms of growth and strategy.”

PrimeGlobal Welcomes Miller Grossbard Advisors

Brian Miller

Miller Grossbard Advisors of Houston (FY17 net revenue of $10.2 million), an IPA Best of the Best firm, has joined PrimeGlobal, an association of 300 independent public accounting firms in 80 countries.

“At MGA, our approach is simple,” says partner Brian Miller. “We’re not about services rendered. We’re about relationships. Our highly experienced professionals – the best in their field – expertly help clients navigate every financial intricacy, from tax preparation and planning to assurance services to business sales to a sound succession plan.”

Michelle Arnold, the chief regional officer for North America, says, “PrimeGlobal member firms and their clients will reap immediate benefits from the knowledge and expertise that MGA demonstrates, especially in the proactive and innovative way they run the firm. We share a mutual belief with their firm: that lifetime relationships, pioneering technology and quality are key to business success.”

Moore Stephens North America Announces Marcil Lavallée As New Member

The accounting association, Moore Stephens North America (MSNA), has announced the addition of the Candian firm Marcil Lavallée to the MSNA association. Marcil Lavallée joins the 39 member firms that make up MSNA, with over 110 offices in most major North American cities.

Marcil Lavallée was founded in 1980 with headquarters in Ottawa, Ontario, and an additional office in Gatineau, Quebec. Marcil Lavallée’s team is comprised of approximately 85 public accountants and tax specialists, providing services across a variety of industries. A francophone firm, they pride themselves on tailoring solutions to best fit their clients’ needs.

Tony Szczepaniak, CEO of MSNA, says, “Adding Marcil Lavallee to our North American landscape has been extremely valuable. Their strong presence throughout the Ontario and Quebec regions will be instrumental in expanding our member service and collaboration efforts.”

“We are convinced that MSNA will support us in our strategic planning, our continued growth and our aim to continuously improve our client service offering,” says partner Valerie Marcil.

Abacus Worldwide Wins Rising Star Award

Abacus Worldwide, an association or accounting and law firms, has received the “Rising Star Association of the Year” award from The Accountant & International Accounting Bulletin.

The Abacus Worldwide award recognizes their impressive development and regional initiatives, the magazines announced. Abacus connects accounting and law firms globally, facilitating knowledge exchange and better assisting clients with cross border and multi-jurisdictional needs.

Julio Gabay, Abacus Worldwide president and CEO says, “Abacus was founded only six years ago and today this award acknowledges the star members within Abacus. Without their engagement and desire to better service client needs, this could not be possible.  We are creating a truly unique global business association and are confident Abacus will have many more rising-star years ahead.”

The awards celebrate the best among firms, associations, networks and individual professionals in the accounting market globally that are successfully serving their clients through innovation and thought leadership as well as those that are strengthening the profession relevance in its mandate to serve the public interest. This year’s winners were commemorated at a gala at the Waldorf Hilton in London Oct. 4.

LEA Global Hires Ishida as First CEO

Erica Ishida

LEA Global has announced that Erica Ishida has been hired as the association’s first CEO.

She is working with LEA President Karen Kehl-Rose, who will retire at the end of this year and has held the position since LEA was created in 1999. Kehl-Rose will help with the transition through June 2019.

“With more than 15 years of experience in organization design, change management and leadership development, and a solid understanding of the dynamics of change leadership, Erica believes in the power of culture, talent and leadership in growing organizations by growing its people,” LEA announced. Ishida is a certified leadership development coach and has coached CEOs in the companies she has worked for, and on a consulting basis. She founded a strategic execution consulting firm that focused on developing leaders, with an emphasis on women. Ishida is leaving the firm for LEA.

“Erica’s skillset and experience will be on display as part of LEA’s training and coaching and best practices initiatives, says Michael Newton, LEA’s chairman. “She will lead and/or participate in member groups consisting of young professionals, young leaders, women leaders and newly minted managing partners.”

Newton notes that Kehl-Rose and LEA founder Gary Shamis built the association from a handful of like-minded firms to an organization with 226 member in 110 countries with a combined annual revenue of more than $3 billion. “Karen’s commitment to quality, tirelessness and her connection skills have set the tone for the organization. Erica’s role is to now move us forward in a different direction while building off the base that Karen forged in over 19 years as its president.”

LEA’s search committee was represented by members of its international board of directors, chaired by Newton, who is MP at FL Fuller Landau in Montreal, Quebec, and Jeffrey Weiner, chairman and CEO of New York-based Marcum. Consultant Allan Koltin, who assisted with the search, says, “Erica will make a great CEO for The Leading Edge Alliance. She was selected from a strong pool of candidates, but her deep understanding of the accounting profession and her excellent communication and visioning skills put her over the top.”

Amanda Long Appointed as Morison KSi’s new CEO

Amanda Long

Amanda Long will join the 160-member accounting association Morison KSi as its new CEO on Jan. 7, 2019. Long will be based in London.

Graham Tyler

She now works at Consumers International, a global consumer protection membership organization, representing more than 200 organizations from 100 countries. Long has also worked for an international trade association that represents 4,000 businesses.

Graham Tyler, vice chair of Morison KSi says, “Her global experience will be extremely beneficial to the organization and her dynamic personality and friendly approach will go a long way in successfully leading the association.”

Long will focus on the continuing growth of the association and developing more collaboration for members.

Allinial Global Welcomes Illinois Firm

Terry Snyder

Allinial Global has announced that LJ Soldinger Associates of Deer Park, Ill., has joined the accounting association.

