Dayton Benway Takes Reigns as Managing Principal of Baker Newman Noyes

Dayton Benway

Dayton Benway

Portland, Maine-based Baker Newman Noyes (FY17 net revenue of $44.4 million) announces that Dayton Benway is now leading the firm as managing principal.

In this role, Benway sets the strategy and direction of the firm. “We are almost 25 years old, and I am extremely proud of our strong history,” Benway says. “Our profession and the business world in general are changing rapidly, and to meet the demands of tomorrow we must adapt.”

In addition to leading the firm, Benway will continue to serve as director of the firm’s growing health care advisory group. He has more than 21 years of experience advising hospitals, rural clinics, physicians’ groups, home offices, nursing homes and home health agencies on health care financial management matters. Benway joined the firm in 2000 as a staff member in the group, and has led efforts to grow the practice.

“As non-traditional CPA firm services become more important to growth, Benway’s ability to develop a team, create a culture of business development and accountability, and his transparent leadership style are qualities the firm’s management committee sees as essential to the position,” the firm announced.

Benway was selected to succeed Carl Chatto at the end of 2018. Chatto served as managing principal following the retirement of firm co-founder Eleanor Baker in 2016 and will continue to serve clients as a principal in the audit practice.

“I plan to work with the entire firm to grow our service offerings and our geographic markets while offering our employees the opportunity to grow personally and professionally,” Benway says. “We will achieve our goals by providing excellent client service using a collaborative team approach, investing in the communities we serve, and communicating in an open and honest manner across all of our channels.”

Baker Newman Noyes is ranked No. 92 on the list of 2018 IPA 100 firms.

David Stonesifer To Become MP of Herbein

David W. Stonesifer

David W. Stonesifer

Reading, Pa.-based Herbein + Company has announced that David W. Stonesifer will succeed Michael J. Rowley as the firm’s MP effective Oct. 1, 2019.

Rowley states, “Since 1973, Herbein + Company, Inc. has been a firm focused on our clients and our future. Our founder, Carl D. Herbein, was incredibly driven by the idea of a sustainable firm built on growth and creating opportunities. Having grown from a kitchen table operation to one of the mid-Atlantic region’s largest independent CPA firms, Carl’s vision has been achieved.” Rowley will remain with the firm as PIC of the management advisory services group.

“As we work with clients, we stress the importance of a strong succession plan. We began this managing partner process several years ago with the start of my current term, as a planned part of our firm’s overall strategic plan,” Rowley says. “As Herbein has evolved, younger generations have risen to play key roles within our firm.”

Stonesifer is the first of three Herbein interns who went on to become partners. He has served on several professional organizations, including president of the Reading chapter of the Pennsylvania Institute of CPAs.

“As I prepare to become managing partner, I am appreciative of all that I’ve learned from our prior managing partners, Mike Rowley and Carl Herbein. I am appreciative of the responsibilities I will be inheriting, including our clients’ success, our team’s growth and their family’s security and prosperity, and our continuing support of the communities in which we serve.”

PrimeGlobal Announces New CEO

Stephen Heathcote

Stephen Heathcote

PrimeGlobal, an association for independent accounting firms, announces the appointment of Stephen Heathcote as CEO, effective June 1, 2019.

“At this crucial moment of growth, Stephen Heathcote’s appointment is a clear reflection of PrimeGlobal’s commitment to its members and renewed leadership at the global level,” the association announced.

“After conducting a worldwide search, I am happy to announce the World Board was able to reach a unanimous consensus that Stephen was the right person to lead PrimeGlobal,” World Board Chairman Cornelius V. Kilbane Jr. says. “Our organization is one of the top international accounting associations in the world, and to have someone with Stephen’s leadership skills, experience with teams based in locations throughout the world, and an understanding of both global and regional needs means PrimeGlobal will continue to bring exceptional value to its members.”

The association has more than 300 members in 80 countries.

Heathcote’s background includes serving in the COO role at the UK Financial Reporting Council and as a senior manager at KPMG. He is also a key member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) executive team for the past 10 years.

“At a time when the profession faces many challenges, it has been refreshing to meet partners leading practices who are fully trusted by their clients and prepared to innovate to support them,” Heathcote says. “Prime Global shares the ambition of its members and draws on a vast range of expertise to ensure best standards and practices deliver success to members.”

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Nodoro Admitted as Tax Principal at Untracht

Andrea Nodoro

Andrea Nodoro

Florham Park, N.J.-based Untracht Early (FY17 net revenue of $28.1 million) announced that Andrea Nodoro has been admitted as a principal of the firm.

Nodoro joined the firm in 2013 and is a member of the firm’s individual tax practice. She will continue to provide tax and compliance services to the firm’s individual, trusts, real estate partnership and energy sector clients. She also helps not-for-profit clients with compliance issues and clients with taxation requirements related to gifting. In her new role, she will help shape the strategic vision for future growth at the firm.

Nodoro leads the firm’s 1040 Tax Training Program. She creates the content and teaches it to the firm’s tax professionals.

“Our individual tax clients constitute a substantial portion of the firm’s practice,” said David S. Untracht, senior principal. “By naming Andrea as a principal of the firm, we hope to give her even greater latitude to work responsively with these clients in offering the signature high level, tax-technical guidance for which Untracht Early is known.”

In addition to her firm responsibilities, Nodoro gives back to the community by volunteering for Junior Achievement of New Jersey and serving on the advisory council for Dress for Success Morris County, a not-for-profit organization that promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women.

Armanino Brings Trust-as-a-Service (TaaS) to Blockchain

San Ramon, Calif.-based Armanino LLP (FY17 net revenue of $242.7 million) has partnered with TrustToken to build a solution that will add transparency and trust to digital assets.

