Cherry Bekaert Launches Technology Solutions Group

Toby Stansell

Toby Stansell

Richmond, Va.-based Cherry Bekaert (FY16 net revenue of $164.2 million) has launched a Technology Solutions Group, which will be led by managing director Toby Stansell and director Jim Holman, who both recently joined the firm.

Stansell most recently served as president and COO of a boutique technology consulting firm. In his new role, he will advise clients on applying and leveraging technology to improve their operational and financial performance. Stansell’s business technology expertise, combined with his executive management experience, will help clients capitalize upon transformative opportunities to increase the productivity of people and processes.

Jim Holman

Jim Holman

Operating out of the firm’s Atlanta and Greenville, S.C., practices, he will also work with clients in Cherry Bekaert’s THInc practice serving the health, technology and industrial sectors. For 35 years, Stansell has worked with industrial clients in the areas of order management, supply-chain planning and execution, enterprise resource planning implementations, and lean materials management.

Holman has more than 25 years of experience advising clients with business flow, manufacturing and distribution processes, and analytical reporting. He has played a key role in IT/systems divesture projects and IT post-merger integration projects, including system migrations and optimization strategies. Based in Atlanta, Holman also will serve as a consultant to the firm’s THInc specialty practice. His expertise includes manufacturing financial modules, distribution modules, business intelligence, shop floor data collection, and mobile solutions.

Smith & Howard Launches Financial Search & Placement Practice

Blayne Shelton

Blayne Shelton

Smith & Howard of Atlanta (FY15 net revenue of $24.9 million) recently announced the launch of a new service offering: Financial Search & Placement, along with the addition of Blayne Shelton as director of the group.

“After fielding requests for staffing help from clients and financial professionals alike for several years, we decided it was time to put a formalized program in place,” says MP John Lucht. “Blayne brings not only a great blended background of accounting and recruiting, but also similar values and an approach that meshes well with our culture.”

Shelton has held a variety of roles in public accounting (including the Big 4) as well as industry. His clients in both arenas included small businesses as well as large public organizations and covered such areas as revenue recognition, real estate finance, derivative accounting and a range of consulting projects. He joined the executive recruiting side of the business when he returned to a consulting firm he had previously worked for. He combines his recruiting career with his accounting industry experience to connect with and place qualified financial professionals with businesses.

The Financial Search & Placement (FS&P) group creates ideal matches between professionals and businesses to staff CFO, controller, senior accountant, internal auditor, financial and business systems analyst, staff accountant and bookkeeper positions. If there is a financial role in a business, the FS&P group at Smith & Howard can find a fit.

While the FS&P group will focus on businesses in Georgia and the Southeast, the service can extend to locations in other areas of the U.S.

BPM Adds Corporate Dispute Resolution Service Line to Advisory Practice

San Francisco-based BPM (FY15 net revenue of $82 million) has added a new service line: corporate dispute resolution.

BPM, also known as Burr Pilger Mayer, recognized its clients’ need for support surrounding dispute resolution. With deep expertise in forensic accounting, litigation support and mediated settlements, the team is able to positively influence disputes, contributing to fair settlements and positive outcomes for clients, the firm says.

“We understand that accomplishing business goals and objectives may require additional services which intersect with BPM’s traditional service areas,” says Edward Webb, leader of the firm’s corporate finance group.

“Our team of experts develop and provide individualized support – our primary goal is to help clients achieve their objectives while making sure they are more confident and comfortable in the process,” he adds.

Corporate dispute resolution falls outside the traditional parameters of accounting or consulting. Corporate disputes have the potential to damage businesses and can be very confusing and disruptive to business owners; BPM offers clients peace of mind while resolutions are in process.

“Above all else, we want to ensure our clients focus on what they do best: running their business,” adds Nick Steiner, chair of the firm’s advisory practice.

Under corporate dispute resolution, BPM provides assistance with forensic accounting and litigation support, ensuring high standards for detection, assessment and analysis. In addition, members of the team have specific mediation training and experience to help mitigate the complexities of bankruptcy and commercial litigation.

Armanino Starts Charitable Foundation; Offers Seven Grants

San Ramon, Calif.-based Armanino (FY15 net revenue of $164 million) has announced the formation of its charitable giving arm, the Armanino Foundation, which matches each staff contribution two-to-one.

Worthy charitable organizations in education, health and social services, animal welfare and the arts are nominated by firm employees and selected by a committee. In its first round of funding, Armanino awarded $20,000 in grants to seven organizations in its communities – Advancement Project, Bet Tzedek, Down Syndrome Connection of the Bay Area, Girls Inc., Holiday Heroes, New Hoizons and Vogel Alcove.

