Brown Schultz Sheridan & Fritz Merges In RLH CPAs & Business Advisors

Camp Hill, Pa.-based Brown Schultz Sheridan & Fritz (BSSF) (FY17 net revenue of $14.1 million) will add 31 employees June 1 when the firm joins with RLH CPAs & Business Advisors.

RLH has offices in Hanover, Pa., and two in Maryland in Frederick and Westminster.

The merger will expand BSSF’s footprint into Maryland and increase firm size to more than 130 employees.

“RLH is committed to providing the best for our clients, and we look forward to joining a firm like BSSF that will allow us to add and strengthen our expertise and service areas,” says Ryan Hastings, co-MP of RLH. “This is an opportunity that benefits our clients, and like BSSF, we truly believe in helping our clients achieve extraordinary outcomes.”

Both firms have been named a Best Place to Work in Pennsylvania for a number of years.

With the merger, BSSF will become a five-office firm, adding the three RLH locations to their Pennsylvania office locations in Camp Hill and Lancaster.

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BDO USA Expands Advisory Practice With AC Lordi Acquisition

Chicago-based BDO USA LLP (FY18 net revenue of $1.46 billion) has announced the acquisition of AC Lordi (FY17 net revenue of $18.7 million) of Malvern, Pa., effective June 1.

The addition brings 100 professions to BDO and expands its foothold in the Philadelphia area while expanding its advisory offerings. AC Lordi CEO Frank Lordi, along with the firm’s six other principals, will become BDO partners.

Founded in 2001, AC Lordi specializes in accounting, risk and compliance, business advisory and CFO services. The firm’s practice areas include SEC reporting, technical accounting, internal and IT audit, SOX compliance and finance transformation, among others. The firm has performed work throughout the U.S. and in more than 20 countries for a broad range of clients.

“As part of such a high-caliber advisory practice, we can take advantage of BDO’s resources and relationships nationally and around the world,” Lordi says, “In turn, our team will deepen BDO’s management consulting and regulatory compliance credentials in addition to strengthening its presence in the mid-Atlantic region. We are stronger together than apart.”

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Moore Stephens North America Announces Award Winners

The accounting association Moore Stephens North America (MSNA) has announced the winners of its second annual MSNA awards that recognize significant contributions to the advancement of the organization.

The winners were announced recently at the MSNA Spring Conference in Chicago.

The 2019 Collaboration Award was presented to the team at Beene Garter of Grant Rapids, Mich. (FY18 net revenue of $14.5 million).

“Over the years, Beene Garter has been a firm that consistently collaborates in areas we are both working in, as well as areas each other may be exploring,” says Tony Caleca, MP of Creve Coeur, Mo.-based Brown Smith Wallace (FY17 net revenue of $46.3 million).

Moore Stephens Award Winners

Caleca notes the regular collaborations in audit and tax, as well as the opportunities Beene Garter has made possible through the sharing of new software and processes. With a “what can we do to help” approach, their eagerness to collaborate has led to great referrals and additional business on both ends.

The 2019 Improvement Award was presented to the team at Vancouver, British Columbia-based DMCL. DMCL has grown by more than 40% in the past three years, and the firm plans to continue serving the community as the largest independently owned accounting firm in the Lower Mainland.

The 2019 Innovation Award was presented to the team at Woburn, Mass.-based DiCicco Gulman & Company (FY17 net revenue of $26.4 million). Through its weekly comedy program, “The Breather,” DGC has introduced a form of stress release through these four-minute videos, while also helping their growing firm get to know their coworkers a little better. With a huge impact on company morale, these videos prove the different ways that innovation can help move firms forward.

“While our members have seen substantial growth and success across the board, we feel it’s important to highlight those firms and individuals who have gone above and beyond,” says MSNA CEO Tony Szczepaniak. “We are proud to acknowledge their accomplishments and give them the accolades they deserve.”

Employees from member firms nominated the individuals, teams or firms the awards, with winners selected by the MSNA Executive Office.

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Dalby Wendland & Co. Names Chris West as CEO

Christopher L. West

Grand Junction, Colo.-based Dalby Wendland & Co. (FY18 net revenue of $13 million) announces the election of Christopher L. West as the firm’s CEO, effective July 1.

“We are positioning Dalby Wendland for a dynamic future,” says firm president Greg Keller. “Chris has shown strong leadership, insight and is committed to our people, clients and communities. He is the right person to lead this organization and successfully implement our firm’s vision.

As CEO, West will focus on firm leadership and vision direction, including operations, people, client service, technology and overall growth strategies. He is a Colorado native and started with Dalby Wendland in 1996. He became a tax principal in 2009.

