Brown Smith Wallace Adds Marketing Services

Tom Etling

St. Louis-based Brown Smith Wallace (FY18 net revenue of $50 million) is adding marketing to its advisory services offerings, the firm announced.

The firm has 30 practice areas, and offers cybersecurity, data analysis, software selection and business performance consulting. The advisory services group employs more than 60 professionals.

The new marketing advisory practice will be led by Tom Etling, who previously served as the CEO of Dovetail, a St. Louis-based brand communications agency. He has also served as chief executive officer at St. Patrick Center, which offers housing and other services for the homeless, and he also held senior leadership positions in marketing for the Gateway Arch.

“Our core accounting and tax work and deep relationships with our clients’ C-Suite personnel put us in a unique position to spot trends and opportunities,” says MP Tony Caleca. “Launching the advisory practice was a bold move for the size firm we were in 2002, but it positions us well today as we help our clients grow and transform their businesses in the ever-changing world we live in.”

When the advisory services group began, Brown Smith Wallace had annual revenues of $11 million and employed 100 people. The practice is a strong performer for the firm, with approximately $11 million in annual billings – doubling in size over the last five years.  The firm now employs 300.

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AAFCPAs Expands Cannabis Practice

Kevin Michaelan

Westborough, Mass.-based AAFCPAs (FY18 net revenue of $33.5 million) has expanded its cannabis practice with the addition of Kevin Michaelan, who will lead the growing niche from the firm’s Boston office.

The firm advises businesses and investors throughout the business lifecycle, including start-ups, entities expanding into multi-state operations, and those planning to exit the business. Michaelan is known for his deep knowledge of trends impacting the industry, such as aggressive growth, rapidly changing regulations, cross-border restrictions, and mergers and acquisitions.

“He is deeply immersed in the cannabis space and well-known for his prolific tax and business strategies,” says co-MP Dave McManus.

“Cannabis companies are challenged by capital and taxes,” Michaelan says. “We have proven strategies to address both and I’m eager to turn these strategies into competitive advantages for AAFCPAs’ clients.”

BPM Adds Security Tech Company

San Francisco-based BPM LLP (FY18 net revenue of $99.5 million) has added Adhere Inc. of Fairfield, Calif., a security technology company, to its advisory practice.

Adhere guides businesses of all sizes through their IT security operations and compliance requirements. Adhere monitors IT security controls through its Security Operations Center and consults with clients to develop their security processes and controls.

Sarah Lynn

“Our experts have hands-on expertise shepherding organizations in making the best possible decisions, whether they are in the preparation or the remediation stage,” says Sarah Lynn, CEO of Adhere. Lynn is joining the firm as partner. About 10 employees will join BPM.

Nick Steiner, who leads BPM’s advisory practice group, says data security and compliance is a top priority for clients. “With increasing sensitivities around keeping data safe and the growing demands of meeting compliance standards, businesses must remain vigilant against potential threats and the latest protocols. Our new team brings a wealth of industry knowledge and shares our dedication to tailoring security solutions for organizations everywhere.”

BPM’s combination with Adhere comes after several strategic expansions. It recently combined with Kramer & Olsen Accountancy Corporation of Santa Ana, Calif., Croce & Company of Stockton, Calif., CPA Consulting of Bellevue, Wash., and the HR consulting practice of Options4Growth in San Francisco.

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Introhive, PwC Offering AI Services

Introhive, an enterprise relationship management (ERM) provider, is expanding its relationship with Big 4 firm PwC to offer AI-powered relationship intelligence.

The joint business relationship (JBR) began in the U.K. late last year, and has expanded to Canada and the U.S., with plans to expand into Europe.

The collaboration is intended to help increase employee productivity and grow revenue with the help of a more streamlined process, AI-powered data automation and relationship intelligence solutions for Salesforce Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Introhive reports.

“PwC is truly pioneering the way organizations drive digital transformation at a global scale,” says Stewart Walchli, Introhive co-founder and business development leader. “Not only are they delivering leading-edge solutions for their clients, but they are leading by example with their own global deployment success.”

The software eliminates data entry and fills the system with complete customer data and relationship insights. We’re eager to take our proven solution to market to help other organizations with their own transformation.”

“Introhive has been a key component to our front office transformation strategy. The power of relationship data science was evident from our first deployment five years ago and has helped us to drive a successful global deployment of Salesforce,” says PwC’s Global Centre of Excellence and consulting partner Philip Grosch. He adds that the software eliminates data entry and fills the system with complete customer data and relationship insights. “We’re eager to take our proven solution to market to help other organizations with their own transformation.”

CohnReznick Forms Privacy Advisory Group

New York-based CohnReznick (FY19 net revenue of $653 million) has expanded its cybersecurity and privacy practice by establishing a privacy advisory group.

Judy Selby and Alison Bird have joined the firm as managing directors and will co-lead the group, working with the national leader of the cybersecurity and privacy practice, Shahryar Shaghaghi.

Selby and Bird have significant experience providing strategic advice to companies on privacy-related matters, the firm says. Each brings a deep understanding of privacy law and governance best practices to CohnReznick. They are both based in the New York office.

“Companies across virtually every industry are now impacted by rigorous privacy regulations and laws including the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and upcoming changes to Gramm Leach Bliley (GLB),” says Shaghaghi. “With the addition of Judy and Alison’s expertise to our growing cybersecurity and privacy advisory practice, we are well situated to assist our clients in the development of their privacy programs while addressing their compliance needs.”

Selby says the group’s goal is to provide businesses with “privacy on demand” advisory services.

