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.

2017 IPA 100 Fastest-Growing Firm Profile: Prager Metis

Ranked No. 86 last year, New York-based Prager Metis jumped 18 spots up the IPA 100 list this year due to an impressive organic growth rate of 16%. INSIDE Public Accounting asked MPs Glenn Friedman and David Neste to offer insights into the 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 Prager Metis team.

 

To what do you attribute your ability to grow the firm so significantly?

Prager Metis has put a lot of time and resources into developing our vision and our strategic planning. We pride ourselves in our whole team effort and cohesiveness. Our ability to attract talented staff has helped the firm grow. Our growth and reputation for quality attracts more opportunities as well as the desire of smaller local and regional firms to want to join us.

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

Business management services, private wealth services, assurance services. We help create and implement proactive strategies that support clients and their assets around the world.

What are your growth goals for the next five years?

Our goal is a continuation of 20%+ year-over-year growth.

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

We service individuals and corporate clients of all sizes and industries. However, our ideal client would be a small to mid-market firm needing full services of tax, assurance and advisory.

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

Advice will rule as compliance will become more and more automated.

2017 IPA 100 Fastest-Growing Firm Profile: Bennett Thrasher

With impressive organic growth of 14.5%, Bennett Thrasher of Atlanta jumped five spots up the IPA 100 list this year to reach No. 83, and is one of the fastest-growing firms among the largest accounting firms in the nation.

INSIDE Public Accounting asked MP Jeffrey Eischeid 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 Bennett Thrasher team.

To what do you attribute your ability to grow the firm so significantly?

Bennett Thrasher continues to grow through our investment in talent and new services offerings that deliver value to our clients. We embrace a culture of collaboration and commitment to client service and place a high value on our core values of integrity, family and clients. We constantly seek ways to innovate our benefits to attract and retain our professionals. By continuing to build and maintain our strong “people first” culture, our firm is able to attract great associates and clients.

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

In addition to traditional tax and assurance services, Bennett Thrasher offers a variety of specialty services such as international tax, transfer pricing, dispute resolution and forensics, transaction advisory, risk advisory, technology, wealth management and other consulting services. Our top clients are full-service assurance and tax clients that also use a mix of these specialty services.

What are your growth goals for the next five years?

Bennett Thrasher has a unique market approach that is led by our cross-functional industry segment teams. Each of those industry segment teams expects to continue their double-digit compound growth for the next five years.

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

Ideal clients for Bennett Thrasher are middle market, privately held businesses that have complex business needs as well as the families or funds that own them.

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

Accounting firms must continue to embrace technology. Firms need to understand how technology will impact our traditional compliance services as well as how technology will enable us to deliver value to our clients by helping them achieve success in accomplishing their objectives.

2017 IPA 100 Fastest-Growing Firm Profile: Cohen & Company

Cohen & Co., which has enjoyed organic growth of more than 17% over the previous fiscal year, has been ranked as one of the fastest-growing firms among the largest 100 firms in the nation. When the acquisition of GHD CPAs and Advisors of St. Clair Shores, Mich., was added, the firm grew by 34.5%, bringing it from No. 74 on the IPA 100 list in 2016 to No. 61 this year. INSIDE Public Accounting asked MP Randall Myeroff 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 Cohen & Company team.

Randall Myeroff

Randall Myeroff

Firm: Cohen & Company
CEO: Randall Myeroff
Headquarters: Cleveland
FY17 Net Revenue: $67 million
Organic Growth Rate: 17.1%
Total Staff: More than 400; 53 partners
No. of Offices: 10
Year Founded: 1977

To what do you attribute your ability to grow the firm so significantly?

Our growth, recently and over our 40-year history, is anchored in technical excellence and a passion to serve our clients. To do this, we have been committed to the trifecta of over-hiring at the entry level, attracting skilled lateral talent and having crazy-low attrition. Great people and great culture allow us to listen, engage and deliver sustainable value to our clients in ways that set us apart in the market.

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

With a higher percentage of tax professionals than many firms our size, strategic tax planning and compliance make up an important part of our value proposition. That planning covers the full business life cycle from start to disposition, including personal planning for the owners. Attest services are also a significant part of what we do and how we bring value to our clients. And as their needs and businesses have evolved, so has the strength and reach of our advisory services, including M&A advisory, transaction services and management consulting.

What are your growth goals for the next five years?

Our goal is to continue annual organic growth of 10% to 15% over the next five years, coupled with opportunistic acquisitions of talent and firms in either our current geographies or new geographies that align with our strategic plan.

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

We are passionate about what we do, so we love working with others who are passionate about what they do. Our private company services division helps private company owners, family businesses, executive management and private investors who lead companies with revenue in the tens of millions to over $1 billion. Our investment industry services division works with newly seeded funds to well-established, multiple-fund families who want to remain compliant and thrive. Our firm works with innovative, motivated leaders who want more — whether that means help finding additional tax savings, remaining compliant or navigating the challenges of running a successful organization.

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

Technological advances will have a significant impact on the accounting industry, and all industries, over the next 10 years as artificial intelligence and robotics further automate certain tasks and activities. In addition, we believe consolidation within public accounting will continue to accelerate as firms navigate ownership succession, compete in the war on talent and continue to focus on critical specialization of services.

2017 IPA 100 Firm Profile: Brown Edwards & Co.

Ranked No. 104 last year, Brown Edwards & Co. cracked the IPA 100 list this year with a ranking of No. 99. INSIDE Public Accounting asked MP Jason Hartman 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 Brown Edwards & Co. team.

Firm: Brown Edwards & Co.
MP: Jason Hartman
Headquarters: Roanoke, Va.
FY17 Net Revenue: $37.5 million
Organic Growth Rate: 4.5%
Total Staff: More than 275
No. of Offices: 9
Year Founded: 1967To what do you attribute your ability to become one of the largest accounting firms in the nation?

Put simply, for 50 years we have built a reputation for delivering superior service to our clients. In many ways we are a traditional firm, focusing on providing accounting, audit and tax services to our clients. We also, however, are highly consultative in our approach and the result has been significant growth in consulting, tax strategy and planning, and wealth management. Industry specialization has allowed us to develop extensive knowledge in specific practice areas; our clients in those industries benefit from that depth of knowledge.

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

Services provided to our top three clients are indicative of services we provide to clients throughout the firm:

Client 1 – Specialized accounting and outsourced CFO functions

Client 2 – Compilation, tax and strategy, and management consulting

Client 3 – Audit, SEC consulting, employee benefit services

What are your growth goals for the next five years?

Our goals for the next five years are to continue organic growth of at least 7% while continuing to look for strategic acquisitions. We believe our geographic footprint and client base will continue to expand, partially as a result of our industry specialization.

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

One of the reasons for our growth is that we try to find the “right” kind of clients. We have found the client experience is enhanced when we work with clients who fit a certain profile we have developed over the years. Generally, our clients are successful and stable in their industry, understand and appreciate the value a relationship with a CPA firm brings, want and expect proactive solutions and advice, and are interested in achieving the right kind of results. We focus on mid- to large-size entities primarily as well as individuals with all manner of tax needs.

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

We believe the need for compliance services will diminish, but never entirely go away. We expect the need for specialized consulting to increase. Continued advances in technology will change how we function and what we do, however we believe personalized service and focus on the client will always be critical to our success.