Armanino Adds Experts in HR and Business Development to Law Firm Services Group  

Terri Oppelt

San Ramon, Calif.-based Armanino LLP (FY17 net revenue of $242.7 million) has welcomed industry veterans Terri Oppelt as director and Kendra Edson as client relations and marketing manager to the firm’s law firm services group. Both professionals bring unique service capabilities that help law firms maximize operational efficiency and value.

“Terri and Kendra bring deep expertise in issues critical to law firms, such as profitability and HR compliance, to a practice that is unique in the market,” says David Roberts, PIC of law firm services at Armanino. “Our team has decades of experience working with and inside of law firms, providing a wide array of solutions such as outsourced accounting and operations, firm strategy, succession planning, compensation strategies and more. With the addition of Terri and Kendra, we can now offer solutions to meet even more law firm operating needs in areas such as business development, marketing and HR.”

Armanino is the only firm in the western U.S. with a combined consulting and accounting practice that is exclusively dedicated to serving the business needs of law firms

Oppelt consults in all areas of law firm management and operations, including strategic planning, compensation, accounting and billing, administration support strategies, HR and leadership, organizational change, training and retreats.

Edson leads the team’s business development and marketing initiatives. In her role, she oversees efforts to expand and improve relationships with law firm clients and strategically engage new clients.

Robert Allen Returns to Whitley Penn as Managing Director

Robert Allen

Fort Worth, Texas-based Whitley Penn (FY17 net revenue of $97.6 million), an IPA 100 firm, announces that Robert Allen has rejoined the firm’s Fort Worth office as a managing director in the forensic, litigation and valuation group.

Allen previously worked at Whitley Penn from 2002 to 2008 in the same department. His areas of expertise include business valuation, intangible asset valuation and value enhancement consulting. He works with a number of industries for a variety of purposes, including tax reporting, financial reporting, regulatory compliance, litigation support, management consulting, succession planning and transactional advisory support.

Allen has extensive experience with purchase price allocations (ASC 805), goodwill impairment testing (ASC 350), stock-based compensation/options (ASC 718/IRC 409a), intangible asset valuation, estate and gift tax valuation, litigation and collaborative law matters, buy/sell agreement valuations, fairness opinions, solvency opinions, health care compensation studies and transfer pricing studies.

In addition, he has experience consulting with business owners on valuation and strategic planning issues, including the identification of value drivers and business risks to evaluate the impact on business value, identification of critical success factors and key performance indicators, the development of budgets and forecasts, and strategic benchmarking.

Marks Paneth Admits Tax Partner

Anthony Delfiner

New York-based Marks Paneth (FY17 net revenue of $131.4 million) has announced the addition of Anthony Delfiner as a tax partner in the firm’s Jenkintown, Pa., office.

Delfiner joins the firm’s commercial business group, which provides customized audit, tax planning and consulting services to clients in a variety of industries, including retail, restaurants, jewelry, manufacturing, wholesale and distribution.

Delfiner specializes in serving high-net-worth individuals and their closely held businesses, with extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions. He frequently assists clients with negotiations related to buying and selling businesses and advising on the tax implications of these transactions. He is also experienced in estate, gift and inheritance tax matters, both at the federal and state levels.

Prior to joining Marks Paneth, Delfiner was a tax partner in the Philadelphia office of a global accounting firm.

Applied Artificial Intelligence Leader Joins Grant Thornton

JT Kostman Ph.D.

JT Kostman, Ph.D., an internationally recognized leader in cognitive computing, applied artificial intelligence and data strategy, has joined Chicago-based Grant Thornton (FY17 net revenue of $1.75 billion) as managing director of applied artificial intelligence.

In this new role, Kostman will lead the development and delivery of artificial intelligence, machine learning, IoT, blockchain, and advanced analytic solutions and services for the firm and Grant Thornton clients. He will be based in the firm’s Iselin, N.J., office.

Kostman is a data scientist, mathematician and psychologist renowned for his expertise in applied artificial intelligence and cognitive computing. He has served as chief data officer and a member of the executive committee for Time Inc., chief data scientist for Samsung, and chief data scientist and big data psychologist for Aptus Insights. In addition to his corporate experience, Kostman has served U.S. intelligence, security and defense agencies, including the CIA, FBI and Department of Homeland Security, as well as President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.

