RPC CPAs + Consultants Joins Carr Riggs and Ingram

Enterprise, Ala.-based Carr Riggs & Ingram (FY16 net revenue of $235.8 million) has acquired Albuquerque, N.M.-based RPC CPAs + Consultants (FY16 net revenue of $15.3 million). The RPC team joins more than 1,800 CRI professionals currently serving clients across the southern U.S.

RPC provides accounting and auditing, tax compliance and planning, business consulting, and small business accounting services with particular industry expertise delivered to agricultural, energy, governmental, nonprofit, construction and real estate clients.

“Joining CRI positions us to grow our practice and strengthen our competitiveness in this increasingly global marketplace,” says Ray Roberts, RPC MP. “By sharing back office support and functions, our team can focus on maximizing the success and growth potential of our clients.”

“I’ve had the opportunity to get to know Ray and his team this year, and our firms’ values and business philosophies fundamentally align,” says Bill Carr, CRI’s chairman and MP. “Leveraging the synergies of our combined teams and resources serves only to enhance our client service delivery and technical expertise.”

Spotlight On … Thomas Bonney, CBIZ CMF

Name: Thomas Bonney

Title: Senior Managing Director

Thomas Bonney

Thomas Bonney



  • Started and grew private equity-focused consulting firm from $0 in 2002 to $19.2 million in annual sales in 2016. Sold to CBIZ in June 2017.
  • Winner of the 2016 M&A Advisor Financial and Professional Services Award for CMF’s post-transaction FORWARD™ Program.
  • Winner of the Philadelphia Business Journal’s 2013 Outstanding Director Award for spirits company, Leblon, that Tom founded with two others in 2005 and sold to Bacardi in 2015.
  • While running CMF Associates, received master’s degree in liberal arts from the University of Pennsylvania.

Earlier this year, the firm you founded – CMF Associates – sold itself to CBIZ. Can you talk about why you made that decision?

I started the firm in 2002, and around 2003 committed to growing an advisory firm dedicated to meeting the needs of national middle market private equity-backed companies. Three years ago, we saw the growth in private equity especially, but also in advisory services generally, and began looking for a platform to grow faster and develop a broader service offering. In 2017, clients are interested in one-stop shopping. We see this happening in professional services and have a shared vision with CBIZ in taking advantage of this market opportunity.

You are a recognized expert in working with middle-market private equity companies. What are the chief issues facing these companies nowadays?

In today’s world, technology is upending the business models of most industries. Leaders of these firms are challenged with understanding and reacting positively to the nature, timing and extent of these dynamics. They also need to plan for the impact on their near- and medium-term revenue and bottom line. Private equity is using their capital and expertise in helping middle market companies navigate through these issues. The shortage of “A” level talent within the middle market across all disciplines and functions further complicates the odds for success.

What is the biggest mistake accountants make when preparing for a public offering?

The biggest mistakes in this area are related to having the right people with public company experience at the helm in critical functions at the time of an initial offering. Second, companies consistently underestimate the rigor with which their finance and accounting operation needs to be upgraded from their current state of people, process and technology. Last, as a public company, leadership needs to up their game on the comprehensiveness, granularity and timeliness of its forecasting and FP&A capabilities.

Your firm does some executive recruiting. What are the qualities of an A+ CFO?

The bar for an A+ CFO is perpetually rising. Furthermore, there is a three-dimensional aspect to today’s best-in-class CFOs: 1. They need to have deep, broad experience that spans all aspects of finance, administration, technology and analytics. 2. The job requires one foot firmly placed in the company’s operations – CFOs can no longer hide out in their office, and 3. Macroeconomic trends, competition and overall business dynamics require CFOs to be deep thinkers and leaders, helping to set and course correct the company and its business model for the next five years.

Final thoughts?

To quote the famous quarterback Joe Namath, “When you have confidence, you can have a lot of fun. And when you have fun, you can do amazing things.”

