DFK Canada Welcomes New Member Firm

DFK Canada welcomed Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based Buckberger Baerg & Partners, which was established in 2014 by eight partners.

“Since launching the firm, vice-president of the Americas region Paul Panabaker has been extremely generous and helped us make connections before we even became members and has also been kind enough to let us join the last conference, so it is clear that DFK is really willing to help us on our journey. Being part of the global organization will be a huge benefit to our clients and there is a lot of expertise we can draw upon,” says Ashley Buckberger, partner.

“Buckberger Baerg & Partners is in its infancy and it will be excellent to help the firm grow,” says DFK Canada president Andrew Logan. “Saskatchewan is a province where there is a lot of economic activity and I am excited to see the firm develop and expand. I think they will be a good fit for DFK Canada.”

AGN International and DFK International Form Strategic Alliance

AGN International and DFK International have formed an alliance, Global Connect, with the aim to formalize client referrals between member firms of both associations.

“It’s not intended to run a bank account and overheads, and pay subscriptions. Certainly those are possibilities. We’re open-minded about how this might develop but for the time being it’s simply a vehicle to give some structure. It’s there to have some rules, procedures and guidelines that we’ve both signed up to,” says DFK International CEO Martin Sharp.

“It is business as usual at the member level, but where occasionally we can’t take care of a matter within our own association, the first port of call is to one another. Global Connect really is a collaborative relationship; it’s us working together as a wider group to further each other’s interests,” says AGN International CEO Malcolm Ward.

“Both of our associations are all about independent firms, principally firms that wish to continue to trade and operate under their own name, under their own rules and procedures, their own branding, principally,” Sharp says. “But the marketplace is not littered with such firms of good quality and good standing, which both of us expect. So that leaves vacancies or gaps in coverage.”

“This is client-service led,” Ward says. “We’re both quite substantial organizations. We have good coverage, quite similar from one another, but not completely without gaps but by the time you factor in increasingly complex niche and specialty requirements it’s very, very handy to draw on both our memberships which represent something north of 400 members. That gives us more breadth of choice.”

“Obviously an alternative to collaboration would be merger but because we have so much similarity, merger seems, on the face of it, not to deliver very much benefit and a lot of potential friction and disadvantage,” says Sharp. “But collaboration seems to bring the advantages we might not otherwise get with a merger without actually losing what’s special and particular and valued by our members in our own associations.”

Lisby to Retire as Kreston’s CEO

Jon Lisby

Jon Lisby

Kreston International has announced that Jon Lisby will minimize his duties  as Kreston’s CEO, due to health reasons which now prevents international travel.

Kreston will commence the search for a new CEO at the earliest possible date. Once the new CEO has been recruited, Lisby will transition his role to COO and will remain with the network to facilitate a smooth changeover and assist the new CEO before retiring from Kreston on May 31, 2019.

“It is so disappointing that my final period with Kreston has been spoiled in this way. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in the CEO role and am proud of the achievements made together with the board, members and international office team,” says Lisby.

“The board and the membership worldwide have been saddened by news of Jon’s illness. This was not how we anticipated his period as CEO would end. Since his appointment in January 2006, we have progressed to a network with a globally coordinated quality monitoring and inspection process,” says Kreston Chairman, Bent Kofoed.

Alliott Group Welcomes Farmer as Worldwide Chairman

Colin Farmer

Colin Farmer

Colin Farmer has been named chairman of the Worldwide Board of Alliott Group.

Farmer helped to develop Alliott Group over the last 20 years from a relatively small and informal grouping of firms into a more commercially focused organization that now has a foothold in many of the world’s commercial centers.

“Colin brings unique personal and business attributes to the role of chairman that will help us to grow our geographic reach and the commercial value of the organization,” says James Hickey, CEO of Alliott Group. “His deep understanding of the needs of the owner and managers of international companies based in the U.K. and internationally combined with the strong relationships he has built through the years with member firms across the world will contribute significantly to his impact as worldwide chairman. Colin’s energy and entrepreneurial flair will be huge assets.”

