RoseRyan Launches Cannabis Company

RoseRyan of Newark, Calif., has launched a new company, Kukuza Associates LLC, that concentrates solely on the cannabis market.

The new company is a finance and accounting consulting firm that closely mirrors its parent, RoseRyan. Founded in 1993, RoseRyan has more than 100 professionals, delivers finance and accounting solutions.

Explains RoseRyan CEO Kathy Ryan, “It’s exciting to launch Kukuza Associates, a finance and accounting consulting firm powered and backed by RoseRyan. It deepens our investment in the cannabis market and is geared specifically to this dynamic, rapidly evolving marketplace.” RoseRyan entered the cannabis market in 2014.

Kukuza Associates works with startups and established companies in every segment of the cannabis market at every stage of the lifecycle.

Says Dave Roberson, CEO of Kukuza, “Designed for this unique marketplace, Kukuza’s finance and cannabis accounting solutions are vital for businesses that are growing, vertically integrating and eyeing deals. Our experienced team steps in, brings order to the chaos and navigates cannabis companies ahead by putting a solid finance foundation in place.”

He notes that Kukuza’s cannabis solutions address strategic finance as well as day-to-day accounting, emphasizing that both are prerequisites for sustainable success. The company’s name is drawn from the Swahili word meaning potential and growth.

Based on RoseRyan’s original offering for the cannabis industry, Kukuza offers a refined and expanded set of cannabis solutions: assessment, strategic finance, outsourced accounting, financial reporting and analysis, transaction support and internal controls.

More news on Cannabis Practices

Whalen & Company Acquires Martinelli & Company

Whalen & Company of Worthington, Ohio, has acquired Martinelli & Company of Bexley, Ohio.

The acquisition brings staff member Tania Willis to the growing team at Whalen & Company, and Dawn Griebel will be added to Whalen & Company’s affiliate company, Simplitax.

“Martinelli & Company has worked hard to deliver exceptional client service, which aligns with one of our key core values,” says Richard D. Crabtree, MP at Whalen & Company, CPAs.

Martinelli & Company has served clients in the Columbus area for more than 35 years. The acquisition brings numerous business and individual clients to Whalen & Company’s portfolio as well as individual clients to Simplitax.

Platt’s Perspective: 24/7/365 Access – Is It Good Client Service Or Are We Kidding (Killing) Ourselves?

I recently served as a panelist at a conference, and the organizer was trying to coordinate logistics in advance. He sent an email on a Tuesday at 11:11 p.m. – clearly a time that worked for him. One of the panelists responded at 2:18 a.m., three hours later, and another panelist weighed in four hours later. I had business to attend to that morning and didn’t respond until 10:04 – less than 11 hours after the initial request. As the last person to respond, I admit that my initial feeling was that I let everyone down since I was so “late” to the conversation.

I get it that the responses from the other panelists came at a time that was convenient for them and most appropriate for their schedule. I get it that the “anytime, anywhere” work environment means that we all get communications like this at any time of the day, and that we should expect that going forward.

Mike Platt

Mike Platt

This not-so-unique experience quickly turned to curiosity as to how these kinds of communications – while exceptionally flexible and convenient for the sender – may affect the receiver. When you shoot off an email to your staff at midnight because you just thought of something and didn’t want to forget it, is it accepted that way, or does the recipient feel stressed that he or she let you down by not responding until 10 a.m.?

What about when a client sends you an email at 11 p.m.? Do you feel compelled to respond before the sun comes up? Are they expecting you to? Is it a hallmark of great client service or is it a recipe to stress yourself – and your staff?

There are clearly no right or wrong answers to these questions, but you should develop good answers for your firm. If 24/7 access and the promise of an immediate response is a competitive advantage you believe in, and one that is a core value, then go for it!

I’m not against responding to emails whenever it is convenient. But I do wonder, as technology and expectations continue to speed up, if it is the right expectation to set. Society may have already answered that question for us (“It’s inevitable, get used to it!”), but maybe there’s another way to look at it.

Maybe it can become a competitive advantage to not move so quickly. After all, research has shown that a client values a professional’s opinion much more when delivered in a timely but considered manner – rather than an immediate response. These are all good questions to ponder. I wish I could spend more time sharing my opinion, but it’s now 11 p.m., and I’ve got some emails that just came in that I need to respond to . . .

Whitman Business Advisors Announces New PIC of Human Resources

Rick Fisher

Whitman Business Advisors, an accounting industry advisory firm, has announced that Rick Fisher has joined the team as a consultant for human resources and M&A services.

Fisher is the former PIC of the human resources department of New York-based EisnerAmper (FY18 net revenue of $360.7 million) with more than 40 years of diversified experience in accounting, finance and human resources.

During that period, Fisher’s responsibilities include recruiting, mentoring, compensation strategies, development of personnel policies, staff scheduling and budgeting, including long-range strategic planning. Fisher was the plan administrator of the firm’s 401(k) retirement plan, profit-sharing plan and insurance programs.

“Amongst the top 100 CPA firm community Rick is a household name and recognized leader in the human resources space,” says president and CEO Philip Whitman. “Rick is a CPA who started working with Richard A. Eisner & Company when it was a 200-person CPA firm and helped the firm grow to 1,600 employees and over $300 million in annual revenues. Adding Rick to the WBA team adds considerable depth and breadth to our practice management consulting offering.”

Whitman Business Advisors works with more than a third of the top 100 accounting firms on talent acquisition, mergers and acquisitions, practice management consulting, growth strategies, MP coaching and more.

Fisher says, “I’ve been fortunate to work with some talented and dynamic leaders, who understood that the human resource function and the firms’ culture plays a vital part in a firm’s growth and sustainability.”

