Moore Stephens North America Appoints Three New Board Members

Bruce Zicari

Bruce Zicari

Members of Moore Stephens North America (MSNA) have voted in three new members to join the MSNA Executive Board.

“The Bonadio Group has been proud to be part of the MSNA Team for over two decades, delivering great value to our firm, our people and our clients,” says Bruce Zicari, incoming MP at Pittsford, N.Y.-based The Bonadio Group (FY18 net revenue of $97.9 million). “I am honored to be appointed to the MSNA Board and look forward to working with my fellow board members, as well as the member firms, to collaborate, innovate and improve.”

In addition to Zicari, Patrick Fuelling, partner at Troy, Mich.-based Doeren Mayhew & Company (FY17 net revenue of $72.6 million), and Dan Natale, managing partner at Segal LLP of Toronto, Ontario, joined the board, effective Jan. 1.

Patrick Fuelling

Patrick Fuelling

“At Doeren Mayhew, we see the benefits of being a member firm with Moore Stephens on a daily basis. Leveraging a network of specialized resources across the globe has helped us gain opportunities we might not have otherwise been able to,” says Fuelling.

Natale says, “Since joining MSNA, Segal LLP has developed strong, mutually rewarding relationships with member firms across the association and I look forward to working with my colleagues on the board to help MSNA and its members meet our goals.”

The executive board is democratically elected by their peers to set the direction for North America, so clients are assured the same professional standards and quality services are provided everywhere.

Dan Natale

Dan Natale

“Each new board provides a unique set of insights and perspectives to propel our association forward, and the addition of Bruce, Pat and Dan will certainly keep that momentum going,” says Tony Szczepaniak, chief executive officer of MSNA.

The executive board consists of nine members. In addition to Zicari, Fuelling and Natale, Andy Armanino, MP of San Ramon, Calif.-based Armanino LLP (FY17 net revenue of $242.7 million), and Tony Caleca, MP of Creve Coeur, Mo.-based Brown Smith Wallace (FY17 net revenue of $46.3 million), will remain as chair and vice-chair, respectively. Also retaining their seats on the board are Lou Grassi, CEO and MP of New York-based Grassi & Co. (FY17 net revenue of $59.6 million), Rick Davis, CEO of Greenville, S.C.-based Elliott Davis (FY18 net revenue of $119 million), Cheryle Burke, COO of Woburn, Mass.-based DiCicco Gulman & Company (FY17 net revenue of $26.4 million) and Beth Leonard, MP of Lurie LLP of Minneapolis (FY17 net revenue of $28 million).

Leaving the board is Greg Hutchins, partner at Los Angeles-based Holtin Carlin & Van Trigt (FY17 net revenue of $135.9 million).

Troubles for International Accounting Firms in UK

Dave Dunckley

Two of the largest firms in the UK are facing extraordinary difficulties.

About 188 Grant Thornton partners are being forced to take an 8% pay cut to £373,000, down from £407,000 last year, amid a slump in sales and profits, reports Business Matters. Revenue fell 1.8% to £491 million, while profit dropped 7% to £70 million, the magazine reported. “These 2017/18 results are below our expectations and, whilst there were many positives, we know we can drive improvement moving forward,” says chief executive Dave Dunckley.

The backdrop for Grant Thornton includes the loss earlier this year of former chief executive Sacha Romanovitch, following leaked criticism from colleagues. In addition, the firm is the subject of a Financial Reporting Council probe into its audit of Patisserie Valerie. It was also fined £3 million for misconduct over its audits of Vimto-maker Nichols and the University of Salford.

Grant Thornton is likely to come under further pressure when rivals BDO and Moore Stephens merge. The enlarged firm will overtake Grant Thornton to become Britain’s fifth largest accountant, behind the Big 4.

Meanwhile, The Financial Times reported that Deloitte’s chief executive recently announced that the firm has fired about 20 UK partners over the past four years for inappropriate behavior, which includes bullying and sexual harassment.