“Armanino and its team members have always placed high value on community involvement and corporate citizenship. The Armanino Foundation joins our annual Great Give event and additional community service events as a way Armanino staff can make a positive impact in our communities,” says MP Andy Armanino.

The foundation is directed by a board and committee of 17 members from across the firm. Its chair, Mary Tressel, director of consulting marketing, oversees grant administration and bylaws.

The Armanino Foundation plans to make regular donations through grant funding to community groups and charities that make a positive impact.

Prager Metis Announces New Affiliate – Prager Metis Technology

New York-based Prager Metis CPAs (FY15 net revenue of $43 million) has created a new technology company specializing in cybersecurity, risk intelligence and regulatory compliance called Prager Metis Technology.

Peter Fiorillo

Peter Fiorillo

The company will be led by Peter Fiorillo, president and CEO. Fiorillo joins Prager Metis from Madison-Davis Professional Services (MDPS), where he served as president and CEO. Ira Schechtman of Accounting Firm Search Associates acted as a facilitator in the transaction.

Prager Metis Technology was formed in response to the significant regulatory requirements being implemented at both a federal and state level. The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015 encourages businesses and the federal government to share cyber threat information in the interest of national security.

Also, last year the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) raised the bar for cybersecurity programs, as the first state to release cybersecurity regulations that will go into effect on March 1. The regulations will affect all entities with a DFS “license, registration, charter, certificate, permit, accreditation or similar authorization under the banking law, the insurance law or the financial services law.” Among other things, the regulation requires each entity’s board of directors to file an annual certification of compliance with the superintendent of DFS.

With the ever-increasing requirements placed on cybersecurity resiliency and as regulators tighten their grip, financial institutions, as well as all companies on a global basis, need to have a cost-effective, efficient and integrated cybersecurity, risk management and regulatory compliance program that can respond in hours and days, not weeks and months, the firm says. As such, Prager Metis Technology and Fiorillo will be providing these programs, technology solutions and subject matter expertise to help companies.

Dixon Hughes Goodman Expands Services in Nashville, Adds HDR Consulting

Charlotte, N.C.-based Dixon Hughes Goodman (FY16 net revenue of $394 million) announces that it is expanding services in Nashville, Tenn., by adding to the areas of health care consulting, risk advisory and audit and tax.

The principal and employees of HDR Consulting (HDR), headquartered in Nashville, officially joined the firm’s national health care practice on Jan. 2. Founded and led by Beth Mullins, HDR has been providing strategic planning, managed care negotiations, physician integration, analytics and data consulting services to clients nationwide since 2006. HDR has worked to develop and implement strategies that drive increased revenue and other value for its many health care clients.

The new resources will complement the risk advisory team, led by Mark Schmadtke, and the health care consulting team, led by Kevin Locke, Nashville Office MP.

The Nashville office has grown significantly since it began in 2011, serving nearly all of the for-profit, not-for-profit and academic medical centers in the region. The firm also plans to expand beyond the health care industry into core audit and tax within banking, manufacturing, distribution, technology and other industries.

“Expanding our service offerings and building on the momentum of our health care and advisory teams is a logical next step in DHG’s growth strategy,” says Locke. “Nashville has been on our radar as a strategic location where we will continue to invest, grow and serve.”

In addition, partner John Brock, who joined the firm’s Atlanta office in August 2016, will relocate to Nashville, to work on the health care transaction advisory services team, and partner Paul Hopkins relocated from Memphis, Tenn., to establish a local audit and tax practice. He is joined in Nashville by a team of assurance and tax professionals who have relocated from other offices or recently joined the firm in Nashville.

The firm’s Nashville expansion is part of a larger growth strategy throughout the Southeast and in its national service lines. The firm is also looking to add resources and capabilities in Atlanta, Tampa, Fla., and Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas.

Bonadio Group Creates New Health Care Subsidiary

Pittsford, N.Y.-based The Bonadio Group (FY16 net revenue of $89.3 million) has created a subsidiary for consulting work in the health care industry.

Beacon Solutions Group comprises two consulting firms that help health care organizations with their business operations. The deal brings together Bonadio Receivable Solutions (BRS), a longtime subsidiary of the Bonadio Group, and IM Solutions, an independent consulting firm in Buffalo, N.Y.

The owner of IM Solutions, Patrick Flaherty, is Beacon Solutions Group director, while Andrea Hagen, director of BRS, is a principal in the new company, along with Karen Donovan and Maureen Weir from IM Solutions. The new company employs 17 people at its Buffalo and Rochester locations.

“As good as these two companies were on their own, together as Beacon Solutions Group they will be able to deliver more services that directly improve their clients’ business operations,” says Mario Urso, MP of the Bonadio Buffalo office and supervising partner for Beacon Solutions Group.

