Grassi & Co. Admits Michael Violano as an Audit Partner

Michael A. Violano

New York-based Grassi & Co. (FY17 net revenue of $60.8 million) has announced that Michael A. Violano was admitted as an audit partner in the manufacturing and distribution practice.

Violano, who will lead the building materials sub-segment, has over 15 years of experience providing audit, accounting and consulting services to companies ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500s in the public and private sectors in both domestic and international markets.

“Michael has been an integral part of helping us expand our growing M&D practice and has demonstrated exemplary service to each and every client,” says MP and CEO Louis C. Grassi. Violano is based in the firm’s Jericho, N.Y., office.

CohnReznick Announces Senior Leadership Appointments

Gary Levy

New York-based CohnReznick (FY17 net revenue of $617 million) has made key leadership appointments.

Gary Levy has been named chief strategy and growth officer, reporting to Frank Longobardi, CEO. Levy is responsible for driving profitable growth and ensuring world-class client service as well as heading up strategic alignment across CohnReznick’s industries, geographies and practices. He also oversees marketing and business development. He most recently served as MP of the consumer, hospitality and manufacturing practice.

Phil Mandel has been named chief operating officer, also reporting to Longobardi. Mandel will focus onoperational efficiency and “translating strategic vision into action.” Mandel has 30 years of leadership, accounting, auditing, tax and consulting experience. A member of the firm’s executive board, he served for three years as CohnReznick’s regional MP for the Northeast.

Phillip Mandel

Cindy McLoughlin has been named MP of the consumer, hospitality and manufacturing practice. She is responsible for leadingstrategy, driving growth and developing services and industry-specific solutions for the practice. She will continue as leader of CohnReznick’s hospitality practice. McLoughlin has more than 20 years of experience, including specialization in SEC audit requirements for public companies and audit services for large and private equity-backed hospitality portfolio companies.

Alan Wolfson has been named regional MP for the Northeast, and will report to the CEO. He leads growth strategy and management for the region, including management of clients, employees and financial strategy as well as direct oversight of the region’s seven OMPs. A member of the executive board, Wolfson was previously OMP of the New York office.

Tama Huang

Jay Levy has been named OMP of the firm’s headquarters in New York. He is responsible for driving revenue and growth for office and for setting strategy that ensures client service excellence. He also serves as financial services industry leader. Levy has more than 35 years of audit, tax and consulting experience, working with an array of financial services clientele.

“Growth, innovation and developing our people are core to our firm strategy and to our brand promise of helping clients achieve their vision,” says Longobardi. “Gary, Phil, Cindy, Alan and Jay each bring to their new roles a clear and inspiring vision for elevating our success in those key areas.”

In addition to these appointments, CohnReznick previously announced that Tama Huang has joined the firm as its first chief innovation officer.

Baker Tilly Expands Further into Texas Market with Merger

Chicago-based Baker Tilly (FY18 net revenue of $578.4 million), the 13th largest accounting firm in the country, has announced a merger with  Plano, Texas-based Montgomery Coscia Greilich (FY17 net revenue of $54 million).

The combination is expected to finalize on June 1, and is seen as way to expand the firm’s presence in Texas, where the firm already has office in Houston, Dallas, Austin and Fort Worth.

Alan Whitman, Baker Tilly CEO, calls Montgomery Coscia Greilich (MCG) one of the fastest-growing firms in the country – “a real testament to their progressive culture, innovative approach to business and deep-rooted relationships.”

Baker Tilly says MCG’s expertise in assurance, tax services, sales and use tax, and consulting services complement its own industry specializations in manufacturing and distribution, private equity, health care, real estate and international services.

“There is genuine respect and a strong cultural alignment between MCG and Baker Tilly,” MCG MP Gary Boyd said in a statement. “Each firm has an entrepreneurial spirit that brings together exceptional talent and complementary skillsets with a focus on people and a commitment to maximizing client value.”

Allan Koltin, CEO of Koltin Consulting Group, who advised both firms in the deal says MCG is a firm that has grown quickly through organic growth. “Equally impressive is the outstanding talent and leadership they have been able to attract. Baker Tilly is well on their way to becoming a national powerhouse – while keeping their entrepreneurial culture and passion for serving clients. These fundamentals shared by MCG are ultimately what brought the two firms together.”