With the firm’s extensive business expertise and focus on providing client-centric service, the firm enriches the Allinial Global membership with a variety of additional skillsets and specializations, the association announced.

From tax structuring and forensic accounting to legal services and more, our new members bring a wealth of valuable technical knowledge and a vast range of industry experience. Allinial Global has 150 members in 64 countries.

“As we continue to grow in global reach and connectivity, we are excited to offer members access to empowering professional relationships and increasingly sophisticated resources that help them provide world-class service to their clients,” said Terry Snyder, president and CEO of Allinial Global.

PKF International Welcomes Member Firm in Florida

PKF International announced that Miami-based Berkowitz Pollack Brant Advisors and Accountants (FY17 net revenue of $57.9 million) has renewed its membership with the PKF network of independent accounting firms.

Berkowitz Pollack Brant is a past member of the PKF network and saw great value from the ability to develop relationships with members firms around the globe.  Berkowitz Pollack Brant will serve as a resource to international firms with clients in the U.S. and its multi-national client base will benefit from on-the-ground resources in important countries around the world.

Joseph Saka, CEO of Berkowitz Pollack Brant, says, “We appreciate the opportunity to rejoin our friends at PKF. There are many business synergies between firms in the network and what we can offer from South Florida and New York.”

PrimeGlobal Welcomes Oregon Firm to Membership

Robin Matthews

PrimeGlobal is pleased to announce the addition of Eugene, Ore.-based Jones & Roth (FY17 net revenue of $14.8 million) to the Association’s North America region.

Jones & Roth services span the areas of tax, audit and assurance, advisory services, accounting and payroll. The firm’s CPAs also provide in-depth experience in more than 10 specialty industries. Founded in 1946, Jones & Roth has a long history of providing expert services through their team of highly skilled CPAs, advisors and specialists.

Jeremy Prickel

“We spent a great deal of time researching the network and association options for Jones & Roth,” say co-MPs Robin Matthews and Jeremy Prickel. “From the time we first contacted PrimeGlobal and the North American team, it quickly became clear that they were the best choice for us. We are looking forward to a long-term relationship as part of the PrimeGlobal alliance.”

Michelle Arnold, PrimeGlobal’s chief regional officer for North America says, “Our member firms and their clients will gain immediate benefits from the knowledge and expertise that the Jones & Roth team can share, and their clients will gain the same advantage from the connections that their firm now has with hundreds of high-quality firms worldwide.

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

Women and Men Report Starkly Different Experiences at Big Law

The work experiences of women and men are vastly different within the nation’s largest law firms, according to a new study commissioned by the American Bar Association (ABA).

The study, which surveyed more than 1,300 participants from the nation’s 350 largest law firms, was designed to help retain women, who are leaving the law profession earlier in their careers and in larger numbers than men, according to an Aug. 3 article in The American Lawyer.

The greatest divergence emerged in questions about sexual harassment and gender bias.

  • Unwanted sexual conduct or contact? The answer was yes from 49% of women and 6% of men.
  • Demeaning communications? Yes, said 74% of women and 8% of men.
  • Mistaken for a lower-level employee? Yes, 81% of women reported. Not one man responded yes.
  • Denied a salary increase or bonus? Yes, reported 54% of women and only 4% of men, the study said.

The report also revealed significant differences in perceptions of advancement of women in Big Law between female partners and managing partners.

  • Are firm leaders “active advocates” for advancing women? Among MPs, 80% said yes while 61% of female partners agreed.
  • Do firms promote women into leadership positions? Three-quarters of MPs said yes versus 54% of female partners.
  • Is gender diversity a priority? Of the MPs, 79% said yes, while 54% of female partners answered in the affirmative.
  • Are firms doing a good job of promoting women into equity partnerships? Among MPs, 71% said yes while the number was 47% among female partners.

“The longer I do this, the more frustrated I have become that we continue to have to ask these same questions: Why are there so few women who make it to the level of equity partner? Why are there so few women on compensation committees? Why are there so few women managing partners?” said ABA president Hilarie Bass, who commissioned the study. “It really begs the question of what we need to do to have more women in these upper levels, if in fact almost half of women have left by the time they’re 50.”

The survey asked about men’s and women’s general level of satisfaction within Big Law to help answer the question of why women are leaving their firms. Again, the differences were wide.

  • Satisfied with compensation methods? Yes, said 69% of male partners versus 44% of female partners.
  • Satisfied with recognition received? Yes, said 71% of male partners and 50% of female partners.

For lawyers with more than 20 years of experience, the survey asked about home life responsibilities as well.

  • Do you arrange child care? Yes said 54% of women, but only 1% of men did so.
  • Do laundry? Yes, reported 42% of women and 8% of men.
  • Leave work often for their child’s needs? Yes, reported 34% of women versus 5% of men.

Stephanie Scharf, of Chicago’s Scharf Banks Marmor, said many of the suggestions will be aimed at changing law firms. She is chair of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession and took part in conducting the survey.

“In looking at the parameters where women are much less satisfied than men, all of those factors are pretty much within the control of the law firm,” Scharf told the American Lawyer. “We did not see differences in opinion [between men and women], for example, on the challenge of your work or the individual responsibility of your work. I underline that because I do believe this is within control of the employers.”

The full report will be released around Labor Day.

Given the importance of Millennials and Generation X to the future of the CPA profession, in 2016 INSIDE Public Accounting and ConvergenceCoaching analyzed input from more than 700 young professionals at CPA firms across the country, providing a focused look at what it takes to engage and retain these key team members. You may access the complimentary report.