New MP for Tampa Office at Frazier & Deeter

Mike Hendricks

Mike Hendricks

Atlanta-based Frazier & Deeter (FY15 net revenue of $66.9 million) announced that tax partner Mike Hendricks has been named the new MP for the Tampa office of the firm.

Hendricks joined the Tampa office in 2014 while also serving as the co-chair of Frazier & Deeter’s national tax practice.

“We are delighted to have Mike lead the Tampa team into its next stage of growth as our business across Florida expands,” says Seth McDaniel, MP. “Mike’s strong leadership skills and tax expertise will make him an asset to our team, our clients and the business community in this new role.”

Hendricks says, “The Tampa/St. Petersburg region has a vibrant business community and our firm plans to be an active contributor.”

Hendricks’ responsibilities include providing comprehensive tax advisory services, as well as federal, state and local tax compliance services to individual and business clients. His industry expertise is concentrated in the areas of manufacturing, retail, distribution, construction and technology.

Armanino Admits Five Partners

Michael Boulton

Michael Boulton

San Ramon, Calif.-based Armanino (FY15 net revenue of $164.2 million) announced that Michael Boulton, Stacie Kowalczyk, Tony Lam, Min Riblett and Sergio Salas have been admitted as partners.

New partners include professionals in tax, audit and consulting services in five offices across California. Each has demonstrated exceptional client service and leadership, and many have served on the firm’s management advisory board or women’s advancement network. With women making up 40% of internal partners this year, the firm is making progress toward the network’s goal of elevating women to leadership positions.

Stacie Kowalczyk

Stacie Kowalczyk

“We have an exceptional group of public accounting pros joining the partnership this year. Over the years they have each contributed greatly to the success of the firm,” says MP Andy Armanino.

Michael Boulton, audit partner, is based in the firm’s San Jose office and has more than 10 years of experience in public accounting. He specializes in financial statement audits of nonprofit organizations and private and publicly held middle-market businesses.

Tony Lam

Tony Lam

Stacie Kowalczyk, audit partner, works in the firm’s San Francisco office and has more than 12 years of experience providing audits, reviews and other attestation services to for-profit entities in the retail, consumer products, smart grid technology and professional services industries. She also has extensive experience providing audit services to nonprofit organizations who receive federal funding needing a single audit.

Tony Lam, tax partner, works in the firm’s San Ramon office where he assists closely held businesses on tax consulting and compliance. With more than 15 years of experience, he leads the firm’s tax training program.

Min Riblett

Min Riblett

Min Riblett, tax partner, works in San Ramon and has more than 10 years of experience with a specialty in tax planning, consulting and compliance for closely held businesses and high-net-worth individuals and families. She is fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese, and is a founding member of the firm’s women’s advancement network.

Sergio Salas

Sergio Salas

Sergio Salas, tax partner, is based in the firm’s Los Angeles office and has more than 17 years of experience. Sergio specializes in the real estate industry, advising clients on their personal taxes, as well as real estate transaction and deal structures. He also has extensive experience in partnership taxation.

Withum’s Latest Video Aims to Bust Stereotypes

Princeton, N.J.-based WithumSmith+Brown (FY16 net revenue of $147.1 million) has produced its annual ‘State of the Firm’ video, and this one takes aim at accountants’ reputation as being boring bean counters.

As the firm says, “Withum is not your parents’ public accounting firm. Not even close.”

MP and CEO Bill Hagaman says, “We unveiled a video showcasing how Withum and its more than 800 employees are shattering industry stereotypes – as number crunchers, journal jugglers and pencil pushers – that have plagued our profession for decades. At Withum, we genuinely get excited about our work – we have passion and fun and look beyond the numbers on a piece of paper.”

An IPA Best of the Best firm, Withum is ranked No. 27 on the latest IPA 100 list.

According to Hagaman, Withum employees are financial artists, so to speak. “Our firm is a place where creativity, innovation and diverse thought processes are encouraged and expected. This is our strength and how we express our underlying values – the Withum Way – internally and to our clients.”

During Withum’s annual State of the Firm meeting, Hagaman also provided staff an overview of the firm’s strategic plan for organic and service-area growth. In addition, he offered a favorable forecast for accounting as a career.

Grassi & Co. and James Bohl, CPA Merge

New York-based Grassi & Co. (FY16 net revenue of $53 million) has merged in James Bohl, CPA, which is now known as Grassi Franchise Services.

The merger of the two firms will bring an additional 25 professionals to Grassi & Co.’s team, including James Bohl as a new partner.

MP Louis Grassi believes the success of the firm relies on entrepreneurialism, both in how the firm is run and in how its professionals approach clients’ needs and challenges, the firm announced.