Barrett Admitted as Partner at Taylor Leibow LLP

Kevin Barrett

Hamilton, Ontario-based Taylor Leibow (FY17 net revenue of $12.4 million) admitted Kevin Barrett as its newest partner.

Barrett joined Taylor Leibow in November 2013 as a manager. He specializes in providing accounting, advisory and tax services to a broad range of clients in various industries, including auto dealerships, logistics, real estate and manufacturing.

“Watching Kevin grow and develop as a professional since joining Taylor Leibow has been very rewarding,” says CEO Nigel Jacobs. “This has been affirmation of training our future leaders and providing opportunities for advancement and the ability to promote from within our team.”

Michael Thompson, practice area leader, says, “Kevin has been a significant contributor since joining the firm. He provides a consistently high level of service and advice to clients who appreciate not only his knowledge and expertise but his dedication and hard work.”

New Partners Named at Nasif Hicks Harris & Co.

Rachelle Barnier

Nasif Hicks Harris & Co. of Santa Barbara, Calif., announced that CPAs Rachelle Barnier and Elena Mund have been admitted as partners.

Founded by Bill Nasif in 1976, the firm has 50 employees and 10 partners who provide a full spectrum of public accounting services to local, regional, national and international clients.

Elena Mund

Barnier joined the firm in 2006. Her practice includes tax planning and consulting for individuals and closely held businesses. She specializes in tax planning associated with marriage dissolution, including property division such as stock options, real estate, deferred compensation and business entities, as well as obligations outlined in the divorce decree like alimony, life insurance policies and retirement plans.

Mund joined the firm in 2011. She provides tax planning, consulting, compliance and tax preparation services for individuals and closely held businesses. She specializes in international tax issues as a significant number of her business and individual clients live or operate outside the U.S. She also has extensive knowledge of inbound tax planning for non-Americans planning a move to the U.S.

Miller & Company and Thomas Jenkins and Company Join Forces

After a year of strong growth, Miller & Company LLP, with offices in New York and Whitestone, N.Y., merged with Thomas Jenkins and Company, located in Washington, D.C., and Suitland, Md.

“We firmly believe in growth through mergers,” says Paul Miller, the principal of Miller & Company for more than two decades. “When you find a like-minded team that integrates smoothly with your own values, mission, culture and style, you make it happen. We advise clients to take advantage of mergers and acquisitions to accelerate internal growth – and we proudly heed our own advice.”

The merger, which took place in November, marks the company’s first foray into the nation’s capital. Miller & Company LLP primarily serves high-net-worth individuals and businesses that need more than just accounting and tax preparation. The Jenkins team adds integrated personal and business accounting services to their growing cadre of clients, with special attention to the changing regulatory issues that prevail in the D.C. marketplace.

“Combined, the firms can make a positive impact on growing businesses nationwide by providing exceptional advice, focus and accounting services,” the company announced. “The merger puts a wider array of successful business owners and high-powered executives within reach.”

Friedman Announces New Partners

Joseph Klein

New York-based Friedman LLP (FY17 net revenue of $101.5 million) has admitted four professionals to the partner group and appointed a new regional leader.

The firm has hired Joseph Klein as a partner in the headquarters office, and appointed Brian Kristiansen as leader of the tax department in East Hanover, N.J.

The following professionals were admitted as partner:

  • Brian Kearns, a member of the firm’s SEC group, Marlton, N.J.
  • Erin Liu, who provides auditing, accounting and financial consulting services, Marlton, N.J.
  • Thomas Miranda, who specializes in consumer products, wholesale, distribution, textile and apparel, manufacturing, retail and financial services, New York.

Topel Forman Hires Lietz as Chief Operating Officer

Bernie Lietz

Bernie Lietz

Chicago-based Topel Forman LLC has hired Bernie Lietz as chief operating officer.

Prior to joining Topel Forman, Lietz served as a COO and firm administrator at two of the largest local CPA firms in the Chicago area. As COO, he will assume day-to-day responsibility for human resources, IT, marketing, business development, facilities, administration and finance.

“The addition of Bernie to our team will enable our partners to transition significant operational responsibilities to him and dedicate more time to serving clients and developing staff,” Topel Forman MP John Riley says. “Further, we also expect that the COO role will help to elevate our long-term strategic planning approach.”

Lietz says, “Topel Forman was a great fit as the partners spend an above average amount of time on the operations of the firm. They are ready to turn over these responsibilities so they can focus on clients and staff.”

Lietz will be based in the Chicago office and travel to the Denver office as needed to support its growth and development. Topel Forman is a member of Moore Stephens North America.

EJ Callahan & Associates Admits Zaremba as Partner

Steve Zaremba

EJ Callahan & Associates, with offices in Woburn and Quincy, Mass., announced that Steve Zaremba, a senior manager at the firm, has been admitted to the partnership.

In his new role, Zaremba will continue to service his portfolio of clients while helping to spearhead the manufacturing and distribution practice and continue to grow the construction and real estate practices.

Prior to EJ Callahan, he held leadership positions at Feeley & Driscoll, a Boston firm that merged into Chicago-based BDO in 2016. He honed his skills in essential services, including tax planning and compliance, business strategy, and bank and surety bonding relationship management, among others. Over the course of his career, Zaremba has developed expertise within the construction, real estate, manufacturing and distribution industries.

“We are thrilled to appoint Steve to partner as we look to expand the industries we serve and deliver the exceptional customer service our clients have come to expect,” says Ed Callahan, founder and partner. “Steve has proven himself to be an invaluable partner to our clients and a positive influence on our staff, making him an ideal leader and representative of our firm.”