Deloitte US Elects Ucuzoglu CEO, Foutty Chair

Joseph Ucuzoglu

Joseph Ucuzoglu

Joseph Ucuzoglu has been elected CEO and Janet Foutty has been elected chair of the board of New York-based Deloitte (FY17 net revenue of $18.6 billion), the largest accounting firm in the country. Both terms begin June 2.

Ucuzoglu and Foutty will succeed current Deloitte US CEO Cathy Engelbert and chairman Mike Fucci at the conclusion of their four-year terms. In July, the firm told its partners that Engelbert, the first woman to run a Big 4 firm in the U.S., would not be renominated for a second four-year term. In December, Ucuzoglu and Foutty were named the official candidates, subject to a vote this year.

“Joe’s distinguished record of serving our clients and driving transformative, technology-driven change positions him to lead our firm as clients, the capital markets, and society at large turn to Deloitte to navigate the opportunities brought on by the fourth industrial revolution” says Fucci in a statement. “Janet’s extensive leadership experience across multiple dimensions of our businesses, combined with her deep understanding of technology and innovation, the workforce of the future, and her commitment to inclusion have earned her a broad followership internally and externally.”

He added, “I would like to offer my gratitude to Cathy, a recognized leader in the business community who has led Deloitte US during her term to record growth while making significant investments in innovation and supporting our people’s professional lives and career journeys with a series of groundbreaking initiatives.”

Ucuzoglu currently serves as the chair and CEO of Deloitte & Touche LLP, where he has overseen all aspects of the transformation of the audit and assurance practice over the past four years. Ucuzoglu serves several of Deloitte’s largest clients and serves on Deloitte Global’s board of directors.

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Baker Tilly Partners with Visual Lease

Chicago-based Baker Tilly (FY18 net revenue of $578.4 million) announces a partnership with leading lease accounting and management software provider, Visual Lease. The enterprise level lease accounting software provides:

  • Flexible, cloud-based lease accounting software
  • Compatibility with all lease types
  • Highly efficient automated lease accounting
  • Ability to import lease data
  • Classification of leases with an automated lease test
  • Automated lease calculations, journal entries and disclosures
  • Easily configurable Excel-based reporting

The new ASC 842 standard on accounting for leases changes the financial reporting obligations of companies that enter into leasing transactions for assets such as real estate, vehicles and equipment.

“This scalable solution offers exceptional value by creating efficiencies for clients who want a user-friendly solution for high-volume lease portfolios,” Jere Shawver, Baker Tilly’s MP of assurance and risk, says. “They need to comply with the new ASC 842 standard, but without this solution they would have to manually account for their leases, driving up their internal costs and reducing available resources to complete high value projects.”

Marc Betesh, CEO of Visual Lease, says, “By implementing the Baker Tilly / Visual Lease solution, companies can quickly comply with the new lease accounting standard through a proven solution that combines a leading lease administration software solution with excellent implementation and consulting support from a top firm in the industry. In the end, Baker Tilly’s clients will have improved financial and operational control over their leases.”

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Aprio Launches Forensic and Investigative Services

Nicole Ponziani

Nicole Ponziani

Atlanta-based Aprio LLP (FY17 net revenue of $85.1 million) has launched a new team within its litigation support and forensic accounting services group – forensic and investigative services.

The team is led by Nicole Ponziani, who uses proprietary models to work with attorneys and clients in gathering evidence in the investigation of alleged “bad acts.” Her involvement includes the handling of internal and criminal investigations through subject interviews and tracing of assets with proven results.

Some examples of Aprio’s forensic and investigative services work include:

  • The Aprio team was engaged to investigate and analyze a multi-million-dollar asset misappropriation involving a financial institution. Hundreds of transactions and identified recipients were found to be fraudulent. Restitution was sought and the proper documents were provided to the regulators, insurance carrier and law enforcement.
  • The Aprio team performed an internal investigation on a multi-million-dollar private company. We identified a significant misappropriation of assets. Under our guidance the company rectified the inadequacies in their internal controls. A claim to their insurance carrier and a report to law enforcement was prepared.

Ponziani, with a degree in criminology, has more than 17 years of experience having worked with local law enforcement and fraud countermeasures compliance in areas such as fraud investigations, financial services regulatory compliance, FCPA, RICO, HR investigations, money laundering and Ponzi schemes.

