Eide Bailly Acquires Digital Forensics Firm

Digital forensics and eDiscovery firm Decipher Forensics of American Fork, Utah, is now part of Fargo, N.D.-based Eide Bailly (FY17 net revenue of $269.4 million). Decipher Forensics brings four staff to Eide Bailly.

“Decipher Forensics’ talent and commitment to client service are a perfect match for Eide Bailly,” says Jeremy Bendewald, Eide Bailly director of forensic services. “Digital forensics, eDiscovery and data recovery are critical elements in assisting our clients. Our forensics team will now have even more experience and resources to help our clients navigate their circumstances.”

“This union is going to be the best of both worlds for our clients,” says Trent Leavitt, CEO of Decipher Forensics. “They will continue to get the same dedicated local service they have come to expect, and now they will have access to more resources that can help them succeed.”

Armanino Admits 11 to Partner

San Ramon, Calif.-based Armanino LLP (FY16 net revenue of $195 million) admitted 11 new partners, effective Jan. 1. This is the largest partner class to date and includes professionals in tax, audit, consulting and business management.

“We are excited to welcome this group as the largest partner class in firm history,” says Andy Armanino, MP. “This group represents the best of the public accounting profession and is a testament to the exceptional internal leadership programs that equip leaders to push the firm forward.”

Brooke Bruns, audit partner, is based in the San Ramon office and has more than 14 years of experience in public accounting. She provides audit and business consulting services, and works with clients in the nonprofit, private schools, insurance, financial services, real estate and solid waste sectors.

Lynell Chun, business management partner, is based in the firm’s west Los Angeles office and has more than 20 years of public accounting experience. She works with executives, entrepreneurs and other high-net-worth individuals on their estate, trust and planning needs.

Ivan Georgiev, tax partner, works in the west Los Angeles office and has nearly 20 years of experience providing tax and consulting services, with an emphasis on real estate accounting. His areas of concentration include all aspects of tax compliance and income tax planning for partnerships, corporations and high-net-worth individuals.

Patrick Hall, audit partner, works in the San Ramon office and has more than 12 years of experience in public accounting. He specializes in insurance industry audits, having provided assurance and auditing services to a variety of insurance underwriters and brokers. As part of the service organization control (SOC) practice, he works closely with management teams and internal audit departments to provide third-party assurance services.

Bill Hattox, tax partner, is based in the firm’s Dallas office and has more than 25 years of progressive international, multi-state, corporate and partnership tax experience. He has experience in mergers, acquisitions and reorganizations of companies and partnerships, with an emphasis on saving federal and state income taxes.

David Miller, consulting partner, works in the firm’s El Segundo, Calif., office and serves as a leader in outsourced finance and accounting services. He specializes in providing client service and CFO support to emerging and growing businesses in the franchise, technology, nonprofit and entertainment industries.

Heather Moore, audit partner, works in the firm’s San Jose, Calif., office and has more than 12 years of public accounting experience. She provides audit services to publicly traded and venture capital-funded private companies in the software, internet, electronics and semiconductor segments. She advises companies in a wide range of areas, including revenue recognition, equity accounting and business combinations.

Jeff Nichols, consulting partner, has more than 15 years of experience implementing Microsoft Dynamics ERP and customer relationship management systems. He is a member of Armanino’s enterprise solutions team, helping enterprise companies solve their toughest technology challenges and manage systems-related change for clients in a wide range of industries, including biotech, pharmaceuticals, high tech, professional services and software.

Jeff Russell, consulting partner, leads Armanino’s industry excellence team for high tech and life sciences manufacturing. Over the past 10 years, he has implemented Microsoft Dynamics AX and customer relationship management for more than 20 engagements in semiconductor, electronic device, medical device, pharmaceutical and outsourced technology manufacturing environments.

John Schweisberger, consulting partner, is based in the firm’s downtown Los Angeles office and has more than 30 years of experience. He serves as partner in Armanino’s law firm services group, focusing on expanding the firm’s consulting and outsourcing offerings for the law firm marketplace. He brings a combination of strategic, operational and technology consulting skills.

Carmel Wynkoop, consulting partner, has more than 20 years of experience applying software solutions to solve strategic business goals. She focuses on directing new business-driven processes from conception to implementation, including comprehensive product management, usability and organizational development.

RKL Admits New Partners

Lancaster, Pa.-based RKL LLP (FY16 net revenue of $61.5 million) admitted four new partners as result of the acquisition of Padden Guerrini & Associates of Mechanicsburg, Pa., which took effect on Jan. 1. The new partners will be primarily based out of RKL’s Mechanicsburg office.

H. David Padden was admitted as a partner in the tax services group, and has nearly four decades of experience providing accounting, tax and consulting services to business and individual clients.

Karin Guerrini, admitted as a partner in the audit services group, has more than three decades of experience in bank and credit union auditing.

Allyson Hornbaker, who was admitted as a partner in the audit services group, delivers assurance and management advisory services to clients, including financial statement audits and assistance with government reimbursement and HUD-sponsored projects.

