INSIDE Public Accounting Unveils The 2017 Pyramid Awards

INSIDE Public Accounting (IPA) announced that three 2017 Best of the Best Accounting Firms were recognized with Pyramid Awards this year at the seventh annual PRIME Symposium, Nov. 7-9, in Indianapolis.

The award recipients this year were: Moore Colson of Atlanta, Pasadena, Calif.-based KROST CPAs and Consultants and San Ramon, Calif.-based Armanino LLP.

Moore Colson was the recipient of IPA’s “Pyramid of Excellence” award. This high-performing firm ranked No. 1 among the elite 50 Best of the Best Firms selected by IPA. The rankings are based on data from the 27th annual IPA Survey and Analysis of Firms, which covers finances and operations in dozens of areas. This $21.7 million firm, with 16 partners and 83 staff, has been named a Best of the Best firm nine times, the last five consecutively. Moore Colson was one of the Fastest-Growing Best of the Best firms this year.

KROST CPAs and Consultants, once again, received the IPA Best of the Best “Fastest-Growing Pyramid Award.” With a 25.0% growth rate, this firm has demonstrated impressive results with no mergers to enhance that number. This is KROST’s second consecutive year as an IPA Best of the Best firm and Fastest-Growing firm, as the firm posted an extraordinary 66.3% organic growth rate in 2016. The $25.6 million firm ranked No. 137 on the IPA 200 list.

Armanino LLP received the IPA Best of the Best “Pyramid Award.” The $195 million firm, ranked No. 24 on the IPA 100 list, first appeared as a Best of the Best firm in 2001. Since then, IPA has named Armanino a Best of the Best firm 16 times, seven consecutively. Armanino sustains financial and operational excellence year after year.

View a complete listing of the 2017 IPA Best of the Best.

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2017 IPA Best of the Best Firm Profile: Holthouse Carlin & Van Trigt

Holthouse Carlin & Van Trigt (HCVT) has been named an IPA Best of the Best firm for 13 years in a row. It also jumped five spots up the IPA 100 list this year, with 15% growth, and is now ranked the 31st largest accounting firm in the nation. INSIDE Public Accounting asked MP Phil Holthouse to offer his insights into his firm’s success, growth goals, top clients and predictions on how the accounting profession may change over the next 10 years. Congratulations to the entire HCVT team.

 

To what do you attribute 13 consecutive years on IPA’s Best of the Best list?

We are committed to providing our clients with technical excellence and a client first attitude. When Jim Carlin, John Van Trigt and I came together 26 years ago, we wanted to create a firm that was different for our clients and employees – a firm based on technical excellence, and a business model built on partner access and accountability, where the focus is on needs of the client. I think we have achieved that goal, among many others, but we always remain a work in process.

Tell us about the types of services you provide to your top three clients.

We provide comprehensive tax services to our top three clients that are complex global organizations with sophisticated structuring, planning and reporting needs.

What are your growth goals for the next five years? 

We expect that our organic growth will continue and we will continue to pursue opportunistic lateral hires. Growth for HCVT is all about adding the right clients with needs that are aligned with our services and areas of specialization.

Holthouse Carlin & Van Trigt LLP

What type of client is an ideal fit for your firm?

Ideal clients are businesses and high-net-worth individuals with complex issues that will benefit from the depth of our services, private businesses that require assurance services in specific industries and practice specialization, and individuals and organizations that are not looking for a low-cost provider. Tax services represent our largest service line. HCVT’s tax professionals assist our clients to navigate the challenges and risks associated with the complex and often overwhelming tax environment by providing innovative and fact-based solutions customized to their specific needs. Whether the need is a federal, state and local, international or estate and trust tax issues, our team has the experience and technical skills to help provide the right answers and strategies.

Can you predict how accounting firm services will change over the next 10 years?

Data analytics, automation and the leveraging of technology will change how we deliver our services. Odds are that government taxes and regulations will not ease, will remain messy and will not simplify our lives. Pricing pressure for tax compliance and audit services will not lessen. Societal and generational forces will prompt (or accelerate) changes in how we communicate, where we work and how we work, e.g., AI, blockchain.

