TDT CPAs and Advisors Opens Larger Office in Des Moines

Jerry Kirkpatrick

Centerville, Iowa-based TDT CPAs and Advisors (FY17 net revenue of $11.3 million) has relocated its West Des Moines office to a new and larger space.

The space features TDT’s new branding, which was unveiled in May. The new office also provides the TDT staff with a mix of traditional office and open space, meeting the needs of staff in a variety of positions and generations. A large conference room, two small collaboration rooms, and multiple open collaboration spaces can be found among the personal offices and pods of cubicles.

MP Jerry Kirkpatrick says, “We entered the Des Moines market in February of 2016 with our primary goal being recruiting new team members. In the following two years, our Des Moines team and goals have grown. This larger space exemplifies our future firm, brand, and purpose to proactively help our clients achieve better results. We plan to see continuous progression, development, and advancement of our team and our clients in our new space.”

The new office is located at 1245 Jordan Creek Parkway in West Des Moines. The firm operates nine offices across the state of Iowa.

Friedman Leases Entire 21st Floor at One Liberty Plaza

Fred Friedman

New York-based Friedman LLP (FY17 net revenue of $101.5 million) is moving its headquarters from Midtown Manhattan to Lower Manhattan, renting 44,767 square feet at Brookfield Properties’ One Liberty Plaza.

“People are at the heart of everything we do,” says Friedman Co-MP Fred Berk, “and investing in our employees’ personal and professional well-being is built into the fabric of our firm. Moving our headquarters to One Liberty Plaza in Lower Manhattan will give our employees access to some of the best community amenities in the entire city and access to a major transportation hub.”

Friedman Co-MP Harriet Greenberg says, “Beyond the neighborhood, we are planning a state-of-the art office that reflects our commitment to our people.” She says the space “will be more reminiscent of a tech firm than an accounting firm,” with open spaces, bright colors, breakout rooms, the latest technology and an 1,800 square foot café.

One Liberty Plaza is a 2.3-million-square-foot office tower prominently located in the heart of the New York City’s financial district at Liberty Street and Broadway.

Congratulations to the 2018 All Growth Fastest-Growing Firms

Among the more than 550 U.S.-based firms that participated in this year’s IPA survey we find a handful that are the envy of their peers – the fastest-growing accounting firms in country, factoring in the effects of mergers and acquisitions. This year, IPA has identified the Top 10 Fastest-Growing Firms (All-Growth), which includes organic growth and growth in net income from mergers.

This year’s Fastest-Growing Firms experienced an impressive average all growth increase in net revenue of 45.2%.

The 2018 All Growth Fastest-Growing Firms

Hoffman Short Rubin DeWinter Sanderson / Covina, Calif. / 85.0%
Moss Krusick & Associates LLC / Winter Park, Fla. / 72.3%
Giambalvo Stalzer & Company CPAs / Great River, N.Y. / 45.0%
Squar Milner LLP / Newport Beach, Calif. / 40.0%
Bland & Associates PC / Omaha, Neb. / 37.6%
Wallace Plese + Dreher LLP / Chandler, Ariz. / 36.5%
Prager Metis CPAs LLC / New York / 35.8%
Tidwell Group LLC / Birmingham, Ala. / 34.6%
DMJ & Co. PLLC / Greensboro, N.C. / 32.6%
HMWC CPAs & Business Advisors / Tustin, Calif. / 32.5%

View the 2018 IPA 100, 200, 300 and 400 rankings.

Order your 2018 IPA Benchmarking Tools.

Marks Paneth Launches New Brand Campaign

New York-based Marks Paneth (FY17 net revenue of $131.4 million) has announced the launch of its new brand positioning and introduced a new advertising campaign, Success is Personal.

The campaign focuses on the firm’s tradition of valuing client relationships and placing the highest priority on helping clients reach their goals. Firm leaders wanted to redefine the brand to better reflect its culture, values and client service. After months of research and interviews, three characteristics of the firm’s service emerged: a deep understanding of clients’ businesses, strong relationships and the caring nature of its professions, the firm says in a statement.

“We recognize that success varies among clients, based on their life and business stages,” says Chief Marketing Officer Diane Paoletta. “This recognition was the basis for our new advertising campaign, Success is Personal, which is written from the client perspective and focuses on their needs above promotion of the firm itself.”

This new brand positioning will also be reflected in the firm’s recruitment and employee retention initiatives, which are aimed at a diverse, multi-generational population. Personal success has already been the focus of many of the firm’s work-life balance initiatives. The advertising campaign is being rolled out on radio and commuter trains and in print and digital media.