As a global leader in digitizing assets that can be seamlessly and securely exchanged across liquid markets, TrustToken and its TrueUSD® stablecoin cryptocurrency can be monitored via a dashboard hosted by Armanino. The solution connects directly to third-party escrow accounts holding the U.S. dollars that collateralize TrueUSD tokens, and runs its own ETH nodes to ensure accuracy of the outstanding TrueUSD token supply.

“Blockchain technology is all about enabling us to transact in a trustless peer-to-peer way. It’s important to us to build products that further advance this mission,” says Andries Verschelden, PIC of Armanino’s blockchain practice. “Through our dashboard we will create direct transparency into the marketplace and increase trust for all users, thus allowing a wider adaptation of this important product.”

“This sets a new standard not only for stablecoins, but for all tokenized assets in the future,” says Rafael Cosman, co-founder and head of engineering and product at TrustToken. “With real-time confirmation of funds provided by one of the world’s leading accounting firms, traders will know at all times that their tokens are backed by real-world value.”

Continuous attest has long been a goal within the audit profession, and this proprietary, real-time dashboard offering complete transparency regarding how digital assets are backed is a step in this direction, TrustToken says. The firm is developing programmatic approaches for auditing and attesting on underlying assets, whether fiat currencies, cryptocurrencies, precious metals, real estate or debt obligations.

“At Armanino we want to advance the audit function into the digital age. This means relying on technology to increase speed and effectiveness in bringing trust to our community,” says Scott Copeland, PIC of Armanino’s audit practice.

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Former KPMG Partner, PCAOB Staffer Found Guilty of Inspection Scheme

A former KPMG partner and a former PCAOB employee found guilty on March 11 of taking part in a scheme to give confidential information to the Big 4 firm to help it pass inspections, according to Reuters.

KPMG’s David Middendorf and the PCAOB’s Jeffrey Wada were both convicted of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud by a jury in federal court in Manhattan. They were both acquitted of one count, conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government.

Middendorf’s lawyer said in an email to Reuters that they were disappointed with the result and would appeal. A lawyer for Wada declined to comment.

The case emerged from what’s been termed a “steal the exam” scheme that resulted in the dismissal of six KPMG professionals who tried to obtain confidential information that would reveal which audits the PCAOB planned to review in its annual firm inspections.

The PCAOB reports problems revealed in its audit inspections to the SEC. Prosecutors say Wada leaked confidential information about upcoming PCAOB inspections to people at KPMG, including Middendorf, between 2015 and 2017. Also charged was Cynthia Holder and Brian Sweet, two former PCAOB staffers who joined KPMG during that period, bringing confidential information with them to their new jobs. Wada was angling to make a similar move, according to prosecutors, Reuters reported.

Former KPMG executive Thomas Whittle was also charged. Holder, Sweet and Whittle all pleaded guilty before trial.

EisnerAmper Expands Cannabis Practice

New York-based EisnerAmper (FY18 net revenue of $360.7 million) anticipates rapid expansion of the hemp and cannabis industry at the federal, state and international levels and is therefore expanding its services.

EisnerAmper is adding to its accounting, tax and advisory services for hemp and cannabis companies, from startup to exit. The firm also helps entities prepare for and adapt to regulatory changes and offer compliance services designed to meet annual governmental reporting requirements.

“This is the fastest-growing and most quickly evolving industry I’ve seen in my 35 years in business advisory services,” says Rick Frimmer, EisnerAmper managing director and cannabis and hemp practice leader. “What sets us apart is our practical experience having performed many engagements in this one-of-a-kind sector on behalf of both public and private companies. We know the landscape. We know the participants. And our lengthy track record of accounting proficiency and a client-centric approach is widely known.”

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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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YHB Merges in Accounting Firm in Falls Church

Winchester, Va.-based Yount Hyde & Barbour (FY17 net revenue of $24.5 million) has merged in Murray Jonson White & Associates (MJW) of Falls Church, Va.

“With the partners and staff well-respected in the region and sharing a common client-centric approach, we know this will be a win-win for everyone,” says Scott Moulden, MP of Yount Hyde & Barbor (YHB). “In addition to expanding our geographic footprint closer to D.C., this helps position our staff to more easily serve the many clients we already work with in and around the area.”

MJW is a full-service CPA firm that has served the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area since its founding in 1959. The firm provides a comprehensive range of accounting and tax services to private sector companies, not-for-profit organizations, individuals and fiduciaries.

“Finding a partner that shared the same dedication to quality, client relations, community commitment and staff care was what helped make this an easy decision. We look forward to being able to offer our existing clients even more resources and industry experts as our two firms become one,” says Randolph Shapiro, managing principal of MJW.

The merger will make the Falls Church office YHB’s seventh location in Virginia. With the addition of MJW, YHB also expands its expertise in individual and business tax as MJW professionals provide a range of services to clients with complex and unique tax situations.

The MJW professional staff of 20 will be joining YHB and will continue to serve clients out of their current office in Falls Church.

Wallace Plese + Dreher Admits New Partner

Christopher T. Coots

Christopher T. Coots

Chandler, Ariz.-based Wallace Plese + Dreher (FY17 net revenue of $8.4 million) announces the admission of Christopher T. Coots to the partnership.

Coots has more than 20 years of professional accounting experience and provides tax planning and consulting services to partnerships, corporations, estates and trusts. Working with privately held businesses and their owners, he develops tax plans maximizing cash flow and minimizing tax liabilities.

Before pursuing his accounting career, he practiced as an estates and trusts attorney serving individuals and families.