McKonly & Asbury Admits Marta Horst as a Partner

Camp Hill, Pa.-based McKonly & Asbury (FY18 net revenue of $9.6 million) has announced that Marta Horst has been admitted as a principal.

Horst joined the firm in 2007 and leads the firm’s tax practice from the Lancaster, Pa., office. She serves clients in a range of industries including manufacturing, retail and financial services. She has extensive experience with corporations, trusts and partnerships, including federal and state income tax compliance and planning. She is also involved with domestic and international financial statement tax accounting.

Additionally, the firm announced one promotion to senior manager, one to manager, three to supervisor and three to senior accountant.

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PKF O’Connor Davies Admits Three to Partner

Bryan Decker

Bryan Decker

New York-based PKF O’Connor Davies (FY18 net revenue of $170 million) has announced that Bryan Decker, Jim Szumlaski and Diana Teixeira have been admitted to the partnership group.

Decker, an audit and assurance partner in the Stamford, Conn., location, provides auditing, review, tax and consulting services for commercial industries including real estate, professional services, computer software, retail, manufacturing and venture capital. He also has extensive experience working with health and welfare organizations, museums, churches and synagogues, government enterprise funds and condominiums in the not-for-profit space.

Jim Szumlaski

Jim Szumlaski

Szumlaski, a partner in the business solutions group in the Newburgh, N.Y., office, works with small and large private companies in a range of industries including retail, manufacturing, distribution, professional services and not-for-profit entities. He serves clients by providing audit, tax and consulting services.

Diana Teixeira

Diana Teixeira

Teixeira, a tax partner in the Shelton, Conn., office, provides a broad spectrum of tax services to many kinds of companies as well as high-net-worth individuals. She specializes in tax saving strategies for individuals and business owners.

Additionally, the firm promoted three professionals to principals.

PKF O’Connor Davies has 12 office locations in five states.

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Partners Can Be Complacent And Ego-Driven, But Their Success = Firm Success

Without the support of the partner group, MPs can’t move their firms forward. The realities of gaining consensus among hard-driving professionals with different working styles, skills and drivers can be more challenging than even the most insightful firm leader could anticipate. One MP says, “It’s like herding cats, and it’s very difficult to get all partners on the same page because not everybody has the same value proposition and not everyone is motivated by the same metrics.”

No MP owns a how-to guidebook on juggling the multiple – and sometimes competing – priorities demanding their attention every day. INSIDE Public Accounting, therefore, asked more than 70 MPs to offer anonymous insights on the frustrations, challenges, joys and rewards of the top job. In a 12-question survey, they offered unfiltered, candid insights. Here are responses to just a few of the questions.

What are two of your biggest frustrations with the partner group? Two themes – egos and complacency – immediately emerged from MP responses to this question. Some MPs say partners think their way is the only way. They fail to see the benefit of trying a different approach, close themselves off from other points of view, second-guess decisions (after failing to participate in the discussion), and stay in their comfort zone of client service without committing to professional development, marketing, timely billing and collections.

One MP said two or three partners are so negative “they’re like a cancer.” Some partners think they’re “too busy or too important to follow the rules,” says another.

However, with the success of the partners goes the success of the firm, and MPs are quick to acknowledge the massive amounts of work they handle, the numerous clients they serve admirably and the demands they address without fail.

Frustrations With Partners IncludeLack of Participation “They don’t speak up. When we need them to vote it’s like pulling teeth to get them to respond on time.”

Lack of Accountability “Partners like to measure others but don’t like to be measured.” Another MP says, “Too many of our partners are cruisers. Some of these, though, think they are dynamos and they aren’t.”

Self-Centered Thinking One MP is frustrated by “getting them to work together as a team, and not be so concerned about themselves.” Another says, “Partners think they are suited for all jobs because they are successful in one or two areas.” Another disappointment? “Partners who occasionally want to be MP, but only when they don’t like something specific but don’t want any part of the running of the firm on a daily basis.”

Hanging on When it’s Time to Retire “They seem to want to continue to come to the office, take up a large office, and distract staff and have no desire to step away. This can hold back some of the younger partners and potential partners.”

Failure to Use Time Wisely – A top-notch partner, one MP says, should “discuss issues with other partners when they arise and not behind their back, seek to interact more with fellow partners, be joyful in what you do and how you carry yourself, and help others at all times when asked.” Another MP comments that partners often complain about being overloaded with work. “As a result, they can’t hit their goals, or do this or that. What I find is that they’re not looking inside and prioritizing, pushing down or making good choices.”

“What’s the most valuable piece of advice you would share with an MP?…Don’t try to be popular, say many MPs who responded to this question. “You have to make what you feel is the best decision for the firm and don’t take unhappy partners or staff personally,” one MP says. “They will get over it.”

MPs, in various ways, advised new executives to make the tough decisions, but be respectful. Communicate clearly and often, and put the long-term best interest of the firm above selfish or short-term gains. Always.

