Moore Stephens North America Announces Award Winners

The accounting association Moore Stephens North America (MSNA) has announced the winners of its second annual MSNA awards that recognize significant contributions to the advancement of the organization.

The winners were announced recently at the MSNA Spring Conference in Chicago.

The 2019 Collaboration Award was presented to the team at Beene Garter of Grant Rapids, Mich. (FY18 net revenue of $14.5 million).

“Over the years, Beene Garter has been a firm that consistently collaborates in areas we are both working in, as well as areas each other may be exploring,” says Tony Caleca, MP of Creve Coeur, Mo.-based Brown Smith Wallace (FY17 net revenue of $46.3 million).

Moore Stephens Award Winners

Caleca notes the regular collaborations in audit and tax, as well as the opportunities Beene Garter has made possible through the sharing of new software and processes. With a “what can we do to help” approach, their eagerness to collaborate has led to great referrals and additional business on both ends.

The 2019 Improvement Award was presented to the team at Vancouver, British Columbia-based DMCL. DMCL has grown by more than 40% in the past three years, and the firm plans to continue serving the community as the largest independently owned accounting firm in the Lower Mainland.

The 2019 Innovation Award was presented to the team at Woburn, Mass.-based DiCicco Gulman & Company (FY17 net revenue of $26.4 million). Through its weekly comedy program, “The Breather,” DGC has introduced a form of stress release through these four-minute videos, while also helping their growing firm get to know their coworkers a little better. With a huge impact on company morale, these videos prove the different ways that innovation can help move firms forward.

“While our members have seen substantial growth and success across the board, we feel it’s important to highlight those firms and individuals who have gone above and beyond,” says MSNA CEO Tony Szczepaniak. “We are proud to acknowledge their accomplishments and give them the accolades they deserve.”

Employees from member firms nominated the individuals, teams or firms the awards, with winners selected by the MSNA Executive Office.

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Inaugural Leadership Growth Academy Program Recognizes 19 Graduates

Moore Stephens North America’s (MSNA) Dynamic Growth Academy, formerly the Leadership Growth Academy, has completed its first program, graduating 19 participants from nine North American member firms.

Nine of the graduates are from Creve Coeur, Mo.-based Brown Smith Wallace (FY17 net revenue of $46.3 million): Kevin Boeving, Scott Brandt, Todd Goldenhersh, Amy Ribick, Anne Ritter, Dan Schoenleber, Greg Smith, Jen Vacha and Debbie Vandeven.

Two graduates are from Demers Beaulne of Quebec, Montreal: Francys Brown and Isabelle Lemieux. Two are from Itasca, Ill.-based CDH (FY18 net revenue of $12.7 million): Phil Lampugnano and Yoko Yamamoto.

Additional graduates are: Chris Leikert, Beene Garter of Grand Rapids, Mich., (FY18 net revenue of $14.5 million); Daniel Gaudet, Woburn, Mass.-based DiCicco Gulman & Company (FY17 net revenue of $26.4 million); Chris Tull, Troy, Mich.-based Doeren Mayhew (FY17 net revenue of $72.6 million); Pete Jones, Frazer LLP (FY17 net revenue of $15.4 million); Stephen Rollins, G.T. Reilly & Company of Milton, Mass., and Eli Gembom, Segal LLP of Toronto, Ontario (FY17 net revenue of $15.8 million).

The program features leadership and business development training from The Center for Character-based Leadership and LVG Advisors. The program includes four two-day sessions, alternating leadership and business development sessions, as well as individual coaching, peer coaching and mentor support.

“The question on my mind was are we able to connect?” says participant Francys Brown. “The end result was that we really connected…and the reason was that we were all on the same journey to partnership. We share the same amount of challenges, the same goals, and it was clear when we were talking together that we were in the same boat.”

The program included participants from nine member firms. The sessions were held at several different member firms in Minneapolis, St. Louis and Chicago, providing members with the opportunity to visit other firms and make new connections.

“I haven’t really had a voice,” said participant Anne Ritter. “And that was figurative voice. I wasn’t outspoken with my peers, and that was something I learned in my leadership group. We spent a lot of quality time together, made a lot of great connections…and I highly recommend every bit of this program.”

The Center for Character-based Leadership provides coaching focused on the complexity of leading in the top two to three levels of organizations and the talents needed. LVG Advisors provides business development training, business development coaching and SAM-Pro services for professional service firms. These services are aimed at building firm revenue, strengthening practice professional confidence and maintaining client loyalty.

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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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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.

Allinial Global Welcomes New Member

San Francisco-based BPM LLP (FY17 net revenue of $89.6 million) has joined accounting association Allinial Global.

BPM has 40 partners and more than 500 professionals in six offices across the San Francisco Bay Area. Offering an extensive array of tax, assurance and advisory services, the firm has deep industry experience in agribusiness, automotive, employee benefit plans, financial services, life science, nonprofit, manufacturing and wholesale, real estate, technology and wine/craft beverages.

“I’m pleased to welcome our outstanding new members, whose skills and expertise will most certainly enrich our worldwide community. I’ve said it before, but in 2019 it still holds true: Allinial Global is good, getting better, and becoming the best,” says Terry Snyder, President and CEO, Allinial Global.

Allinial Global is a member-based association dedicated to the success of independent accounting and consulting firms. Allinial Global has 191 members, with locations throughout the world generating approximately $3 billion in collective revenues. With dedicated regional liaisons who have extensive connections throughout the Americas, EMEIA (Europe, the Middle East, India, and Africa), and the Asia Pacific region, members of Allinial Global are committed to providing the most agile, flexible, and client-centric solutions anywhere, anytime.

