HHM CPAs Acquires Local Accounting Firm

Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Henderson Hutcherson & McCullough (FY17 net revenue of $24.4 million), an INSIDE Public Accounting Best of the Best Firm, has announced its acquisition of Grisham Wildman & Work (GWW,) a Memphis, Tenn., firm that focuses on automobile dealerships.

The combined firms will operate as HHM CPAs at HHM’s Memphis location at 1755 Kirby Parkway.

Prior to starting their own firm, Dave Wildman and Jerry Grisham spent more than 15 years working at George B. Jones, one of the first CPA firms to specialize in the automotive industry. They began their own firm in 1993, working with dealerships in the Memphis area and across the nation.

“The automotive industry experience Dave and Jerry bring to the table will complement the depth of service provided by HHM’s dealership group, and we are looking forward to strengthening the relationships with their clients that have been built over their long careers,” says HHM partner Darrin Yoder, who leads the Memphis office dealership practice.

The acquisition brings HHM’s employee total to 155, including the 30 team members in the Memphis office. All GWW’s employees were retained in the merger. Both Wildman and Grisham joined HHM as directors.

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.”

INSIDE Public Accounting Unveils The 2018 Pyramid Awards

INSIDE Public Accounting (IPA) announced that three 2018 Best of the Best Accounting Firms will be recognized with Pyramid Awards this year at the eighth annual PRIME Symposium, Oct. 23-25, in Dallas.

The award recipients this year were: Miami-based MBAF, Pasadena, Calif.-based KROST and Little Rock, Ark.-based Frost PLLC.

MBAF 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 29th annual IPA Survey and Analysis of Firms, which covers finances and operations in dozens of areas. This $124.3 million, IPA 100 firm, with 66 partners and 563 staff, has been named a Best of the Best firm 17 consecutive times.

KROST, once again, received the IPA Best of the Best “Fastest-Growing Pyramid Award.” With a 29.6% growth rate, this firm has demonstrated impressive results with no mergers to enhance that number. This is KROST’s third consecutive year as an IPA Best of the Best firm and Fastest-Growing firm. The $33.1 million firm ranked No. 110 on the IPA 200 list.

Frost PLLC received the IPA Best of the Best “Pyramid Award.” The $29.4 million firm, ranked No. 124 on the IPA 200 list, first appeared as a Best of the Best firm in 1996. Since then, IPA has named Frost a Best of the Best firm 21 times. Frost sustains financial and operational excellence year after year.

View a complete listing of the 2018 IPA Best of the Best.

Subscribe to the INSIDE Public Accounting Newsletter.

Order the 2018 Benchmarking Report.

HHM CPAs Appoints New MP of Memphis Office

Jason Martin

Jason Martin

Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Henderson Hutcherson & McCullough (FY17 net revenue of $24.4 million), an INSIDE Public Accounting Best of the Best Firm, has announced that Jason Martin has been named MP of the Memphis, Tenn., office.

This announcement comes just one year after Martin moved from the Chattanooga office to Memphis. Martin joined the firm’s audit department in Chattanooga in 2011. He was admitted to the partnership in 2016.

“It’s a privilege and honor to lead our firm’s growth efforts in Memphis,” Martin says. “Our firm is made up of a dynamic group of accountants and professionals who have a great passion of serving Memphis area businesses and organizations. Relocating to Memphis was an easy decision given the growth opportunities for our firm and wonderful things my family will now experience in this great city.”

“Jason has been such an asset to the firm,” says Donnie Hutcherson, MP of HHM CPAs’ Chattanooga office. “We miss him in Chattanooga, but his leadership skills, the way he interacts with our employees, and his dedication to client service made him the obvious choice to be the one to introduce Memphis to the HHM way of doing business.”

With over a dozen years of experience in a diverse range of industries, Martin counts construction companies, family-owned and closely held businesses, and governmental institutions among his areas of expertise. In addition to providing traditional audit services to a wide range of clients, he spends much of his time assisting clients solve complex operational challenges. He also provides valuable consulting services to his clients by utilizing his problem-solving skills and his background in fraud investigative and forensic services.