Farmer states, “We are seeing a lot of disruption in the professions – it creates threats to the status quo, but also opportunities for those organizations that have a vision and are bold enough to take the steps needed to meet the changing needs of clients. Alliott Group is a pioneer in its sector and is implementing a strategic plan which differentiates it from less nimble competitors that tend to follow rather than lead. This is resulting in greater return on investment for our member firms and the community of international businesses and high net worth individuals we serve on an individual and collective basis. We have enjoyed strong leadership under Ken Miles – I now look forward to continuing his good work to develop Alliott Group – it’s a very exciting place to be right now.”

Former worldwide chairman Ken Miles, who steps down following the merger of his firm NSBN comments, “It is with a heavy heart that I leave my post as worldwide chair before the end of my term. While the merger is a very positive development for our firm, our clients and our hard-working staff, we are also extremely sad to exit such a high caliber group of entrepreneurial professional firms in which we have played an active part for over six years. It is of course difficult to quantify, but it could be that without the extra boost Alliott Group provided our visibility and reputation in the Los Angeles accounting market, we might not have been able to reach this next stage in our journey as a firm. On the other hand, our departure opens up an attractive opportunity for another growing, ambitious Los Angeles accounting firm. I am very confident that the organization will go on to achieve its innovative growth plans under the leadership of Colin Farmer.”

With Farmer being elevated to worldwide chairman, Asia Pacific chairman Jamie Towers, partner at Hanrick Curran in Brisbane, Australia, steps up to become deputy worldwide chairman.

Morison KSi Launches Future Leaders Program

International accounting association, Morison KSi has launched a program devised to assist member firms to develop their talent pool (senior managers and newly appointed partners) and to provide these leaders with their own international community.

Joanna Keeling, who delivers leadership programs to global organizations, facilitated the session focusing on impact, influence, strategy and vision as various aspects of leadership.

“If you leave your staff for a few months and they can’t handle it without you, you are a manager. If you leave your staff for a few months and they can cope – you are a leader,” says Keeling.

The training also emphasized the importance of networking as the starting point of any successful business relationship. To that end, the workshop was centered on communication and initiating and maintaining positive professional relationship within the firm as well as between the firm and its clients.

CPAmerica International Celebrates 40th Anniversary

In 1978, eight firms came together under the common belief that they could accomplish more by learning from each other than they could on their own. Together they created the accounting association, Accounting Firms Associated, Inc. By 1990, the association had grown to include 43 firms. That same association went on to become CPAmerica, currently made up of 74 independent CPA firms across the United States. May 11, 2018 will mark the 40th anniversary of CPAmerica International.

“Associations have drastically changed in the last 40 years and now more than ever we have the opportunity to contribute to our member’s growth and development. For example, new this year, member opportunities include two additional groups; The New Partner Group and the Outsourced Accounting Program. We continue to change and evolve to give members the platform they need to reach their strategic plans,” says Alan Deichler, president of CPAmerica.

Fort Wright, Ky.-based VonLehman CPA & Advisory Firm and Salem, Ore.-based Aldrich Group, two long-standing members of CPAmerica, recall their experience over the last 20-30 years.

“My first experience with CPAmerica was with the practice management survey right after VonLehman joined the association in 1988,” says Brian Malthouse, president of VonLehman and current chair of the CPAmerica International board of directors. “Looking back, this survey made me realize if firms can charge this amount in Iowa or Nebraska, then we should have the confidence to up our billing rates. It really changed the whole culture of our firm. Plus, I’ve developed some great relationships over the years – I can pick up the phone and get an immediate response. The association truly is the more you give, the more you get.”

“My favorite part about membership with CPAmerica is the leading partners retreat,” says Martin Moll, CEO and MP at Aldrich Group and a member of CPAmerica since 1998.  “Every time I go to a leading partners retreat, I’ll write down three of the most relevant takeaways and track them when I get back in the office. By and large, a lot of the success that we’ve had at the firm is from the items I track from this conference.”

Three New Members Join MSNA Executive Board

Beth Kieffer Leonard

Beth Kieffer Leonard

Members of Moore Stephens North America (MSNA) have voted three new members to join the executive board, including the first women.

Joining the board are Beth Kieffer Leonard, MP at Lurie; Cheryl Burke, COO of DiCicco Gulman & Company and Tony Caleca, MP of Brown Smith Wallace.

