IPA INSIDER: Advice to Managing Partners from the Trenches

If you’ve ever felt frustrated motivating partners, and managing their range of personalities and egos, perhaps there’s some comfort in knowing you’re not alone.

INSIDE Public Accounting asked MPs to offer insights to their role as firm leader.

More than 70 MPs responded to IPA’s survey, sharing candid feedback on challenges faced and solutions found, the frustrations and rewards, the misconceptions and realities.

In this download, IPA uncovers just what MPs think of the position.

MPs answer questions such as…

  • What one thing do you wish someone told you when you became MP about the reality of partner motivation?
  • What one thing do you wish someone told you about aligning the firm behind a common vision?
  • How do you balance gaining consensus from the partner group with the need to make decision quickly?
  • How would you change your firm structure?

Download the report. 

White Nelson Diehl Evans Names New MP

Paul Treinen

Paul Treinen

Irvine, Calif.-based White Nelson Diehl Evans (FY16 net revenue of $23 million) named Paul Treinen as MP. Treinen assumed the role from Dave Doran, who retired on Dec. 31, 2017, after 42 years of service with the firm.

“Paul is a talented professional with many years of public accounting experience,” says Doran. “I can head into retirement knowing that the firm is in good hands.”

Treinen joined WNDE in 1990, and became a partner in 2001. He is a tax and advisory services partner, a member of WNDE’s executive committee and handles executive leadership functions for the firm.

Treinen specializes in corporate and pass-through taxation and has a very robust individual client base. He has vast experience dealing with manufacturers and distributors. He also has a number of clients that focused in hospitality, retail, real estate, senior care and aging services. Treinen also has experience in mergers and acquisitions, transactional issues, business formations and strategic exit strategy planning.

Schenck Names Young as President

Daniel Young

Daniel Young

Effective Jan. 1, Appleton, Wis.-based Schenck SC (FY16 net revenue of $80.5 million) named Daniel Young as president. He will succeed Greg Barber.

Young has been the managing shareholder of the Green Bay, Wis., office since 2008 and held leadership roles on a number of the firm’s key executive committees. He began his career as a staff accountant at Shinners Hucovski and Company and became a shareholder in 1991. The firm then merged with Schenck in 1999.

“Dan has proven leadership capabilities and passion that has been an integral part of our firm’s success,” says Barber. “With his business acumen and dedication, I am confident in Schenck’s future and look forward to seeing how the firm continues to grow and evolve.”

“It is an exciting time as we work together to continue to realize the vision Greg helped us set, and that will continue under Dan’s leadership, to continually make a difference by advising clients, developing people and serving communities,” says shareholder Brad Frank.

“As a firm, we’re dedicated to growing and developing our most important resource – our people,” says Young. “We’re helping build the next generation of leadership that will help the firm continue to thrive and grow as one of the top CPA firms in the nation.”

Hochschild Bloom & Company Names Williams as MP

Michael Williams

Michael Williams

Chesterfield, Mo.-based Hochschild Bloom & Company (FY16 net revenue of $4.5 million) named Michael Williams as MP.

Williams joined the firm in 1987 and was admitted as partner in 1998. He has experience with organizations including service industries, manufacturing, construction, and government and nonprofit agencies, which includes consulting projects and federal audits. His client responsibilities consist of all aspects of accounting, auditing, tax and consulting services.

He has played a key leadership role in the accounting and auditing practice. He succeeds Robert Offerman, who has been MP at the firm since 1999.

Lindquist Names New Managing Partner

Joseph Thiermann

Joseph Thiermann

San Ramon, Calif.-based Lindquist LLP named Joseph Thiermann as MP, effective Jan. 1.

Thiermann succeeds Barry Omahen, who held the position for the past 10 years. Omahen will continue to serve as the firm’s quality control review partner and chairman of the firm’s accounting and audit services committee.

Thiermann has 29 years of experience with audits of defined contribution plans, defined benefit plans, health and welfare plans, labor organizations and not-for-profits. He has been the PIC of Lindquist’s northern California operations for the past 10 years, including developing new client relations and growing the office.

Ernst & Young Names Kelly Grier as Next MP for the U.S.

Kelly Grier

Kelly Grier

New York-based EY (FY16 gross revenue of $11.2 billion) named Kelly Grier as U.S. chairman and MP, and EY Americas area MP, effective July 1, 2018.