Armanino Adds Experts in HR and Business Development to Law Firm Services Group  

Terri Oppelt

San Ramon, Calif.-based Armanino LLP (FY17 net revenue of $242.7 million) has welcomed industry veterans Terri Oppelt as director and Kendra Edson as client relations and marketing manager to the firm’s law firm services group. Both professionals bring unique service capabilities that help law firms maximize operational efficiency and value.

“Terri and Kendra bring deep expertise in issues critical to law firms, such as profitability and HR compliance, to a practice that is unique in the market,” says David Roberts, PIC of law firm services at Armanino. “Our team has decades of experience working with and inside of law firms, providing a wide array of solutions such as outsourced accounting and operations, firm strategy, succession planning, compensation strategies and more. With the addition of Terri and Kendra, we can now offer solutions to meet even more law firm operating needs in areas such as business development, marketing and HR.”

Armanino is the only firm in the western U.S. with a combined consulting and accounting practice that is exclusively dedicated to serving the business needs of law firms

Oppelt consults in all areas of law firm management and operations, including strategic planning, compensation, accounting and billing, administration support strategies, HR and leadership, organizational change, training and retreats.

Edson leads the team’s business development and marketing initiatives. In her role, she oversees efforts to expand and improve relationships with law firm clients and strategically engage new clients.

Robert Allen Returns to Whitley Penn as Managing Director

Robert Allen

Fort Worth, Texas-based Whitley Penn (FY17 net revenue of $97.6 million), an IPA 100 firm, announces that Robert Allen has rejoined the firm’s Fort Worth office as a managing director in the forensic, litigation and valuation group.

Allen previously worked at Whitley Penn from 2002 to 2008 in the same department. His areas of expertise include business valuation, intangible asset valuation and value enhancement consulting. He works with a number of industries for a variety of purposes, including tax reporting, financial reporting, regulatory compliance, litigation support, management consulting, succession planning and transactional advisory support.

Allen has extensive experience with purchase price allocations (ASC 805), goodwill impairment testing (ASC 350), stock-based compensation/options (ASC 718/IRC 409a), intangible asset valuation, estate and gift tax valuation, litigation and collaborative law matters, buy/sell agreement valuations, fairness opinions, solvency opinions, health care compensation studies and transfer pricing studies.

In addition, he has experience consulting with business owners on valuation and strategic planning issues, including the identification of value drivers and business risks to evaluate the impact on business value, identification of critical success factors and key performance indicators, the development of budgets and forecasts, and strategic benchmarking.

Robinson Grimes & Company Announces Three New Partners

Jenna Kaye Favors

Robinson Grimes & Company of Columbus, Ga. (FY17 net revenue of $13.7 million) announces the admission of three professionals into the partner group.

Jenna Kaye Favors has been with the firm for 14 years. She graduated from Auburn University with a Master of Accounting and is currently a member of AICPA and the Georgia Society of CPAs, and Phoenix City’s Emerging Leaders.

Bo Taber

William “Bo” Taber has been with the firm for seven years. He graduated from Auburn University with degree in finance and earned a post-baccalaureate in accounting at Columbus State University. He serves as the board chair of the National Civil War Naval Museum, the treasurer of the Columbus Optimist Club, and is a member of AICPA and Georgia Society of CPAs.

John Robert Voynich has been with the firm for 11 years. He graduated from the University of Georgia with a Master in Accounting, and has earned a degree in Accounting and Certificate in Servant Leadership from Columbus State University. He is a member of AICPA and Georgia Society of CPAs.

The firm serves a wide variety of clients in our region, and has particular expertise in the areas of real estate, wholesale distribution, governmental, non-profit, construction and health care. In 2017 Robinson Grimes celebrated its 85th anniversary.

INSIDE Public Accounting Unveils 2018 Best of the Best Accounting Firms

Continuing the tradition of more than 25 years, INSIDE Public Accounting (IPA) has unveiled the 2018 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 2018 Best of the Best firms produce superior financial results while planning for long-term, sustainable growth.