Last fall, the firm expanded to Houston by merging in MiddletonRaines+Zapata. In August, Baker Tilly merged in RGL Forensics, a global financial investigations and forensic accounting firm. Earlier this month, Baker Tilly announced a three-way combination with municipal advisory firms Indianapolis-based H.J. Umbaugh and Associates (FY17 net revenue of $24.2 million) and Springsted Inc., which has eight offices around the country.

Di Sibio Elected as Next EY Global Chairman, CEO

Carmine Di Sibio

Big 4 firm EY announces that Carmine Di Sibio has been elected as the next EY global chairman and CEO, succeeding Mark Weinberger, who steps down July 1.

Di Sibio now serves as EY Global MP for client service, a post he has held since 2013. He has overall responsibility for the four geographical EY areas and four service lines. He has played a critical role in EY’s innovation efforts, including managing EY’s $1 billion investment in new technologies. He has been one of the key architects of the organization’s acquisitions and alliances strategy, and co-chairs the EY Global Diversity and Inclusiveness Steering Committee.

Weinberger says, “Carmine is an outstanding and inclusive leader who has a foundation in audit and in serving the largest EY clients. He is a leader who understands the importance of diverse and inclusive teams, and he knows how to engage people to reach their full potential.”

Di Sibio adds, “I am honored to be chosen to lead this great organization, which I have been part of for over 33 years. The role we play in the capital markets and the work each and every one of the 270,000 EY people do every day to create a better working world are things of which I’m very proud.”

As EY Global Chairman and CEO, Weinberger led the transformation of EY as it adapted to a rapidly changing market. Since 2012, the organization has achieved an annual compound revenue growth rate of 8.5%, resulting in a 50% increase in revenues, and it added more than 100,000 EY people, including 20,000 data and analytics practitioners and over 2,000 data scientists, the firm says.

McKonly & Asbury Takes Ownership in Dale Carnegie Mid-Atlantic Franchise

Camp Hill, Pa.-based McKonly & Asbury (FY17 net revenue of $9.8 million) announces its partnership with Dale Carnegie Mid-Atlantic, a long-standing client of the firm.

On Jan. 1, McKonly & Asbury became an owner of the Dale Carnegie Mid-Atlantic franchise, which is recognized consistently as one of the top 10 franchises in the world by Dale Carnegie & Associates. Founded in 1912, Dale Carnegie has evolved from one man’s belief in the power of self-improvement to a performance-based training company with offices in over 85 countries.

“We see this partnership with Dale Carnegie as an extension of services that McKonly & Asbury can provide to our clients so we can continue to be a true business partner for them. It expands the depth and breadth of our expertise in the areas of leadership, team-building and people development while broadening our footprint into the Maryland, northern Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia marketplaces,” says MP Kurt Trimarchi. “We are confident that these new service offerings will allow us to develop deeper relationships with existing clients and to open doors to new ones.”

Dale Carnegie designs programs that offer people the knowledge, skills and practices they need to add value to the organization. “For over a century, Dale Carnegie has been improving individual and business performance around the world,” the firm says in a statement. “While their training techniques continue to evolve, their core principles remain true to a single vision: real transformation begins within.”

Dale Carnegie offers programs in leadership, management development, customer engagement, service, sales, communication, and other related programs.

The 2019 IPA Accounting Firm National Benchmarking Surveys Are Open For Participation

The 2019 INSIDE Public Accounting (IPA) Annual Survey and Analysis of Firms is now open to all accounting firms in North America. The results of the annual survey are compiled in the IPA National Benchmarking Report. The data is also used to rank the IPA 100, 200, 300 and 400 firms, and the coveted IPA Best of the Best firms. If you would like to participate, please contact our office.

DEADLINES FOR SURVEY SUBMISSIONS – FIRMS WITH FISCAL YEAR-ENDS OF…

…May 2018 through December 2018: May 3, 2019

…January 2019 through March 2019: May 31, 2019

…April 2019: June 14, 2019

Note: IPA will not accept any submission post June 28, 2019

THE 2019 IPA SURVEY AND THE INTERNAL OPERATIONAL SURVEYS ARE OPEN FOR PARTICIPATION

Your firm must complete the IPA Survey and Analysis form in order to participate in any of the Internal Operational Surveys (Firm Administration, Human Resources and Information Technology). If you would like to participate, contact our office.

