Three New Member Firms Join Accounting Association CPAmerica

The following three firms have joined CPAmerica: Freemont, Calif.-based Greenstein Rogoff Olsen & Co. (FY18 net revenue of $8.6 million), Wayne, Pa.-based Stephano Slack and Fond du Lac, Wis.-based Huberty & Associates.

Greenstein Rogoff Olsen & Co. (GROCO) provides consulting services and accounting services to high-net-worth individuals and closely held businesses. Stephano Slack is a regional CPA firm specializing in middle-market companies, and Huberty & Associates is a professional service firm that operates both locally in southeastern Wisconsin, and virtually using collaborative, online technology.

Alan Deichler, president of CPAmerica, says of the new firms, “They belong to a group that is determined to improve through sharing and where members support each other’s success through discussing best practices, sharing experiences and building professional relationships.”

Fourteen new firms joined the accounting association during 2019.

CPAmerica, an association of independent CPA firms, is a member of Crowe Global, which has members in more than 750 offices in more than 130 countries.

More news from CPAmerica

Moore North America Launches U.S. National Tax Office

The accounting firm association, Moore North America (Moore NA), has collaborated with member firms to launch a U.S. national tax office.

The office will provide members and their clients with access to deeper tax knowledge across multiple tax specialty areas. It is comprised of tax partners and senior-level staff that will work collaboratively with Moore member firms and shared clients.

“In today’s environment, where our clients are facing change faster than ever before, we want to collaborate with Moore member firms to provide responsive, in-depth expertise that differentiates us,” says Moore Global CEO Anton Colella.

San Ramon-based Armanino LLP (FY18 net revenue of $267.2 million) was the driving force behind this initiative, Moore NA announced. St. Louis-based Brown Smith Wallace (FY18 net revenue of $50 million) and Maple Grove, Minn.-based Global Tax Network US (FY18 net revenue of $15.4 million) have provided tax professionals in property tax and expat tax services, respectively, to assist members. The office expects to grow in resources and incorporate more members as the program continues.

“Since Moore members already collaborate on a regular basis, the office is meant to supplement those efforts,” says Moore NA CEO Tony Szczepaniak. “We hope the addition of these resources can help our members continue to grow and thrive alongside their clients.”

In addition to collaboration, the office seeks to increase communication and education among members. Through tax alerts, events and webinars, the office provides members with the increased confidence that no matter what issues or questions clients are facing, they have the answers and resources readily available.

The regular communications will provide expanded insights into emerging legislation, including strategic tax opportunities across state, national and international jurisdictions and the impact of new tax pronouncements.

Moore NA is one of eight regional members of Moore Global Network Limited.

More news from Moore NA

PIASCIK To Oversee Pageant Balloting in Virginia and Washington, D.C.

PIASCIK of Glen Allen, Va., has been selected to serve as official ballot tabulator of the 2020 Miss Virginia USA, 2020 Miss Virginia Teen USA, 2020 Miss District of Columbia USA and 2020 Miss District of Columbia Teen USA pageants, to be held Jan. 18-19 in Richmond, Va.

During the events, representatives from the CPA firm will volunteer a combined 48 hours of their time on site to tally scorecards and tabulate results.

“PIASCIK upholds a longstanding commitment to community service, and we are proud to give back to the prestigious Miss USA and Teen USA pageants,” says firm founder Steven M. Piascik.

The 2020 IPA Accounting Firm National Benchmarking Surveys are Open for Participation

The 2020 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.

More than 550 accounting firms, ranging in size from $1 million to more than $1 billion in net revenue, participated in IPA’s 2019 Annual Survey and Analysis of Firms. All firms in the U.S. and Canada are encouraged to take part in one of the longest-running benchmarking surveys on accounting firm management.

Firms who would like to participate – at no cost – can contact IPA for details. Participating firms will receive an executive summary of the IPA National Benchmarking Report and will be eligible to be named a 2020 Best of the Best firm or an IPA Top 400 firm.

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

…May 2019 through December 2019: May 4, 2020

…January 2020 through March 2020: May 29, 2020

…April 2020: June 15, 2020

Note: IPA will not accept any submission after June 30, 2020.

THE 2020 IPA SURVEY AND THE INTERNAL OPERATIONAL SURVEYS ARE OPEN FOR PARTICIPATION

In conjunction with the National Benchmarking survey, IPA has launched the Firm Administration, Human Resources and Information Technology surveys. These surveys dig deeper into the operations and best practices of participating accounting firms across the U.S.