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

Chesbrough Promoted to Principal at SVA

Justin Chesbrough

Justin Chesbrough

Madison, Wis.-based SVA Certified Public Accountants (FY16 net revenue of $51.4 million) promoted Justin Chesbrough to principal.

“His extensive experience and industry knowledge allows SVA and its affiliates to remain as the premier services provider for our clients,” says Carl Schultz, president and CEO.

Chesbrough is a principal with SVA Certified Public Accountants and a member of SVA health care services. He works with health care practices on entity formation, financial statement presentation, benchmarking, employee structure and benefits, overhead control and tax planning. Chesbrough also works with his clients on compensation formula development and implementation for multi-owner businesses. He reviews individual, corporate and partnership tax returns and assists in training SVA staff on tax return preparation.

P&N Launches Cybersecurity Solution for Businesses

Baton Rouge, La.-based Postlethwaite & Netterville (FY17 net revenue of $58.3 million) announced the release of CYBERVEIL security solution, a full suite of cybersecurity and forensic services. CYBERVEIL helps clients identify, protect, monitor and respond to cyber threats.

CYBERVEIL provides clients with a full-scope, fully customizable approach to 24/7 cyber monitoring and protection. It is ideal for organizations that have suffered a data breach, companies lacking IT staff with specific cybersecurity expertise, or those concerned their IT security programs are not as sophisticated as the ever-evolving cyber threats.

“Cybersecurity is one of the greatest risks to our clients, and with more than fifteen years of focusing on information security and data protection, this solution evolved based on our clients’ needs and regulatory environments. We believe it’s a clearer path for clients needing specific expertise in cybersecurity and risk management,” says Michael Richmond, director of technology services.v

Weicher Joins Friedman as Managing Principal

Michael Weicher

Michael Weicher

New York-based Friedman LLP (FY16 net revenue of $94 million) welcomed Michael Weicher as a managing principal in the real estate group. He has more than 25 years of tax and business advisory expertise with a specialized focus in real estate and hospitality. Weicher also brings experience in the sports and entertainment industry, advising professional sports teams and regional broadcast networks on operations and ownership.

Prior to joining Friedman, Weicher served as managing director at Andersen Tax. He provided a full range of tax compliance and consulting services with specializations including analyzing potential purchases and acquisitions, assisting on acquisition due diligence and purchase price allocations, providing guidance on sales and financing transactions, conducting consultations on like-kind exchanges, preparing cash flow and tax projections, and advising foreign investors on tax structuring.

Cherry Bekaert Expands Presence in Washington, D.C.

Richmond, Va.-based Cherry Bekaert (FY17 net revenue of $173.8 million) has acquired Rockville, Md.-based Berlin Ramos & Company.

“The Greater Washington, D.C. metro area is a key strategic growth market for us,” says Howard Kies, MP of Cherry Bekaert. “The Berlin Ramos ‘Best Places to Work’ culture and long history of adding value for their clients makes them an ideal strategic match for our firm. Together, we will make a positive impact and a measurable difference for our staff and our clients.”

Berlin professionals joining Cherry Bekaert as partners and principals include Bruce Buchanan, Alan Bergamini, David Flinchum, Greg Sweeney, Steve Kenney and Eric Prawde.

“Our associates will enjoy greater professional and personal development opportunities with a larger organization,” says Bruce Buchanan, managing principal of Berlin. “The firm’s expansive service offerings will also allow us to add more value to our clients as their organizational needs continue to grow.”

Grant Thornton’s Gazzaway to Lead Quality and Innovation for Audit Services

Trent Gazzaway

Trent Gazzaway

Chicago-based Grant Thornton (FY16 net revenue of $1.7 billion) has named Trent Gazzaway as the national MP of quality and innovation for audit services.

In this newly created role, Gazzaway will join the senior leadership team and oversee all quality control functions within the audit services practice. He has more than 26 years of audit, professional standards, public policy and corporate governance experience.

Bert Fox will succeed Gazzaway as national MP of professional standards. He will lead the firm’s national office teams over accounting principles, audit methodology, securities and exchange commission (SEC) and regulatory matters, and independence and ethics. Fox has more than 20 years of accounting, audit, transaction advisory and risk management experience.