Deloitte is the first Big 4 firm in the UK to disclose dismissals for inappropriate behavior in response to the #MeToo movement. Chief executive David Sproul told The Financial Times, “We will fire people for any inappropriate behavior. No one is protected. There has been unfortunately a number of partners who have been fired for inappropriate behavior, be it of a sexual nature or of a bullying nature. I’d like to say there weren’t any, but there are.”

Laura Empson

He continued, “You can’t meet someone more junior to you in a bar on a Friday evening after work and assume she or he is attracted to you [and is seeking] a one-night stand. You just can’t do it,” he said. “Some people definitely would have to have that explained to them. So we’ve been very clear on what is acceptable in our firm.”

Laura Empson, professor in the management of professional services firms at City University, said it was “fantastic” Deloitte had been open about the problem. “That is really good and a sign of change, because these firms are extraordinarily discreet,” she said.

The other Big 4 firms declined to say how many partners had left over inappropriate behavior.

RSM Canada Launches Alliance Network

Terri Ellis

A year after entering the Canadian marketplace, RSM Canada has launched its Canada Alliance program.

The alliance program is the first of its kind in the country, and is modeled after RSM US’s Alliance program, which was launched almost 30 years ago, and includes more than 75 members in 38 states, the Cayman Islands and Puerto Rico, RSM announced.

Member firms are able to build and enhance their practices by leveraging the infrastructure, expertise and best practices of Chicago-based RSM (FY18 net revenue of $2.14 billion). The RSM Canada Alliance will be led by Terri Ellis, previously partner for growth and market development at RSM Canada. Before that, she held the same role at Collins Barrow Toronto for four years, which became RSM Canada a year ago.

As members of the new program, firms gain access to RSM Canada’s technical resources, marketing and business development, practice management, talent management, client services and networking opportunities. The Canadian member firm of RSM International has offices in Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer. Allied firms maintain their independence as separate business entities from RSM Canada. The first two members of the Canada Alliance are DJB, an accounting firm with offices in Burlington, Grimsby, Hamilton, St. Catharines and Welland, and NVS Chartered Accountants in Markham, Ontario.

“The Alliance model is a new concept to Canada, but it is especially suited for our marketplace,” says Harry Blum, MP of RSM Canada LLP. “The realities of our geography and our business landscape mean that small businesses are at the heart of our country’s economic engine. When these firms join this program, they will be able to stay true to their Canadian roots while enjoying the benefits and resources of a global firm.”

Trio of New Members for DFK USA

Three firms have joined DFK USA, taking the national group’s membership to 27.

The new members are Lauterbach & Amen, Reynolds + Rowella and Ridout Barrett.

Lauterbach & Amen is a mid-sized public accounting firm established in 1997 in Napervillle, Ill., by partners Sherry Lauterbach and Ron Amen. The firm’s foundation is in the governmental sector, and over the years, it has extended client relationships to other entities outside of government, providing accounting, compilation, assurance, actuary and consulting services.

Ridgefield, Conn.-based Reynolds + Rowella, also has an office in New Canaan, Conn. It was founded in 1985 as a result of the merger of the CPA practices of Tom Reynolds and Frank Rowella. The firm provides consulting, tax and assurance services and acts for businesses across all industries.

Ridout Barrett, with offices in San Antonio and Austin, Texas, founded in 1986, provides professional accounting, tax and business advisory services to businesses of all sizes and across a range of sectors.

Harriet Greenberg, president of DFK USA and deputy president of DFK International, says that 2018 has been a time of growth for DFK International. “The addition of Ridout Barrett and Reynolds + Rowella provide an additional tax-centric layer to the community, while Lauterbach & Amen bring a targeted audit-based view with a specialized focus in government auditing.”

As deputy president of DFK International, Harriet’s vision is to grow membership both in the U.S. and internationally, and she hopes this latest recruitment will act as a springboard for attracting more firms to DFK USA.

“We are doing some really amazing things in DFK USA in collaboration with DFK International. As we continue to execute our powerful initiatives, I’m confident that our members will grow across the nation in major cities,” she says.

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.