Eide Bailly Acquires Xerva to Expand Data Solutions

Xerva, a data analytics and data warehouse as a service (DWaaS) pioneer, will become part of Fargo, N.D.-based Eide Bailly (FY18 net revenue of $299.2 million) on May 1, the firm announced.

“With the proliferation of big data in the market, business intelligence and data analytics services are in high demand from businesses of all sizes and industries,” explains Scott Kost, director of Eide Bailly’s technology consulting practice. “Xerva’s addition is the perfect complement to our existing client offerings because, when you think about it, Eide Bailly works in data every day – whether it’s an audit or an ERP implementation. With this expanded technology specialization, we are better equipped to help our clients understand and get the most out of their business data.”

Xerva, of Orem, Utah, was founded in 2014 with the goal to provide enterprise-level data solutions to the mid-market. Xerva says it focuses on helping clients take control of their “data chaos” and gain real business intelligence from their systems and reporting. Xerva adds more than 20 experienced staff to Eide Bailly’s data analytics team.

“We grew from the realization that mid-market companies have all of the same data challenges that Fortune 500 companies do,” says co-founder Nate Allphin. “Our team brings business intelligence to organizations that often feel enterprise analytics are out of reach.”

“As a firm, we strive to continually develop and provide innovative services and solutions to clients,” says Eide Bailly CEO Dave Stende. “Offering the right technology is an essential element to that success. The Xerva team will be a tremendous addition to our award-winning technology practice.”

The announcement comes on the heels of a number of mergers to build on cybersecurity, NetSuite ERP and Salesforce CRM practices. “This move signals a growing shift in the professional services and accounting industry to embrace technology as a key facet to long-term success and market stability – both for themselves and for their clients,” the firm says.

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Canadian Firm To Merge In Firm With Strong Ag Practice

Calgary, Alberta-based MNP, Canada’s fifth-largest accounting firm, has announced that it will merge in Thomson & Hamilton of Parkhill, Ontario, on July 8.

Rick Hamilton and his team provide financial statement assurance and accounting services, corporate, personal and tax compliance services, basic bookkeeping and small business accounting advice. Hamilton’s clients include a large proportion of agriculture businesses, particularly in the dairy, poultry, swine and beef sectors.

MNP has one of the largest agriculture practices in the country, and firm leaders say they are proud to be a “uniquely Canadian” firm.

While Hamilton was looking to find new ways to help his clients succeed, MNP was looking to build its growing agriculture presence in southwestern Ontario.

“One of our own goals has been to add more resources, including gaining access to more specialized services and a broader range of industry expertise and experience in the agriculture space, so that we can better provide our clients with even greater value in the future,” Hamilton says.

Doug Greenhow, MP of MNP’s Southwestern Ontario business, says Hamilton and his team are a great fit as MNP. “We are known across Canada’s agricultural communities as being one of the most trusted accounting and business consulting firms, so we are excited to welcome Rick – who is a well-established local leader in this field – to our firm,” he says.

In addition to tax and accounting expertise, MNP delivers a range of advisory services to agriculture businesses, including consulting, corporate finance, succession planning, insolvency and restructuring, technology solutions and cyber security, and agriculture tax strategy consulting.

“MNP has always been very strategic about who we invite to join the family,” says Greenhow. “Both MNP’s and Rick Hamilton’s cultures and values are well aligned, and we share the same passion for and commitment to agriculture as one of Canada’s core industries.”

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CohnReznick Former Chairman and CEO Passes Away

Ken Baggett

Ken Baggett

Kenneth E. Baggett, former Chairman of the Board at New York-based CohnReznick, passed away, according to an announcement from the firm.

As co-CEO of CohnReznick and, later, Chairman of the Board, Baggett helped establish CohnReznick as a top national advisory, assurance, and tax firm and was instrumental in propelling its growth. For nine years, he served as managing principal and CEO of the CohnReznick predecessor firm Reznick Group, leading it to a top 20 national ranking among public accounting firms.