BENEFITS OF PARTICIPATION

If you participate in the survey, your firm will be included in the largest annual management of an accounting practice (MAP) survey in the country. Survey respondents are benchmarked with more than 550 firms nationwide and will be ranked among this year’s top firms in the IPA 100, IPA 200, IPA 300 and IPA 400. Your firm will also be eligible to be named an IPA Best of the Best Firm in the nation.

You will receive a complimentary copy of the August 2019 issue of the award-winning INSIDE Pubic Accounting newsletter. This issue highlights the annual IPA 100, 200 and 300 firm rankings, along with a detailed financial and operational analysis of the rankings.

You will also receive an electronic complimentary copy of the 2019 Executive Summary of the IPA National Benchmarking Report. If you participate in any or all of the Internal Operational surveys, you will also receive a complimentary executive summary when published in the fall.

You will receive preferred pricing on the 2019 IPA National Benchmarking Report, the Internal Operational Reports and other benchmarking tools. You may pre-order your reports now.

You will get preference for selection in articles written by IPA throughout the year, (an excellent opportunity to market your firm).

Gain a competitive advantage and grow your firm with industry insight from the independent benchmarking leader in the nation.

CONFIDENTIAL DATA – WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM INSIDE PUBLIC ACCOUNTING

All confidential firm data, including salaries, compensation, income, etc., will be held in strict confidence and will NOT be shared or publicized in any of the final reporting. We take extreme pride in our ability to collect this data to assist the profession and are now celebrating nearly three decades of surveying accounting firms across the globe.

Please contact IPA at survey@plattgroupllc.com with any concerns or questions. IPA conducts a thorough review of each survey submission for commonly missed areas and for any errors. IPA will contact the contact person named on the submitted survey form for any clarifications / updates. Some data, such as firm name, MP(s) name, firm net revenue, and organic growth may appear in the IPA newsletter (if accolades are given).

IPA ASSOCIATION PARTNERSHIPS

INSIDE Public Accounting is pleased to partner with the following associations to provide survey and benchmarking services for their member firms: Alliott Group North America, CPAmerica International, DFK International, INPACT Americas, LEA Global, Moore Stephens North America and PrimeGlobal. Please contact The Platt Group / IPA with any questions at (317) 733-1920.

First Latina Partner Admitted at Gumbiner Savett

Karla Chavez Luna

Gumbiner Savett of Santa Monica, Calif., (FY17 net revenue of $20 million) announced the admission of Karla Chavez Luna to the shareholder group.

“Karla is an excellent practitioner who has proven her skill and commitment to her clients over her tenure at the firm. She is a valuable addition to our shareholder group, especially in the Tax Department,” says Rick Parent, managing director.

Luna began her career with Gumbiner Savett immediately after graduating from UCLA, joining as a staff accountant and earning promotions and leadership roles. Luna is the first Latina to become a shareholder at the firm. She specializes in tax planning and compliance for high-net-worth individuals and their multi-generational families, with a special emphasis in estate and trust planning. She also serves business clients in the manufacturing, real estate, gaming and retail industries.

She most recently held the distinction as a CalCPA Women to Watch and was a 2018 LABJ Influential Women in Accounting.

“She is a recognized leader in the department and an excellent mentor and role model to younger staff,” says David Thaw, tax department leader. “I look forward to working with Karla within the tax department as it continues to grow.”

Deloitte Report Explores AI and Other Technology Trends

Deloitte has released its 10th annual report on technology trends, “Tech Trends 2019: Beyond the Digital Frontier.The report explores how the convergence of new technologies with powerful technological forces is driving disruption across industries. New technologies include advanced networking, serverless computing and intelligent interfaces; and technological forces encompassing digital experiences, cognitive and cloud.

Ten years ago, when smartphones and mobile apps were gaining traction, and technologies like cloud and the Internet of Things were emerging on the scene, Deloitte released its first Tech Trends report. Some companies are only beginning to explore trends discussed in 2010, while others have advanced rapidly along the maturity curve, the Big 4 firm says.

Scott Buchholz

“The report details how organizational leadership can shape ambitions and instill a culture to sense and make sense of what tomorrow may bring. And – importantly – a path to get there from the realities of today,” says Scott Buchholz, managing director and government and public services CTO, Deloitte Consulting LLP

The report begins with a reflection on a decade of disruptive change driven by nine forces: digital experience, analytics, cloud, core modernization, cyber, business of information technology, cognitive, blockchain, and digital reality. The report explores where these forces are headed.

