INSIDE Public Accounting Again Partners with Association for Accounting Marketing; Nominations Open For 2018 Marketer of the Year

INSIDE Public Accounting (IPA) is seeking nominations for the Association for Accounting Marketing’s (AAM) 2018 Marketer of the Year (MOY) award. Nominations will be accepted through Jan. 22.

The annual award, presented at AAM’s Summit, recognizes a marketing professional who has demonstrated exemplary performance in the profession of accounting firm marketing. To be eligible, nominees must have held a senior-level marketing position in an accounting firm for at least three years, although not necessarily at the same firm.

“This is the fifth year IPA has sponsored the award, which complements our commitment to shining a spotlight on excellence in the profession,” says IPA Publisher Kelly Platt.

Past Marketer of the Year award winners include Laura Kucera of New York-based Citrin Cooperman in 2017, Rhonda Maraziti of Princeton, N.J.-based Withum in 2016Eric Majchrzak, of Tucson, Ariz.-based BeachFleischman in 2015, and Randy Mowat of Calgary, Alberta-based MNP in 2014.

All nominations should be submitted online http://bit.do/MOY2018 no later than Jan. 22. Nominations are not anonymous, and self-nominations are welcome. Previous nominees are encouraged to re-nominate.

The nominees will be judged on accomplishments, strategic thinking, tactical development, attention to detail, communication, financial impact and leadership within the firm and community. All nominees will then be required to complete an online application no later than Feb. 12.

The 2018 MOY Award will be presented by IPA at AAM’s 2018 Summit, set for May 14-17 in Portland, Ore.

Please contact Christina Camara at moy@plattgroupllc.com with questions about the award. For information about AAM and the 2018 summit, call AAM at (443) 640-1061.

The Platt Group publishes the award-winning INSIDE Public Accounting newsletter and the Annual Accounting Firm National Benchmarking Report. The Platt Group also surveys and publishes annual reports for the accounting profession in Human Resources, Firm Administration and Information Technology. Grow your firm, become more profitable and improve operations with IPA. IPA provides resources, analysis and tools to transform your firm. To learn more about The Platt Group and IPA, please call (317) 733-1920 or visit www.insidepublicaccounting.com.

The Association for Accounting Marketing (AAM) promotes excellence, and elevates the professional stature of marketing, business development and other practice growth professionals to the accounting profession, directly impacting members’ professional development and careers through education, networking and thought leadership. Founded in 1989, AAM has more than 700 members, comprised of marketing professionals, business developers, CPAs, consultants, service providers, educators and students. To learn more about AAM, please call (856) 380-6860 or visit www.accountingmarketing.org.

Platt’s Perspective: ‘Tis The Season To Be . . . Stressed

Mike Platt

Mike Platt

I’m a news junkie. I inhale news, politics and culture news the way a caffeine addict gulps coffee. No doubt you have people in your firm who do the same.

With all the seemingly disheartening news – divisive politics, terrorism, racial tensions, sexual harassment, nuclear threats, gun violence – I wonder what toll it is taking on all of us, and more important, how much of that toll is showing up in the workplace.

Could it manifest itself in reading false intentions into the actions of our colleagues, in minor distractions throughout the day, or in shortening our fuses when we react to perceived threats? It may manifest itself more subliminally, with feelings of stress and disenfranchisement bubbling just below the surface.

In a newly released study, “Stress in America,” the American Psychological Association reaffirms the findings of previous surveys – that Millennials continue to have the highest levels of reported stress, at an average of 5.7 on a 10-point scale. Boomers, by comparison, report an average stress level of 4.1, and Gen-Xers 5.3.
That same study points to a widening gender gap in the stress levels reported by men (4.4) and women (5.1), as well as a racial difference among Caucasians (4.7), Hispanics (5.2) and African Americans (5.0).

Clearly the news isn’t the only trigger causing stress – financial pressures, family issues and health concerns top the list of the big three that impact all of us. On top of all those issues – both those within our control and those outside our control – is the reality that Americans are among the most vacation-deprived groups in the world according to Expedia in a recent report. That report indicates that Millennials are the most vacation-deprived (62%) of any age demographic and are more likely to shorten their trips due to impending workload than their older colleagues.

So, what does this have to do with running a successful firm? Life doesn’t occur in a vacuum – all employees bring baggage with them, and workplaces are affected.

Firms need to consciously choose whether to address the well-being of their staff, partners and clients. Does the firm’s responsibility end at the office door or is it the firm’s role to help them manage the pressures they will inevitably encounter outside work? Are firm leaders aware of the ways these outside concerns are manifesting themselves? Do you know who is feeling disenfranchised, detached or stressed – and if so, the reasons for it? Do supervisors get training in detection of behavioral changes in those they manage, or is their CPE more focused on the latest FASB rules? And how do we measure commitment to overall well-being to benchmark progress from year to year?