“Enhancing our services to include franchising enables us to expand our breadth of services and attract a new and exciting pool of clients,” Grassi says. “James Bohl and his team have a rich history of providing high-quality services and we are looking forward to leveraging their years of experience in order to continue to meet and exceed the expectations of James’ current client base and any prospective clients.”

Bohl says Grassi & Co. shares the same culture and mission as his firm. “The same team that built James Bohl CPA is staying in place and remains committed to our core mission of providing the best possible service to our clients.”

AKT Announces Name Change to Aldrich

Salem, Ore.-based AKT Group (FY15 net revenue of $46.1 million), an IPA Best of the Best firm, has announced a name change to The Aldrich Group.aldrich-logo_2017

The firm announced that the new name is a way to go back to its roots. “Our founder, Kent Aldrich, had an entrepreneurial spirit that remains woven throughout the fabric of our firm. We honor his vision by using the name that started it all, Aldrich,” the firm says. The change reflects the “one-on-one relationships that have carried our brand for 40 years.”

“We live in a dynamic marketplace, companies are evolving, and it’s time for our next chapter,” says CEO Martin Moll. “Acknowledging our founder, Kent Aldrich, our growth will continue with the same ambition and determination that started our company in 1973,” says Moll, who on Jan. 1 succeeded Steve Tatone, an IPA Most Admired Peer who became chairman of the board. “Our commitment to improving the lives of our people, our clients and our communities does not waiver.”

The Aldrich Group includes Aldrich CPAs + Advisors LLP, Aldrich Wealth LP, Aldrich Retirement Solutions LP, Aldrich Benefits LP, and Aldrich Business Transitions LP.

In addition to the name change, the firm is unveiling a new logo, a refresh to its website, and a new look and feel to its digital and print presence. The transition from AKT to Aldrich will be complete in 2017.

Whitley Penn Admits New Partners

Daniel Boarder

Daniel Boarder

Fort Worth, Texas-based Whitley Penn (FY15 net revenue of $72.4 million) has announced that Daniel Boarder, Kimberly DeWoody, Lupe Garcia and Brian Mitchell have been admitted into the partnership.

Boarder joined the firm in 2014 as the managing director of transaction advisory services in the Dallas office. Boarder has more than 18 years of experience assisting private-equity firms and corporate buyers in evaluating potential company merger and acquisition targets. He has managed several hundred engagements with transactions ranging from less than $1 million to over $750 million.

Kimberly DeWoody

Kimberly DeWoody

DeWoody joined the firm in 2007 as an audit staffer in the Fort Worth office. Since joining the firm she has dedicated her professional focus to the energy industry and has consistently progressed through the career ladder providing audit and advisory services to a variety of clients.

Lupe Garcia

Lupe Garcia

Garcia joined the firm in 2007 as an audit staffer in the Houston office. Garcia has dedicated his career to serving public sector clients including counties, cities, school districts, universities and community colleges and other special-purpose governments. He also assists with public sector audit training, both internally and externally.

Brian Mitchell

Brian Mitchell

Mitchell joined Whitley Penn in 2015 as the director of international tax. Mitchell has more than 18 years of combined professional experience in public accounting and as a tax executive in industry. Throughout his career, he has developed a deep understanding of tax matters and has significant experience in tax planning, compliance, and risk management for the U.S. taxation of cross-border transactions. Mitchell has experience working with various types of companies in regard to the U.S. anti-deferral rules, foreign tax credits, sourcing rules, foreign currency and other international tax matters.

Gursey | Schneider Admits Gillespie, Ward to Partnership

Kristen Gillespie

Kristen Gillespie

Los Angeles-based Gursey | Schneider (FY15 net revenue of $31.5 million), an IPA Best of the Best firm that specializes in litigation support, tax services and business management, announces the promotions of Kristen Gillespie and Shannon Ward to partner.

Gillespie specializes in forensic accounting in family law matters and performs a wide range of accounting services including business appraisals, analyses of gross cash flow available for support, analyses of marital standard of living and reimbursement claims.

Shannon Ward

Shannon Ward

Ward specializes in income, gift and estate tax planning, as well as income tax compliance and audit defense for high-net-worth individuals and their business interests, trusts and private foundations. She designs and helps implement tax-efficient estate plans to meet the business succession and wealth transfer goals of her clients. She also has significant experience consulting on tax issues related to divorce.

Gursey | Schneider has California offices in Century City, Irvine, Torrance, Encino, San Diego and San Francisco. The firm has been named an IPA Best of the Best firm every year since 2011.

Valuation Firm Joining Armanino in January

San Ramon, Calif.-based Armanino LLP (FY15 net revenue of $164.2 million), ranked No. 25 on the IPA 100 list, has announced that valuation expert Financial Strategies Consulting Group (FSCG) is joining Armanino, effective Jan. 1.

The Lafayette, California-based group has more than 20 years of experience advising businesses of all sizes on their valuation needs, bringing experience and expertise to early stage companies through IPO and M&A liquidity events.