Deloitte’s report also covers six trends:

  • AI-fueled organizations – Leading companies are systematically deploying rapidly maturing technologies – machine learning, natural language processing, RPA and cognitive – not just to every core business process, but into products, services and the future of industries.
  • NoOps in a serverless world – We’ve reached the next stage in the evolution of cloud computing, with technical resources completely abstracted and management tasks increasingly automated. Freed from mundane responsibilities, IT talent can focus on activities that more directly support business outcomes.
  • Connectivity of tomorrow – At both macro and micro levels, technologies like 5G, mesh networks, and edge computing are expanding business’ reach. Advanced networking is driving development of new products and services and is transforming how work gets done.
  • Intelligent interfaces – Today, people interact with technology through ever-more intelligent interfaces that combine the latest in human-centered design techniques with leading-edge technologies such as computer vision, conversational voice, auditory analytics, augmented reality and virtual reality.
  • Beyond Marketing – Experience reimagined  To deliver the highly personalized, contextualized experiences that today’s customers expect, some chief marketing officers are using a new generation of marketing tools and techniques focused on personalized, contextual and dynamic experiences.
  • DevSecOps and the cyber imperative – DevSecOps fundamentally transforms cyber, security, privacy and risk management from being compliance-based activities into essential framing mindsets across the product journey.

The final chapter explores how modern businesses can navigate digital transformation – building a roadmap that incorporates the right technologies, techniques, talent and executive support.

Moore Colson Welcomes Four New Partners

Adam Bateman

Marietta, Ga.-based Moore Colson (FY17 net revenue of $22.1 million) has admitted four directors to the partnership: Adam Bateman, Billy Boyd, Christopher D. Fagan and Jon Powell.

Bateman started his career with Moore Colson nearly 13 years ago. He has held several roles within the firm, advancing from associate to tax director in 2018.

Boyd joined the firm in 2005, as a business assurance associate. After continuous promotions, he began a director role in risk advisory and compliance services in 2018.

Fagan joined the firm in 2013, as a senior manager. He was promoted to a director role in 2018.

Powell started his career with the firm 13 years ago. He has held several roles within the firm, advancing with successive promotions from associate to a risk advisory and compliance services director role in 2018.

PwC Uses Drone In Audit of U.K. Energy Client

Not only has PwC piloted a drone to cut time from a U.K. audit – a first for the Big 4 firm – it is also helping clients tap the technology to gather data themselves.

The drone, controlled from the ground by PwC, was used to assess coal inventory for the German energy giant RWE in Aberthaw, South Wales, the firm says. At the same time, the firm predicts a “drone economy” will employ 500,000 people by 2030 and is studying drones to eventually help clients extract insights from drone data.

Now, however, recreational drones have proven troublesome for air traffic and are strictly regulated. In the future, PwC predicts that a regulated commercial fleet of about 76,000 drones will be used for a range of different tasks, reports Consultancy.uk. To prepare, the firm has gathered a team of drone experts and set up a global center of excellence to study drones’ potential.

UK Drone company’s QuestUAV’s fixed wing drone, ready to take flight

As a test, PwC used a drone to measure the volume of RWE’s coal reserves to determine value. In 30 minutes the drone captured 300 images, which were used to create a “digital twin” of the coal pile to measure its volume. The value of the coal was then calculated to within 99% accuracy. The traditional method of hand-counting inventory would have taken four hours, the firm asserts.

“While the traditional method remains reliable and will still be used for RWE’s formal year-end financial statements, the drone trial was conducted to explore ways of challenging the traditional method of stock counting,” says audit partner Richard French in a statement. “It was a classic example of new technology challenging the old – and based on our results, the potential is groundbreaking.”

Elaine Whyte, UK drones leader at PwC, adds, “Sectors with large assets in hard to reach areas are the most obvious starting points for expanding this kind of work further – from mining to agriculture and forestry… In this case, drones have allowed us to trial a more efficient service which has the potential to save both money and time, while allowing us to deliver greater insight too. There is also a clear health and safety benefit to using drones for this type of work, without someone having to climb over the coal pile.”