George Gans Joins KPMG as Partner

George Gans

George Gans has joined Big 4 firm KPMG and been admitted as a partner in the firm’s business tax services practice.

Gans, who will operate from Pittsburgh, brings to KPMG more than 20 years of diverse experience working with U.S. multinational enterprises in areas such as federal tax, M&A and structuring, accounting methods planning and international tax.

Most recently, he served as the tax MP of Deloitte’s Pittsburgh business unit. His Big 4 background also includes providing business and inbound tax services to multinational corporations and acting as a country tax liaison with France and Israel.

“We’re confident he will be a great source of leadership and experience for our clients and our team in Pittsburgh and throughout Pennsylvania,” says Pete Beale, KPMG’s business tax unit partner for Pennsylvania.

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Squar Milner Acquires Accounting Practice of Arnold Zippel

Irvine, Calif.-based Squar Milner LLP (FY18 net revenue of $98.2 million) announces that on Jan. 1 it is merging in the accounting practice of Arnold Zippel, who operates a law and accounting firm in San Francisco.

Both practices focus on estates and trusts. The law practice will continue to operate separately.

The newly combined offices will result in over 130 professionals representing Squar Milner in the San Francisco region. This is the fourth merger for Squar Milner in the San Francisco area since Jan. 1, 2018. Squar Milner currently has eight offices in California and one in the Cayman Islands.

MP Steve Milner says, “After our considerable growth in San Francisco in 2018, we are excited to continue building out our San Francisco office. We are pleased to have Arnold join the Squar Milner team. He has long demonstrated a deep expertise in estate and trust planning for high-net-worth individuals.”

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BDO USA Names Kelly Johnson as Board Chair; Four Partners Elected to Board of Directors

Kelly Johnson

Chicago-based BDO USA (FY19 net revenue of $1.64 billion) announced the appointment of Kelly Johnson as board chair, along with Mark Ellenbogen, Hoon Lee and Steven Shill as new board directors. Tony Lawrence was re-elected as a board director for his second three-year term. All changes were effective Nov. 1.

“Since being elected as a board director two years ago, Kelly has made a significant impact with her strategic foresight and innovative mindset,” says Wayne Berson, CEO of BDO USA. “As the first woman board chair, her appointment marks an important milestone for our firm. This is something I’m particularly proud of, as I strongly believe inclusive leadership leads to stronger business outcomes. I am equally pleased to welcome Mark, Hoon and Steven as new members of the board and congratulate Tony on his second term.”

  • Johnson leads the firm’s business services and outsourcing national practice, with more than 25 years of experience in finance and accounting. She oversees a team that evaluates and benchmarks key business functions to develop an integrated accounting, finance and human capital approach to meet client objectives.
  • Ellenbogen is the Atlantic assurance regional MP and president and CEO of the firm’s public sector practice. With more than 25 years of public accounting experience, he is responsible for the Atlantic region’s audit practice, with a focus on the software and technology, government contracting and private equity industries.
  • Lawrence is the Central assurance regional MP. He led the Grand Rapids, Mich., assurance practice as an OMP for seven years. He has more than 20 years of experience in public accounting, working with public and privately held companies, with international and domestic ventures.
  • Lee is the West tax regional MP. He was one of the first dedicated research and development (R&D) professionals in the West region. He became the San Francisco OMP in 2012, while continuing his role as the West region leader for the R&D tax credit practice. With 22 years of public accounting experience, he has successfully helped to identify and document over $200 million of R&D credit claims.
  • Shill is an assurance partner and national co-leader for the BDO Center for Healthcare Excellence & Innovation. With nearly 30 years of experience, he serves both public and privately held and nonprofit companies in the health care provider, payer and insurance sectors.

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PKF North America Partners with INSIDE Public Accounting to Provide Comprehensive Benchmarking Services to Member Firms

PKF North America has selected INSIDE Public Accounting (IPA) to collect, analyze and report on the financial and operational well-being of its member firms.

IPA is nationally known for its Survey and Analysis of Firms, which attracts more than 550 participating accounting firms annually. The collected data is then analyzed to determine IPA’s rankings of largest accounting firms in the country, IPA’s Best of the Best firms and IPA’s award-winning National Accounting Firm Benchmarking Report. Additionally, accounting associations tap IPA to specifically survey member firms for the purpose of information sharing and benchmarking.