Citrin Cooperman Launches Government Contracting Practice

Shawn Howard

Shawn Howard

IPA 100 firm New York-based Citrin Cooperman (FY15 net revenue of $207 million) announced that it is launching a government contracting practice, which will be led by Shawn Howard and Sirena Johnson in Bethesda, Md.

They bring extensive experience providing audit, accounting and tax compliance and consulting services to clients in the government contracting space and will advise a diverse array of businesses across the country, including technology, communications, defense, security, intelligence, and professional services companies.

“The addition of both Shawn Howard and Sirena Johnson to the firm further demonstrates our commitment to continue the growth of Citrin Cooperman with enhanced services that bring direct value to our clients,” said CEO Joel Cooperman. “Their deep experience and technical knowledge will provide us with the right foundation to enter the government contracting space seamlessly and significantly.”

Sirena Johnson

Sirena Johnson


Prior to joining Citrin Cooperman, Howard and Johnson served as principals in an accounting firm based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Howard was responsible for the review of federal and multi-state tax returns, as well as tax planning strategies for a variety of domestic and international clients, including government contractors, professional service firms, technology companies, and private equity firms.

“I’m looking forward to hitting the ground running with the launch of Citrin Cooperman’s new government contracting practice,” says Howard. “Increasing regulatory requirements and compliance concerns have set a new normal in standards making the government contracting space a prime market.  Our dedicated team is well positioned to help our clients navigate through this dynamic environment.”

Johnson specializes in providing auditing, consulting and accounting services to government contractors, technology companies, and employee benefit plans.  Johnson also provides services related to mergers and acquisitions and strategic planning, in addition to consulting with government contractors in dealing with the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA).

“Citrin Cooperman is known to be a dynamic firm with an unbelievably deep level of resources and an excellent reputation for client service,” adds Johnson. “Being able to participate in the growth by launching the new practice is a privilege and I am looking forward to getting started.”

Marks Paneth Launches Health Care Practice

New York-based Marks Paneth (FY15 net revenue of $111 million) has announced that the firm has launched its health care practice.

The practice will be spearheaded by two industry veterans – partner Jacob Beniawski and principal Joseph Frohlinger – each bringing more than 25 years of experience serving the health care industry.

With the addition of Beniawski and Frohlinger, the firm will now offer audit, tax, advisory and financial consulting solutions to a broad spectrum of organizations within the health care industry, such as nursing homes, home care, managed long-term care plans, health maintenance organizations (HMOs), diagnostic and treatment centers, mental health agencies and hospitals.

“The formation of our health care practice is the natural result of synergies across our firm’s practices and yet another exciting step toward our firm’s strategic vision,” says MP Harry Moehringer.

“The ever-evolving landscape across the health care sector presents opportunities and challenges both for nonprofits and for-profits,” says Michael McNee, PIC of the firm’s nonprofit and government group. “Leveraging the extensive capabilities of our nonprofit practice and the industry-specific expertise brought on by Jacob and Joseph, creates a specialized suite of services well-tuned to the needs of the health care sector.”

Marcum Opens First European Office in Ireland

New York-based Marcum (FY15 net revenue of $412 million) has opened its first office in Europe. Located in Dublin, Marcum RBK (Ireland) Limited is a joint venture with Russell Brennan Keane (RBK), the largest independent accounting and business advisory firm in Ireland.

The new venture was established as a service center for current and future hedge fund and private equity fund clients of the Marcum Alternative Investment Group. It combines Marcum’s leadership as a Top 5 U.S. hedge fund service provider with RBK’s nearly 60 years of experience providing audit, accounting, taxation and business advisory services to domestic and overseas businesses.

“Marcum RBK (Ireland) is perfectly positioned to assist both mature funds and managers needing to navigate the process of establishing a new fund in Ireland, including optimizing the fund’s structure,” says Beth Wiener, PIC of Marcum’s Alternative Investment Group. “We can now provide localized expertise in Ireland to our hedge fund and private equity fund clients to assist them in creating new business opportunities in the investment-friendly Irish market.”

The three leading fund domiciles globally are the United States, Grand Cayman and Ireland. Marcum RBK (Ireland) completes the firm’s service coverage in each of these areas.

“Marcum’s new presence in Ireland, our first in Europe, reflects the firm’s commitment to continually expand our service capabilities and geographic footprint to meet our clients’ needs. RBK’s long history as Ireland’s leading independent accounting firm makes them an ideal partner for Marcum in this venture,” says Jeffrey Weiner, Marcum’s MP.

“Ireland has demonstrated a commitment to creating a compelling business environment for funds in Europe. It has become a global financial center due to its competitive tax structure as well as the new opportunities created by Brexit, which is enabling Ireland to step up as a key gateway to the European market,” Beth Wiener says.