“It is our goal to minimize the impact that an investigation has on our clients’ businesses operations,” said Howard Zandman, PIC of litigation support and forensic accounting services. “The forensics and investigative services team’s expertise in getting beneath the surface enables us to reach solutions efficiently and effectively and provide evidence that is clear, understandable and withstands the rigors of court.”

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Robin Bell Appointed to Board of Women’s Foundation of Greater St. Louis

Robin Bell

Robin Bell

Creve Coeur, Mo.-based Brown Smith Wallace (FY17 net revenue of $46.3 million) announced that Robin Bell, a partner in the tax services practice, has been appointed to the board of the Women’s Foundation of Greater St. Louis.

Bell has more than 25 years of accounting, auditing and tax experience and is a key member of the Brown Smith Wallace tax practice management team. She helps lead the firm’s community service projects and Women’s Leadership Program, both internally and externally, making this new board position an especially good fit for her talents and interests.

Founded in 2007 by a group of forward-thinking St. Louis women, The Women’s Foundation of Greater St. Louis is committed to improving the lives of women and girls in the St. Louis region by encouraging and promoting their economic self-sufficiency. The foundation assists women in local communities through grants to emerging and established nonprofits that seek to improve economic independence for women and girls.

“Promoting financial literacy and economic self-sufficiency in women and girls is incredibly important, and I look forward to working with the organization to support local nonprofits in their efforts to improve the lives of St. Louis women,” Bell says.

Armanino Opens New Office in Seattle

San Ramon, Calif.-based Armanino LLP (FY17 net revenue of $242.7 million) has added a new full-service office with tax, audit and consulting resources located in downtown Seattle to meet the needs of its established clients and develop new opportunities in the Pacific Northwest.

As a region ripe with expanding technology companies, world-class nonprofit organizations and a strong midmarket presence, Armanino recognized a prime opportunity to bring value to the market, the firm announced.

“We are seeing a need for more specialized resources in the region, whether that means consulting with us for technical accounting or SOX, complex tax issues or a broader outsourced finance solution,” says CEO Matt Armanino. “We’re also excited about the potential to grow a connection to the robust local talent pool and, being a top 1% Microsoft partner, our new proximity provides direct access to Microsoft.” Microsoft is headquartered in nearby Redmond, Wash.

Armanino’s aggressive growth is anchored in its pursuit of expanded service lines, technology solutions and specialized expertise. The firm has been listed on INSIDE Public Accounting’s Best of the Best list for 15 of the last 16 years, and has a Net Promoter Score that is nearly double the average for the accounting industry.

Armanino’s Seattle location is at 801 Second Ave.

Armanino has seven offices in California, in San Ramon, San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles, West Los Angeles, Woodland Hills and El Segundo. The firm is also operates from offices in Dallas and Naperville, Ill.

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Frazier & Deeter Opens First International Office

Atlanta-based Frazier & Deeter (FY17 net revenue of $83.6 million) has announced the opening of an office in London, which will operate as Frazier & Deeter U.K.

Frazier & Deeter U.K. will offer business advisory services, including international tax, tax compliance, transaction advisory and other services to support critical business decisions.

“Expanding to the U.K. will help Frazier & Deeter better support our multi-national clients,” notes MP Seth McDaniel. “We are ideally positioned to assist British businesses looking to maximize Anglo/U.S. trade opportunities in the post-Brexit era.”

The U.K. practice will be led by Malcolm Joy, an award-winning expert in international tax. He has served as a resource for BBC news and Bloomberg regarding tax matters. Joy was formerly an equity partner with BDO, where he served in a variety of U.K. and global leadership roles.

“Based on my many years as a tax advisor, I believe Frazier & Deeter’s strong culture, with its emphasis on investing in relationships, will delight our clients as we grow Frazier & Deeter U.K.,” he says. “Our ownership structure and focus on the U.K. and the U.S. provide us with an excellent platform for serving international clients.”

Frazier & Deeter and its subsidiaries have nine offices across the United States. “We see tremendous opportunity for Frazier & Deeter in the U.K.,” says McDaniel. “We believe our culture of client service and our track record of delivering value to clients will help us grow a strong practice in the U.K.”

The firm has been recognized repeatedly by INSIDE Public Accounting as a Best of the Best firm.