In her new role, Grier will lead the EY U.S. firm and the EY Americas geographic area. She will succeed Steve Howe, who has served as U.S. chairman and MP, and EY Americas area MP since 2006.

Mark Weinberger, EY Global chairman and CEO, says, “Kelly has demonstrated uncompromised integrity and an ability to manage high-performing teams, while delivering exceptional results for EY clients.”

During her tenure with EY, Grier served many of the largest EY audit and advisory clients and has global experience, working in Germany and Switzerland. She has held a variety of roles including EY Americas vice chair (talent) and Chicago OMP.

“Kelly is an extraordinary leader who has skillfully run one of our largest regions, and brings a depth of experience across client service, the boardroom and our talent function. She is passionate about EY’s values and culture, has developed high-performance teams and has proven to be an agile and effective leader who is well-suited to lead in this time of unprecedented change and opportunity,” says Howe.

“EY people come to work every day excited to solve clients’ challenges and to make a difference. We will seize the opportunities of our changing world, realizing our bright future and building on our purpose and the great strength of the EY culture,” says Grier.

Hantzmon Wiebel Names Lehman CEO

Jennifer Lehman

Jennifer Lehman

Hantzmon Wiebel (FY16 net revenue of $13 million) of Charlottesville, Va., names Jennifer Lehman as chief executive officer. She previously served as chief operating officer and is the first female CEO of Hantzmon Wiebel.

“We have been working together on this transition for some time now and I know that Jennifer will be a great CEO and leader for us going forward,” says Phillip Shiflett, previous CEO, who will continue to work with clients on a full-time basis. “I see her guiding the firm through its 100-year anniversary and beyond. She has the vision and abilities to continuously improve our organization and promote our shared values.”

Lehman joined Hantzmon Wiebel in 1997 and served as the COO since 2007. She is a co-PIC of employee benefit plan audits, and also works with high net worth individuals and a variety of clients.

“We are poised to embrace the fast-paced change in our profession with an outstanding team of professionals. I am honored by this opportunity to continue facilitating the success of the community and businesses that we serve as we prepare for our centennial anniversary in the next decade,” says Lehman.

IPA Spotlight On … Chad Anschuetz, Doeren Mayhew

Name: Chad Anschuetz

Title: Managing shareholder and chair

Firm: Troy, Mich.-based Doeren Mayhew (FY16 net revenue of $73.7 million)


Chad Anschuetz

Chad Anschuetz

  • Recently elected as managing shareholder and chair of the firm, ranked No. 58 on the 2017 IPA 100 list.
  • Instrumental in developing the firm’s culture, infrastructure and growth strategies as a member of the firm’s management committee and chair of the human resources committee.
  • Guided more than 50 clients in successfully buying or selling their companies.
  • Assisted in the collaborative development of the firm’s community outreach program, “Difference,” which fosters giving back to our local communities through volunteering efforts.

You’ve just started your term as managing shareholder on Oct. 1, replacing Mark Crawford, who’s been in the top job since 1995. Are there any special challenges in replacing someone who has been with the firm for four decades?

As with any leadership change, overcoming employee and client uncertainty is always a big challenge. Yet, when you’re replacing someone who has been doing it for two-plus decades it’s much more intensified. Over the next year, a main agenda item will be reassuring our employees and clients that the firm’s founding principles, culture and service model won’t change, but by constantly improving, it will get better. I’ve been fortunate enough to have worked closely with Mark throughout my 26-year career with Doeren Mayhew. As part of our firm’s succession plan, my active role in the firm’s management committee and continued mentorship from Mark will help create a smooth transition.

Doeren Mayhew has locations in four states and Zürich. Does the firm have plans to expand its footprint, either in the U.S. or internationally?

Doeren Mayhew’s long-term vision has always been to create a triangle effect linking our efforts in the Midwest, Southwest and the Southeast. Both acquisitive and organic growth is always in the plans for Doeren Mayhew, especially if the right opportunity presents itself, at the right time — like Zürich. Our international arm, Moore Stephens Doeren Mayhew, had been working diligently overseas to continue to find ways to better service our global clients. The merger with Emerson & Partner U.S. Tax GmbH allowed us to do just that by providing key leadership roles locally for our growing European client base. Our strategic plan includes expansion focused on service and industry resources in our existing markets, and less emphasis on geographic expansion.

