BKD Cyber Offers New Virtual CIO Advisory Services

Springfield, Mo.-based BKD CPAs & Advisors (FY19 net revenue of $662.9 million) has announced that BKD Cyber has launched a new service to help financial institutions with IT issues.

With BKD Cyber’s Virtual Chief Information Officer Advisor Services (BKD vCIO), financial institutions can take care of their IT issues without hiring a full-time senior IT executive.

“Financial institutions are already under immense regulatory pressure to keep in compliance with changes to technology. Understanding that pressure and wanting to offer a solution that is affordable and has a demonstrable return on investment, we determined BKD vCIO could help bridge the gap between budget constraints and regulatory requirements,” says Cindy Boyle, a BKD Cyber partner.

The BKD vCIO team is experienced working in diverse IT environments and are knowledgeable about a broad range of IT core platforms and technologies.

Services include IT strategic planning, IT operational oversight, IT steering committee participation, IT testing preparation, and disaster recovery planning, testing and exam. Services are paid on a subscription basis.

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Baker Tilly Acquires Talavant to Bolster Data Analytics Services

Chicago-based Baker Tilly (FY19 net revenue of $754.8 million) has acquired a data analytics consulting firm to expand Baker Tilly Digital services.

Madison, Wis.-based Talavant is a business intelligence consulting firm founded in 2015 that has quadrupled in size since then. The team has worked to leverage data to save their clients time and money. The combination is expected to be complete on April 1.

“Teaming Talavant’s deep analytics capabilities with Baker Tilly’s advanced technology solutions and industry specialization creates a unique combination of skills, knowledge and bench strength to help our clients anticipate market conditions and make strategic decisions,” principal and Baker Tilly digital leader John Runte says.

Baker Tilly Digital, launched in November 2019, offers data analytics and technology solutions to help companies with digital transformation challenges.

Dave DuVarney

“Joining forces with Baker Tilly broadens our capabilities to serve the growing needs of our clients and provide exciting opportunities for our team members,” says Dave DuVarney, Talavant president.

Baker Tilly Digital offers the firm’s most technical services, from analytics and cloud strategies to its own Digital | Labs, a development incubator of next-generation tools and services. The team includes technologists, data scientists, intelligent automation practitioners and emerging technology leaders.

Other recent acquisitions include the addition of Plano, Texas-based Montgomery Coscia Greilich and a three-way combination with municipal advisory firms H.J. Umbaugh and Associates and Springsted Incorporated. Both deals were announced in January of 2019.

In 2018, Baker Tilly added global financial investigations firm RGL Forensics and expanded to Houston with the addition of MiddletonRaines+Zapata.

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JP Morgan Bullish on Blockchain

JP Morgan, in a recent report, describes numerous uses for blockchain and foresees widespread adoption in the financial sector.

The report says “groundwork is now in place” for the massive adoption of the distributed ledger technology in the realm of “payments, trade finance and custodial services,” according to Bitcoinist.com. JPMorgan has created its own digital money called JPM Coin.

Additionally, China is reportedly developing a digital Yuan and the Bank of England has announced it will start research on creating a digital currency. JP Morgan says blockchain can ease cross-border payments using digital assets and some equity trades.

While the report discusses rise of blockchain technology, it also says, “Developments have not altered reservations about the limited role that cryptocurrencies play in global portfolio diversification or as a hedging instrument.”

“The conclusion is that, while cryptocurrencies are interesting, even 1% exposure with them is an extremely risky and impractical endeavor since they don’t have a legal tender,” Forbes reported.

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BKD Offers Financial Modeling Software for Colleges and Universities

Springfield, Mo.-based BKD CPAs & Advisors (FY19 net revenue of $662.9 million) has partnered with PFM Solutions to help colleges and universities improve financial sustainability.

The firm is offering financial modeling software, Synopsis Powered by Synario.

“We understand many higher education leaders are using outdated modeling tools or Excel spreadsheets to make institution-wide decisions,” says Tondeé Lutterman, BKD national industry partner, who called Synopsis a “revolutionary modeling solution.”

Synopsis is a financial and scenario modeling tool that can help academic leaders manage key drivers and configure new scenarios to quickly visualize outcomes, communicate results and make decisions.

“The Synopsis product empowers executive leaders to navigate the financial implications of assorted strategic initiatives in real time and strengthens data-informed decisions,” says David Armstrong, BKD director and higher education leader.

Synopsis is part of BKD’s financial sustainability services.

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Hancock Askew & Co. Announces the Formation of Clarity Capital Advisors

Savannah, Ga.-based Hancock Askew & Co. (FY18 net revenue of $15.7 million) has launched a wholly-owned subsidiary, Clarity Capital Advisors, which offers small and medium-size businesses advice on mergers and acquisitions, general corporate finance and other issues.

Hancock Askew MP Michael McCarthy says, “At Hancock Askew, we are keenly aware of the shift in the accounting industry to provide more than just traditional compliance services to clients. Through the addition of Clarity Capital Advisors and the experience of the team leading the new firm, we continue to be at the forefront of expanding our service offerings and increasing our footprint in the marketplace.” 

Clarity Capital Advisors assists clients with determining appropriate sources of debt and equity capital. Additionally, it provides financial advisory services for management buyouts, recaps and for a strategic alternative review analysis.

Clarity Capital Advisors is led by Steve Keaveney and John Stanier. Mary Roberts, managing director of Hancock Askew’s transaction and business valuation practice, will also provide leadership support.