Much of his work focused on building and strengthening communities. As a trusted advisor to clients and colleagues alike, his technical knowledge and broad industry experience was matched by a warm sense of humor and deep compassion for others. His expertise encompassed a range of real estate and tax issues related to the development and structuring of multi-family and commercial ventures. He provided structuring advice to developers, builders, syndicators, investment banks, corporate investors, and housing finance agencies. He was also extensively involved with student and military housing development; advised clients on low-income housing tax credit issues; and represented numerous long-term healthcare facilities and clients involved with rehabilitation and revitalization projects. To say he was a luminary in real estate is not an overstatement.

Baggett earned many honors for his contributions to the accounting profession. In 2017, he was inducted into The Advisory Board’s “Winning Is Everything” Hall of Fame which recognizes leaders whose influence advances the CPA profession and leaves a legacy of innovation. He was consistently listed as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Accountants” by Accounting Today and as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Practitioners” by CPA Magazine. For three consecutive years, he was recognized by his peers as one of INSIDE Public Accounting’s five Most Admired Peers. He served as a past World Chair of the International Group of Accounting Firms (now PrimeGlobal). A proud and active alumnus of Auburn University, Baggett was recognized as one of the top 40 alumni in the last 40 years by its School of Business and was named an outstanding alumnus by the Auburn University School of Accountancy.

Baggett spent much of his career in Atlanta before retiring near his beloved alma mater in Auburn, Alabama. He served as president and board member of the Georgia Affordable Housing Coalition, served on the board of Government Transformation Initiative, and was president and board member of the Auburn University School of Accountancy Advisory Council.

He is survived by his wife Missy, his two sons Chris (Emily) and Cole (Montsé), and two beloved grandchildren, Polly and William. He leaves a legacy of innovation and community service that continues to inspire his CohnReznick family, industry colleagues, and friends.

Mauldin & Jenkins Acquires Jon Campbell & Associates

Atlanta-based Mauldin & Jenkins LLC (FY18 net revenue of $50.6 million) announced the acquisition of Jon Campbell & Associates of Brandon, Fla., an advisory firm providing professional services to financial institutions. On March 15, Jon Campbell & Associates officially joined the Bradenton, Fla., office, of Mauldin & Jenkins.

Jon Campbell & Associates is made up of professionals who provide trusted advisory services including risk management, internal audit, regulatory compliance, and information technology services. Their proven success adds to the wealth of services Mauldin & Jenkins offers. Providing quality service to clients, building a firm that will stand the test of time, and providing opportunities for employees remain Mauldin & Jenkins’ key objectives.

“This combination gives the Mauldin & Jenkins’ financial services team additional resources while significantly increasing our firm’s presence and recognition within the State of Florida,” says Hanson Borders, MP, Mauldin & Jenkins. “We believe this combination will strategically integrate and align with both our existing Florida financial services practice as well as our firmwide financial services practice by continuing the Jon Campbell & Associates’ long-term reputation and legacy for excellent client service.”

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REDW Adds Tribal Gaming CPA Firm Smith Harrison

Albuquerque, N.M.-based REDW (FY17 net revenue of $29.7 million) is merging in merging in Smith Harrison of Las Vegas, which specializes in tribal gaming, effective May 1, 2019. The combined firm will operate under the REDW brand.

As part of the merger, partners Joe H. Smith and Adam H. Smith will join REDW as senior consultant and senior manager, respectively. They will both continue to work from their current Las Vegas location, where REDW is considering expanding its operations at a later time.

“REDW’s decision to add Joe and Adam to the REDW team is part of its overall strategic plan to continue to expand its offerings and geographic footprint in the Southwest and nationally,” says Steve Cogan, REDW’s managing principal. “The addition of Smith Harrison fits our vision perfectly, as it will augment our reach and capabilities and help tribal gaming organizations succeed in today’s highly competitive market.”

Smith Harrison was founded in 2011 by Joe Smith. Due to its unique industry expertise and attention to client service, the firm earned a national reputation for being a trusted advisor to tribal casino operations. He is the former director of audits and finance at the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) in Washington D.C. with four decades of casino industry experience. Among his accomplishments are establishing and implementing the Class III NIGC Minimum Internal Control Standards (MICS).