Your firm must complete the IPA Benchmarking 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 fully participate in the survey, your firm will be included in one of the largest annual management of an accounting practice (MAP) survey in the country. You will:

  • Become eligible to be ranked among this year’s top firms in the IPA 100, IPA 200, IPA 300 and IPA 400.
  • Become eligible to be named an IPA Best of the Best firm.
  • Receive a complimentary copy of IPA’s August 2020 newsletter, which highlights the annual IPA 400 firm rankings, along with a detailed financial and operational analysis of the IPA 100 firms.
  • Receive complimentary imagery and press releases if your firm is named an IPA 400, a Best of the Best firm or a Fastest-Growing firm.
  • Receive an electronic complimentary copy of the 2020 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.
  • Receive preferred pricing on accolade reprints for marketing purposes.
  • Receive preferred pricing on the 2020 IPA National Benchmarking Report, the internal operational reports and other benchmarking tools.
  • Be given preference as a source for 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 omissions or errors and will reach out to 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’s Culture Assessment Reveals Blind Spots In Accounting Firms

After asking 2,000 firm employees to describe culture at their workplaces, a few generalizations emerged: partners view their culture more positively than most everyone else; respondents expressed low opinions about firm agility; and as firms grew, staff engagement decreased.

Kelly Platt

These were some of the findings from INSIDE Public Accounting’s 2019 annual culture assessment of 21 firms, ranging in net revenue from under $10 million to $100 million. Results, broken out by gender, years of service, department and job title, were outlined by IPA publisher Kelly Platt in a Nov. webinar.

While culture seems intangible, like an invisible glue that holds firms together – 12 core measurable qualities drive and define culture, according to IPA’s partner in the culture assessment effort, CultureIQ. The core qualities of culture are Agility, Alignment, Collaboration, Customer Centricity, Empowerment, Engagement, Growth Development, Innovation, Quality, Recognition Rewards, Trust and Integrity and Work-life Balance.

Culture may be best summed up by the answer to this question: “What does it feel like to work here,” Platt says, advising webinar attendees to ask staff to give a one-word answer to the question. IPA’s 2020 assessment, set for May and November, can help uncover the answers. The data can help firm leaders bring culture top-of-mind, develop a well-defined, positive culture, boost brand awareness and increase retention.

Platt focused her discussion on three of the cultural core qualities that are directly tied to profitability: agility, alignment and engagement.

Agility, the ability to sense and plan for change, scored low overall, Platt says, particularly among women and the administrative/support staff. Employees with more than 20 years of tenure at firms between $20 million and $30 million ranked agility lower than other employee groups, she says. The survey did not ask respondents why they scored any of the cultural qualities the way they did, Platt says, but firm leaders can use the data to uncover what is driving the lower scores.

Respondents generally gave alignment high scores, she says. “What does it mean to have alignment? In a nutshell it’s the bridge between the employees and the firm.” When firms are aligned, everyone is working together on firmwide goals, not just individual advancement. Equity partners as a group scored alignment “off the charts,” with 91% scoring alignment positively, but tax staff ranked alignment lower.

Using this data, partners can ask themselves, and their firms: “Why the disconnect?”

Engagement may be one of the most important aspects of company culture. Platt cites Gallup research that found 70% of U.S. employees are not coming to work fully committed to performing their best. “That’s a very powerful statement,” she says. She adds that 85% of employees quit because of their relationship with their direct manager.

Overall, the nearly 2,000 survey respondents scored engagement relatively high, and higher than data collected from other financial services firms by CultureIQ. Engagement dips in the largest firms, the assessment uncovered, particularly among firm professional staff and the 3- to 5-year tenured group, a vulnerable group that needs attention because they’re asking themselves hard questions about whether they want to stay in public accounting or move on, Platt says.

Some similarities emerged when it came to scoring empowerment. Again, all partners scored this quality higher than all other demographics. Women and the 3- to 5-year group, on average, scored empowerment the lowest of all 12 culture qualities. Women feel most empowered in the smallest firms and least empowered in the largest firms. Women are 11 percentage points behind male respondents in firms of more than $30 million.

Platt also touched on how employees feel about growth and development. The 3- to 5-year and 11- to 20-year group scored this quality lower than all other demographics in the 2019 assessment. Women scored the quality lower than men, and the administrative/support staff ranked growth and development the lowest of all employees. “This is an area of concern for the profession as a whole,” Platt says.

Innovation was scored far higher than Platt expected, with 76% responding positively. “I was shocked by that, that’s a huge positive change in the profession,” she says. However, as seen in other areas, the 3- to 5-year employees lag behind.

Leaders would do well to pay more attention to recognition and rewards, since it was the lowest-scoring core quality for all respondents, Platt says. Consistent with other qualities, the administrative and support staff, the 3- to 5-year employees, women and tax professionals all scored this area lower than others.

Surprisingly, work-life balance scored consistently among all assessment demographics, with 3 in 4 respondents scoring this quality positively. Platt attributes this to the investment in alternative work arrangements over the last several years is paying off. “We’re vying for good talent and to retain it, and we’re finding innovative ways to adjust to the needs of employees and clients.”

The data uncovered in the IPA Culture Assessment provides a basis for determining where firms are excelling and where they are falling short. She advises firms to survey their staff annually and create employee-led committees to make recommendations on how to improve on the existing culture. Although the tone comes from the top, initiatives that come from management are less likely to succeed than those that provide employees at all levels with a sense of engagement and empowerment.

In a tight labor market, the ‘you’re lucky to have a job’ management style is no longer working. Employees must look forward to going to work or they will work elsewhere, she says.

“Bring out the best in your staff, and you’ll bring out the best in your brand.” To understand the assessment results in more detail, download a complimentary executive summary.