“Grant Thornton and I are like-minded in our views on the potential for artificial intelligence, machine learning, IoT, and robotics to improve operations and create new opportunities,” Kostman said in a statement. “We share a commitment to helping enterprises move past the hype and focus on how they can use these technologies to improve their businesses. It’s all about bottom-line outcomes.”

UHY Advisors Announces Alliance with A.I.- Powered MinerEye

Yaniv Avidan

Chicago-based UHY Advisors (FY17 net revenue of $140.8 million) announced that the firm has formed an alliance with MinerEye, which uses artificial intelligence to track and protect sensitive data.

UHY, ranked among the top 50 firms in the country, says MinerEye will bolster its risk advisory group.

MinerEye’s Data TrackerTM enables business and government organizations to continuously identify, organize, track and protect vast information assets including undermanaged, unstructured and dark data, for safe and compliant cloud migration.

“Companies cannot protect, manage or utilize information they can’t find,” says MinerEye CEO and co-Founder Yaniv Avidan. “We believe Data Tracker will be an essential solution for UHY clients seeking to continuously automate data classification to reduce redundant data risk as well as complying with GDPR and other privacy regulations.

MinerEye Data Tracker helps companies consolidate internal file server data into OneDrive as part of Office 365 and Azure adoption. MinerEye helps customers swiftly identify, classify and tracking the on-premise data before, during and after it moves to the cloud.

As part of the alliance, UHY will oversee the professional services aspect of the offering, which includes advising clients regarding the implementation of the technology, as well as acting as the point of contact for clients after installation of the product.

“This alliance will add to the cybersecurity services we provide clients and ensure that they are well positioned to safeguard their most critical asset, their data,” Warren Zafrin, the leader of the Risk Advisory Services practice at UHY.

Aprio Combines with Magoon Freeman Spain & Jones, LLC

Joe Spain

Atlanta-based Aprio (FY17 net revenue of $85.1 million) has combined with Magoon Freeman Spain & Jones (MFSJ) of Alpharetta, Ga., expanding the firm’s presence in the state.

MFSJ is a boutique accounting firm serving closely held businesses, nonprofits and individual clients for more than 40 years. About 15 former MFSJ team members will continue to operate from their Alpharetta office as Aprio | MFSJ

Aprio says that its combination with MFSJ will increase the firm’s retirement plan business by 15%.

“Our existing clients will benefit from Aprio’s unmatched breadth of services as they look to their next,” Joe Spain, MP and co-founder of MFSJ, said in a statement. “Aprio’s reputation is well established for providing clients with future-focused advice and we’re delighted about the combination of the firms.”

Aprio MP Richard Kopelman says, “This combination will allow the MFSJ team to take advantage of our investments in business process automation, data analytics, as well as increased opportunities for skills building and career development through Aprio University.”

Gary Adamson, CEO of Adamson Advisory, advised both firms on the merger. “MFSJ has been a leader in the North Atlanta market for many years and was attracted to Aprio’s outstanding talent pool and extensive range of services focused on the middle market.”

MFSJ is the third merger announced by Aprio in 2018 and the sixth transaction in Georgia since 2007.

Weaver Admits Nabors to Partner, IT Advisory Services

Brett Nabors

Brett Nabors

Houston-based Weaver (FY18 net revenue of $127.1 million) admitted Brett Nabors to partner in IT advisory services effective Sept. 1. He works in the firm’s Austin, Texas office, where he will continue leading development of that market and expanding the IT-related services available to Weaver’s clients across the country.

“We are very pleased to promote Brett to partner,” says John Mackel III, Weaver’s MP and CEO. “Since joining Weaver, he has demonstrated leadership to team members and exceptional customer service for clients, exemplifying the firm’s core values.”

Nabors joined Weaver in 2016 as a senior manager, bringing 12 years of experience in advisory services that included directing a Big 4 firm’s risk assurance practice in Austin. He is well versed in IT compliance initiatives, IT control evaluations, internal audits, system implementations, data analytics, and other aspects of managing and improving IT performance, effectiveness and security. He assists clients with improving controls and processes, identifying and addressing risks and aligning IT processes with overall organizational strategy.