Apple Growth Partners Consolidates Cleveland Workforce

Akron, Ohio-based Apple Growth Partners (FY17 net revenue of $13.1 million) has been operating two locations in the Cleveland area since 2004, with offices and staff located in Independence, Ohio, and Beachwood, Ohio.

Effective Nov. 5, approximately 35 employees from both offices will be consolidating into a new office, also located in Beachwood.

The recent combination for the accounting and business advisory firm is part of a larger 2020 plan, beginning with the merger of Beachwood-based CPA firm KPFF in 2017.

“Welcoming the staff of KPFF to AGP has been a wonderful process,” states chairman Chuck Mullen. “After the transition was complete, we recognized the need for a joint, collaborative space for all of our Cleveland employees.”

While the Beachwood consolidation is one component of the firm’s 2020 strategic plan, future Cleveland office space hasn’t been ruled out. “We hope to have a downtown office in the future, and we’d welcome the opportunity to discuss a merger with any firms in the area,” says Mullen.

BerganKDV Increases Presence With Merger of HSMC Orizon

Dave Hinnenkamp

St. Cloud, Minn.-based BerganKDV (FY17 net revenue of $47.9 million) is expanding its Midwest footprint in a merger with HSMC Orizon on Nov. 1, adding six new partners and 45 employees to the firm.

The merger brings BerganKDV to nearly 400 employees and expands its reach to Omaha, Neb., and Kansas City, Mo. In the merger, HSMC Orizon adopts the BerganKDV company name.

“Integrating HSMC Orizon into the fold enhances the services we offer clients and gives us the opportunity to better serve clients throughout the Midwest,” said BerganKDV’s recently named CEO Dave Hinnenkamp.  “We’re laser focused on empowering our staff while creating exceptional experiences for our clients, and the merger solidifies that commitment to those we serve. HSMC Orizon is an award-winning firm that’s recognized for its excellence not only by our industry and in local business communities.”

“Early in merger discussions, we could see BerganKDV carried the same level of care and commitment HSMC Orizon carries toward employees, community and clients,” said HSMC Orizon MP Gene Garrelts. “Our employees, clients and the community will enjoy more resources available to them as our organization continues to grow.”

The merger is one of the first accomplishments for Hinnenkamp, who took over as CEO in July. He rose to the position after 34 years with the company, including founding the firm’s wealth management division in 2002. He plans on organic and acquisition growth, with additional mergers.

Wolrige Mahon, CW Group Combine with Collins Barrow Vancouver

Paul Websdale

Toronto, Ontario-based Collins Barrow National announces its latest expansion into western Canada with the merger of Collins Barrow Vancouver, Wolrige Mahon and CW Group.

With offices in Toronto and Vancouver, British Columbia, the new firm, Wolrige Mahon Collins Barrow (WMCB), will become one of British Columbia’s largest independently owned and operated firms. By combining their resources and expertise to offer even more comprehensive audit, accounting and advisory services, their 20 partners and 160 professionals are well positioned to adapt to the ever-changing financial climate and add client value, the firms announced.

Collins Barrow’s all-Canadian network is the country’s largest association of chartered accounting firms. Members can draw on the expertise of more than 2,000 professionals across the country while maintaining autonomous ownership and management.

Furthermore, as the sole Canadian representatives in the Baker Tilly International network, clients benefit from global reach and perspective with access to 33,600 professionals in 147 countries worldwide, the firm announced.

“These mergers were specifically initiated to build and deliver even greater value to our clients,” says Paul Websdale, MP of the new Wolrige Mahon Collins Barrow in Vancouver. “Collins Barrow allows us to continue to provide transformational advice and attention to clients, via our entrepreneurially minded and ethically motivated expert advisors, accompanied by the support of national resources, a trusted brand and international platform.”

Grant Galbraith, chair of Collins Barrow National, says, “Wolrige Mahon Collins Barrow is a fantastic addition to the Collins Barrow network and represents the latest evolution of our network as we continue to reinvent and adapt for tomorrow.”

The Evolving Employee DNA

By: Tom Barry, Managing Partner, Green Hasson Janks

Tom Barry

DNA is the genetic code of organisms. The dictionary defines it as “the fundamental and distinctive characteristics or qualities of someone or something.”

What does this have to do with accounting? Is this article about science? Not exactly. It is about the science – and art – of identifying and understanding an accounting firm’s evolving “DNA,” or culture, as the foundation for a successful organization and thriving employees. We are exploring how the future of the industry is requiring us to examine how we hire, develop and nurture our talent.

