Crowe Horwath Launches New Tax Technology

Chicago-based Crowe Horwath (FY17 net revenue of $809.5 million) has launched its tax service delivery platform, Crowe Tax Connect.

“Centralized data paints the big picture and allows us to focus on high-risk areas and other critical factors. At Crowe, we understand data analysis provides our clients with deeper insight into their businesses and the intelligence they need for more informed decision-making,” says Geralyn Hurd, partner in tax technology.

Crowe Tax Connect helps clients:

  • Centralize and use data more effectively
  • Enhance the quality and effectiveness of Crowe processes
  • Gain meaningful, valuable insights
  • Engage the most qualified resources based on needed expertise.

“Forward-thinking firms, like Crowe, that can combine innovative technology with deep specialization are well-positioned to provide a unique client experience,” says Gary Fox, MP of tax services. “Crowe Tax Connect looks to the future and sets the stage for advanced technologies, such as machine learning and advanced data analytics.”

Widmer Roel Admits Holmstrom Shareholder

Tonya Holmstrom

Tonya Holmstrom

Fargo, N.D.-based Widmer Roel admitted Tonya Holmstrom as a shareholder.

Holmstrom has more than 12 years of public accounting experience, with emphasis in business, individual and non-profit income taxation. She specializes in income tax consulting and compliance, and business planning for a wide range of clients.

With more than six years of experience assisting clients with the Low-Income Housing Credit and Historic Rehabilitation Credit, Holmstrom has expertise in credits, incentives and methods.

Alvarez & Marsal Welcomes Burgess and Browning to Performance Improvement Practice

New York-based Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) welcomed Scott Burgess and Keith Browning who join as managing directors in the Washington, D.C. and Atlanta offices, respectively.

Burgess has experience in strategic repositioning, new operating models, organizational realignment, large scale operational efficiency initiatives and transformative technology investments. He also has experience evaluating financial technology opportunities and turnaround situations in the payments, mortgage, retail distribution and consumer finance sectors.

Browning has more than 25 years of experience as an operator, consultant and marketing agency leader. He advises clients on solving issues arising from business disruption. He has worked with leaders across a broad range of industries executing on transformation assignments by building business intelligence platforms, marketing communication campaigns, customer experience programs and complex reporting systems.

“A&M’s restructuring legacy and reputation for enterprise-wide transformation enables us to attract top practitioners like Scott and Keith whose careers are rooted in helping clients tackle the most complex issues and truly change their businesses to leave them poised for success,” says Joe Berardino, a managing director for east region corporate performance improvement practice and corporate transformation services.

Two Connecticut Firms Merge

Effective Jan. 1, 2018, Shein Cohen Palmer & Company and Howard L. Page & Company, both of Avon, Conn., will merge under the new name Palmer Latko Ledas Page, according to a local Avon news site.

“The merger decision was easy,” says Gary Palmer principal. “Both firms realized how similar we were in so many ways—business philosophy, client relationships, policies and procedures, and more. We fit well together.”

Howard L. Page has provided accounting and tax preparation services for individuals and businesses since 1941. Shein Cohen Palmer established a similar practice in 1978. Together the firms anticipate expanding services for existing clients and offering a cost-effective alternative for small businesses and individuals. Palmer Latko Ledas Page will serve more than 2,000 clients in Connecticut and across the country.

“A major goal is to make sure our clients experience little or no change during and after the merger,” says Margaret Mayer, principal. “Every client will still have the same professionals working with them. Policies, practices, and procedures will also remain the same.”

Two Louisville Firms Merge

Louisville, Ky.-based Strothman and Co. has acquired Ecken & Smith, also of Louisville.

Founders of Ecken & Smith, Ron Ecken and Joyce Smith, will join Strothman but continue to work out of their office. The combined company will have 70 employees across their three offices.

“We share a similar desire to serve all of our clients with many years of combined experience in a caring, hands-on manner,” says Smith.

Strothman and Co., founded nearly 35 years ago, focuses on serving entrepreneurs. Ecken & Smith has experience in tax preparation and planning, audits, business valuations, personal financial planning, litigation support and accounting services.

Apex CPAs & Consultants Admits First Partner, VanDeWoestyne

Apex CPAs & Consultants of St. Charles, Ill., has admitted Lucas VanDeWoestyne, director and COO, as a partner in the firm.