KROST Expands Service Offerings with the Addition of Knadjian as Practice Leader

Pasadena, Calif.-based KROST CPAs & Consultants (FY16 net revenue of $25.6 million), an INSIDE Public Accounting 2017 Best of the Best firm, welcomed Paren Knadjian who will head up the firm’s mergers and acquisitions and capital markets service line as practice leader.

Knadjian has 30 years combined experience in mergers and acquisitions, completing more than 50 transactions on both the buy and sell side, as well as equity and debt financing expertise. Additionally, he was CEO and COO of two software as a service (SaaS) companies and CFO to companies in the health care, marketing, e-commerce and entertainment industries. He also has personal experience in M&A having co-founded two companies that were successfully sold to trade buyers.

“Strategically, we could not be happier to have Paren on board. While providing more services to our clients through the development of new practices is always our goal, we really waited until we were perfectly positioned and found the absolute best fit for the team,” says Greg Kniss, managing principal. “Paren brings a wealth of wisdom and knowledge to the firm, and his energy is unbelievable. He’s already hit the ground running. We are at ease knowing our clients’ needs and interests, as always, come first and they are in the best hands with Paren.”

“Being a member of KROST’s talented team of experts across the board in tax, accounting, audit and corporate tax incentives, I now have the ability to develop a new, elevated model of excellence in M&A advisory and professional consulting services,” says Knadjian. “Throughout my career I have helped companies grow and thrive, and now I am thrilled to connect with KROST clients, present and future, to apply my knowledge and passion to their unique situation.”

INSIDE Public Accounting Unveils 2017 Best of the Best Accounting Firms

Continuing the tradition of more than 20 years, INSIDE Public Accounting (IPA) has unveiled the 2017 list of the Best of the Best public accounting firms in the nation. This group, the highest performers within the profession, are ranked on more than 70 metrics. The 2017 Best of the Best firms produce superior financial results while planning for long-term, sustainable growth.

In 2017, 587 firms were eligible for this accolade by participating in IPA’s 27th Annual Survey and Analysis of Firms.

The IPA Best of the Best firms are scattered across the U.S. and Canada and come in all sizes – from 27 employees to 2,615. Two-thirds of the Best of the Best firms appeared on the list in 2016, demonstrating an impressive commitment to excellence and sustainability.

IPA has also named 10 firms under $5 million in net revenue for the Best of the Best Under $5 Million. Unlike their large-firm counterparts, these firms earned this distinction with fewer resources to deliver top-notch client service, sought-after benefits and professional development across the firm – hallmarks of the Best of the Best.

As part of IPA’s ongoing commitment to identify and recognize high-performing firms across North America, IPA also highlighted the five Best of the Best Canadian firms. These firms, ranging in size from $6 million to $28 million, represent the top 20% of the highest performing Canadian firms that participated in the 2017 IPA Survey and Analysis of Firms.

“Best of the Best firms excel by achieving the delicate balance of focus on culture, clients, team and financial results,” says Michael Platt, principal of the Platt Group and publisher of the accounting trade publication, INSIDE Public Accounting. “Best of the Best firms are judged on dozens of metrics that truly take a holistic view of success. Their strategic focus on all areas that make accounting firms great have produced the results that merit this sought-after accolade.”

Kelly Platt, publisher of INSIDE Public Accounting, says firm leaders who are looking to improve can look to the results produced by the IPA Best of the Best. “Best of the Best firms show that discipline, planning and a systematic approach to improvement can result in measurable progress toward their goals. In a rapidly changing business environment, Best of the Best firms thrive.”

A full list of the 2017 IPA Best of the Best firms, including the Under $5 Million category and Best of the Best in Canada can be found on the INSIDE Public Accounting website.

IPA also ranks the largest accounting firms in the nation annually, the IPA 100, along with the IPA 200 and IPA 300, those firms ranking from No. 101 to No. 300 in the U.S. Visit the INSIDE Public Accounting website for more details.

You may order complete copies of the IPA Best of the Best, IPA 100, IPA 200 and IPA 300 firm issues: (317) 733-1920; editor@plattgroupllc.com.

Armanino Adds Team Jenn Corp and The Brenner Group

San Ramon, Calif.-based Armanino (FY15 net revenue of $164 million) has announced that Team Jenn Corp and The Brenner Group are joining the firm’s outsourced finance and accounting practice. Both companies will become Armanino effective June 1.