You’ve said that the firm’s client service model has helped it become a great firm. Can you tell us what that looks like, and how can the firm work at developing innovative ways to add value for clients?

Doeren Mayhew’s most valuable asset – its clients – is the driving factor of our firm’s success. Our firm places an immense amount of focus on fostering their success. We go beyond what clients might expect, leveraging our entrepreneurial mindset to provide insightful solutions while introducing opportunities for growth. Delivering on our promise of providing insight, oversight and foresight requires the firm to continuously evaluate where we are able to add value to our clients. Whether that’s through the use of artificial intelligence in engagements or expanding service line expertise, I’m confident that our firm’s talented professionals have what it takes to bring about the change and continue to add value to our clients and thrive as a firm.

Firms named IPA ‘Best of the Best’ firms are successful, financially and operationally. How is the firm preparing to stay ahead of the technological changes (AI etc.) that may transform the profession?

Continued innovation will be key for Doeren Mayhew to stay ahead of the technology-induced paradigm shift happening in the accounting industry and remain a ‘Best of the Best’ firm. Doeren Mayhew has formed a committee dedicated to developing and implementing changes into our firm’s engagement processes. We are looking at the use of artificial intelligence in our audit, tax, forensic and litigation support engagements as an opportunity to increase efficiencies and drive new value to our clients, which is always our goal. More important, we are closely tracking how regulatory standards will modify current guidance and monitoring mechanisms for this new technology to allow us to continue delivering our service offerings with integrity.

Final thoughts?

Technology is dramatically reshaping our industry. Artificial intelligence is hardly a fad. A successful firm will embrace the opportunity to streamline operations and redeploy staff’s efforts on delivering creative, value-added client services. The firm I started with back in 1991 is not the same firm today. And, to continue this progression we will need to keep imagining what the firm will look like in five, 10 and even 15 years from now to prosper long term.

Cherry Bekaert Names Thompson as Firm MP

Michelle Thompson

Richmond, Va.-based Cherry Bekaert (FY17 net revenue of $174.8 million), named Michelle Thompson firm MP and chief executive officer. Thompson will transition from her current position as MP of assurance services practice and assume her new role effective May 1, 2018.

“I am thankful to all the leaders of the past and present who have built this firm, and I am honored to have been selected by the partnership to lead the firm into the future,” says Thompson, who is based in the Raleigh, N.C., practice.

Her leadership will include serving as chairman of the executive board, in addition to the day-to-day administration and financial management.

“My vision is ‘sustaining success through transformation and innovation.’ I want to honor our 70-year history by positioning the firm to quickly absorb, process and respond to the changing world through the services we offer and the way we offer them,” Thompson says. “We cannot ignore the impact technology has and will continue to have on our firm and our clients. We must form a close partnership with technology to be truly effective guides for our clients.”

Thompson will succeed Howard Kies, who will be stepping down on May 1, 2018, as firm MP after serving in this role for the past 27 years.

“I am pleased that Michelle is the one my fellow partners have chosen to lead Cherry Bekaert into the future,” says Kies. “During a time when the firm is experiencing unprecedented growth and planning for additional expansion, I am confident Michelle will be an asset as firm managing partner and guide Cherry Bekaert forward for many years to come.”


Doeren Mayhew Names Anschuetz as Managing Shareholder and Chairman

Chad Anschuetz

Chad Anschuetz

Troy, Mich.-based Doeren Mayhew (FY16 net revenue of $73.7 million) named Chad Anschuetz as its new managing shareholder and board chairman. Elected by the firm’s board of directors and his shareholder peers, he will guide the firm’s client service, growth, cultural and strategic direction.

“I look forward to the challenges ahead and helping carry on our legacy of being one of the nation’s top and “Best of the Best” CPA firms,” says Anschuetz. “Fortunately, we have exceptional shareholders and staff in all our offices which helps make this achievable year after year. I am committed to upholding and fostering the values and client service model that has made our firm great.”

Anschuetz has been at Doeren Mayhew for 26 years. Over his career, he focused on meeting the accounting, audit, business advisory, and merger and acquisition needs of a wide range of businesses – which he will continue to do for his clients.