Stefanie Knaub, admitted as a partner the senior living services consulting group, specializing in medical billing, including reimbursement, accounts receivable, policy and procedure review, and operational improvement.

EisnerAmper Expands Transaction Advisory Services Group

John Ruckstuhl

John Ruckstuhl

New York-based EisnerAmper LLP (FY17 net revenue of $352.6 million) welcomed John Ruckstuhl as a managing director in the transaction advisory services group, specializing in private equity, venture capital, quality of earnings, and buy-side and sell-side due diligence.

Ruckstuhl has more than 20 years of experience advising private equity and venture capital firms, as well as their portfolio companies, on domestic and international transactions. His experience also includes financial analysis for debt restructuring, carve-out transactions, reverse due diligence (including quality of earnings assessment and preparation for sale) and analyzing financial projections, cash flow models and working capital.

“With his impressive background, John is a great fit for the EisnerAmper team,” says Jay Weinstein, MP of markets and segments. “He’ll be instrumental in helping expand our breadth of services to our current private equity clients and their portfolio companies as well as create new private equity firm relationships.”

Ruckstuhl has experience with both public and private clients across a variety of industries, including consumer products, food and beverage, manufacturing and distribution, business services, health care, software, technology and retail.

“EisnerAmper has a great reputation in the marketplace,” says Ruckstuhl. “I look forward to working with the team to implement EisnerAmper’s results-driven private equity strategy and help take the transaction advisory services practice to the next level.”

Brown Smith Wallace Admits Smith as Partner

Greg Smith

Greg Smith

St. Louis-based Brown Smith Wallace (FY16 net revenue of $43.2 million) has admitted Greg Smith as partner in the advisory services practice.

Smith has more than 30 years of business experience specializing in information systems and internal controls. He has 19 years of public accounting and consulting experience and 13 years of industry experience with roles in internal audit, information technology and accounting. His background spans several industries, including financial services, health care and insurance.

As a partner, Smith’s focus will be to continue leading engagements involving system and organization control (SOC) examinations; IT audit; IT security and controls compliance; Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act compliance; and controls and process improvement.

Blue & Co. Announces New Directors-in-Charge

Larry King

Larry King

Carmel, Ind.-based Blue & Co. (FY16 net revenue of $77.5 million) announced that Larry King has been appointed to succeed Steve Sheridan as the Columbus, Ohio office director-in-charge, effective Jan. 1, 2019. Kurt Beier has been appointed to succeed Bob Abel as the Carmel Office director-in-charge, effective Jan. 1, 2018.

King began his career at Blue & Co. in September 1994 as a staff accountant in the audit department of the Carmel office. He transitioned to the firm’s Indianapolis office and the health care practice in 1999, before moving to the Columbus office in 2004. He was promoted to director in Jan. 2013. He currently leads the audit and attestation services in the Columbus office and he has served on multiple internal committees.

Kurt Beier

Kurt Beier

Sheridan has lead the Columbus office since 2015 and has influenced significant office growth in that time. He will be retiring as of Dec. 31, 2018 and will assist in transitioning the responsibilities of director-in-charge to King throughout the coming year.

Beier joined Blue & Co. in 2002 as an intern, while completing his degree at Butler University in Indianapolis. He was promoted to director in Jan. 2016 and has played a pivotal role with key construction and not-for-profit clients while also transitioning to lead the manufacturing/distribution niche in Carmel. He is also an active participant on the firm’s manufacturing committee, charged with further developing the thriving niche across the firm.

Abel will transition to director emeritus next year and will continue to work full-time, serving clients while leveraging his considerable experience and expertise to support the growth and development of the Carmel office.

CohnReznick Admits Stomper as an Audit Partner

John Stomper

John Stomper

New York-based CohnReznick (FY17 net revenue of $617 million) admitted John Stomper as a partner in the accounting and assurance department and based in the Chicago office. Stomper will work closely with clients in the financial services industry.

“His wealth of knowledge and expertise in the financial services industry will be incredibly valuable to our firm and to our region,” says Jason Burian, Chicago OMP.

Stomper has more than 30 years of accounting experience including nearly 20 years of providing audit and consulting services to an array of financial services clients, including private equity funds, hedge funds, registered investment companies, specialty finance companies and other alternative investment vehicles.

Stomper has consulted with clients on fund formation, financial reporting and valuation issues. He is also a specialist in performing global investment performance verification engagements.

Frazier & Deeter Admits Five New Partners

Ashley Babinchak

Ashley Babinchak

Atlanta-based Frazier & Deeter (FY16 net revenue of $74 million) admitted five to partner: Ashley Babinchak (audit), Patrick Crouch (audit), Gina Gondron (process, risk and governance), Robert Soares (audit) and Sasan Zamani (tax).

“We are proud of our new generation of partners, all of whom live up to our firm’s promise of investing in relationships to make a difference,” says Seth McDaniel, MP. “It is also exciting to see the first time in the history of the firm that the majority of our new partners are in offices other than our headquarters.”