Bird adds, “Our growing capability to help companies in a wide range of industries protect their data assets, proactively address regulatory mandates, and create robust privacy policies and procedures is another way we can help them achieve competitive advantage.”

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Sikich Forms Intelligent Automation Services Team

Naperville, Ill.-based Sikich (FY18 net revenue of $168.7 million) recently formed an intelligent automation services team to offer advanced technologies, such as robotic process automation (RPA), to middle-market clients.

The firm will deliver custom RPA bots to clients to help them cut down on repetitive, manual tasks, reduce errors and optimize processes. Additional services include machine learning, optical character recognition and natural language processing.

“Implementing intelligent automation can be cost-prohibitive for many middle-market companies,” Sikich CFO Ryan Spohn says. “We aim to fill this void by combining our deep technology expertise with innovative solutions. Our team will enable more companies to not only access these advanced technologies and speed their digital transformations, but also enjoy a meaningful return on investment.”

Sikich’s national technology consultancy helps companies across industries – including health care, finance, manufacturing, distribution and professional services – improve productivity and performance with innovative digital strategies and technology solutions.

“Intelligent automation is a natural extension of our digital transformation and emerging technology services,” says Sikich CIO Scott Sanders.

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Windham Brannon Expands Business Valuation Services

Atlanta-based Windham Brannon (FY18 net revenue of $27.7 million) has announced the creation of a separate division for its business valuation services due to growing interest and client needs.

Tom Brooks, leader of the business valuation practice, says the continuing M&A trend supports the need for business valuation services.

“In today’s evolving marketplace, companies require a better understanding of their business valuation and how to build value into their business,” he says. “It’s hard for business owners and executive teams to arrive at an objective value for their companies. We offer an independent, unbiased business valuation process that relies on well-documented research, analysis and best practices to ensure comprehensive company valuations that support smarter business decisions.”

Windham Brannon cites Statistica, a provider of market and consumer data, which reports 375 mergers and acquisitions valued at more than $1 billion from January to September last year. In addition, Deloitte research says 79% of respondents to a recent survey expect the number of deals they close in the next 12 months to increase, up from 70% last year.

Windham Brannon’s business valuation practice offers management planning, estate planning, litigation support, financial reporting and transaction analysis.

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Michael Rose Joins EisnerAmper as Partner

Michael Rose

New York-based EisnerAmper (FY19 net revenue of $380.6 million) announces that Michael Rose has joined the firm and been admitted as a partner in the process, risk and technology solutions practice. He will be based in the Philadelphia office.

Rose will specialize in enterprise risk management, IT, regulatory and compliance, internal audit and monitoring, and data governance. In addition, he will also be the practice leader for a new service offering related to compliance and monitoring for the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) transactions.

Jerry Ravi, partner and leader of the process, risk and technology solutions practice, calls CFIUS compliance an emerging area in the marketplace, “allowing us to build and leverage our existing compliance capabilities to offer valued solutions, including risk assessments and monitoring. We also plan to bring robust technology solutions to this area.”

Rose has more than 35 years of experience in governance/compliance, internal audit, internal controls, business process optimization, as well as IT audit and advisory, IT security and monitoring controls. He served as CEO and founding partner of a consulting firm where he was responsible for overseeing all functional aspects of firmwide operations in service areas such as enterprise risk management, fraud prevention and detection, corporate governance, risk and controls, business process improvement and IT security. He also held a position with a Big 4 accounting firm.

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RKL Launches ‘RKL Next’ To Help Clients Navigate Change

Lancaster, Pa.-based RKL LLP (FY18 net revenue of $82.5 million) has launched RKL Next, a suite of services designed to help organizations navigate challenges associated with growth and change.

RKL Next addresses needs in human capital, operations, technology, financial management and data analytics to move clients forward in a rapidly changing business environment.

“Many of our clients are increasingly feeling left behind given the rapid pace of change in our business environment,” says RKL CEO Edward W. Monborne. “Through RKL Next, we work alongside owners and management teams to uncover new ways of leveling up and advancing toward their goals.”

Some of the challenges include talent shortages, technology advances, globalization, big data and generational shifts in ownership.

With RKL Next, organizations can:

  • Align business objectives to talent and organizational strategy
  • Optimize accounting function to shift focus to growth and opportunity
  • Accelerate business transformation and growth through improved execution
  • Leverage data to make better, faster business decisions

“RKL Next is a unique model for our region,” notes partner and consulting services group leader Bethany Novis. “Instead of reaching up to the national level for this type of expertise at the expense of personalized service, small to mid-sized companies throughout the Mid-Atlantic can now tap into RKL Next for future-ready strategies delivered by a trusted local advisor.”

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Marks Paneth Announces New Service

Dean Nelson

New York-based Marks Paneth (FY18 net revenue of $136 million) has announced the addition of a new technology and digital services group.

Led by PIC Dean Nelson, professionals in the practice will focus on client needs in the areas of technology assessment, data analytics, enterprise integration and architecture, business process consulting, IT due diligence, cloud enablement and digital transformation plans.

Nelson brings decades of experience in developing and implementing digital solutions for for-profit and not-for-profit clients of national public accounting firms and major corporations.

“Expanding our service capabilities in the digital space supports our firm’s highest priority, which is helping clients achieve long-term business and personal success,” says MP Harry Moehringer. “Along with our tax advisors and attest professionals, Dean Nelson and his team will serve as key resources for clients as they continue to face evolving risks, regulations and compliance requirements.”

Based in the firm’s New York headquarters, Nelson will oversee a team of technology professionals who will advise clients across all of the geographies and industries that Marks Paneth serves, including manufacturing, construction, real estate, nonprofit, retail, restaurants and health care.

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