CohnReznick Grows Tax Practice with Two New Senior Executives

New York-based CohnReznick (FY17 net revenue of $617 million) has admitted two new partners in the New York office.

David DiFusco has been named tax leader of the New York office. He has more than 25 years of experience in tax accounting. He served as a regional leader for FAS 109 Competency, focusing on U.S. and international tax accounting (GAAP and IFRS), FIN 48 and Sarbanes-Oxley.

James Robbins will become a principal at CohnReznick. He is an international tax specialist with 30 years of public accounting experience including international tax, both inbound and outbound, corporate and investment partnership matters, structuring investments, restructurings, acquisitions and divestments. He also has extensive experience in financial products and derivatives taxation, both cross-border and domestic.

“In today’s current business environment, tax uncertainty is top of mind for many businesses. We understand that businesses need trusted advisors who can help them navigate the marketplace. We look forward to putting David and James’s skill sets to use to achieve our client goals,” says Alan Wolfson, OMP of the New York office.

2017 IPA Best of the Best Firm Profile: Holthouse Carlin & Van Trigt

Holthouse Carlin & Van Trigt (HCVT) has been named an IPA Best of the Best firm for 13 years in a row. It also jumped five spots up the IPA 100 list this year, with 15% growth, and is now ranked the 31st largest accounting firm in the nation. INSIDE Public Accounting asked MP Phil Holthouse to offer his insights into his firm’s success, growth goals, top clients and predictions on how the accounting profession may change over the next 10 years. Congratulations to the entire HCVT team.


To what do you attribute 13 consecutive years on IPA’s Best of the Best list?

We are committed to providing our clients with technical excellence and a client first attitude. When Jim Carlin, John Van Trigt and I came together 26 years ago, we wanted to create a firm that was different for our clients and employees – a firm based on technical excellence, and a business model built on partner access and accountability, where the focus is on needs of the client. I think we have achieved that goal, among many others, but we always remain a work in process.

Tell us about the types of services you provide to your top three clients.

We provide comprehensive tax services to our top three clients that are complex global organizations with sophisticated structuring, planning and reporting needs.

What are your growth goals for the next five years? 

We expect that our organic growth will continue and we will continue to pursue opportunistic lateral hires. Growth for HCVT is all about adding the right clients with needs that are aligned with our services and areas of specialization.

Holthouse Carlin & Van Trigt LLP

What type of client is an ideal fit for your firm?

Ideal clients are businesses and high-net-worth individuals with complex issues that will benefit from the depth of our services, private businesses that require assurance services in specific industries and practice specialization, and individuals and organizations that are not looking for a low-cost provider. Tax services represent our largest service line. HCVT’s tax professionals assist our clients to navigate the challenges and risks associated with the complex and often overwhelming tax environment by providing innovative and fact-based solutions customized to their specific needs. Whether the need is a federal, state and local, international or estate and trust tax issues, our team has the experience and technical skills to help provide the right answers and strategies.

Can you predict how accounting firm services will change over the next 10 years?

Data analytics, automation and the leveraging of technology will change how we deliver our services. Odds are that government taxes and regulations will not ease, will remain messy and will not simplify our lives. Pricing pressure for tax compliance and audit services will not lessen. Societal and generational forces will prompt (or accelerate) changes in how we communicate, where we work and how we work, e.g., AI, blockchain.

The Bonadio Group Welcomes Keiser as Financial Institutions Team Leader

Jamie Keiser

Jamie Keiser

Jamie Keiser, partner, has been appointed to the role of financial institutions team leader at Pittsford, N.Y.-based The Bonadio Group (FY17 net revenue of $92.1 million) in the commercial division.

Keiser is a seasoned expert in the field and practitioner in New York and Pennsylvania’s financial sector for more than 15 years.

Most recently, she was senior manager of audit and accounting services a mid-Atlantic firm.