The Future of Accounting

An accounting firm’s DNA had typically been based on a historical legacy, carried over from an era where the profession looked far different than today – and certainly not reflecting where the profession is headed. Accountants were essentially historians, who were paid to look back at books and records and identify issues and errors. Fast forward, the role of accountant has evolved to that of a trusted advisor, one who can accurately provide clients with insights to illuminate good decisions. But with the advancements of technology, big data and the pace of technology commerce, accountants need to be trusted futurists. As my predecessor, Leon Janks, stated well:

“It’s now our job as advisors to sort through this data, analyze and determine the best practices to help our clients reach their potential and grow their business. Businesses exist in a very dynamic environment and management needs to be agile in order to make changes and anticipate the future.”

There are three main factors related to the evolution of accounting firms: technology, generational differences and diversity of thought.

Accounting Firms and Technology DNA

The accounting profession is 7,000 years old. The AICPA was founded in 1887. We can rest assured that change and evolution of the profession has occurred more times that we can imagine. So how is today different? In a word: technology. Technology is considered to be an evolutionary process in that it evolves exponentially, known as Moore’s Law. Each generation of technology speeds up the subsequent generations’ advancements, which causes accelerating change. It does not just feel like the rate technology changes is accelerating, it actually is. Therefore the DNA of tomorrow requires accountants to be well versed in their “toolbox”: the computer, and the impact of technology.

The Generational Impact on DNA

Now that a majority of a firm’s employees are in different generations from its leaders, old rules do not apply. Your business, your clients and your talent continue to evolve, so staying ahead means keeping vigilant on evolving trends, client needs and talent needs. One trend to watch is generational differences. Younger workers want a reason to come to work. They want to feel that they matter, that their work matters and that they are contributing to something bigger than themselves.

In 2017, millennials (born 1981-1996) made up 38% of the nation’s workforce, more than any other generation.[1] Going forward, millennials will dominate the accounting industry, comprising 75% of employees by 2025.[2] Generation Z (born 1996-present) will continue the evolution. We hear some older generations complain about the needs of younger workers, but their needs are now the business’s needs, and leadership has an opportunity to create an environment in which employees understand their generational differences and work together effectively.

The DNA of the Diversity of Thought

Our industry’s client experience is evolving from compliance to an advisory mindset. This is a change that involves aligning ourselves with the client’s needs and helping them reach the right solutions. Making this change takes a new skill set, and recruiting the right talent becomes even more important.

Creating teams that bring diversity of thought increases the opportunity to deepen the client experience and cross-pollinate internal learning across different backgrounds and levels of business acumen.

We are in a war for talent, and the need for people with a consultative mentality makes it even more difficult. We can look at this as an opportunity rather than a challenge, however. Defining your firm’s DNA includes defining what type of employee you need and want.

Having a diverse team is key for creating a consultative approach and developing the ability to ask the right questions. When employees asks questions that come from understanding the client’s culture, strengths, challenges, best practices and industry sector, they are more effective as consultants and advisors and provide a more meaningful client experience.

At Green Hasson Janks, we seek people who are genuinely curious and ask insightful questions. Our candidates are collaborative and like working as part of a team. They are problem-solvers. Candidates who match our DNA are not always easy to find through traditional means, and a broader perspective makes sense.

One reason for the smaller candidate pool is that the unemployment rate for accountants and auditors was 2.0% in the second quarter of 2018, much lower than the 4.0% national unemployment rate, according to the latest quarterly report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).[3]

To find alternative talent pools that match a firm’s DNA, some are looking to individuals with disabilities, older workers, veterans, freelancers, apprenticeship programs, former employees or customers. Bringing in new types of employees adds diversity of thought and also can add new cultural or regional perspectives that can speed innovation.

Making talent acquisition changes based on your firm’s DNA also adds more roads to tomorrow’s success. For example, it has the potential for adding creativity and innovation to your business and the client experience. It has been proven that more diverse teams increase innovation and business outcomes. Innovative approaches and solutions may emerge through idea generation, teaming and collaboration. A wider range of people and thought may also lead to new product and service offerings that differentiate your firm and the client experience.

Where We Go From Here

To attract, develop and retain employees that are the right fit, a firm must be able to articulate its culture. Most can define somewhat random keywords (e.g., friendly, businesslike, conservative, liberal, technical, and specialized, etc.) but may not have an overarching definition that touches all aspects of the business. Agreeing on a definition is core to redefining a firm’s DNA. A culture is unique to every firm, and one size does not fit all.

We went through a yearlong process at Green Hasson Janks to define our culture in a way that reflected our values and could take us well into the future. We embraced the principles of Simon Sinek, who asks organizations to define “What is our Why?” The Why is our DNA. Each firm is different, with values that roll into their own unique Why. When those values are applied to behavior, the result is culture. Each individual also has their own Why, which is a filter through which they make choices, at work and at home, that lead to fulfillment.