PKF North America, which represents 30 offices in the U.S., joins the following international associations that use IPA for their benchmarking services: CPAmerica, DFK, INPACT, Leading Edge Global, Moore NA and PrimeGlobal. PKF North America is part of PKF International, a global association of more than 200 independent firms in 150+ countries.

“PKF members learn from each other in so many ways, and this is one more tool they can use to improve their operations. Information from the survey can go a long way toward giving member firms a clearer picture of where they stand compared to others and where they can improve,” says Carolyn Morgan, Regional Director for PKF’s North America Region.

IPA Publisher Mike Platt says, “Firm leaders have trusted IPA to collect sensitive financial information for more than 30 years and they turn to the insights and analysis that result from the surveys to help make better decisions for the firm. We look forward to bringing that focused value to PKF and their member firms.”

If your association would like to learn how IPA can bring its decades of data collection, analysis and benchmarking expertise to benefit your members firms, please contact IPA at

PKF International Ltd. is a global network of legally independent firms providing high quality audit, accounting, tax and business advisory solutions.

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MNP’s Founding Partner Passes, Leaves Lasting Legacy

Don Penny

Calgary, Alberta-based MNP, formerly known as Meyers Norris Penny, announced today that founder Don Penny, 80, passed away Nov. 28 in Brandon General Hospital in Brandon, Manitoba.

“As we reflect on Don’s legacy, we are filled with admiration and gratitude for his vision, courage, leadership and passion. He will forever be remembered for his entrepreneurial drive to take risks and pursue a vision of a different type of accounting firm – one that saw a future in a holistic offering of professional services and that served clients in diverse markets across Canada,” Jason Tuffs, MNP’s CEO, says in a statement. “Don put in place the elements that allowed the firm to grow rapidly, but gracefully – from its beginnings as a regional accounting firm based in Brandon, Manitoba, to the national firm we have become today. MNP is the firm that was born out of Don Penny’s vision.” MNP is now Canada’s fifth-largest accounting firm.

Penny was born and raised in Virden, Manitoba. His small-town roots played a role in enticing him in 1962 to join the Brandon firm Laird Sprague, the predecessor to MNP. He was admitted as partner in 1965 and became CEO in 1977. He retired from the partnership in 1998 and from the MNP board in 2005.

Penny sat on various committees and in multiple board positions for the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Manitoba, becoming the first president from outside Winnipeg, the capital of Manitoba, in the organization’s 100-year history. He served on the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants board of governors and became chair from 1997 to 1998. He also served on dozens of community organizations and corporate boards and was a mentor to many entrepreneurs across the country.

“We honor Don’s contributions to the firm, his profession and his community through an uncompromising commitment to the values and passions he held dear,” says Tuffs. “His legacy will always be a guiding light for MNP, and we are forever grateful for his wisdom, vision and – most importantly – his friendship.”

Penny is remembered by his loving wife Sandra, their four children and five grandchildren.

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Squar Milner Merges In Howard and Jacobs, Spin-off of BPE&H

Irvine, Calif.-based Squar Milner LLP (FY18 net revenue of $98.2 million) announces the hiring of Scott Howard and Suzanne Jacobs, two partners who spun off from BPE&H of Woodland Hills, Calif.

The merger with Howard and Jacobs is effective Jan. 1. The deal will add $3 million in revenues and 11 professionals to Squar Milner, which has more than 600 professionals and associates, the firm announced. Squar Milner entered the agreement with Howard and Jacobs a week after announcing that it was combining with SRG of Woodland Hills and Los Angeles.

The SRG and Howard and Jacobs teams team will be located in Woodland Hills and will keep the Squar Milner name.

The newly combined offices will result in over 215 professionals representing Squar Milner in the Los Angeles region. The Woodland Hills office will be the second San Fernando Valley location for Squar Milner, as well as the third in Los Angeles.

MP Steve Milner says of the Howard and Jacobs team, “They are committed, as are we, to making our new Woodland Hills office another anchor in Los Angeles. They have great clients who we look forward to serving. Their real estate and restaurant expertise will significantly enhance our firm.”

Howard says, “We love their culture. They work hard to make their firm a really nice and profitable place to work. This will give our people an unlimited number of career opportunities.”

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A 2019 Best of the Best Firm Award Winner Recognized at the 2019 PRIME Symposium

Winston Howell

Winston Howell

INSIDE Public Accounting recognized 2019 Best of the Best Firms with Pyramid Awards at IPA’s ninth annual PRIME Symposium, Nov. 5-7, in Indianapolis.