“We’re very excited that FSCG is joining with Armanino. It is one of the most respected valuation providers in the nation, working with companies from all stages of the business lifecycle,” says Matt Armanino, COO of Armanino LLP. “We have known FSCG’s founder for many years and know the company shares our values when it comes to delivering the highest level of client service and empowering highly professional staff to succeed.”

The combination enhances the Armanino valuation team’s ability to service a broader spectrum of companies with deeper expertise. At the same time, FSCG clients can now access a variety of accounting and consulting solutions such as: tax advisory, M&A advisory, equity accounting and administration solutions, Sarbanes-Oxley compliance and internal audit support, and a wide breadth of technology consulting solutions including ERP, CRM, budget and forecasting, and business reporting and analytics.

“This combination brings together two experienced teams that share a commitment to supporting clients’ success and helping them with all their valuation needs. Our team looks forward to joining with Armanino where we can reach even greater heights together,” says Greg Ansel, principal and founder of FSCG.

In the new year, the FSCG team will relocate to Armanino’s headquarters office in San Ramon, Calif. Clients will experience no disruption of services during the transition and will continue to work with the same team they have known and trusted for many years, the firms announced.

Kiesling Associates to Join BKD

What consultant Allan Koltin calls one of the “fastest merger discussions ever” has resulted in the decision that West Des Moines, Iowa-based Kiesling Associates (FY15 net revenue of $13.4 million) will merge on Dec. 4 with Midwest powerhouse Springfield, Mo.-based BKD (FY16 net revenue of $537.6 million).

The first meeting between the firms was in mid-August, says Koltin, CEO of the Koltin Consulting Group, who advised both firms. “Although the accounting industry doesn’t keep statistics on the fastest merger discussions ever between two Top 200 firms, I have to assume this one now holds the record,” he said following the merger announcement this morning. BKD is ranked No. 12 on the 2016 IPA 100 list of largest firms in the country.

Kiesling, with personnel in Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado and Wisconsin, is well known nationally for its deep expertise in the telecommunications industry, but was interested in expanding into other areas.

“This is truly a win-win for both firms,” says BKD regional MP Barry Davis. “The combination strengthens BKD’s presence throughout the Midwest and provides Kiesling with additional resources for existing clients as well as enhanced growth opportunities beyond their current niche practice.” BKD CEO Ted Dickman says, “Kiesling’s commitment to client service and true expertise will help us achieve our goals as we move forward.”

Koltin says Kiesling is a high-performing firm with young partners, so succession was not an issue in the merger. Leaders were looking for a firm interested in their geography and that culture “trumped everything,” Koltin says. “It had to be an innovative firm with great leadership and a great place for their associates to work and grow professionally.”

Talks rapidly progressed. “The only disagreement I could recall was on a Saturday in late October and it was between the Kiesling partners about who would win the annual Wisconsin-Iowa football game,” Koltin says. “As the old saying goes, when it’s right, it’s right.”

With the addition of Kiesling, BKD will have 35 offices in 16 states and about 2,600 personnel, including more than 270 partners. It also serves clients around the world as the largest U.S. member of Praxity, AISBL, a global alliance of independent firms.

BDO Merges in McPhillips Roberts & Deans

Chicago-based BDO (FY16 net revenue of $1.3 billion) has announced its expansion into southeastern Virginia with the acquisition of McPhillips Roberts & Deans (MRD) (FY16 net revenue of $14.7 million) of Norfolk, Va.

MRD, with 80 staff, including 14 partners, has been ranked a Best of the Best firm for five consecutive years. Founded in 1972, MRD provides a full range of accounting, tax and retirement plan services to a client base of privately held middle market businesses in the Hampton Roads region. The practice is strong in health care, government and construction contractors, real estate, auto dealerships and nonprofits.

MRD has been a member of the BDO Alliance USA since 2010. Combined with BDO’s existing offices in McLean and Richmond, BDO will have more than 400 professionals serving Virginia clients. The combination of BDO and MRD is expected to be completed on Nov. 1.

“This combination provides us with a strong presence in the Hampton Roads region, stretching our geographic footprint to southeastern Virginia, and MRD’s experience in the health care, real estate, nonprofit and government contracting sectors melds nicely with our existing industry strengths,” says Wayne Berson, CEO of BDO USA.

As members of the BDO Alliance USA, MRD has worked alongside BDO partners and staff for many years, says CEO Edward Amorosso, who will serve as the MP for BDO’s Norfolk practice.

“We have a long history of strong relationships with emerging businesses and entrepreneurial individuals in the Hampton Roads community. By combining with BDO we will build on that tradition,” says Amorosso. “Clients will still receive the same close personal attention they have come to expect from our team, but now they will have access to a wider array of solutions, broader industry experience, and the full coverage of BDO’s global network.”