“The additions of Team Jenn Corp and the integration of The Brenner Group deepen and broaden our finance and accounting offerings for clients by integrating interim controllers and CFOs, executive search and HR services to our existing outsourced capabilities,” says MP Andy Armanino.

The Armanino OFA practice will grow three times larger with this investment. In addition to its expertise in serving the advertising and creative production industries with outsourced accounting solutions, Team Jenn Corp brings new HR services to advise clients on a myriad of needs including hiring, onboarding, handbooks, benefits, compliance and payroll.

The Brenner Group enjoys a 30-year reputation of excellence in providing temporary and permanent part-time/full-time financial leadership to technology companies at various stages in their lifecycle. This combination provides better technology, wider industry experience and one integrated team to help clients from start to finish with their outsourced finance and accounting needs.

“At Team Jenn Corp, we pride ourselves on going the extra mile for clients. We’re problem-solvers and we’ve built a reputation for being our clients’ right hand. That’s why coming together with Armanino is the perfect fit,” says Jenn McCabe, founder and CEO of Team Jenn Corp. “By joining together, we’ll be equipped to consult clients at every stage of their business lifecycle.”

Andries Verschelden, CEO of the Brenner Group, says, “Our technology clients often have a need for several finance solutions, whether it’s financial leadership through an interim CFO or a chief restructuring officer, or a cloud financial reporting technology like Intacct. This change gives clients access to a full suite of back office solutions so they can work smarter and more efficiently.”

Armanino’s aggressive growth is anchored in its pursuit of expanded service lines, technology solutions and specialized expertise, the firm reported. The firm has been listed on INSIDE Public Accounting’s Best of the Best Managed Firms list for 14 out of the last 15 years.

Both Verschelden and McCabe will join Armanino has partners.

BKD Announces New Leadership Positions for Webb, Ronsse

Travis Webb

Travis Webb

Springfield, Mo.-based BKD (FY16 net revenue of $537.6 million) announces the following leadership changes: Travis Webb, MP of the Denver and Colorado Springs, Colo., offices since 2008, is taking the helm of the firm’s auditing practice in the headquarters office. The new Denver and Colorado Springs MP is former Tulsa, Okla., chief Jeff Ronsse. Both will take their new posts on June 1.

“I’m confident Jeff is ready for new challenges as he steps into his new role,” said BKD CEO Ted Dickman. “His skills and talents will undoubtedly take the Colorado offices far.”

Jeff Ronsse

Jeff Ronsse

Webb says, “It’s difficult to leave a role I’ve enjoyed so much, but I have no doubt Jeff will lead the team to even greater results and accomplishments.”

During his tenure in Oklahoma, Ronsse served in many leadership roles, including accounting and auditing director, recruiting director and commercial team niche leader. His practice areas of focus are in the energy, manufacturing and distribution sectors, with an emphasis on private equity-backed companies.

BKD has 2,600 employees in 50 states. The Denver office launched in 1993. One year ago, the office moved its 100 local employees into new space in downtown Denver.

Armanino Welcomes New Partner to Lead CFO Advisory Services Practice

Nate Collins

Nate Collins

San Ramon, Calif.-based Armanino (FY15 net revenue of $164.2 million) has announced that Nate Collins has joined the firm as a consulting partner to lead the firm’s CFO advisory services practice, a team of experts in valuations, equity management and accounting, and financial management consulting.

Armanino’s CFO advisory services team has supported a variety of Silicon Valley’s hottest tech firms with services including financial management, transaction advisory, including mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and IPO preparation, equity management and valuation consulting services.

Collins joins Armanino after 12 years at BDO, most recently serving as the lead partner for BDO’s transaction advisory services practice for the Western United States. There he directed buy-side/sell-side due diligence and related negotiations for a wide variety of transactions. He has significant experience in both the domestic and multi-jurisdiction arenas, as well as supporting the M&A-related special project needs for strategic buyers, financial investors and acquisition targets.

Prior to joining BDO, Collins held positions at Deloitte, Aon Corporation and Leo Burnett Worldwide.

Huynh, Northrup Join Armanino as Tax Partners

Nghi Huynh

Nghi Huynh

San Ramon, Calif.-based Armanino (FY15 net revenue of $164 million) announces that the firm has admitted two professionals to the partnership: Nghi Huynh has joined the firm as a tax partner in its San Jose, Calif., office and Todd Northrup has joined as a tax partner in its Woodland Hills, Calif., office.

