BKD Acquires Portion of Grant Thornton’s Wichita Operations

Springfield, Mo.-based BKD LLP (FY17 net revenue of $564.4 million) announced that they will acquire a portion of the Wichita, Kan., audit and tax practices at Chicago-based Grant Thornton LLP (FY16 net revenue of $1.7 billion) effective June 1.

“We want to extend a warm welcome to our new BKD team members,” says Ted Dickman, CEO of BKD. “Grant Thornton’s commitment to client service in Wichita, and its deep experience in this market, will help us achieve our goals as we move forward.”

This will grow the capabilities of both BKD’s North Region and its existing Wichita office.

“We are excited to welcome Grant Thornton staff members and clients to our office,” says BKD Wichita MP Bill Pickert. “The combination of our two practices allows us to enhance our service and provide even more long-term advancement opportunities to our combined staff. The Grant Thornton practice brings a deep bench of experience and capabilities to our team and a tremendous group of clients.”

The members of the Wichita team that BKD is acquiring from Grant Thornton—which includes one partner and 16 professionals—will join BKD’s local operations. With approximately 2,650 personnel and 280 partners, BKD provides a wide range of assurance, tax and accounting outsourcing services.

“BKD is an impressive firm with a sterling track record of quality client service; by adding members of our talented team, BKD will be even better positioned to serve the Wichita business community,” says Dan Powers, OMP of Grant Thornton in Wichita. “Grant Thornton will continue to provide professional services in Wichita.  This sale allows us to focus on providing core clients and industries with advisory, tax and audit services that are aligned to our market strategy.”

Marcum Search Launches HR-Exclusive Recruiting Division Headed by Nancy Zucker

Marcum Search LLC, the executive recruiting and temporary staffing affiliate of New York-based Marcum LLP (FY16 net revenue of $449 million), is launching a new division focused exclusively on recruiting for human resources. The division will be headed by Nancy Zucker, who joins Marcum Search as vice president.

“Human resources has become a highly complex and strategic C-suite function, responsible for many of the most nuanced aspects of corporate operations,” says Richard Paris, president of Marcum Search. “The demand for experienced, talented HR professionals at the corporate policy level continues to escalate, and our new division, under Nancy Zucker’s leadership, is very well positioned to meet this growing need.”

“Whether a company is recruiting its first HR executive, seeking advice at the CHRO level on strategic hiring, or building an entire HR team, the right candidate must be able to function as a business partner,” says Zucker. “Skill-set, corporate culture, diversity and many other factors, in addition to professional and leadership experience, must all be taken into consideration to ensure the right match.”

Zucker joins Marcum Search from Nancy Zucker Associates, a boutique human resources executive search firm headquartered in New York City. As a former HR practitioner and a member of the Society of Human Resource Management, she has more than 20 years of experience as a specialist in human resources recruitment.

WithumSmith+Brown SOC Team Authors and Presents Inaugural AICPA SOC for Cybersecurity Certification

When the AICPA hosted its flagship System and Organization Controls (SOC) for Cybersecurity Certification course this past week, members of Princeton, N.J.-based WithumSmith+Brown’s (FY17 net revenue of $175.4 million) SOC for Cybersecurity Services Group served as lead instructors for the curriculum. This first-of-its-kind program also was authored by the professionals from the advisory, tax and audit firm. In total, seven Withum professionals also are among the first CPAs nationwide to earn the AICPA’s SOC for Cybersecurity digital badge.

A market-driven, flexible and voluntary reporting framework, SOC helps organizations communicate their cybersecurity risk management program initiatives as well as effectiveness of controls.

Withum’s certified SOC for Cybersecurity team members includes Tony Chapman, partner and SOC practice leader; Anurag Sharma, principal; Scott Mahoney, senior manager; Jim Bourke, partner, director of advisory practice; Stephanie Fitzgerald, SOC senior manager; Anupam Goradia, SOC senior manager; and Andrea Fernandez, SOC staff auditor. These certifications have earned Withum the distinction of having more AICPA-authorized SOC specialists, to perform peer reviews on SOC engagements, than any other CPA firm nationwide.

