Armanino Adds Experts in HR and Business Development to Law Firm Services Group  

Terri Oppelt

San Ramon, Calif.-based Armanino LLP (FY17 net revenue of $242.7 million) has welcomed industry veterans Terri Oppelt as director and Kendra Edson as client relations and marketing manager to the firm’s law firm services group. Both professionals bring unique service capabilities that help law firms maximize operational efficiency and value.

“Terri and Kendra bring deep expertise in issues critical to law firms, such as profitability and HR compliance, to a practice that is unique in the market,” says David Roberts, PIC of law firm services at Armanino. “Our team has decades of experience working with and inside of law firms, providing a wide array of solutions such as outsourced accounting and operations, firm strategy, succession planning, compensation strategies and more. With the addition of Terri and Kendra, we can now offer solutions to meet even more law firm operating needs in areas such as business development, marketing and HR.”

Armanino is the only firm in the western U.S. with a combined consulting and accounting practice that is exclusively dedicated to serving the business needs of law firms

Oppelt consults in all areas of law firm management and operations, including strategic planning, compensation, accounting and billing, administration support strategies, HR and leadership, organizational change, training and retreats.

Edson leads the team’s business development and marketing initiatives. In her role, she oversees efforts to expand and improve relationships with law firm clients and strategically engage new clients.

Marks Paneth Admits Tax Partner

Anthony Delfiner

New York-based Marks Paneth (FY17 net revenue of $131.4 million) has announced the addition of Anthony Delfiner as a tax partner in the firm’s Jenkintown, Pa., office.

Delfiner joins the firm’s commercial business group, which provides customized audit, tax planning and consulting services to clients in a variety of industries, including retail, restaurants, jewelry, manufacturing, wholesale and distribution.

Delfiner specializes in serving high-net-worth individuals and their closely held businesses, with extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions. He frequently assists clients with negotiations related to buying and selling businesses and advising on the tax implications of these transactions. He is also experienced in estate, gift and inheritance tax matters, both at the federal and state levels.

Prior to joining Marks Paneth, Delfiner was a tax partner in the Philadelphia office of a global accounting firm.

UHY Advisors Announces Alliance with A.I.- Powered MinerEye

Yaniv Avidan

Chicago-based UHY Advisors (FY17 net revenue of $140.8 million) announced that the firm has formed an alliance with MinerEye, which uses artificial intelligence to track and protect sensitive data.

UHY, ranked among the top 50 firms in the country, says MinerEye will bolster its risk advisory group.

MinerEye’s Data TrackerTM enables business and government organizations to continuously identify, organize, track and protect vast information assets including undermanaged, unstructured and dark data, for safe and compliant cloud migration.

“Companies cannot protect, manage or utilize information they can’t find,” says MinerEye CEO and co-Founder Yaniv Avidan. “We believe Data Tracker will be an essential solution for UHY clients seeking to continuously automate data classification to reduce redundant data risk as well as complying with GDPR and other privacy regulations.

MinerEye Data Tracker helps companies consolidate internal file server data into OneDrive as part of Office 365 and Azure adoption. MinerEye helps customers swiftly identify, classify and tracking the on-premise data before, during and after it moves to the cloud.

As part of the alliance, UHY will oversee the professional services aspect of the offering, which includes advising clients regarding the implementation of the technology, as well as acting as the point of contact for clients after installation of the product.

“This alliance will add to the cybersecurity services we provide clients and ensure that they are well positioned to safeguard their most critical asset, their data,” Warren Zafrin, the leader of the Risk Advisory Services practice at UHY.

Aprio Combines with Magoon Freeman Spain & Jones, LLC

Joe Spain

Atlanta-based Aprio (FY17 net revenue of $85.1 million) has combined with Magoon Freeman Spain & Jones (MFSJ) of Alpharetta, Ga., expanding the firm’s presence in the state.

MFSJ is a boutique accounting firm serving closely held businesses, nonprofits and individual clients for more than 40 years. About 15 former MFSJ team members will continue to operate from their Alpharetta office as Aprio | MFSJ

Aprio says that its combination with MFSJ will increase the firm’s retirement plan business by 15%.

“Our existing clients will benefit from Aprio’s unmatched breadth of services as they look to their next,” Joe Spain, MP and co-founder of MFSJ, said in a statement. “Aprio’s reputation is well established for providing clients with future-focused advice and we’re delighted about the combination of the firms.”

Aprio MP Richard Kopelman says, “This combination will allow the MFSJ team to take advantage of our investments in business process automation, data analytics, as well as increased opportunities for skills building and career development through Aprio University.”

Gary Adamson, CEO of Adamson Advisory, advised both firms on the merger. “MFSJ has been a leader in the North Atlanta market for many years and was attracted to Aprio’s outstanding talent pool and extensive range of services focused on the middle market.”

MFSJ is the third merger announced by Aprio in 2018 and the sixth transaction in Georgia since 2007.