The Excellence in Firm Culture Assessment dates for 2020

are for May 1-15 or Nov. 2-16.

 

 

Traina & Associates Rebrands as CapinTech

Greenwood, Ind.-based CapinCrouse (FY18 net revenue of $23.6 million), which focuses on serving nonprofit organizations, has announced a new brand for its information security division. Traina & Associates, a CapinCrouse company, is now CapinTech.

Traina & Associates joined CapinCrouse in January 2017, allowing the firm to provide nonprofit clients with a wider range of information security consulting and risk management services.

“The new brand reinforces CapinTech’s vital role in the firm,” notes MP Fran Brown. “We’re focused on empowering nonprofits by providing innovative service and support in key areas of financial integrity and security. That includes CapinTech’s expert cybersecurity services, which are increasingly important as organizations become more digital and cyber threats continue to escalate.”

The rebranding includes the new name, logo and website address, capintech.com. The CapinTech team will remain the same.

Wheeler Accountants Joins Accounting Association CPAmerica

San Jose, Calif.-based Wheeler Accountants has joined CPAmerica, an accounting association of independent CPA firms. Wheeler Accountants is the 10th firm to join the accounting association in 2019.

Founded in 1950, Wheeler Accountants offers a full range of audit, accounting, taxation, consulting and compliance services to a wide variety of individuals and businesses – from high-net-worth individuals running public companies to small business owners and individuals looking for financial and tax advice.

MP Matthew O. Wheeler says he is looking forward to collaborating with member firms. “The alliance will offer additional national and international resources for our clients and staff. As our clients continue to grow and request additional services, CPAmerica will enable us to meet our clients’ needs, while maintaining our independence and focus here in Silicon Valley.”

CPAmerica is a member of Crowe Global, which has members in more than 750 offices in more than 130 countries and ranks among the top 10 global accounting networks.

Alan Deichler, president of CPAmerica, says, “They belong to a group that is determined to improve through sharing, where members support each other’s success through discussing best practices, sharing experiences and building professional relationships.”

More news from CPAmerica

Three CPA Firms Join BDO Alliance USA

Chicago-based BDO Alliance USA has added three new CPA firms as members.

Moody & O’Neal CPAs of Mount Pleasant, S.C., provides tax services to small and medium-sized businesses, especially in the real estate, construction and professional services industries, in the greater Charleston, S.C., area.

Spoor Bunch Franz of St. Petersburg, Fla., provides tax, audit and CAS/consulting services to small and medium-sized businesses in the greater St. Petersburg/Tampa area.

Stockman Kast Ryan + Company (FY18 net revenue of $9.8 million) of Colorado Springs, Colo., specializes in serving real estate and construction clients, high-net-worth families, nonprofits, employee benefit plans and small businesses in the southern Colorado.

BDO Alliance USA now has 214 CPA member firms in more than 500 locations nationwide.

“We know that members share a desire to keep pace and evolve with where the industry is going,” says Michael Horwitz, BDO USA partner and executive director of alliance services. “They find they can do that with the BDO Alliance USA and enjoy the camaraderie of fellow members. We welcome these new firms and their talents into our program.”

More news from BDO Alliance USA

Two South Florida CPA Firms Merge

Two Florida firms, Ravan & Company CPAs and Blanco + Co., have merged. The combined firm, headquartered in Miami, will operate under the name Ravan + Blanco LLP.

Ravan + Blanco has 12 employees, including five licensed CPAs and two enrolled agents.

“This merger has been a leap forward for our firm’s growth,” says Ravan & Company founder Cesar Ravan. “Working with the staff from Blanco + Co. LLP has been a great addition to our office environment, and we look forward to serving our collective clients as a cohesive team.”

Ravan + Blanco LLP is now located in three south Florida locations, Miami, West Miami and South Miami.

For more information on Ravan + Blanco, visit www.ravanandco.com.

Halt Buzas & Powell Celebrates 50 Years

Steve Halt

Alexandria, Va.-based Halt Buzas & Powell announced its 50th anniversary and the retirement of partner Steve Halt.

The firm began as Loeb Roberts & Company in College Park, Md., in 1969. Twelve years later, the firm merged with Charles Gronsbell and Halt’s firm to become Loeb Roberts & Gronsbell in Alexandria, where HBP is headquartered today.

The firm focuses in financial services, corporate philanthropy and community engagement in the Washington, D.C., and Baltimore areas.

“Halt Buzas & Powell has experienced tremendous growth and development over the past 50 years,” says Halt, who has been with the firm since 1977. “What hasn’t changed, though, is our constant commitment to strong client relationships.” Halt plans to retire on Dec. 31. Throughout 2020, he will work a reduced schedule to facilitate smooth transitions for clients and staff.

“Steve has not only been my fellow partner for 17 years, but also my mentor and close friend,”says MP Andy Powell. “When I succeeded him as managing partner, he helped me through the difficult transition and played a crucial role in making sure I knew how to take on the position.”

When he began, the firm had a little over 50 clients. Today, it represents thousands of individuals and businesses.