Adam Smith is also an experienced professional providing accounting, auditing and financial management services to the casino industry and has played a key role in the success of the firm.

Joe Smith says, “The business needs of tribes have been expanding over the years, growing in complexity and sophistication. To meet this demand, we’ve been exploring opportunities with a number of firms over the last three years, seeking one that shares our same values and a total commitment to tribes and their enterprises. And we have found REDW to be the best fit.”

Adam Smith adds, “No firm can compete with the extensive capabilities and experience of REDW, now enhanced by the addition of Smith Harrison LLP.”

Corrine Wilson, REDW principal and national tribal practice leader, says, “An essential part of serving tribes and their enterprises in the marketplace and expanding our national tribal practice is gaming, which is one reason we are so thrilled to welcome Joe and Adam to the team.”

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Marcum LLP Merges in Guyder Hurley

New York-based Marcum (FY17 net revenue of $469.5 million) has merged Guyder Hurley of Braintree, Mass., into its Boston office as of March 1.

The Guyder Hurley team adds 17 associates, including one partner and one managing director, to Marcum’s New England region.

Founded in 2000, Guyder Hurley is a full-service accounting firm specializing in the affordable housing industry. The firm’s clients include public housing authorities, HUD multi-family housing projects, low-income housing tax credit developments, state and local affordable housing developments, health and human service organizations, and community development organizations. The firm’s service portfolio encompasses financial statement and compliance audits, compilations and reviews, bookkeeping, tax and consulting.

“There are clear natural synergies between Guyder Hurley’s housing specialization and our national government services group, as well as with Raffa-Marcum’s nonprofit and social sector group. The complementary nature of our businesses is a blueprint for expanding our portfolio of services to our clients and our mutual opportunities to grow,” says CEO Jeffrey Weiner.

“Marcum’s openness in recognizing the value that we can add to their business and the ability they give us to expand our service profile nationally is a formula for success,” says assurance services partner Michael Guyder.

The firm’s government services group provides auditing, accounting, financial reporting and management advisory/consulting services to a broad spectrum of governmental entities. In addition to public housing authorities and related entities, the group’s clients include counties, school districts, local municipalities, community redevelopment agencies, special districts, quasi-governmental agencies, public employee retirement systems and utilities.

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CPAmerica to Add Two Members in April

Sobul Primes & Schenkel of Los Angeles and Stoy Malone & Company of Baltimore will join the accounting association CPAmerica.

Established in 1981, Sobul Primes & Schenkel provides closely held entrepreneurial clients with the same standards, competency and professionalism as any of the major national accounting firms, CPAmerica announced.

“We believe becoming part of such a vibrant association will have a tremendous positive impact on our firm in many different areas,” says Rick Schenkel, managing shareholder. “We look forward to all of the benefits that a group like this offers to its members and feel confident that the affiliation will be another important part of our business plan.” He says he believes membership will lead to significant growth.

Formed in 1917, Stoy Malone & Company offers a broad range of services to individuals, businesses, business owners and non-profit organizations.

John B. Kincaid Jr., managing shareholder, says, “The resources available through CPAmerica will allow us new opportunities to grow our firm. We are looking forward to embracing the core value of the association – improving through sharing.”

The association of independent, certified public accounting firms provides shared best practices, networking opportunities and access to expert resources for member firms. These new members are the third and fourth firms to join the accounting association since the beginning of 2019. CPAmerica is a member of Crowe Global, which has members in more than 750 offices in more than 130 countries.

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Murray Elected Managing Shareholder at Weinstein Spira

Kristin Murray

Kristin Murray

Weinstein Spira of Houston announced that Kristin Murray has been elected the firm’s managing shareholder.

Murray succeeds Dianne Peckham, the firm’s first female managing shareholder who served for nine years. Peckham will continue serving her clients and acting as a resource until her retirement on June 30.

“I am delighted to lead Weinstein Spira into its next stage of growth, guiding the firm through the evolution of the accounting environment of the future. We know changes are coming and I am confident that our forward-looking approach will allow us continued success,” says Murray.

Murray brings a deep knowledge and solid experience in tax, change leadership and firm administration that will be integral in executing initiatives critical to meeting the firm’s strategic goals.