“As a leader in SOC and cybersecurity and information security services, Withum has once again distinguished itself – this time as it relates to the new cybersecurity risk management reporting framework,” says Chapman. “Our firm is among the first and has the highest concentration of fully designated SOC professionals authorized to provide peer reviews.”

AICPA has retained Withum to write, present live and record on-demand viewings of the first SOC for Cybersecurity Certificate training course for SOC professionals. Three of Withum’s professionals, Chapman, Sharma and Mahoney, served as course authors and presenters. Topics addressed in the AICPA-sponsored course offer an overview of the cyberthreat landscape and terminology, various SOC services, components of a cybersecurity risk management program, utilization of criteria to assess an entity’s controls, key steps for performing the cyber risk-management examination and factors to consider while forming the opinion and preparing the practitioner’s report.

SOC for Cybersecurity is a new entity-wide cybersecurity audit that allows organizations to report on their cybersecurity management programs to internal and external stakeholders with credibility. For clients whose cybersecurity risk management programs are mature, an independent third-party firm can perform a comprehensive examination to assess cybersecurity risk management programs.

IPA Spotlight On … Jill Boyle, Sikich

Name: Jill Boyle

Title: Senior manager, not-for-profit tax

Firm: Sikich


Jill Boyle

Jill Boyle

  • Named to the Milwaukee Business Journal’s 2018 “40 Under 40” list.
  • Serves as a leader in Sikich’s not-for-profit tax practice.
  • Co-founded Momentum Milwaukee, a networking community for emerging women leaders.
  • Named a finalist for BizTimes Milwaukee’s 2016 Nonprofit Excellence Awards.

You’ve said you believe in blending your passion for volunteering around Milwaukee with your career specializing in nonprofits. Why is that so important to you and how does this weave into your practice and leadership?

Volunteering has always been an important part of my life, and when I moved to Milwaukee, I wanted to dive right in and do my part to make the city a better place. I did that by joining organizations such as Running Rebels, the Down Syndrome Association of Wisconsin Family Services and Momentum Milwaukee. At the same time, I have a passion for helping not-for-profit organizations with tax planning and compliance. My volunteer work provides me valuable exposure to the operations of not-for-profit organizations that allows me to bring added insight to my client engagements.

What are you most proud of relating to how you’ve served as a resource to client(s)? Share an example.

I am passionate about educating my not-for-profit clients on important accounting rules and regulations that may seem arcane and overwhelming to them. For example, I frequently guide clients on how to not only properly complete their Form 990s, but how to do it in a way that tells a positive story about their organizations. It is rewarding when I educate one board member, and that leads to additional follow-up meetings with other board members and committees. There’s a desire for financial knowledge at these organizations, and I’m happy to draw on my experience to meet that need.

Can you offer any solid advice for young professionals on ways to develop leadership skills early on in their career? What can they do?

Meet people by being proactive. It’s important to build a professional network so you can learn from others, and grow personally and professionally. Volunteering with local not-for-profit organizations is a great way to not only give back to the community but also expand your network and build additional leadership skills. Also, seek opportunities to join senior members of your organization at professional development and networking events. Often, senior managers don’t invite younger members of their teams to these events because they simply don’t think about it. So, young professionals should be assertive and ask to attend these events, when appropriate.

When you look ahead 10 years from now, how do you see the profession changing / morphing?

Technology is rapidly transforming the accounting profession. As it does, much of the compliance work we do today will likely be automated. This presents a challenge and opportunity for CPAs. We will need to become even better consultants as we guide clients on tax planning and strategy. And as the behind-the-scenes compliance work goes away, younger accountants will need to step into these client-facing consulting roles earlier than they do today. This will present a great opportunity for ambitious CPAs to become innovative, forward-looking consultants for organizations.

Final thoughts?

Not-for-profit accounting is an exciting and challenging field, and CPAs offer great value to these vital organizations. Sikich has a robust not-for-profit practice, and I’m proud to come to work each day and help not-for-profit organizations overcome challenges and improve their tax strategies.

Do you know someone else who would make a good Spotlight? Contact Christina Camara.