As the holidays are upon us and tax season approaches, chances are stress levels are ratcheting up – whether you realize it or not. As you celebrate this season of thanksgiving, family and traditions, be sure to reaffirm your conscious decision – it is a choice – as to how much you are willing to address the issues your partners and staff are dealing with every day. And for those of you with news junkies on your team, encourage them to turn off all media, curl up with a good book, and just relax . . .

IPA Spotlight On … Karen Love, PKF Texas

Name: Karen Love

Karen Love

Karen Love

Title: Director/Ambassador

Firm: PKF Texas (FY16 net revenue of $24.2 million) of Houston

Accomplishments:

  • Blazing the trail for marketers in and out of the accounting industry.
  • Succession on the Association for Accounting Marketing Board with two of my team members, Raissa Evans and Jen Lemanski, serving terms after me.
  • Set a model example in the industry, winning over 180 marketing awards including most recently the Leading Edge Alliance On the Edge Innovation award and Houston Business Journal’s C-Suite Award: Outstanding Chief Marketing Officer.
  • Using an inside out approach to integrate accounting firm culture with community culture, creating programs like FastTech 50 and Houston Young Professionals Endeavor.

As one of the first marketers (and a non-CPA) to be admitted as a partner in the country, can you give us your perspective on how the role of accounting marketing has changed over the years and where you see it going?

As one of the first non-CPA owners in the accounting industry, I consistently take pulses of the marketplace and strive to fill gaps. The accounting industry is becoming more consultative, therefore as marketers we have to match traditional needs with futuristic and digital technology support. Setting a stage for consultative thinking in a sea of compliance is a magical thing that has to be mastered. One trend, which will continue, is engaging younger team members earlier and embracing reverse mentoring. Also, corporate social responsibility that builds on the culture of the firm becomes a magnet for future clients. The use of data to make decisions is a happier journey with a lot less guesswork.

You’ve said one of your greatest professional joys is mentoring young professionals. Why?

Positioning others for success makes me happy and is always mutually beneficial. Lessons yielded from being a team leader are some of the most valuable to be had when mentoring young professionals. Who wouldn’t want to see someone they’ve mentored achieve great success?

I’d love to hear about your work with MAKERS, a storytelling platform for women, and your award. Why is it so important for women to tell their stories?

One quote I live by is, “One woman’s success can only help another woman’s success.” And it rings true for me. MAKERS is a platform out of New York City from a filmmaker named Dylan McGee. This woman is building a well-known brand that demands attention for all of us. MAKERS allows us to share stories that not only engage, but help other women in navigating their own path.

PKF Texas operates in the extremely competitive Houston market – how can your firm continue to differentiate itself in the marketplace and attract the best talent?

Culture is really the only thing that differentiates a professional services firm. In the fourth-largest city in the country, our culture is displayed as a differentiator through our internal university, 30+ languages spoken and our corporate social responsibility in our community, which helps us showcase our brand. Prospects and clients want to work with a firm with such a culture. Our early talent pipeline process of working with key universities to attract the right accounting/consulting professionals to our firm is key to the culture and differentiation.

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

IPA INSIDER: December 2017 News

Listed below are the Top 10 most-read stories on the INSIDE Public Accounting blog for the month of December.

  1. CPA Firm Founder Thomas Bonadio Receives Rochester ICON Honor
  2. IPA Spotlight On … Stacie Kwaiser
  3. Ernst & Young Names Kelly Grier as Next MP for the U.S.
  4. 2017 IPA Best of the Best Firm Profile: Holthouse Carlin & Van Trigt
  5. Wipfli Acquires Sattell Johnson Appel & Co.
  6. CliftonLarsonAllen Acquires NSBN LLP
  7. RSM Acquires Toronto Office of Collins Barrow
  8. Two Nebraska Firms Merge
  9. Samet & Company Acquires Rogers Suleski & Associates
  10. LaPorte Acquires Lanaux Felger

IPA INSIDER: November 2017 News

Listed below are the Top 10 most-read stories on the INSIDE Public Accounting blog for the month of November.

  1. Spotlight On … Thomas Bonney, CBIZ CMF
  2. INSIDE Public Accounting Recognizes Firms With the Highest Percentage of Females in the Partnership Ranks
  3. 2017 IPA Best of the Best Firm Profile: Holthouse Carlin & Van Trigt
  4. INSIDE Public Accounting Releases 2017 National Benchmarking Report
  5. Rehmann Announces New Leadership Florida
  6. The Bonadio Group Acquires Western New York Firm
  7. Cherry Bekaert Acquires Frasier Dean & Howard
  8. 2017 IPA 100 Fastest-Growing Firm Profile: Prager Metis
  9. North Dakota Firms Merge
  10. IPA Spotlight On … Chad Anschuetz, Doeren Mayhew

INSIDE Public Accounting Unveils The 2017 Pyramid Awards

INSIDE Public Accounting (IPA) announced that three 2017 Best of the Best Accounting Firms were recognized with Pyramid Awards this year at the seventh annual PRIME Symposium, Nov. 7-9, in Indianapolis.

The award recipients this year were: Moore Colson of Atlanta, Pasadena, Calif.-based KROST CPAs and Consultants and San Ramon, Calif.-based Armanino LLP.