“I have worked closely with Kristin for the past 10 years, and I know she will be a great leader for Weinstein Spira,” says Peckham. “Her contributions and commitment to the firm have been immeasurable. I look forward to seeing where she takes Weinstein Spira in the years to come.”

After starting her career with an international public accounting firm, Murray joined Johnson Baur & Carrillo as a partner in 1998.  She later became a shareholder at Weinstein Spira when the two firms merged in 2008.

With more than 25 years of hands-on experience directing, delivering and supporting progressive firm processes and initiatives, Murray has been a critical driver behind Weinstein Spira’s push for increased efficiencies, valuable client service offerings and a welcoming culture. As managing shareholder, she will oversee firm operations, spearhead further innovation and foster the environment for an exceptional culture.

Blucora to Acquire 1st Global

Two tax-focused independent broker-dealers (IBD) are coming together. Blucora, the parent company of the IBD HD Vest and the software maker TaxAct, have entered into an agreement to buy 1st Global for about $180 million in stock. Both are based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

With 1st Global’s 850 advisors and $18 billion in client assets, the combined entity should have close to 4,500 advisors and $60 billion in total assets, Blucora says. 1st Global, the No. 2 tax-focused independent broker-dealer based on total revenue, specializes in servicing large, multi-partner accounting firms, while HD Vest, the No. 1 tax-focused independent broker-dealer, focuses primarily on converting individual tax preparers into wealth advisors.

Tony Batman, chairman and CEO of 1st Global, says, “Given Blucora’s strong business model and demonstrated execution, and the similarities between the businesses, we believe Blucora is the ideal acquirer for us. We know that Blucora shares our vision and that together we are better and stronger with the shared talent and expertise of the two businesses. This will provide our advisors and their clients with even greater service, support and solutions for years to come.”

The deal comes more than three years after Blucora announced plans to buy HD Vest, which had 4,500 financial advisors with $36 billion in assets at the time.

“Blucora dominates the tax preparer/advisor market space, [and] they further increase their dominance with the purchase of 1st Global,” says IBD recruiter Jon Henschen. “1st Global was originally a spin-off from HD Vest, with Tony Batman founding the firm with the same focus of tax preparers as HD Vest but focusing on having higher average-production-per-advisor requirements than HD Vest.”

Recently, 1st Global released the results of its advisor satisfaction survey, which found that more than 97% are pleased with service and support and would recommend affiliating with 1st Global to another financial advisor or CPA.

Deloitte US Elects Ucuzoglu CEO, Foutty Chair

Joseph Ucuzoglu

Joseph Ucuzoglu

Joseph Ucuzoglu has been elected CEO and Janet Foutty has been elected chair of the board of New York-based Deloitte (FY17 net revenue of $18.6 billion), the largest accounting firm in the country. Both terms begin June 2.

Ucuzoglu and Foutty will succeed current Deloitte US CEO Cathy Engelbert and chairman Mike Fucci at the conclusion of their four-year terms. In July, the firm told its partners that Engelbert, the first woman to run a Big 4 firm in the U.S., would not be renominated for a second four-year term. In December, Ucuzoglu and Foutty were named the official candidates, subject to a vote this year.

“Joe’s distinguished record of serving our clients and driving transformative, technology-driven change positions him to lead our firm as clients, the capital markets, and society at large turn to Deloitte to navigate the opportunities brought on by the fourth industrial revolution” says Fucci in a statement. “Janet’s extensive leadership experience across multiple dimensions of our businesses, combined with her deep understanding of technology and innovation, the workforce of the future, and her commitment to inclusion have earned her a broad followership internally and externally.”

He added, “I would like to offer my gratitude to Cathy, a recognized leader in the business community who has led Deloitte US during her term to record growth while making significant investments in innovation and supporting our people’s professional lives and career journeys with a series of groundbreaking initiatives.”

Ucuzoglu currently serves as the chair and CEO of Deloitte & Touche LLP, where he has overseen all aspects of the transformation of the audit and assurance practice over the past four years. Ucuzoglu serves several of Deloitte’s largest clients and serves on Deloitte Global’s board of directors.

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