Brock Schechter and Polakoff Welcomes Majchrowicz as Director

Kevin Majchrowicz

Kevin Majchrowicz

Brock Schechter and Polakoff (FY16 net revenue of $6 million) of Buffalo, N.Y., promoted Kevin Majchrowicz to director of audit and accounting.

Majchrowicz has more than 15 years of experience in public accounting and has worked with BS&P for 13 years. He specializes in audit and accounting work, including the performance of audits, reviews, compilations, internal control attestations of service organizations and business valuations. He has experience dealing with contractors, collection agencies, real estate developers, manufacturers, restaurants and employee benefit plans.

For 45 years, Brock Schechter & Polakoff has provided services including accounting, auditing, taxation, wealth management, business and human resource consulting.

Two Florida Firms Merge

St. Petersburg, Fla.-based Spoor Bunch Franz acquired Strawn Marshall Cunningham Condon & Sweat also of St. Petersburg.

SBF was founded Jan. 2016, with the merger of Spence Marston Bunch & Morris and Spoor & Associates.

“Firm values were long-established by our founders – consistently thinking about people first,” says Steve Bunch, MP of SBF.

“In this merger and with this growth we’re reinforcing a foundation to best serve our clients and our employees,” says W.G. Spoor, partner at SBF.

Sadd Velazquez Higashi Shammaa Announces Name Change

Sadd Velazquez Higashi Shammaa (SVHS) of Glendale, Calif., changed its name to The Accountancy.

“We realize that our clients and our world are changing rapidly. A name change is a bold move that confirms our resolve to reinvent,” says John Sadd, senior partner.

The Accountancy is full service CPA firm offering tax, QuickBooks and accounting, financial statements and business advisory services to the greater Southern California region. They have experience serving businesses in health care, real estate and construction, entertainment, professional practices and nonprofit organizations.

“Our motto now is, ‘Forward Thinking for Your Financial Future’, which is how we serve all our clients,” says Steve Clement, partner and head of the health care industry group.

“Clients have been especially pleased to utilize our new firm app, The Accountancy app, which allows easy communication with the firm and a portal to safely organize their financial information,” says Mike Velazquez, senior partner.

EY Leader Says Refugees Are ‘Ideal Talent Source’ for German Companies

The Big 4 firm EY is leading an effort to integrate refugees into German society and encourage companies to hire from this “ideal talent source.”

A European arm of New York-based EY (FY16 gross revenue of $11.2 billion) has established a roundtable of 50 German companies to share ideas and expand upon government efforts to hire refugees. EY has provided companies with information, tools and mentoring to help them welcome refugees into the workforce and society as a whole.

“We have to keep in mind that refugees represent an incredible addition to the workforce,” says Julie Teigland, who is EY’s MP for Germany, Switzerland and Austria. “Many refugees are highly educated. They are displaced simply because of the issues they’re facing at home. They represent an ideal talent source if we can find a way to integrate them locally into our business and make them feel welcome.” Teigland comments came at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in an interview with Refugees Deeply, which covers the global refugee crisis.

Since 2015, Germany has seen more than 1 million asylum seekers, and some of their biggest issues center on the practicalities of daily life, such as language and cultural differences. Teigland’s team has developed a handbook on “what you need to know about Germany to survive,” but multinational companies are well positioned to offer flexible hiring practices and teach new skills. “Multinationals can offer those platforms – sometimes more effectively tailored – hand in hand with the government,” Teigland says.

Private sector companies can work together with government on integrating refugees, Teigland says. “I can only speak from a German perspective, but [German chancellor] Angela Merkel has opened the door for support and assistance, working hand in hand with the private sector, to achieve the best results. I don’t think [the refugee issue] is a problem that can be solved by government alone. The private sector needs to get involved, and flexible work and reskilling are parts of the answer.”

Rotz & Stonesifer Acquires Butler Gingerich & Company

Chambersburg, Pa.-based Rotz & Stonesifer acquired Butler Gingerich & Company of York, Pa.

Butler Gingerich & Company’s four certified public accountants and three professional staff members will join Rotz & Stonesifer and will retain the York office location.

Butler Gingerich & Company has been serving businesses and individuals in the York area for more than 40 years, specializing in individual and small business tax, and accounting and business valuations.

“Our clients will benefit from Rotz & Stonesifer’s industry expertise and expansive suite of specialty services. We look forward to bringing more value to the local business community,” says Leon Butler of Butler Gingerich & Company.

CS&L CPAs Admits Messal as Principal

Jennifer Messal

Jennifer Messal

Bradenton, Fla.-based CS&L CPAs (FY16 net revenue of $7.8 million) admitted Jennifer Messal as principal.

Messal provides full service tax consulting and compliance, specializing in federal taxation. With more than 15 years of experience, she has experience working with family businesses spanning multiple generations placing importance on estate and succession planning. She focuses her talents on delivering personalized service in valued relationships as a trusted advisor.

“Jennifer has been a key player in driving the growth of our tax practice and we value her exceptional contributions to the firm,” says Bob Stanell, managing principal of CS&L CPAs.

Prager Metis Launched New Affiliate

New York-based Prager Metis CPAs (FY16 net revenue of $60.8 million) created a new staffing company specializing in recruitment services: PM Human Capital Solutions.

