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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Cherry Bekaert Expands Digital Advisory Services with Icimo Acquisition

Richmond, Va.-based Cherry Bekaert (FY19 net revenue of $219.7 million) has announced the acquisition of Icimo, a data analytics and services firm.

The Cary, N.C., firm will now operate as icimo analytics, by Cherry Bekaert, and will bring more than 25 technology professionals to Cherry Bekaert’s digital solutions and services practice.

The addition increases the firm’s capabilities to help clients to use their own data to make timelier, better-informed business decisions. The technology consultants and data analysts at icimo analytics design, implement and integrate data analysis, visualization and strategy solutions for their clients.

Icimo founders Bryce Gartner, Jennifer Gartner and Matt Illuzzi will continue their leadership roles within icimo analytics, by Cherry Bekaert.

Michelle Thompson, Cherry Bekaert’s CEO and MP, says, “Our clients require innovative, technology-based solutions to help them grow, and the capabilities that Icimo adds to our overall client service offering positions us to meet these evolving and expanding needs.

The professional consulting staff of icimo analytics, by Cherry Bekaert, will continue to operate from its current Cary, N.C.

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IPA INSIDER: January 2020 News

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

  1. Big 4’s Massive Technology Investments May Reinvent Accounting
  2. Wall Einhorn & Chernitzer Announces New Leader Upon Retirement of Marty Einhorn
  3. Partners Can Be Complacent And Ego-Driven, But Their Success = Firm Success
  4. Ex-KPMG Partner, Inspector Suspended by SEC
  5. PKF O’Connor Davies Merges in Dworken Hillman LaMorte & Sterczala
  6. KPMG UK’s Most Senior Female Partner Quits
  7. BKD Moves Its New York Office to Midtown Manhattan
  8. MBAF Expands Tax & Accounting Practice With Addition Of Kramer & Associates
  9. HW&Co. Names New CEO and Merges In Finkler & Company
  10. Regulators Eye Accounting, Audit Changes for 2020

BDO Launches New Digital Advisory Business

Chicago-based BDO USA (FY19 net revenue of $1.64 billion) has launched BDO Digital, a digital advisory business focused on helping middle market organizations harness innovation and capture the full power of technology.

According to BDO’s forthcoming 2020 CFO Outlook Survey, 54% of middle market organizations are pursuing digital transformation strategies this year. “However, many lack the resources and experience to make digital transformation a success – or as successful as it could be,” BDO says.

BDO Digital offers:

  • Digital Strategy
  • Data Analytics & Insights
  • Change Management
  • IT Outsourcing
  • Governance, Risk & Compliance
  • Privacy & Cybersecurity
  • Cloud & Technology Solutions
  • Application Development

“BDO Digital is focused on the transformational impact of technology on business and people –not just delivering systems,” says Bob Knott, partner of BDO USA and co-leader of BDO Digital. “We help clients envision the possibilities, develop and implement solutions and, most importantly, guide them through the change management necessary to achieve the desired results.”

The team of more than 400 digital advisory professionals is built from the firm’s technology and business transformation services practice and SWC Technology Partners, a wholly owned subsidiary of BDO USA.

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Big 4’s Massive Technology Investments May Reinvent Accounting

The Big 4 are investing billions of dollars into technology with the intention not only to streamline their operations but to transform their identities, according to Bloomberg Tax.

“We haven’t become a pure technology firm,” Christian Rast, KPMG’s global head of technology and knowledge said in a recent phone interview with Bloomberg Tax. “We are a professional services firm, but technology is core to our future.”

The firms are focusing on artificial intelligence and data analytics while re-training their work forces at a time when accounting leaders believe the profession is undergoing a fundamental change.

“Many of the routine jobs will go, as areas such as invoice processing are automated,” says Narayanan Vaidyanathan, head of business futures at the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. “However, many more jobs will be created as accountants and auditors have a wealth of more information available to them. They can now check all of a company’s transactions in real time, with data analytics allowing them to spot trends and anomalies. That means accountants will be expected to become business advisers not just number checkers. They need to be on top of technology and train staff to use it.”

Some of the investments announced in 2018 and 2019:

KPMG – A $5 billion, five-year investment in automation and AI, new cloud-based technology, creating new products and training.

PwC – $3 billion over the next four years on technology and training.

Ernst & Young – A $1 billion, two-year technology investment in blockchain and automation projects.

Deloitte – Although the biggest firm in the nation hasn’t released an investment figure, it is building a niche providing automation services to law firms and legal offices.

Bruce Braude, hired in July as chief technology officer (CTO) at Deloitte Legal, says, “Each of our divisions has its own CTO so that we can work together to offer clients a technology-led solution – traditional lawyers would give a yes or no answer to whether an action was legal, whereas we can combine with other parts of the firm to offer an entire solution, as well as advising legal offices over areas such as automation.”

KPMG and EY are both looking to India to develop new technology.

Srinivasa Rao, EY’s global vice chair of global delivery services, tells Bloomberg Tax that the firm could increase staff in India by 50% over the next year, from around 50,000 today, to develop AI and analytics products in the country.

“Really this is aimed at emerging markets,” Rao says, “giving them access to things like machine learning that they can adapt for their own tax or audit products, which often have local requirements.” India will become the firm’s second largest office worldwide.

Frazier & Deeter Expands Transaction Advisory Services

Atlanta-based Frazier & Deeter (FY18 net revenue of $96.0 million) announced the expansion of the firm’s transaction advisory services group with the addition of Brian Dermott as principal, Chase Gund as manager and Joseph Barron as senior associate.

They will operate from Charlotte, N.C. The transaction advisory services group focuses on serving private equity groups, corporate strategic buyers, mezzanine lenders and other investors.

“The demand for Frazier & Deeter’s transaction advisory services has never been stronger, driving the need to expand the team,” notes MP Seth McDaniel. “We’re seeing increased demand for both buy-side and sell-side transaction support.”

Dermott was most recently CFO of FM Expressions, a private equity-owned manufacturer. Before FM Expressions, Dermott was a transaction advisory professional, performing financial due diligence engagements on behalf of private equity and strategic buyers to identify and mitigate deal risk.

Gund joined the firm from DayBlink, a management consulting firm, where he advised clients regarding a variety of finance-related activities. He was previously a member of Frazier & Deeter’s audit practice for five years and served in the U.S. Navy for five years.

Barron joined the firm from Emerson Electric, where he was a financial analyst. Prior to Emerson, he was with Grant Thornton, where he served in audit and transaction services.

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Baker Tilly Launches New Practice to Help Clients with Digital Disruption

Chicago-based Baker Tilly (FY19 net revenue of $754.8 million) has launched Baker Tilly Digital, which brings together the firm’s analytic and advanced technology services.

Baker Digital is designed to help clients stay ahead of digital disruption. Baker Tilly CEO Alan Whitman says, “Keeping pace with new technology and making decisions today to shape tomorrow is never easy. We lean into and guide our clients through the complexities of digital disruption and the possibilities it brings.”

Baker Tilly Digital encompasses analytics, cloud strategies, connected devices, emerging technologies, intelligent automation, digital enterprise and Digital | Labs – an incubator for development of next-generation tools and services. The team includes data scientists, intelligent

Baker Tilly helped an aerospace and defense equipment manufacturer use advanced analytics, the firm says. “Before, I was watching 52 planes manually, which took me all day,” the fleet analytics manager of the company said. “After implementing the solution, I’m able to actively monitor the health of more than 400 planes using only 50% of my day. That extra time frees me up to tackle other critical issues that need my attention.”

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