More advice from the trenches…

  • Don’t Rush – “Be patient. Making changes is like moving a battleship so take it slow and do it right.” Another MP says, “Think more. Do less.”
  • Be Direct – “Establish up front that you’re not going to put up with negativity, complaining, etc., or they’ll be brought up before the executive committee.”
  • Think ‘Big Picture’ – “Communicate, communicate, communicate. There has to be someone in charge that creates the vision and rallies the employees behind it.”
  • Get Support – “Find four or five other managing partners or consultants that they admire and respect and build close relationships with them. That gives them a sounding board outside his or her own partner group. Other MPs are also great sources of new ideas that can be implemented.”
  • Learn the Role Before Taking It – “Just because you’re a good accountant doesn’t mean you know how to run a business.”
  • Watch the WIP – “If you don’t bill, you don’t collect money. If you don’t collect money, you can’t pay the bills.”
  • Manage Your Time – “Block off chunks of time to work on administrative duties and client duties. Constantly switching back and forth is difficult and draining.”
  • Stay Focused – “Work hard, never lose the trust of the partners who are willing to trust, and don’t let the naysayers distract you.”
  • Be Open – “Understand you need to learn as much as you can about how to work with different types of people.” Another MP agrees. “Get to know all your partners, and determine what really motivates them, and what is it that they care most about at the firm. Do not play favorites, and don’t allow little partner groups to form and break down the vision of the firm. Rather, bring their concerns to the table, and resolve them.”

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KerberRose Admits Six Professionals to Partnership

Shawano, Wis.-based KerberRose (FY18 net revenue of $17.6 million) admitted six new partners on Jan. 1.

New partners are:

  • Krisztina Dommer, governmental accounting and auditing, Shawano, Wis.
  • Mary Horton, small business and individual tax and accounting, Sister Bay, Wis.
  • Melissa Olsen, human resources, Shawano, Wis.
  • Greg Pitel, state and local government auditing, Shawano, Wis.
  • Anthony Powers, wealth management, Shawano, Wis.
  • Mike Stratman, tax and business advising, Green Bay, Wis.

Armanino Adds 11 New Partners for 2020

San Ramon, Calif.-based Armanino LLP (FY18 net revenue of $267.2 million) has announced the admission of nine new firm partners as well as two new partners joining the firm.

This new group of partners includes professionals in tax, audit, risk assurance and advisory and consulting practices across six offices throughout California, Texas and Washington.

“The new partners are a phenomenal group of people who always find new ways to drive value for clients and serve as effective team leaders,” says CEO Matt Armanino. “They truly embody the firm’s core values of innovation, entrepreneurism and positive energy. Most exciting is that they represent the firm’s growth in a variety of geographies and service lines where they have created opportunities and made an impact on the firm.”

Nearly all the new partners participated in the firm’s partner track program, which identifies, educates and mentors potential partners. In addition, the firm’s “transparency to partnership” education track focuses on educating all levels of the firm about the expectations, qualifications and benefits to pursuing partnership.

New firm partners include:

  • Todd Bishop, risk assurance and advisory service partner, who works remotely and helps lead the internal audit, SOC and SOX teams.
  • Katy Brown, tax partner, works from San Ramon and focuses on serving nonprofits and works with exempt organizations in a variety of capacities.
  • Peter Burns, audit partner, works from San Francisco and serves the technology industry providing assurance and auditing services.
  • Jon Chin, audit partner, works from San Jose, Calif., in audit and business consulting, primarily in the technology industry.
  • Jarrett Ganan, tax partner, is based in the west Los Angeles office, and specializes in partnership tax compliance, business structures and transactions, focusing on the cannabis, entertainment and high-net-worth sectors.
  • David Greenamyre, tax partner, is located in San Jose, Calif., and specializes in corporate taxation with a focus on ASC 740 income tax accounting and theory in the technology, hospitality and consumer product goods industries.
  • Ryan Guyton, tax partner, works from Dallas, and serves privately held businesses with income and estate tax planning, wealth transfer and succession planning, merger and acquisition consulting and other business advisory services.
  • Isaac Peace, audit partner, works from Dallas and focuses on audit, attestation, internal controls and business advisory in the technology, real estate and financial services industries.
  • Eric Thomas, consulting partner based in San Ramon, serves nonprofit and for-profit organizations on finance and accounting needs and digital transformation.

New partners joining the firm:

  • Rich Asiodche, audit partner, Seattle, works with life sciences, technology and emerging growth companies, advising on mergers and acquisitions, financial statement audits and integrated audits.
  • Mike Goral, tax partner, leads the cannabis tax practice from the west Los Angeles office. He advises cannabis clients on a broad range of issues and provides guidance on cannabis technology, manufacturing, transportation and retail issues.

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Gumbiner Savett Chooses Valerie Colin to Lead Tax Department

Valerie Colin

Gumbiner Savett of Santa Monica, Calif., (FY18 net revenue of $21.2 million) has appointed partner Valerie Colin to lead the tax department, replacing David Thaw, who steps down after seven years at the helm.