Brodsky Joins Marks Paneth as Director in Real Estate Group

New York-based Marks Paneth LLP (FY17 net revenue of $131.4 million) has announced that Steve Brodsky has joined the firm as a director in the real estate group. In this role, Brodsky will advise the firm’s real estate clients on tax matters associated with real estate investment trusts (REITs), partnerships, corporations and individuals.

Brodsky, based in the New York office, has more than 20 years of experience in all aspects of REIT tax consulting, the filing of federal and state returns and quality control issues. He has also represented real estate clients in tax controversies before federal and state taxing authorities.

Prior to joining Marks Paneth, Brodsky was a tax principal in the real estate practice of another nationally ranked accounting firm. He practiced law for seven years prior to entering the public accounting field.

Eide Bailly Names New Chief Practice Officer for South Central Region

Tom Goekeler

Tom Goekeler

Tom Goekeler, partner at Fargo, N.D.-based Eide Bailly LLP (FY18 net revenue of $299.2 million) has been named chief practice officer of the South Central region, which currently covers the firm’s Oklahoma and Texas offices. He joins Barb Aasen, CPO for the Midwest region, and Andy Spillum, CPO for the Western region. Goekeler currently serves as the PIC of the firm’s Tulsa, Okla., office, as well as the director of the dealership industry, and will continue in those duties in addition to his new role.

Goekeler’s new role includes overseeing the region and local partners, as well as identifying opportunities for growth and innovation. He brings more than 30 years of financial and public accounting experience to the table and prides himself on helping clients achieve their biggest business objectives.

“I am honored and excited to take on this new role,” says Goekeler. “I very much look forward to sharing in the building of our firm’s future, as well as working with our regional offices and growing the firm in this part of the country.”

Elliott Davis Promotes Eight Professionals to Shareholder Status

Greenville, S.C.-based Elliott Davis (FY18 net revenue of $119 million) has admitted eight members of its professional services team as shareholders, effective Sept. 1.

“These individuals have demonstrated a deep commitment to the development and growth of their respective practices and the firm as a whole,” says Rick Davis, CEO. “They’re all innovative thinkers who embody our future-ready approach to business and embrace their roles as change agents striving to transform what it means to be providers of tax, accounting and financial consulting services. We’re proud of their accomplishments and look forward to sharing in their continued success.”

The eight new shareholders/principals are:

Denise Bailey leads Elliott Davis’s accounting systems consulting group, providing businesses of various sizes with accounting, tax planning and compliance, and startup consulting. Bailey, who is based in the Greenville office, has specialized knowledge in accounting systems applications, accounting workflow processes and analysis, sales and use tax reporting and compliance, and payroll tax reporting and compliance.

Shelton Chambers is based in the Chattanooga, Tenn., office and works primarily in the areas of tax and estate planning for trusts, tax-exempt organizations and not-for-profit entities. Chambers advises clients on sophisticated estate plans, business transition plans and gifting mechanisms available to transition wealth to younger generations.

Michael Koupal is based in the Nashville, Tenn., office, provides accounting and assurance services to clients in the financial institution sector. With approximately 13 years of experience in public accounting, Koupal works with financial institutions ranging in size from $100 million to more than $3 billion in assets.

Jeremy Migliara is based in the Greenville office and serves as director of the SALT technical specialty group. Migliara, who has more than 25 years of experience in accounting, works with clients in a variety of industries and consults with multistate taxpayers in addressing technical state tax issues in the areas of income and franchise tax, sales and use tax, property tax, employment tax and state credits.

Eric Myers is based in the Chattanooga office. With more than 13 years of experience in public accounting, Myers provides tax planning and compliance services to manufacturing and distribution companies with multi-state and international operations, private equity-owned portfolio companies and closely-held businesses.

Ben Romeiser has more than 15 years of corporate tax experience in both industry and public accounting, is based in the Raleigh, N.C., office. Romeiser specializes in tax consulting and structuring, and mergers and acquisitions for the manufacturing and distribution and tax transaction services teams.

Thomas Self is based in the firm’s Greenville office. Self has extensive experience providing holistic tax planning and compliance services to partnerships, corporations, trusts, estates and individuals.

Marshall Stein has more than 10 years of experience and is based in the firm’s Raleigh office. Stein provides accounting, assurance and consulting services to clients primarily in the commercial, construction, manufacturing and real estate industry sectors.