Moore Colson was the recipient of IPA’s “Pyramid of Excellence” award. This high-performing firm ranked No. 1 among the elite 50 Best of the Best Firms selected by IPA. The rankings are based on data from the 27th annual IPA Survey and Analysis of Firms, which covers finances and operations in dozens of areas. This $21.7 million firm, with 16 partners and 83 staff, has been named a Best of the Best firm nine times, the last five consecutively. Moore Colson was one of the Fastest-Growing Best of the Best firms this year.

KROST CPAs and Consultants, once again, received the IPA Best of the Best “Fastest-Growing Pyramid Award.” With a 25.0% growth rate, this firm has demonstrated impressive results with no mergers to enhance that number. This is KROST’s second consecutive year as an IPA Best of the Best firm and Fastest-Growing firm, as the firm posted an extraordinary 66.3% organic growth rate in 2016. The $25.6 million firm ranked No. 137 on the IPA 200 list.

Armanino LLP received the IPA Best of the Best “Pyramid Award.” The $195 million firm, ranked No. 24 on the IPA 100 list, first appeared as a Best of the Best firm in 2001. Since then, IPA has named Armanino a Best of the Best firm 16 times, seven consecutively. Armanino sustains financial and operational excellence year after year.

View a complete listing of the 2017 IPA Best of the Best.

Subscribe to the INSIDE Public Accounting Newsletter.

Order the 2017 Benchmarking Report.

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.

IPA INSIDER: October 2017 News

Listed below are the Top 10 most-read stories on the INSIDE Public Accounting blog for the month of October.

  1. INSIDE Public Accounting Recognizes Firms With the Highest Percentage of Females in the Partnership Ranks
  2. The 2017 Most Admired Peers
  3. 2017 IPA 100 Fastest-Growing Firm Profile: Cohen & Company
  4. 2017 IPA 100 Fastest-Growing Firm Profile: Bennett Thrasher
  5. IPA Spotlight On … Annie Yoder
  6. Cohen & Company and Arthur Bell Investment Industry Merge
  7. Sax Acquires Hunter Group CPA
  8. Former MP of Hawaii Firm Receives 20-Year Prison Sentence
  9. Citrin Cooperman Expands Automotive Practice with the Joining of Kera & Company
  10. Bowman & Company Acquires The James Company

2017 IPA 100 Fastest-Growing Firm Profile: Prager Metis

Ranked No. 86 last year, New York-based Prager Metis jumped 18 spots up the IPA 100 list this year due to an impressive organic growth rate of 16%. INSIDE Public Accounting asked MPs Glenn Friedman and David Neste to offer insights into the 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 Prager Metis team.

 

To what do you attribute your ability to grow the firm so significantly?

Prager Metis has put a lot of time and resources into developing our vision and our strategic planning. We pride ourselves in our whole team effort and cohesiveness. Our ability to attract talented staff has helped the firm grow. Our growth and reputation for quality attracts more opportunities as well as the desire of smaller local and regional firms to want to join us.

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

Business management services, private wealth services, assurance services. We help create and implement proactive strategies that support clients and their assets around the world.

What are your growth goals for the next five years?

Our goal is a continuation of 20%+ year-over-year growth.

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

We service individuals and corporate clients of all sizes and industries. However, our ideal client would be a small to mid-market firm needing full services of tax, assurance and advisory.

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

Advice will rule as compliance will become more and more automated.

2017 IPA 100 Fastest-Growing Firm Profile: Bennett Thrasher

With impressive organic growth of 14.5%, Bennett Thrasher of Atlanta jumped five spots up the IPA 100 list this year to reach No. 83, and is one of the fastest-growing firms among the largest accounting firms in the nation.

INSIDE Public Accounting asked MP Jeffrey Eischeid 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 Bennett Thrasher team.

To what do you attribute your ability to grow the firm so significantly?

Bennett Thrasher continues to grow through our investment in talent and new services offerings that deliver value to our clients. We embrace a culture of collaboration and commitment to client service and place a high value on our core values of integrity, family and clients. We constantly seek ways to innovate our benefits to attract and retain our professionals. By continuing to build and maintain our strong “people first” culture, our firm is able to attract great associates and clients.

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

In addition to traditional tax and assurance services, Bennett Thrasher offers a variety of specialty services such as international tax, transfer pricing, dispute resolution and forensics, transaction advisory, risk advisory, technology, wealth management and other consulting services. Our top clients are full-service assurance and tax clients that also use a mix of these specialty services.

What are your growth goals for the next five years?

Bennett Thrasher has a unique market approach that is led by our cross-functional industry segment teams. Each of those industry segment teams expects to continue their double-digit compound growth for the next five years.

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

Ideal clients for Bennett Thrasher are middle market, privately held businesses that have complex business needs as well as the families or funds that own them.

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

Accounting firms must continue to embrace technology. Firms need to understand how technology will impact our traditional compliance services as well as how technology will enable us to deliver value to our clients by helping them achieve success in accomplishing their objectives.