“This is the first time in our 20-year history that we’ve brought in a partner. Lucas has exemplified the leadership skills and business acumen required to serve our clients, grow our culture, and be an owner in the company,” says James Chakires, president and CEO.

VanDeWoestyne attributes his work as director and COO as keys to taking on added responsibility. “Those roles made me more confident about my decision-making and were stepping stones to becoming a partner,” he says. “A couple of years ago, Jim said, ‘Think and act like you are a partner,’ and I’ve challenged myself to do that. I look forward to the full experience of being a business owner.”

VanDeWoestyne specializes in audits, reviews and compilations, as well as a multitude of other services including monthly and quarterly accounting, budgeting and forecasting.

North Dakota Firms Merge

Fargo, N.D.-based Haga Kommer has acquired Anderson & Fercho, also of Fargo.

Anderson & Fercho will move its operations and employees to Haga Kommer’s office.

“Both firms share a set of common values centered around a focus on the clients and employees,” says Toby Kommer, owner of Haga Kommer. “That commonality is what makes us very excited about this transition for all of our clients and our employees.

INSIDE Public Accounting Unveils The 2017 Pyramid Awards

INSIDE Public Accounting (IPA) announced that three 2017 Best of the Best Accounting Firms were recognized with Pyramid Awards this year at the seventh annual PRIME Symposium, Nov. 7-9, in Indianapolis.

The award recipients this year were: Moore Colson of Atlanta, Pasadena, Calif.-based KROST CPAs and Consultants and San Ramon, Calif.-based Armanino LLP.

Moore Colson was the recipient of IPA’s “Pyramid of Excellence” award. This high-performing firm ranked No. 1 among the elite 50 Best of the Best Firms selected by IPA. The rankings are based on data from the 27th annual IPA Survey and Analysis of Firms, which covers finances and operations in dozens of areas. This $21.7 million firm, with 16 partners and 83 staff, has been named a Best of the Best firm nine times, the last five consecutively. Moore Colson was one of the Fastest-Growing Best of the Best firms this year.

KROST CPAs and Consultants, once again, received the IPA Best of the Best “Fastest-Growing Pyramid Award.” With a 25.0% growth rate, this firm has demonstrated impressive results with no mergers to enhance that number. This is KROST’s second consecutive year as an IPA Best of the Best firm and Fastest-Growing firm, as the firm posted an extraordinary 66.3% organic growth rate in 2016. The $25.6 million firm ranked No. 137 on the IPA 200 list.

Armanino LLP received the IPA Best of the Best “Pyramid Award.” The $195 million firm, ranked No. 24 on the IPA 100 list, first appeared as a Best of the Best firm in 2001. Since then, IPA has named Armanino a Best of the Best firm 16 times, seven consecutively. Armanino sustains financial and operational excellence year after year.

View a complete listing of the 2017 IPA Best of the Best.

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Order the 2017 Benchmarking Report.

Catanese Group Announces New Audit and Tax Partner

Johnstown, Pa.-based Catanese Group admitted two new partners, Jessica Dunlap and Sean Wonderling.

Dunlap joined the firm in 2013 and was admitted to audit partner. After working in industries such as retail, manufacturing and professional services during her career, she brings experience to clients of all sizes and types. She oversees audit, business management and accounting engagements.

Wonderling was admitted to tax partner after being a member of the firm for 14 years. He began his career as an intern in 2003, and became a tax supervisor and tax manager before becoming partner. He works on tax and business consulting engagements for both businesses and individuals, completing complex tax returns and projections, helping clients with tax and financial planning, and helping clients make better management decisions.

Dermody Burke & Brown Launch New Agribusiness Services Group

Syracuse, N.Y.-based Dermody Burke & Brown launched an agribusiness service group. Though they have serviced clients in the industry for a number of years, this officially marks the beginning of a formalized group.

The firm serves dairy farms, feed mills, swine and hog farms, beef farms, apple orchards, distilleries, wineries, vineyards and breweries. Dermody Burke & Brown currently provides a wide range of business accounting, auditing and taxation services to 50 to 100 clients in the agribusiness industry. Principal David Corey, Jr. leads the agribusiness service group and is supported by a department of experienced staff.