In 2018, more than 550 firms were eligible for this accolade by participating in IPA’s Annual Survey and Analysis of Firms.

Best of the Best firms represent the top 10% of all firms that participated in the 2018 IPA Survey and Analysis of Firms. IPA’s proprietary scoring formula looks at a variety of metrics related to growth, income, productivity, tools of governance, staff turnover, time management and other areas that speak to the framework of the firm to determine the Best of the Best.

The IPA Best of the Best firms are presented in three categories:

  • Best of the Best above $5 million in revenue (50 firms ranging from $5 million to more than $600 million)
  • Best of the Best under $5 million in revenue (10 firms ranging from $2 million to $5 million)
  • Best of the Best in Canada (five firms ranging from $7 million to $30 million)

Two-thirds of the Best of the Best firms appeared on the list in both 2016 and 2017, demonstrating an impressive commitment to excellence and sustainability. They represent what is possible in a public accounting firm and are the peer group that high-performing firms can benchmark themselves against.

“Most firms don’t aspire to be average. Best of the Best firms are the peer group to which progressive firms aspire,” says Michael Platt, principal of the Platt Group and publisher of IPA. “In presenting the results of the IPA Best of the Best, we are proud to continue the tradition of expanding the imagination and the understanding of what is possible to achieve in running a public accounting firm.”

IPA also ranks and provides key data points annually for the 300 largest accounting firms in the nation. Visit the INSIDE Public Accounting website for details.

You may order copies of the IPA Best of the Best newsletter (Sept. 2018), the IPA 100, IPA 200 and IPA 300 firm (Aug. 2018) issues by contacting: (317) 733-1920; editor@plattgroupllc.com.

Whitley Penn Plans New Office in Plano

Fort Worth, Texas-based Whitley Penn (FY17 net revenue of $97.6 million) will lease a new 13,451-square-foot office in Plano’s Legacy West.

“Our firm continues to grow at a steady pace, not only in human capital but in the number of clients we support,” says MP Larry Autrey. “We are committed to meeting that demand by placing our professionals in a location that supports the needs of our clients.”

Far North Dallas continues to be one of the most active office markets in the U.S. According to JLL Research, through the second quarter of this year, over 1.49 million square feet of new office space has been completed.

“When the opportunity was presented for us to move into the growing Legacy West area, we knew this was the perfect fit,” says Felix Lozano III, PIC of Whitley Penn’s Dallas office. “The increasing number of clients and employees we have in the North Dallas, Plano and Frisco area made it an easy decision to expand our Dallas presence up north.”

JLL Executive Vice President Calvin Hull represented Whitley Penn in the lease negotiation. CBRE’s David Reed and Ben Davis represented the landlord, Legacy West Investors. DLR Group | Staffelbach is overseeing the interior design.

Whitley Penn will move in to its new office, 5908 Headquarters Drive, in October.

Smith & Howard Names New MP

Sean Taylor

Smith & Howard of Atlanta (FY17 net revenue of $26.6 million) named Sean Taylor as MP, effective Jan. 1, 2019. Taylor assumes the role from longtime MP John Lucht, who will transition to a consultative role in 2019.

“We are extremely excited that Sean will become managing partner in January. He embodies the servant leadership skills and commitment to others’ success that have become the defining principles of our firm. His demonstrated leadership as current partner-in-charge of the Assurances Services group exemplifies the qualities that will propel our firm to the next level over the coming years,” Lucht says.

As MP, Taylor will oversee day-to-day operations, responsible for guiding the firm’s overall strategy, growth, innovation and culture across its audit, tax, accounting and advisory services.

“We owe John our deepest gratitude for the contributions he has made not just as Managing Partner, but throughout his 30-year career at Smith & Howard. His leadership has enabled us to strengthen our standing as an industry leader. Our firm is well-positioned to capitalize on the opportunities ahead,” Taylor says. “I am excited to lead Smith & Howard into the next phase of the firm’s life cycle by focusing on innovation, expanding client service solutions, attracting and welcoming new talent and stretching our footprint across the region.”