“We’re investing in adding depth and local resources to our already strong corporate tax offering. Nghi and Todd bring strong expertise and a record of leadership to our clients,” says MP Andy Armanino. “With their addition to the partnership, we’re better poised to service fast-growing private and public companies, many with complex international operations and provision needs.”

Todd Northrup

Todd Northrup

Huynh will manage the firm’s transfer pricing practice. She brings nearly two decades of transfer pricing tax expertise to the firm. Before joining Armanino, Nghi was a managing director at both PwC and KPMG. She will work with multinational enterprises to establish pricing strategies for cross-border transactions and addresses complex issues that arise when operations expand to multiple tax jurisdictions such as tangible and intangible assets, as well as intellectual property.

Northrup will support the firm’s tax provision practice in Southern California. He brings 20 years of experience with tax provision and compliance, including 13 years at both KPMG and Ernst & Young. He specializes in servicing a wide variety of public and private companies, both entrepreneur-owned and investor-backed organizations, in the technology, entertainment, manufacturing and distribution sectors.

Bernstein Business Management Group Joins Armanino

San Ramon, Calif.-based Armanino (FY15 net revenue of $164 million) has announced that Bernstein Business Management Group of Woodland Hills, Calif., is joining Armanino on March 1.

The group will operate as Armanino and will join the firm’s existing business management department. Both firms offer core business management services, including cash management and financial planning, banking, insurance coordination, bookkeeping, payroll, and tax planning and preparation for high-net-worth individuals and the entertainment industry.

“Bernstein Business Management Group brings a wealth of experience working with high-net-worth individuals and professionals in the entertainment industry,” says Ken Coelho, PIC of business management at Armanino LLP. “The group’s talents, combined with Armanino’s deep technical know-how, will allow us to further deliver hands-on, personal service to our clients.”

Bernstein Business Management Group complements Armanino’s entertainment expertise and expands its business management practice into the San Fernando Valley. It will also expand Armanino’s network of trusted services providers, such as agents, attorneys and personal managers, with whom Armanino cooperates to manage all of its clients’ financial affairs. As a full-service accounting and consulting firm, Armanino brings additional audit, international tax, high-tech and deep consulting offerings to Bernstein Business Management Group’s clients.

Bob Bernstein will join Armanino as a partner, and he and his team will relocate to Armanino’s office in Woodland Hills. Clients will continue to work with the same team they have known for many years.

This merger is one of several in the last few months. Armanino took on Lafayette, Calif.-based valuation experts, Financial Strategies Consulting Group and Travis Wolff of Dallas (FY15 net revenue of $20.8 million) on Jan. 1.

Armanino, ranked No. 25 on the IPA 100 list, has been listed on IPA’s Best of the Best Firms list for 14 of the last 15 years.

Lutz and McDermott & Miller Join Forces

The shareholders and directors of Lutz of Omaha, Neb., (FY16 net revenue of $32.6 million) have announced that selected offices of Grand Island, Neb.-based McDermott & Miller will be joining forces on May 1. The combined firm will retain the Lutz name.

McDermott & Miller offices located in Hastings, Grand Island and Omaha, along with their eight shareholders and over 40 personnel, will join the Lutz team. The joint entity will bring the total number of Lutz employees to more than 250.

Allan D. Koltin, CEO of Koltin Consulting Group, advised both firms. “Lutz is one of the ‘Best of the Best’ firms not just in Nebraska but the entire country. They are a local Nebraska firm, with a national reputation for value-added services to clients and an entrepreneurial culture,” he says. “McDermott & Miller was approached by numerous national firms wanting to expand into Nebraska but they felt the Lutz culture was similar to theirs. The opportunity also provided great growth potential for their talented partners and associates.”

MP Mark Duren says, “McDermott & Miller professionals will strengthen Lutz’s commitment to the agriculture industry as well as bring additional non-profit and tax resources.”

Andrew Janzen, shareholder of McDermott & Miller’s Hastings office, says, “Lutz offers a full range of business solutions that will benefit our clients and they will also provide best practices to our offices including service delivery efficiencies and cutting-edge consulting skills.”