Dalby Wendland & Co. has six offices in Colorado: Aspen, Glenwood Springs, Grand Junction, Montrose, Rifle and Telluride.

Hancock Askew & Co. Grows Transaction & Valuation Practice

Kevin Wilson

Savannah, Ga.-based Hancock Askew & Co. (FY18 net revenue of $15.7 million) announces the addition of two senior executives to the transaction and business valuation practice – Hancock Askew Advisors. The team now consists of five certified advisors.

Kevin Wilson and Sarah DeKreek have joined the team as directors of business valuation. Wilson will work from the Miami office and DeKreek will be located in the Atlanta office. Both will serve clients across all markets for business valuation services for tax, real estate, financial reporting, and transactional advisory and litigation support. They will also specialize in providing valuations for purchase price allocations, buy-sell agreements, succession planning, ESOPs and estate planning.

Sarah DeKreek

Hancock Askew Advisors is led by director Mary Roberts, who says Wilson and DeKreek will strengthen the firm’s reach and knowledge base and allow for further expansion of the practice. “Their depth of knowledge and experience in business valuations will add immense value to each engagement and I’m looking forward to working with them.”

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Armanino Expands to Orange County with Bolar Hirsch & Jennings Deal

San Ramon, Calif.-based Armanino LLP (FY17 net revenue of $242.7 million) has acquired Bolar Hirsch & Jennings LLP of Irvine, Calif., (FY18 net revenue of $18.8 million) effective June 1.  This transaction expands Armanino into Orange County and builds on the firm’s existing presence in Southern California.

“Bolar Hirsch & Jennings is a highly specialized tax firm with an amazing group of people and will put us in the hub of Orange County, where they have created a successful and trusted brand for nearly 30 years,” says Matt Armanino, CEO of Armanino LLP. “Armanino has been strategically investing in the Southern California market to ensure we can better serve the market with an expanded geographic footprint that covers all the major hubs in the region. With this addition, we will now have a total of five offices throughout Southern California.”

Bolar Hirsch & Jennings’ robust tax practice includes specialization in high-net-worth individuals, real estate and corporate tax solutions. This expertise is complemented by Armanino’s existing ability to serve individuals with a full family-office offering and businesses with expanded tax expertise and audit, consulting and technology solutions. The transaction brings value to individual tax clients looking for greater depth of expertise and a full suite of household finance solutions, and to Orange County-based companies that can take advantage of a wider set of available solutions to assist businesses at any stage of their lifecycle, from startup to wind-down.

“Our focus on driving the best results for clients is why Bolar Hirsch & Jennings is a top accounting firm in Orange County, and joining with Armanino will allow us to bring even more solutions to clients that will make their lives easier and optimize their business operations,” says David Hirsch, co-MP at Bolar Hirsch & Jennings. “This transaction not only expands our capabilities, but gives clients access to a large network of experts, including a real estate team well versed in real estate investment trusts (REITs), private equity funds and audit capabilities for all real estate businesses.”

“Bolar Hirsch & Jennings is a top-flight firm in Orange County with a stellar reputation for its client service and acuity in niche tax matters,” says Allan Koltin, CEO of Koltin Consulting Group, who advised both firms. “With this agreement, Armanino is extremely well positioned throughout Southern California.”

The former Bolar Hirsch & Jennings team will continue to operate from its Irvine office at 18101 Von Karman Ave., 14th floor.

Armanino’s strong 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 Firms list for 17 out of the last 18 years and is regularly featured in best places to work lists.

More news on Armanino

HMWC CPAs Remembers Marilyn Millare

Marilyn Millare

Marilyn Millare

Tustin, Calif.-based HMWC CPAs & Business Advisors (FY17 net revenue of $11 million) joins family and friends in remembering former partner Marilyn Millare, who passed away in late March.

She joined the firm in 1977 and was named partner in 1985. For many years, Millare headed up the firm’s tax department. With her strong expertise in real estate and pension plans, she worked with many sophisticated real estate clients. In addition, she sat on the board of CRS, the firm’s pension administration company. Millare, the first female partner at the firm, retired in 2013.

“She was doing her part to help advance the cause of female leadership in the business world,” says retired partner Gerry Herter. When the firm changed its name, Millare became the ‘M’ in HMWC.

The firm says that she was a trailblazer. At the time of her retirement, the firm had 50% female partners. And today, the firm maintains a 50% parity of females to males in leadership positions. That is a tribute to Marilyn’s legacy. She will be sorely missed.