Raich Ende Malter & Co. Launches ThinkLab for Blockchain Accounting

New York-based Raich Ende Malter & Co. LLP (FY16 net revenue of $47.1 million) announced the launch of REM ThinkLab, an effort to provide thought leadership on blockchain accounting. As cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum gain ground in global commerce, an understanding of blockchain, the digital ledger technology used to record cryptocurrency transactions, is essential for the accounting profession. To aid clients and colleagues in parsing this new tech, REM ThinkLab will publish periodic whitepapers, as well as thought pieces on The REM CycleRaich Ende Malter’s tax blog.

REM ThinkLab is helmed by Arthur DaPonte and Tyler Russell, who have co-authored a blockchain whitepaper, an illustrated blog post, and a comprehensive glossary of blockchain technology terms for newcomers. They are currently developing a CPE course on the topic.

DaPonte and Russell are confident that blockchain is ultimately a source of new business for accountants. “As industries harness the power of blockchain to become more efficient and effective in their operations, CPAs and auditors will play an integral role in providing the public with the assurance that these processes will require,” says DaPonte.

“At this point, everyone has heard of blockchain and how it will revolutionize the accounting industry, but with REM ThinkLab, we are actively examining the blockchain process and its applications. As always, Raich Ende Malter is looking to the future and embracing new technology,” says Cornelius Kilbane Jr., PIC REM’s New York City office.

BDO USA Acquires Smith & Gesteland

Chicago-based BDO USA LLP (FY17 net revenue of $1.4 billion) announced an expansion of its Wisconsin practice through the addition of 85 staff, including 15 partners, from Smith & Gesteland LLP (FY16 net revenue of $15.4 million) of Middleton, Wis., effective July 1.

Smith & Gesteland provides accounting, tax, human resource management and information technology services to a client base of middle market businesses. The firm has an “80/20” consulting practice that helps clients focus on critical success factors to enhance profitability. S&G has significant strength in the construction, technology, manufacturing, nonprofit and real estate industries.

“I look forward to welcoming all of the partners and professionals of Smith & Gesteland to BDO USA. Our firm has demonstrated steady growth in the Madison market and this combination will greatly enhance our presence in both Madison and the greater Wisconsin market,” says Wayne Berson, CEO of BDO USA. “S&G’s entrepreneurial culture is a natural fit with BDO. They bring significant resources to our existing industry strengths in real estate, nonprofit, manufacturing, construction and especially technology, where we will be the dominant firm in the market.”

“In combining with BDO, we will form the leading firm serving middle market businesses in the Madison market, while providing both our clients and our people with additional opportunities for growth,” says Bill Pellino, MP of S&G. “Our clients will still receive the same close personal attention they have come to expect from our team, but now they will have access to a wider array of services, broader industry experience, and the full coverage of BDO’s extensive global network.”

Upon completion of the transaction, Pellino will serve as the Tax MP for BDO’s Wisconsin practice and Dan Kramer will continue in his existing role as BDO’s Assurance MP for Wisconsin.

“In all my years of consulting in the Wisconsin market, I cannot recall a firm more sought after by both national and regional suitors than S&G,” says Allan Koltin, CEO of Koltin Consulting Group, who advised both firms on the transaction. “In the end, S&G felt BDO’s culture – very similar to their own – was the right fit. They also valued the depth of resources BDO can provide their clients and the growth opportunities it provides their associates. BDO really valued S&G’s strong leadership and depth of talent.”

Allen Admitted as Partner at BlumShapiro

Amy Allen

Amy Allen

West Hartford, Conn.-based BlumShapiro (FY16 net revenue of $76.5 million) has admitted Amy Allen as partner, leading the firms Human Resource Consulting Services.

With more than 25 years of experience, Allen has held human resources executive roles at Suffolk Construction, The Boston Globe, Staples and other large national organizations before launching Amy Allen Human Resources Consulting, which provided advisory services consisting of organizational change, talent management, human resources functions, benefits & rewards and learning & development.

“Amy’s multi-year tactical and strategic experience in human resources brings a comprehensive skill set to the people side of our clients’ business,” says Brian Renstrom, managing partner Massachusetts and managing partner consulting of BlumShapiro.