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CPAmerica to Add Two Members in April

Sobul Primes & Schenkel of Los Angeles and Stoy Malone & Company of Baltimore will join the accounting association CPAmerica.

Established in 1981, Sobul Primes & Schenkel provides closely held entrepreneurial clients with the same standards, competency and professionalism as any of the major national accounting firms, CPAmerica announced.

“We believe becoming part of such a vibrant association will have a tremendous positive impact on our firm in many different areas,” says Rick Schenkel, managing shareholder. “We look forward to all of the benefits that a group like this offers to its members and feel confident that the affiliation will be another important part of our business plan.” He says he believes membership will lead to significant growth.

Formed in 1917, Stoy Malone & Company offers a broad range of services to individuals, businesses, business owners and non-profit organizations.

John B. Kincaid Jr., managing shareholder, says, “The resources available through CPAmerica will allow us new opportunities to grow our firm. We are looking forward to embracing the core value of the association – improving through sharing.”

The association of independent, certified public accounting firms provides shared best practices, networking opportunities and access to expert resources for member firms. These new members are the third and fourth firms to join the accounting association since the beginning of 2019. CPAmerica is a member of Crowe Global, which has members in more than 750 offices in more than 130 countries.

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PKF International Welcomes New CEO

James Hickey

PKF International has announced that James Hickey will be the new CEO. Hickey will be replacing John Sim, who has led the association for 6 years.

Hickey is an inspirational leader with a wealth of expertise in achieving high growth within mid-tier accounting and law firms around the world. Hickey served as CEO of the Alliott Group since November 2012.

When asked about his understanding of the changing dynamics in the accounting world, Hickey says, “Those firms that think like accountants and lawyers when they strategize for their tomorrow will simply not have a tomorrow. Whether it be AI, mergers, changes in regulations or any of the other market disrupters, professional service firms need to be open minded to new delivery models to maintain a relevance within their respective markets.” He continued, “At the core of PKFI’s tomorrow has to be the right digital strategy. But this must represent an extension of who we are. If we adapt with integrity always preserving our belief that ours is a network of trusted business advisors and build strategic digital value into this offering – then the potential for expansion and deeper relationships will be phenomenal.”

PrimeGlobal Announces New CEO

Stephen Heathcote

Stephen Heathcote

PrimeGlobal, an association for independent accounting firms, announces the appointment of Stephen Heathcote as CEO, effective June 1, 2019.

“At this crucial moment of growth, Stephen Heathcote’s appointment is a clear reflection of PrimeGlobal’s commitment to its members and renewed leadership at the global level,” the association announced.

“After conducting a worldwide search, I am happy to announce the World Board was able to reach a unanimous consensus that Stephen was the right person to lead PrimeGlobal,” World Board Chairman Cornelius V. Kilbane Jr. says. “Our organization is one of the top international accounting associations in the world, and to have someone with Stephen’s leadership skills, experience with teams based in locations throughout the world, and an understanding of both global and regional needs means PrimeGlobal will continue to bring exceptional value to its members.”

The association has more than 300 members in 80 countries.

Heathcote’s background includes serving in the COO role at the UK Financial Reporting Council and as a senior manager at KPMG. He is also a key member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) executive team for the past 10 years.

“At a time when the profession faces many challenges, it has been refreshing to meet partners leading practices who are fully trusted by their clients and prepared to innovate to support them,” Heathcote says. “Prime Global shares the ambition of its members and draws on a vast range of expertise to ensure best standards and practices deliver success to members.”

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CPAsNet Names New Regional Chairs

Robert Vawter

Robert Vawter

The board of directors for the accounting association CPAsNet has named Robert Vawter, MP of Vawter Gammon Norris & Company of Cordova, Tenn., as chair of the Asia Pacific and Japan international executive committee.

Additionally, Christina Tharp, CFO of Hamilton Tharp of Solana Beach, Calif., has been named chair of the Europe, the Middle East and Africa international executive committee.

Both will be responsible for the strategic planning of the organization’s international alliances with Auditrust International. CPAsNET’s partnership with Auditrust was conceived because of the increasing need of businesses that rely on their CPA firms to provide global resources and specialists. CPAsNET firms meet their client’s growing international demands by working within a system of international associates.

“Robert and Christina are well respected within the organization, profession and international community of trusted financial advisors. True trailblazers, they understand the importance of continued innovation and providing clients with the local, national and international perspective needed to prosper in challenging markets and times,” says Sarah Dobek, president of CPAsNET.

MSI Global Alliance First to Join Global Connect

Martin Sharp

A strategic alliance between leading independent accounting associations DFK International and AGN International has been expanded with the addition of MSI Global Alliance, the first to join Global Connect since it was established as a new collaboration between DFK and AGN in January 2018.

Global Connect was launched to provide members with greater resource and coverage to best serve the international business needs of clients, while continuing to operate independently. MSI, an association of 260 legal and accounting firms in 100 countries, is part of an expansion to bring in other professional disciplines, Global Connect announced.

MSI is similar in size and geographic reach to DFK and AGN. DFK has 220 member firms in more than 90 countries, and AGN has approaching 200 member firms in over 80 countries. All three associations are headquartered in London.

Martin Sharp, executive director of DFK International, and Malcolm Ward, CEO of AGN International, said MSI was an obvious choice as a first partner.

Sharp says, “Clients of our member firms often seek legal support when moving into other jurisdictions and MSI Global Alliance gives us a step into the legal market, as well as increasing our coverage of accountants. The success of Global Connect in the first year has exceeded our expectations.” He says the connections have resulted in at least one referral a week.

Ward says, “The reason this alliance has worked so well with DFK and AGN having this additional coverage where needed is that we have good symmetry and close trust. MSI are similar to us but also bring a new dimension with their multi-disciplinary nature.”