PM Human Capital Solutions will assist clients in addressing the gap that exists and to create a more conducive talent acquisition strategy. PM Human Capital Solutions will provide a full spectrum of finance and accounting recruitment services encompassing direct hire, temporary solutions, contract services and retained search.

The company will be led by Mike Zaremski as president and CEO. Zaremski has more than 20 years of human resources, operations and leadership experience within the public accounting and staffing industries.

“I am very excited about the unique market positioning and rapid growth of Prager Metis,” says Zaremski. “Essentially we are positioned as a recruitment firm that understands the technical aspects of client fulfillment coupled with a relationship-centered approach.”

Zaremski has been a leader and innovator in the area of human resources, staffing and public accounting. He started his career with PwC then pursued a career in the recruitment industry. Zaremski was most recently the president of a NYC boutique staffing firm.

“We are extremely excited to launch this new company in an effort to continue to provide the necessary and required services and advice to our clients around the world. We also welcome Mike as CEO of PM Human Capital Solutions, who brings decades of experience in staffing and recruiting industry,” says Glenn Friedman, co-MP.

Gelman Names New MP

Mark Tackmann

Mark Tackmann

Santa Ana, Calif.-based Gelman LLP named Mark Tackmann as MP, succeeding Larry Kane.

“We are very fortunate to have so many qualified exceptional leaders in the firm. The unanimous agreement of Mark as our new managing partner is outstanding for us. Mark’s leadership skills and business acumen are tremendous assets that will help propel continued success for Gelman. Mark’s vision for the firm’s future is inspiring and very exciting for all of us,” says Kane.

Tackmann has 23 years of experience in public accounting, and worked with Gelman previously. He rejoined the firm in August 2017 after spending the last 12 years as a partner with two Orange County-based CPA firms where he was instrumental in growing strategic advisory services, shaping the client-centric service models and using advanced technology to streamline and enhance the clients’ experience. Tackmann has experience at strategic business planning, mergers and acquisitions, financial analysis, and integrating both tax and assurance services.

PwC Introduces New Workforce Engagement App

New York-based PwC (FY16 gross revenue of $14.3 billion) released an app designed to accelerate the way employees learn, interact and solve problems.

Through firm-conducted surveys, PwC found that 63% of business leaders say the lack of skilled teams was a key obstacle to digital innovation. More than 80% of CEOs agreed they need to improve their own soft and digital skills.

The new app aims to address these issues using a four-step approach to build a digital culture. It starts with the app’s digital fitness assessment, which enables businesses to gauge digital fluency of their team. The app then curates personalized digital training based on each user’s results, on topics including cybersecurity, blockchain, user experience, artificial intelligence and design thinking.

The four steps include:

  • Assess – Develop a benchmark for organizational talent within digital.
  • Advance – Receive content that is tailored and contextualized to your organization.
  • Add – Determine your talents gaps, and start hiring differently.
  • Accelerate – Deliver value and advance learning through real-life business application.

“Digital disruption can upend an industry, seemingly, overnight. Many organizations looking to quickly strengthen their Digital IQ think the solution is throwing money at new technology and seeing what sticks, but it really needs to start with people,” says Tom Puthiyamadam, PwC digital services leader.

“While we don’t know what the future will look like, there is one certainty: people will be more crucial than ever to shaping, deploying and powering new technology,” says Mike Fenlon, chief people officer at PwC. “Without the right people to guide transformation, investment in technology is aimless and sure to fail.”

PwC Sells U.S. Public Sector Business

Veritas Capital, a leading private equity investment firm, has acquired the U.S. public sector business of New York-based PwC (FY16 gross revenue of $14.3 billion).

With approximately 1,500 partners and staff, PwC’s U.S. public sector business helps federal, state and local governments and multilateral agencies solve complex business problems, improve processes and manage risk through its capabilities in financial management, strategy development, program management, operational effectiveness and organization design.

“Our U.S. public sector business has an excellent brand and client base with a strong record of growth, and this transaction will provide the partners and staff with an opportunity for continued development for both their business and careers,” says Tim Ryan, U.S. chairman and senior partner, PwC. “Furthermore, today’s announcement enables our U.S. firm the opportunity for continued growth and investment to best provide ongoing quality and value to our clients.”

Under Veritas’ ownership, the U.S. public sector business will retain its current leadership and talent base. Upon closing, the U.S. public sector business will be renamed and will operate as an independent company. PwC anticipates that it will, as appropriate, continue to work with the U.S. public sector business through acceptable teaming arrangements.

“We could not be more pleased to acquire the U.S. public sector business, which has consistently demonstrated visionary leadership, deep sector understanding, and an unparalleled commitment to helping its clients solve pressing business issues. These unique capabilities have resulted in a highly differentiated platform with industry-leading growth,” says Ramzi Musallam, CEO and MP of Veritas Capital.

“We are delighted to partner with Veritas Capital, which has a strong history of successful investments in our sector. The team has demonstrated an impressive grasp of our markets and brought valuable relationships to our business given their wide-ranging network in the government market. Under Veritas stewardship, we are extremely well-positioned as a standalone company and excited to capitalize on the many new opportunities ahead,” says Scott McIntyre, PwC U.S. public sector leader.