With this in mind, we have been able to create a much more specific profile of the person that fits our DNA, our Why, our culture. A strong definition of the person we want in our organization streamlines the hiring process and aids in retaining and developing our talent as their careers unfold. That reduces HR cost and supports the employee’s happiness in working at our firm.

Employee DNA will continue to change, and accounting firm culture will continue to adapt and change to meet new worker and client needs. Firms that frequently define and redefine their DNA have an advantage.

Tom Barry is a CPA and Managing Partner at Green Hasson Janks, a Los Angeles accounting and consulting firm that specializes in nonprofit, food and beverage, health and wellness, and entertainment and media companies. Barry’s role is a combination of entrepreneur, partner, consultant, mentor and business advisor. He provides audit and accounting, tax and general business consulting services to clients in a variety of industries including waste management and recycling, manufacturing, distribution and the restaurant industry. He can be reached at tbarry@greenhassonjanks.com.

 

[1] https://www.accountingweb.com/practice/growth/millennials-now-make-up-largest-workforce-generation-in-us

[2] https://karbonhq.com/accountant-resources/articles/8-traits-of-millennials-that-will-benefit-your-accounting-firm

[3] https://www.roberthalf.com/blog/job-market/a-look-at-the-quarterly-accountant-unemployment-rate

Dean Dorton Launches Wealth Management Practice

Lexington, Ky.-based Dean Dorton Allen Ford (FY17 net revenue of $30.8 million) has launched Dean Dorton Wealth Management.

Dean Dorton has provided public accounting services regionally, nationally and internationally for decades and now desires to serve their clients in an even more holistic manner by incorporating integrated wealth management services.

“Each of our clients’ personal and professional aspirations may be unique to them, but when it comes to their financial objectives, our clients share the same desire: to build and manage wealth throughout their lifetimes in order to achieve the goals they’ve set for themselves and their families,” says David Bundy, Dean Dorton President and CEO. “We are proud to bring wealth management expertise and resources to our current and future clients in order to bring clarity to their financial situations and to help them define their goals, make smart investment choices, plan for the future and, ultimately, pursue their most fulfilling life.”

As an independent, registered investment advisor based in Kentucky, Dean Dorton Wealth Management will offer a broad range of services including retirement planning, investment consulting, portfolio management and a host of other holistic financial planning services. In addition, the firm will deliver a tax-efficient approach to all of their services through collaboration with parent company Dean Dorton.

Dean Dorton Wealth Management will be led by David Parks, who has a long history with Dean Dorton. As a CPA, who is also accredited in business valuation, he has more than 30 years of experience in providing tax, business valuation and other financial consulting services to individuals and businesses in the region. Bundy, who manages Dean Dorton, will also serve as a senior advisor in the wealth management practice. Together, they will be responsible for serving clients and managing all aspects of operations, including support staff.

Anglin CPAs Merges in Bloomer Geri

Anglin Reichmann Snellgrove & Armstrong (FY17 net revenue of $7.3 million) of Huntsville, Ala., has merged in Bloomer Geri & Company of Pensacola, Fla. The combined firms will operate under the name Anglin Reichmann Armstrong, the firms announced.

The merger will provide expansion opportunities in the Pensacola market while retaining the leadership and boutique tax consulting services of Bloomer Geri & Company. Anglin CPAs will maintain the office in Pensacola, which will offer tax services, audit and assurance, business solutions and IT solutions.

For the past four years, practice advisor Gary Adamson consulted with Bloomer Geri & Company on a transition plan. This included research and recommendations for the firm to explore several potential sale or merger options. Ultimately, they determined that Anglin CPAs matched their transition goals the best.

“Anglin offers the expanded services our clients were asking for. Their culture and fee structure are very similar to ours. We are also on the same page regarding transition of clients and my role in the upcoming years,” says MP Donna Bloomer.

Bloomer will stay in her position as MP through the transition. She anticipates retiring with the option of a part-time consulting position within the next five to 10 years. Owner and operations executive manager Jeanette Geri will likely retire earlier than Bloomer while Steve Schickel will remain a partner in Pensacola.

The Pensacola area is an emerging growth market, according to Anglin CPAs MP Gary Anglin. “We see many opportunities for a presence in Pensacola, in particular expanding our services in government contracting,” he says. “We also respect the depth of tax consulting and knowledge that Bloomer Geri & Company have developed among their professionals, specifically estate and gift tax consulting.”