We wish to congratulate Thomas Howell Ferguson, who received the IPA Best of the Best “Fastest-Growing Pyramid Award.” With an enviable 53.0% growth rate, this firm has demonstrated impressive results with no mergers to enhance that growth. This is Thomas Howell Ferguson’s first year as an IPA Best of the Best firm and a Best of the Best Fastest-Growing firm. The $19 million firm ranked No. 205 on the IPA 300 list this year.

The 2020 IPA Survey and Analysis of Firms will be launching in mid-January. Contact IPA for your invitation to participate and make your firm eligible to be a Best of the Best, an IPA top 400 firm and more in 2020.

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MNP Acquires British Columbia Accounting Firm

Calgary, Alberta-based MNP, Canada’s fifth-largest accounting firm, has acquired Chun and Co. of Kelowna, British Columbia. They will be merging in February.

MNP says it was hoping to expand its presence in the Okanagan region of British Columbia, while Chun and Co. was seeking to deliver more specialty services to its clients.

“Changing market conditions are impacting the way businesses must operate,” Dan Chun says in a press release. “As such, we are continually looking at new ways to enhance our service offerings and help our clients achieve their goals. By joining MNP, we add more resources, more specialized services and a wider range of experiences, all of which will bring greater value to our clients.”

MNP has 80 locations across the country, including 21 offices in British Columbia.

“MNP offers the best of both worlds as far as the services of a large national firm but the culture and personalized approach of a small firm – and a strong commitment to supporting the local community,” Chun says, according to the Okanagan Edge.

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DHG Acquires RyanSharkey

Charlotte, N.C.-based Dixon Hughes Goodman (FY18 net revenue of $430.3 million) has acquired RyanSharkey of Vienna, Va.

The 50-person team will join DHG on Dec. 1.

“In addition to growing DHG’s presence in the market, we are also seeking to expand our service offering capabilities in the tax and advisory service lines for the industries we serve,” says CEO Matt Snow. “We are committed to building an optimistic, collaborative capital market team that has ongoing potential for high performance.”

Established in 2003, RyanSharkey provides tax, financial reporting, risk advisory and assurance services to entrepreneurial, growing middle-market companies, both public and privately held, with strong specialization in the government contracting, technology and life sciences industries. The partners and managing directors of RyanSharkey who will be joining DHG are co-founder Edward Ryan, co-founder David Sharkey, Tony Ricciardella, Michael Davis, Ashley Dunn, Fran Randall, Travis Sherman, Ricky White, Kate Desai and Sallye Williams.

“We look forward to continuing our commitment to our clients and our people as we begin a new chapter with DHG,” says Ryan.

Sharkey adds, “DHG’s vision for the future, their people-focused culture and their strong industry alignment are reasons why we look forward to joining forces.”

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Southwest Consulting Associates to Combine with Moss Adams

Seattle-based Moss Adams (FY18 net revenue of $691 million), the 12th largest accounting firm in the country, has announced that it is acquiring Southwest Consulting Associations of Plano, Texas, which offers reimbursement services for hospitals and health system organizations.

The combination, effective Jan. 1, grows the Moss Adams health care consulting practice and quadruples the size of the firm’s existing cost-reimbursement team. It also substantially expands service offerings to nationwide hospitals and health system organizations.

“The complex and rapidly evolving nature of the health care industry creates a significant need for innovative and reliable enterprise solutions,” says Chris Pritchard, national practice leader of the firm’s health care consulting practice. “This combination allows Moss Adams to provide a full suite of industry-leading, enterprise-wide reimbursement services and creates one of the largest reimbursement practices in the Western United States.”

Founded in 1989, SCA has provided financial consulting services to health care providers for the past 30 years. It serves more than 400 clients and offers Worksheet S-10 uncompensated care reporting, Medicare disproportionate share reimbursement, Medicare cost report appeals and provider reimbursement support.

Michael Newell, president of SCA, says, “Moss Adams has a history of excellent client service and strong corporate culture that complement our existing capabilities, values and long-term growth strategy. The additional resources and services Moss Adams provides will be a great asset to our clients.”

Twenty-seven SCA professionals will join Moss Adams, growing the firm’s health care cost reimbursement practice to 35 professionals.

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