Stanier says, “I am excited to help launch Clarity. Steve and I have been successful in building value for shareholders through a number of creative capital markets transactions beginning with our first venture together in 1994.” Clients range from an early-stage business with break-even operations to $5 million plus of EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization). Typical enterprise values ranging from $10 million to $150 million, Keaveney says.

Hancock Askew has offices in Georgia and Florida and a staff of over 150 professionals. The firm is an independent member of the BDO Alliance USA.

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IPA INSIDER: February 2020 News

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

  1. CLA Announces Acquisition of Weil & Company
  2. Robert Marzan Joins Cullari Carrico as a Partner
  3. Modeling The Right Behavior When Deadlines Are Tight And Stress Is High
  4. Moss Adams Admits 28 New Partners
  5. Partners Can Be Complacent And Ego-Driven, But Their Success = Firm Success
  6. Frazier & Deeter Acquires Consulting Firm Arch + Tower
  7. Cherry Bekaert Expands Digital Advisory Services with Icimo Acquisition
  8. UHY LLP Welcomes COO, New Partner in Capital Region
  9. Schneider Downs Announces Plan for New Co-MP
  10. REDW Merges in HR Consulting and Legal Practice

Mauldin & Jenkins Announces New IT Subsidiary

Atlanta-based Mauldin & Jenkins (FY19 net revenue of $52.5 million) announces a new subsidiary – Advisory Information Technology LLC (AdIT) of Marietta, Ga.

As a division of Mauldin & Jenkins, AdIT will function as an independently operated subsidiary. The deal is expected to augment Mauldin & Jenkins’ current IT capabilities and expand its offering of technology-related services and support to a wide variety of clients.

AdIT, founded in 2012 by Jerry Jones and Matisse Long, helps clients improve processes and increase efficiency while minimizing risk, fulfilling regulatory and compliance responsibilities, and solving complex business problems.

MP Hanson Borders says, “We believe that in addition to traditional business advisory and accounting services, it is critical that top-tier firms find new ways to meet client needs in an era of rapid technological change and an ever-evolving risk environment.” He adds, “Our existing IT offerings have proven extremely popular. Having access to AdIT’s certified professionals and highly specialized skills will allow us to further elevate these services to meet the challenges and opportunities of a technology dependent business environment.”

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BKD Launches Nonprofit Advisory Services in New York

Springfield, Mo.-based BKD CPAs & Advisors (FY19 net revenue of $662.9 million) has launched a nonprofit advisory services practice in its New York office with the addition of Corinna Creedon to lead the practice.

Creedon has more than 20 years of experience as a finance executive and has provided outsourced CFO services, financial operations and compliance services to a wide range of clients. She offers Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, special project/project management office services and outsourced CFO solutions. Prior to joining BKD, Creedon ran a consulting firm.

“Corinna’s expertise combined with Rick Cole’s recent arrival to the team will allow us to provide additional support to new and existing clients,” says Ryan Reiff, MP for BKD’s New York office.

Nonprofit advisory services include:

  • Accounting and CFO support
  • Grants management and compliance
  • Accounting standards implementation
  • Financial operational assessments
  • Policies and procedures and internal controls

The New York office joins BKD’s nonprofit advisory service practices in Dallas, Kansas City, Mo., Chicago and Denver.

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Adelsberger Marketing Joins Alexander Thompson Arnold CPAs

A partnership has been announced between Adelsberger Marketing of Jackson, Tenn., and Union City, Tenn.-based Alexander Thompson Arnold (FY18 net revenue of $26.6 million).

“As our digital marketing firm has grown over the past five years, we were ready to take the next step,” says Kevin Adelsberger, owner and founder of Adelsberger Marketing. “Joining forces with ATA and their client base throughout West Tennessee and the Southeast was a perfect match.”

ATA partner Stephen Eldridge says, “Bringing Adelsberger Marketing into our expanding family of companies enables ATA to offer our clients a larger array of marketing services.”

Founded in 2014, Adelsberger Marketing offers videography, content marketing, digital advertising, social media, websites and branding.

ATA has 14 office locations in Tennessee, Kentucky and Mississippi, and provides a wide array of accounting, auditing, tax and consulting services. ATA is an alliance member of BDO USA.

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Yale University and Fiondella Milone and LaSaracina Form Corporate Partnership

Glastonbury, Conn.-based Fiondella Milone and LaSaracina (FY18 net revenue of $9 million) and the Yale Office of Cooperative Research have partnered to help Yale startup companies.

The Office of Cooperative Research aims to turn Yale research into commercial opportunities and collaborates with outside firms to help new ventures with legal, accounting or marketing services.

FML professionals have agreed to serve as expert consultants to Yale innovators, and founding partners Frank Milone and Lisa (LaSaracina) Willauer have been named Yale Entrepreneurs-in-Residence.

“Partnering with Yale OCR is the perfect extension of our expertise,” Milone says. “We’re excited to be able to help bolster the success of innovative spinouts through our mastery of the nitty-gritty of assurance and tax regulations and requirements – essentials for every growing business, but not the specialty of those doing the innovating. We want to fill that gap so more Connecticut-grown startups fully realize their potential. The opportunity to support one of the world’s premier institutions in developing these companies cannot be overstated.”

FML support includes tax and accounting help, business structure and formation, understanding of federal and state grant accounting and reporting, financial statement assurance, and capital market consulting and advisory services. Additionally, FML brings a full suite of business tax preparation services and can advise companies in the medical and biotech fields, software as a service (SaaS) and digital heath.

In addition to Glastonbury, FML has offices in Enfield, New Haven, Stamford, Simsbury and Stafford Springs, Conn. The firm has 13 partners, 37 CPAs and a total staff of 84 professionals.

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