William Vaughan Company and Davenport Hanf & Company Announce Merger

Maumee, Ohio-based William Vaughan Company (FY17 net revenue of $10.6 million) and Davenport Hanf & Company of Perrysburg, Ohio, will merge effective Nov. 1, under the name William Vaughan Company. The new firm will provide clients access to increased levels of service and expertise.

“We are entering this merger as two strong firms,” says Mark Karchner, MP at DHC. “As we come together, we will have additional resources allowing us to deliver the highest level of value and service in the region.”

WVC plans to expand their investment in new technologies and assets to provide a heightened level of sophistication and efficiency to its services. The united firm will also leverage resources available through the BDO Alliance USA to supplement the expertise already on the ground in Northwest Ohio.

“WVC and DHC have similar values and priorities, so this merger is a natural fit. It lends to us doing more of what we already do,” says Aaron Swiggum, MP of WVC. “Our focus is always on service excellence, innovation and culture.”

The merger reinforces efforts to attract and retain the best people in the industry. As separate firms, both DHC and WVC invested significantly in a positive work environment and strong culture to retain top talent. That will remain a priority, with opportunities for mentorship, advancement and focused work in areas of specialized expertise.

Anglin CPAs Merges in Bloomer Geri

Anglin Reichmann Snellgrove & Armstrong (FY17 net revenue of $7.3 million) of Huntsville, Ala., has merged in Bloomer Geri & Company of Pensacola, Fla. The combined firms will operate under the name Anglin Reichmann Armstrong, the firms announced.

The merger will provide expansion opportunities in the Pensacola market while retaining the leadership and boutique tax consulting services of Bloomer Geri & Company. Anglin CPAs will maintain the office in Pensacola, which will offer tax services, audit and assurance, business solutions and IT solutions.

For the past four years, practice advisor Gary Adamson consulted with Bloomer Geri & Company on a transition plan. This included research and recommendations for the firm to explore several potential sale or merger options. Ultimately, they determined that Anglin CPAs matched their transition goals the best.

“Anglin offers the expanded services our clients were asking for. Their culture and fee structure are very similar to ours. We are also on the same page regarding transition of clients and my role in the upcoming years,” says MP Donna Bloomer.

Bloomer will stay in her position as MP through the transition. She anticipates retiring with the option of a part-time consulting position within the next five to 10 years. Owner and operations executive manager Jeanette Geri will likely retire earlier than Bloomer while Steve Schickel will remain a partner in Pensacola.

The Pensacola area is an emerging growth market, according to Anglin CPAs MP Gary Anglin. “We see many opportunities for a presence in Pensacola, in particular expanding our services in government contracting,” he says. “We also respect the depth of tax consulting and knowledge that Bloomer Geri & Company have developed among their professionals, specifically estate and gift tax consulting.”

New MP, Five New Partners at Mauldin & Jenkins

Hanson Borders

Atlanta-based Mauldin & Jenkins (FY18 net revenue of $50.6 million) announces that Hanson Borders, previous Birmingham, Ala., office PIC and financial institutions group leader, became new MP of the firm Sept. 1.

Hanson began his career with Mauldin & Jenkins in 1989 and has 29 years of auditing, tax and consulting experience primarily in the financial services area. He replaces Donny Luker, who served as MP for the last nine years.

In addition, Mauldin & Jenkins announces that five professionals have been admitted as new partners:

Heather Batson

 Heather Batson, Chattanooga, Tenn. – Batson has been with the firm since 2003. Her experience includes audits for financial institutions, including public companies, not-for-profit organizations and employee benefit plans.

Nicole Cunningham, Birmingham, Ala. – Cunningham has been with the firm since 2005. Her experience includes audits for financial institutions, internal control audits, non-profit organization audits, HUD audits, and examinations of controls at service center organizations.

Derrick Cowart, Savannah, Ga. – Cowart is a partner in the governmental practice division. His experience covers a wide variety of state and local governments in Georgia and South Carolina. He has been practicing public accounting since 1985. He came to Mauldin & Jenkins in 2018 as part of the firm’s acquisition of a governmental auditing, accounting and consulting practice in Savannah, Ga., for which he practiced for over 27 years.

Michael Gordon

Michael Gordon, Atlanta – Gordon joined the firm in 2005. Since then, he has focused his career on audits for financial institutions and audits of employee benefit plans. Additionally, his experience includes assisting clients with FDICIA and SOX 404 testing, HUD compliance and regulatory reporting. His experience also includes audits of clients within the governmental sector and the health care industry.

Tim Lyons, Columbia, S.C. – Lyons recently transferred to the Columbia office from the Atlanta office. He specializes in service to clients in a wide range of industries including middle market and privately held businesses, employee benefit plans, higher education, not-for-profit organizations and governmental entities. His experience covers attestation services, consulting, and advisory work with a wide variety of clients throughout the Carolinas, Georgia and Tennessee.