As a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources, Allen brings best practices in the areas of recruiting, benefits, compensation, organizational development, performance management, employee relations, policy development and compliance, HRIS, retention strategies, success planning, project management and executive coaching.

Crowe Horwath LLP to Become Crowe LLP

Effective June 4, Chicago-based Crowe Horwath LLP (FY17 net revenue of $809.5 million) will begin practicing under a new name, Crowe LLP. The firm will continue to operate as Crowe Horwath LLP in certain states, pending final review of its name change application in those states.

CHAN Healthcare, part of Crowe Horwath LLP, will now become Crowe Healthcare Risk Consulting LLC. The CHAN leadership, culture, values and commitment to clients will remain the same, but the company will now refer to itself as Crowe. The Crowe Horwath Global Risk Consulting and Crowe Horwath Cayman Ltd. entities will not be changing their names. All entities will align with the Crowe name and logo.

Founded by Fred Crowe and his partners in South Bend, Ind., Crowe draws on more than 75 years of name recognition. Today, the global accounting, consulting and technology firm has more than 4,000 employees.

“As we’ve grown, we’ve stayed true to our core purpose, and our commitment to our clients is as strong as ever,” says CEO Jim Powers. “In recent years, we’ve been on a transformational journey, focused on our talent and our technology offerings to deliver on our brand promise, ‘Smart decisions. Lasting value,’ and to simplify the lives of our people and our clients. Changing our name to simply Crowe, which is shorter and easier to recall, is just one more step in that journey.”

Crowe LLP will also continue to serve clients worldwide as part of the Crowe Horwath International network, which is rebranding as Crowe Global effective June 4. This network, one of the largest in the world, consists of more than 200 independent accounting and advisory services firms in more than 130 countries around the world.

Cherry Bekaert Adds International Tax Director to Growing South Florida Practice

Randall Cathell

Randall Cathell

Richmond, Va.-based Cherry Bekaert LLP (FY17 net revenue of $173.8 million) announced that Randall Cathell has been named as International Tax director in the firm’s South Florida practice. Cathell brings to Cherry Bekaert more than 20 years of experience regarding federal, international, and state tax compliance and consulting matters.

Cathell’s expertise covers the areas of structuring and repatriation, income tax withholding, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), and the international tax aspects of income tax accounting and reporting. Additionally, Cathell’s knowledge spans foreign tax credit modeling and optimization, Subpart F planning and analysis, earnings and profits analysis, related-party debt financing, and expatriate tax planning and compliance.

“In his role at Cherry Bekaert, Randall will oversee the International Tax practice for the firm’s Florida market. His primary focus will be C corporations and outbound tax matters for both public and privately-held companies. Randall brings an added layer of competency to our Florida market which is critical given the recent Tax Reform Act,” says David Appel, Cherry Bekaert’s South Florida MP. “Further, Randall’s knowledge, expertise and experience strengthen our international tax engagements and reinforce our position at the forefront of professional service providers.”

Before joining Cherry Bekaert, Cathell spent nine years as an international tax director for one of the nation’s largest public accounting, consulting and technology firms. He also served as a tax director for two global companies, in both transportation and manufacturing.

O’Beirne Named Leader of EisnerAmper’s International Tax Services Group

Gerard O’Beirne

Gerard O’Beirne

New York-based EisnerAmper LLP (FY17 net revenue of $352.6 million) announced that Gerard O’Beirne has been named the leader of the firm’s International Tax Services Group, specializing in international taxation, advisory and compliance services, publicly traded and closely held businesses, and high-net-worth individuals.

O’Beirne has more than 25 years of experience with both inbound and outbound structuring, including mergers and acquisitions. He also works with expatriates on their financial management and tax issues, including pre-departure and subsequent-return tax planning and tax compliance.

His clients span public, private, multistate and multinational entities. His practice has involved serving clients with operations throughout Western Europe and Asia. He is a frequent speaker at international conferences and writes extensively on international tax matters.

“Brexit, corporate repatriation and a host of other issues continue to greatly impact the global marketplace,” says Christopher Loiacono, MP of services. “Thanks to his experience and unique skill sets, Gerry is the ideal person to lead the firm’s international tax efforts to service clients with these broad-based, often-complex issues.”