IPA Vendor Spotlight On . . . Steve Templeton

Name: Steve Templeton

Companies: Templeton Solutions LLC and Templeton & Company, LLP

Title: Founder and CEO

Accomplishments:

Steve Templeton

Steve Templeton

  • Created industry’s first unitized practice management system to enable firms to manage their business from a single data source.
  • Templeton Solutions named a Top 100 VAR (Value-Added Reseller) for the past two years.
  • Named a “Power Leader” by the South Florida Business Journal for the past six years.
  • Templeton & Company named a Top 300 Accounting Firm by INSIDE Public Accounting for the past four years.

How has the accounting industry changed with the rapid rise in M&A activity?

So much has changed in the industry since I started my career over 40 years ago. The opportunity for firms to expand their client base, lure better talent and grow profits has never been bigger. Whether you are looking to acquire, looking to be acquired or thinking about a succession plan, M&A is on every firm’s strategy roadmap, regardless of size.

You know what hasn’t changed? The technologies most firms are using to manage their practice. Many of the well-known legacy systems are outdated, stale and incompatible with each other. As more companies look to consolidate, the challenge of integrating disparate solutions becomes glaring, driving up costs and creating inefficiencies. CPA firms are longing for the agility and ease of a practice management system that is already unitized, and that doesn’t require all the complex, error-prone integrations. The rapid rise in M&A activity as well as the need to efficiently manage their practice is causing firms to rethink their growth strategies and educate themselves on the new generation of practice management technologies coming to market.

What’s the biggest opportunity for CPA firms that PracticePro 365 can help with?

Two of the biggest challenges facing accounting firms are lack of visibility across their business operations and lack of timely insights. The most common complaint we hear from managing partners and founders operating in this new business landscape is, “I feel like I’m operating in the dark.”

PracticePro 365 consolidates their data, giving them a holistic view of their business – a single source of truth they can leverage to identify changes in revenue and productivity and make smart business decisions, at any given moment. The result is the ability to manage a fully unified firm, ultimately serving their clients better and unleashing more profit.

What need were you trying to fill in the accounting industry with PracticePro 365?

First, PracticePro 365 was developed for our firm.  As we developed functionality on the Microsoft Dynamics platform, it became clear that a client-centric system was the best way to gain incredible insights and efficiencies while enabling a holistic view of client service and relationships. Those instincts were spot on. While other large vendors boast of “integration-ready” practice management systems, our system is unitized on a common platform, so no integration is required. Delivered from the cloud, it is subscription-based, so there is no need to pay for or manage servers or a separate hosting provider. This is unprecedented in the market today.

Thoughts on the future?

We will all continue to face business headwinds, which is why we built PracticePro 365 in the cloud from day one. Scalability, flexibility and uncommon insights are, and continue to be, a priority for us. Our clients need to be able to adapt quickly, to not only survive the constant changing landscape we do business in, but to thrive in it.

To learn more about PracticePro 365, visit www.practicepro365.com.

CST Group and Anne L. Stone & Associates Merge

Anne Stone

Anne Stone

CST Group CPAs of Reston, Va., (FY17 net revenue of $11.2 million) has merged with Anne L. Stone & Associates of McLean, Va.

The merger expands CST’s presence in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Anne Stone will continue in as a partner in the combined firm. Stone offers tax advisory and compliance services to individuals, entrepreneurs and business owners.

“We are very proud of the more than 20-year history of our firm. We also recognize that the next step for our team and clients is to merge with a firm that is just as committed to high quality, enabling us to expand the platform of services we can offer to our clients. We look forward to staying on the cutting edge of the changes so prevalent in today’s markets for professional tax and accounting services,” Stone says.

“The addition of Anne Stone and her team members to our firm will have a significant positive impact on the combined firm as we continue to serve our clients through our growing practice,” says Joe Romagnoli, MP of CST Group.

McElderry & Associates Joins Hancock Askew & Co.

Savannah, Ga.-based Hancock Askew & Co. (FY18 net revenue of $15.7 million) and Atlanta-based McElderry and Associates have announced a merger.

With this merger, Hancock Askew will have two offices in Atlanta, as well offices in Augusta, Ga., Savannah, Ga., Miami and Tampa, Fla.

McElderry & Associates, led by founder and managing director John McElderry, specializes in tax, financial accounting, management consulting and QuickBooks® services to various clients including high-net-worth individuals, real estate firms, restaurants, and medical and dental practices. These specialties complement existing niche service areas at Hancock Askew.

McElderry says, “My team is excited for the opportunity to provide additional services and work with professionals in various specialties, while ensuring we maintain excellence in customer service and quality of work.”

Michael McCarthy, MP of Hancock Askew & Co., says, “John has significant experience in M&A and transaction work as well as complex tax work for small businesses and high-net-worth individuals.”

Atlanta’s OMP Russell Reece says, “The addition of John McElderry and his team to our Atlanta footprint falls in line with our strategic plans to continue to grow and expand our services for businesses and individuals in the region.”