Founder of Sikich Accounting Firm Dies in Fall at Lake Redstone

Jim Sikich

Jim Sikich

James Sikich, founder of Sikich LLP, passed away on Tuesday, Aug. 28. He served as its MP and CEO until Jan. 1, 2018, when he retired.

Sikich, 70, died from injuries sustained while assisting with the flood rescue effort on Lake Redstone, near La Valle, Wis., according to WISC TV in Madison, Wis. The station reports that Sikich was walking down wooden stairs that led to the lake. The stairs had been heavily damaged during recent heavy rain and storms. Sikich fell near a section that was broken by an uprooted tree, fell about 20 feet down the steep hill and died, Sauk County Sheriff’s Department officials say.

Sikich was raised in Naperville, Ill., and played football for Naperville (now Central) High School and graduated from the University of Illinois, with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Immediately upon graduation, he joined the accounting firm of Filbey Summers Abolt Good and Kiddoo in Champaign, Ill. In 1982, Jim founded Sikich Gardner & Co. in Aurora, Ill., which eventually became Sikich LLP. Over 35 years of his leadership, Sikich grew into a $152 million firm, ranked No. 30 on the 2018 IPA 100 list. The firm is a member of Leading Edge Alliance and PrimeGlobal.

Throughout his career, he was a member and sat on the board of several prestigious organizations in Aurora, including Waubonsee Community College, the Aurora Family YMCA, Paramount Arts Center, Mercy Hospital, Copley Memorial Hospital and the Chamber of Commerce, among others.

He was preceded in death by his sister Wendy Walker. He is survived by his sister, Cherie Harris; sons, Andy and Alex, daughters Jennifer Hayes and Megan Strelsov; grandchildren Carrie Sikich, Will Sikich, Emma Hayes and Naomi Strelsov; and his three rescue beagles Lucky, Sam and Lola.

His obituary reads, “In a life filled with striving to be the best and inspiring others to achieve greatness, Jim was prematurely cut down while characteristically attempting to help others. He loved his family, and he loved his beagles. He will be dearly missed.” His passing is mourned deeply by many family members, friends and loved ones.

Donations can be made at www.donate.rescueme.org/beagle.

Cherry Bekaert Acquires CTS Capital Advisors

Richmond, Va.-based Cherry Bekaert (FY18 net revenue of $194.7 million) announces that it has acquired CTS Capital Advisors to expand its transaction advisory and valuation services.

The deal adds 25 due diligence and valuation professionals to the Cherry Bekaert. CTS, located in Bethesda, Md., specializes in buy- and sell-side due diligence, valuation, CFO outsourcing and business advisory services. The firm has advised companies on more than 500 deals, totaling over $13 billion in transaction value.

Three CTS professionals are joining Cherry Bekaert as principals: Jeffrey Bengtson, Sean Geoghan and Sidney Glick. Bengtson, a former co-founder and managing member of CTS, is also becoming national leader of Cherry Bekaert’s transaction advisory services practice.

“The demand for our transaction advisory and valuation services continues to grow,” says Cherry Bekaert MP of advisory services Scott Moss in a statement. “The leadership of Jeff and Sean, along with the talent and experience we are bringing in with the CTS professionals, will allow us to meet this demand and expand our service capabilities in the areas of financial due diligence, global transaction advisory, valuation, and mergers and acquisitions consulting.”

Bengtson says, “The cultural fit and shared growth vision made Cherry Bekaert an ideal match for CTS. The combined service capabilities platform and national reach will greatly benefit our professionals and offer additional value to our clients.”

The CTS team will move to Cherry Bekaert’s offices in Bethesda.

Gollob Morgan Peddy Announces Merger Jerry Nelson & Associates to Join GMP

Gollob Morgan Peddy of Tyler, Texas, (FY17 net revenue of $11.6 million) is merging in Jerry Nelson & Associates. 

“We’ve been talking with Jerry for some time about a merger,” says Rohrbach, “We both feel now is the right time.  Jerry and his staff share the same core values of client service we practice here at Gollob Morgan Peddy. We believe this merger will be a great fit for Jerry’s clients and his staff. We expect a seamless transition between our companies.”
Nelson says, “I took a huge leap of faith in 1979 and began my accounting practice without a single client. Now we serve hundreds of clients across the region. I am excited that our firm is merging with an outstanding company like Gollob Morgan Peddy.”

Jerry Nelson & Associates’ entire staff will be joining the Gollob Morgan Peddy staff. The Nelson office in Tyler has closed. Nelson says he has no plans to retire just yet.

One of Nelson’s primary specialties is the construction industry, which will be a great addition to an already strong construction division within Gollob Morgan Peddy.

Gollob Morgan Peddy was established in 1982. Today, with over 90 employees, the firm provides a wide variety of services, including tax, audit and bookkeeping services. The firm specializes in construction, oil and gas, medical, dental, real estate and litigation services.