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RKL Expands Research & Development Tax Credit Practice

Benjamin J. Fortner

Benjamin J. Fortner

Lancaster, Pa.-based RKL LLP (FY17 net revenue of $67.9 million) announced that Benjamin J. Fortner has been named leader of the firm’s expanded research and development (R&D) tax credit practice, which is part of the tax services group. Joining Fortner is Kerrie A. Wesley, who serves as R&D credit practice manager.

“Now that research and development tax credits are more widely available to even more industries, we’re proud to welcome highly regarded professionals like Ben Fortner and Kerrie Wesley to grow RKL’s R&D tax credit practice and help businesses across the nation take full advantage of this economic incentive,” says RKL CEO Edward W. Monborne.

Thanks to recent regulatory changes that removed limitations and expanded eligibility for these tax credits, more companies of various sizes and industries can reliably plan to use the credit dollar-for-dollar against their tax liability.

The practice specializes in partnering with all sizes of companies to capture tax benefits from development and improvement activities. Beyond the assessment and analysis to uncover current opportunities, the team also develops and implements internal procedures to position companies to track expenses and activities eligible for future credits.

“Most companies are underserved by the standard approach to R&D tax credit applications,” Fortner says. “The RKL team employs a custom approach and crafts a tailored analysis around the development process specific to each clients’ eligible research activities. This model translates into real dollars for our clients.”

Fortner has overseen hundreds of R&D tax credit studies in a wide variety of industries including architecture, engineering, construction, large-scale manufacturing, material production and mining, agriculture and precision metal machining.

Wesley has a successful history of creating tangible value for businesses in a number of industries, including manufacturing, tool and die, construction, architecture, mechanical contractors and agriculture.

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Armanino Expands Privacy Services Practice to Protect Client Data

San Ramon, Calif.-based Armanino LLP (FY17 net revenue of $242.7 million) announces the expansion of its privacy services practice to help business leaders address and comply with the quickly changing privacy and breach notification laws.

“Data privacy is crucial for all businesses, particularly those entrusted with sensitive consumer data,” says Liam Collins, partner and practice leader for risk assurance and advisory services. “Armanino’s privacy services practice was founded with the understanding that data privacy is a critical business issue for clients and a fundamental right for all consumers.”

The practice offers a full spectrum of services including privacy managed services, privacy impact assessments, data inventory, privacy program assessments, outsourced data protection and compliance.

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Baker Tilly Expands Health Care Practice

Jennifer Schwalm

Jennifer Schwalm

Chicago-based Baker Tilly (FY18 net revenue of $578.4 million) announces that Jennifer Schwalm has been admitted as a partner in its health care practice.

Schwalm has more than 25 years of experience in health care and senior services. She will serve as Baker Tilly’s senior services sector leader.

“Her vast industry experience will help our clients confront the challenges of today and develop strategies for the future,” says Mark Ross, Baker Tilly’s national health care firm leader.

Schwalm will work with senior services providers to develop and execute strategic plans; facilitate merger, acquisition, partnership, and affiliation discussions and transactions; enhance their market positioning and alignment with health care systems; identify and implement operational changes that accommodate efficiencies, and analyze the financial impacts of expansion, renovation and repositioning projects.

In her previous position as chief mission development officer with Masonic Villages of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania (MV of PA) and president of Ashlar Creative Solutions, a subsidiary of MV of PA, Schwalm was responsible for evaluating, developing and implementing strategic initiatives to grow the organizations while supporting their core mission.

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Andersen Tax San Francisco Office Welcomes Managing Director Al Nunez

Al Nunez

San Francisco-based Andersen Tax (FY17 net revenue of $247 million) has admitted Al Nunez as a managing director in the commercial practice group, working from the San Francisco office.

Nunez has over 20 years of tax experience and specializes in working with clients on various matters including compliance, consulting, transfer pricing and cross-border transactions.

“Al’s extensive background in ASC 740, ASC 718 and uncertain tax positions will provide valuable skill and expertise in the San Francisco office. His overall leadership in business development and mentoring staff will contribute to the success of the office’s growth,” says U.S. Country Managing Director Dan DePaoli.

Prior to joining the team at Andersen Tax, Nunez was a federal tax partner at RSM LLP. He also previously worked at EY.