“In our short time as members of MSNA, we have been impressed with the commitment of the association to work together to continuously improve our firms and, in turn, the profession,” says Kieffer Leonard. “In my experience in leadership of our firm and with the profession, I know how important it is to have a diversity of experiences on our association board, I am confident that this will be the case with the addition of this new group of board members.”

Cheryl Burke

Cheryl Burke

“While our executive board is consistently filled with leaders from the top firms in North America, this year’s board is an accomplishment for diversity in our association’s leadership,” says Tony Szczepaniak, CEO of MSNA. “Appointing the first two women to the board is a recognition of the talent and experience that our association needs to move forward.”

Tony Caleca

Tony Caleca

“Through my affiliation with MSNA I have built some great relationships that have in turned helped many of DGCs clients,” says Burke. “I look forward to working as a board member to find innovative ways for MSNA to continue to bring value to its members and their clients.”

Rosen Named Worldwide CEO of BKR International

Howard Rosen

Howard Rosen

BKR International has appointed Howard Rosen in a new role as Worldwide CEO, effective Jan. 1. Rosen will assume the international responsibilities of BKR International Executive Director Maureen Schwartz, who will retire at the end of 2018.

As Worldwide CEO, Rosen will oversee administrative leadership and communication between the Americas Region, based in New York, and the executive directors in the EMEA Region (London) and Asia/Pacific Region (Sydney).

“We were fortunate to have Maureen Schwartz serving as both the Americas Region and Worldwide executive director for many years,” says Rosen. “As the size of our association has grown, the Worldwide Board has been working on a leadership transition over the last few years.”

Maureen Schwartz

Maureen Schwartz

A search for a new Americas Region executive director is underway, and Rosen will support that transition of leadership. He is a past Americas Region Chairman and Worldwide Chairman. He was also a managing partner in a BKR International member firm for many years.

“Howard brings a broad range of important skills and attributes to this position,” says Jacqueline Wolfovski, BKR’s Worldwide Chair. “In addition to his public accounting experience, he has traveled throughout the world to both developed and developing countries. He has a deep understanding of accounting firms worldwide and the challenges we face.”

Moore Stephens Names Lurie as New Member

Moore Stephens North America (MSNA) has announced the addition of Lurie LLP (FY17 net revenue of $28 million) of Minneapolis to the association. Lurie was founded in 1940 and is one of the top 15 Accounting firms in the Twin Cities and one of the top 120 nationally.

“We are fortunate to have Lurie LLP as the newest member of Moore Stephens North America,” says Tony Szczepaniak, CEO of MSNA. “Lurie is a firm founded by entrepreneurs who have taken their experience in building and sustaining their firm and have translated it into a client service point of view that is truly unique. This foundation will be a great compliment to those of MSNA and our current member firms.”

“We are excited about adding the resources of Moore Stephens North America to our firm,” says Beth Kieffer Leonard, MP of Lurie. “Our membership in MSNA will allow us to collaborate with member firms to address the evolving opportunities around technology, client service and business solutions. MSNA member firms are focused on the future and will continue to focus on proactive advice and service in highly complex situations.”

Lurie is the newest firm to join the association’s 40 member firms in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. With over 150 collective offices, Lurie’s Minneapolis-based office is the first office headquartered in Minnesota.

CPAmerica International Announces 2018 Board of Directors

CPAmerica International has announced its 2018 board of directors. The new board will have its first meeting of the year at CPAmerica’s office Jan. 18 to discuss 2018 initiatives and other long-term goals.

Brian Malthouse, president and shareholder of Ft. Wright, Ky.-based VonLehman CPA & Advisory Firm, is the new chair of the board.

“Our firm and our clients have very much benefitted from our association with CPAmerica over the past 30 years. The opportunity to share experiences, best practices and ideas has improved all of our firms, and I am thrilled to support our members with new and exciting initiatives to bring even more value to the association,” says Malthouse.

Sharon Thompson, managing shareholder and leading partner of Ft. Myers, Fla.-based Hughes Snell & Co. has been elected to the vice chair and chair-elect position.

The three newly-elected board members include James Barrett of Meyers Brothers Kalicka, Gregory Hammonds of Whaley Hammonds Tomasello Accountants & Advisors and Frank Monaco of 415 Group.