Thaw is also the co-leader of the real estate group in the firm and is responsible for overseeing tax compliance with regards to client income tax reporting obligations for public and privately held companies.

Colin celebrated her 25th anniversary with the firm last year. A former auditor turned tax practitioner, Colin has devoted many hours as a mentor to several tax practitioners within the firm as well as to students at Loyola Marymount University, her alma mater.

Gumbiner Savett is an independent member firm of BKR International.

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Grassi & Co. Admits Construction Tax Leader to Partnership

Joseph Molloy

New York-based Grassi & Co. (FY18 net revenue of $63.6 million) announced the admission of Joseph Molloy to partner.

In this new role, Molloy will manage and oversee the taxation services offered through Grassi’s construction practice, the firm’s largest industry area. As part of Grassi’s leadership team, he will also contribute to the strategic vision and growth of the firm.

In addition to his partner responsibilities, Molloy serves as the firm’s tax construction leader, providing tax planning and compliance services tailored to the construction industry. He specializes in tax projections, corporate tax return preparation, tax incentive programs, tax deferral strategies and regulatory compliance.

“Joe embodies the values of leadership, integrity, respect and excellence that our partners are trusted to uphold,” says Carl Oliveri, construction practice leader. “He has dedicated his career to serving the tax needs of the construction industry, and his knowledge and experience are invaluable assets to our clients and construction team on a daily basis.”

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Prager Metis CPAs Admits New Partner

Edward Rigby

New York-based Prager Metis CPAs (FY18 net revenue of $98.2 million) has announced that Edward Rigby has been admitted as a tax partner in the Cranbury, N.J., office.

“Ed has earned an impressive reputation among his colleagues and clients for being a highly successful negotiator and strategist, and his addition to our team will help us strengthen our reputation as the ‘go-to’ expert for tax-related work,” says OMP Michael Aroyo in a statement.

Rigby serves clients in the pharmaceutical, manufacturing, financial services, real estate, art and fashion industries. He previously founded and operated a corporate consulting business. He also provides tax advice on mergers and acquisitions, international tax structuring and tax benefits for business investments.

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Robert Valas Joins Cullari Carrico as a Partner

The partners with Cullari Carrico of Fairfield, N.J., have announced that Robert Valas will join the firm as a partner.

He brings a wealth of knowledge in business valuation and forensic accounting, as well as mergers and acquisitions, financial reporting and International Financial Reporting Standards, and accounting and audit advisory services to the firm.

“Valas will round out the expertise that we already have in-house in the areas of audit, business valuation, forensic accounting, and mergers and acquisitions,” says MP Jason Cullari.

Valas holds the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) designation from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, as well as two designations from the AICPA – Accredited in Business Valuation and Chartered Global Management Accountant.

The Bonadio Group Announces New Leadership Roles

Pittsford, N.Y.-based The Bonadio Group (FY19 net revenue of $106.2 million) has admitted seven employees to partner and executive vice president (EVP) in four of its New York state offices.

New partners include Lynn Keck and Paul Mayer in Rochester; Gloria Nostramo and Ariel Ammirato in Albany; and Michelle Mundy in Syracuse. New EVPs include Tim Ball in Rochester and Kyle Young in Buffalo.

“These individuals exemplify our purpose to provide opportunity, strengthen community and inspire growth,” says CEO Bruce Zicari.

  • Lynn Keck is a partner in the tax division. She provides firm-wide training, including the federal and New York state updates, as well as researching and coordinating efforts to disseminate information related to federal tax reform both internally and externally. Most recently, Keck has taken on the role of tax innovation director where she focuses on streamlining and modernizing the firm’s tax practice.
  • Paul Mayer is a partner in the firm’s compliance solutions division. He has extensive knowledge of leading, implementing and assessing corporate compliance programs, HIPAA, development and testing of organizational policies and procedures, and Medicare and Medicaid compliance.
  • Gloria Nostramo is a partner in the tax division. She provides tax planning and compliance services to a variety of clients, with a primary focus on income taxation of individuals, commercial businesses and multi-state issues. She focuses on the construction, real estate development and manufacturing industries.
  • Ariel Ammirato is a partner in the health care/tax-exempt division. She provides services to more than 50 organizations. She has extensive experience performing audits of organizations serving individuals with developmental disabilities. She has developed a specialty in preparing and reviewing IRS Form 990s and NYS Consolidated Fiscal Reports for her tax-exempt clients.
  • Michelle Mundy is a partner in the health care/tax-exempt division. She provides accounting and audit services for a variety of clients with a primary focus on tax-exempt organizations, as well as audit and consulting services to health care providers.
  • Tim Ball is an EVP in the fraud and forensic division and the government compliance and labor division. He specializes in providing forensic examination and consulting support for both criminal and civil litigation. He has been a consultant to local governments and not-for-profits for assisting and strengthening their internal control structure and detecting and deterring fraud.
  • Kyle Young is an EVP at MS Consultants, a division of The Bonadio Group . He works closely with both real estate owners and CPAs to ensure cost segregation and other engineering-based study processes run efficiently while providing maximum value.

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