Patrick Crouch

Patrick Crouch

Babinchak has more than 12 years of public accounting experience and is the leader of the firm’s audit practice in Nashville, Tenn. She is primarily responsible for providing assurance services to clients, specifically coordinating and executing financial statement audits and reviews. Babinchak specializes in the industries of manufacturing and distribution, health care, technology and professional services.

Gina Gondron

Gina Gondron

Crouch has 10 years of experience in public accounting. He plays a leadership role within the firm’s technology practice and is part of the audit team in Tampa, Fla. He specializes in complex revenue recognition, equity transactions, and stock–based compensation. He also has experience performing audits of both public and private companies.

Gondron has more than 10 years of advisory experience and is a member of the firm’s Atlanta office. She leads the delivery of IT audit and advisory services to clients across a variety of industries with emphasis in health care and technology. Her specialties include leading audits of IT general controls, SOC examinations, and assessments across a variety of compliance and control frameworks.

Robert Soares

Robert Soares

Soares has more than 20 years of experience in public accounting. He specializes in performing attest engagements for privately held businesses and has significant experience in servicing publicly traded companies. His clients cross numerous industries including construction, contracting, franchisors, manufacturing, professional services and hospitality.

Sasan Zamani

Sasan Zamani

Zamani has 11 years of experience in public accounting. He specializes in corporate tax planning and compliance, income tax, partnership tax and transaction advisory services. He serves clients in a variety of industries, specifically health care, technology, private equity, manufacturing and distribution and professional services.

BlumShapiro Acquires Premier Accounting Group

West Hartford, Conn.-based BlumShapiro (FY16 net revenue of $76.5 million) acquired Premier Accounting Group of Marlborough, Conn., effective Jan. 1.

“This merger represents an ideal cultural match for us; Premier is a long-established, highly respected and trusted name in accounting, and having them as part of the BlumShapiro team means even more value delivered to our clients on a daily basis,” says BlumShapiro CEO Joseph Kask. “Both firms are committed to and share a common culture of providing innovative and profitable solutions for each individual client.”

Founded in 2011, Premier Accounting Group specializes in finding outsourced accounting and bookkeeping solutions for clients, with extensive experience in health care, nonprofits, construction, professional services, retail, restaurants and distribution.

“This will be a seamless transition and will enable us to expand our service capability with an organization that shares our personal and professional values and provide our clients with the resources they require, all the while maintaining that personalized commitment and immediate level of responsiveness we have always had,” says Premier Accounting Group President, Robert Davis.

Whitley Penn Admits New Partners

Clint Crane

Clint Crane

Effective Jan. 1, Fort Worth, Texas-based Whitley Penn (FY16 net revenue of $83.6 million) admitted six to partners: Clint Crane, Camron Harris, Robert Metz, Brett Murphy, Elizabeth Pettijohn and Justin Roberts.

Crane joined the firm in 2016 as a tax senior manager in the Dallas office after holding several leadership roles at other firms. He provides tax consulting services to middle-market clients and is part of the Whitley Penn tax policy committee.

Camron Harris

Camron Harris

Harris joined the Dallas audit department of Whitley Penn in 2004. Since then his career experience has included serving public and private clients in real estate, professional services, manufacturing and distribution, oil and gas, private equity, and employee benefit plans.

Robert Metz

Robert Metz

Metz joined the firm in 2011 as a senior associate in the forensic, litigation and valuation services group. He specializes in valuations of businesses, forensic and fraud investigations, damages and lost profits calculations, and tracing and characterization of assets. Metz has provided expert witness testimony at depositions, hearings, and trials and assisted with numerous settlement negotiations.

Brett Murphy

Brett Murphy

Murphy joined the firm in 2014 as an audit manager in the Dallas office and was promoted to senior manager in 2015. Prior to joining Whitley Penn, he was with another local firm serving financial industry clients such as commercial banks, mortgage companies, bank holding companies, and savings and loan associations. Additionally, Murphy has worked with both publicly-traded and privately-held companies, in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, retail, infrastructure companies and employee benefit plans.

Elizabeth Pettijohn

Elizabeth Pettijohn

Pettijohn joined the firm in 2013 as a tax senior manager in the Dallas office after serving in several tax leadership roles at other organizations. She has experience in complex tiered structures that include partnerships, C corporations, Sub S corporations, REITs and LLCs. Pettijohn has expanded the firm’s capabilities as it relates to private-equity owned clients, clients with complex flow-through structures, REITs and MLPs.

Justin Roberts

Justin Roberts

Roberts joined Whitley Penn in 2006 and has experienced his entire professional career at the firm. Over the last twelve years, he has served in the Dallas audit department and has had extensive experience advising clients on generally-accepted accounting principles, SEC and Sarbanes-Oxley issues. Roberts works with the oil and gas industry as well as serving a variety of public and private companies.