Hofstede Tapped to Become New CEO of Wisconsin Institute of CPAs

Tammy J. Hofstede

The Wisconsin Institute of CPAs (WICPA) has announced that Tammy J. Hofstede will succeed Dennis F. Tomorsky as the organization’s new president and CEO on Jan. 1.

“After a thorough, months-long national search process, during which the search firm and search committee interviewed many qualified candidates, the decision was made to appoint Tammy Hofstede as the new president and CEO,” says board chair Michael Akers.

Hofstede has been with the WICPA for 26 years, having joined the organization as an accounting intern in 1992. Since then, she has held the positions of accounting assistant (1993-1995); accounting, legislative, foundation and technology coordinator (1995-2002); executive assistant and foundation coordinator (2002-2007); director of finance and operations (2007-2011) and, most recently, chief financial and operating officer (2011-present).

“No one knows this organization and its members better than Tammy,” says Tomorsky, who served as president and CEO for 12 years. “Her long history and deep knowledge of the WICPA and CPA profession will make this a very smooth transition. Tammy’s demonstrated leadership is certain to have a significant positive impact on the organization and its members.”

“Through the years, I have experienced many changes encompassing both the accounting profession and the WICPA, and I am excited to continue my involvement working with our staff and members, moving the organization forward and making individuals, our profession and the WICPA stronger,” says Hofstede.

The WICPA has more than 7,300 members working in public accounting, industry, government and education.

Two Industry Experts Join Friedman Leadership Team

Shaji Varghese

New York-based Friedman LLP (FY17 net revenue of $101.5 million) has announced that Shaji Varghese, partner, and Brandon Baker, principal, have joined the firm’s Philadelphia office, bringing with them a wealth of cross-industry expertise.

Varghese is an audit partner at Friedman LLP, bringing more than 25 years of experience managing audit engagements for clients from start-ups to large organizations. Prior to joining Friedman, Varghese dedicated the majority of the past 14 years as a partner in a large internationally registered accounting firm focused in auditing public and private companies. He has extensive experience supporting clients across industries including life sciences, biotech, real estate, software and technology, financial services and manufacturing.

Baker is a tax principal at Friedman LLP, with more than 15 years of experience working with private clients to ensure multi-generational wealth. He guides clients through federal and state income tax challenges arising from closely held business interests, their inherited wealth and transfer tax matters. He spent six years in the private wealth practice of a Big 4 accounting firm.

“As part of our commitment to delivering excellence in client services, we strategically select industry experts who bring powerful insights to our clients. Shaji and Brandon have in-depth industry knowledge and value a hands-on and personalized approach when it comes to individualized client attention,” says Harriet Greenberg, co-MP and leader of the fashion and diamond and jewelry practices at Friedman.

“What drew me most to Friedman is the firm’s highly personal approach to client services. While many mistake tax and audit as purely numbers-based, it’s much more about human interest and strategizing the best options available based on an individual’s unique needs,” says Varghese.

Aldrich Welcomes Four New Partners in 2019

Tracey Davis

The Aldrich Group of Companies, based in Salem, Ore., has admitted four new partners effective Jan. 1: Tracey Davis, Ryan Johnson, Nicole Rice and Matt Van Doren, who represent a range of disciplines across the organization including Aldrich Wealth Advisors, Aldrich Benefits, and the construction and communications industry groups.

“Our new partners have each demonstrated exceptional leadership, expertise and client service in their time with the firm. We are thrilled to welcome them into our partnership,” says CEO Martin Moll.

Tracey Davis, Partner, Employee Benefits Consultant Davis is an employee benefits consultant specializing in large and mid-market employers with particular expertise in self-funding. She uses her in-depth knowledge of the market and strong partnerships to implement creative solutions for funding, medical management, and cost containment with an eye on the future direction of health care.

Ryan Johnson

Ryan Johnson, Partner, Communications and UtilitiesJohnson is an expert on the taxation of communications and power companies. He specializes in both business and individual taxation and has extensive

Matt Van Doren

experience consulting on the structure of entities and transactions, including mergers and acquisitions.

Nicole Rice, Partner, Wealth Manager Rice has dedicated her professional career to helping individuals and corporate clients achieve their short- and long-term financial goals. She has experience in wealth management, retirement planning, tax accounting, design and implementation of non-qualified benefit plans, insurance and qualified benefit plans.

Matt Van Doren, Partner, ConstructionVan Doren provides financial and accounting services, tax planning and consulting services including construction accounting, cash flow modeling, financial projections and construction best practices.

IPA Spotlight On . . . Brett Nabors

Name: Brett Nabors, CISA

Brett Nabors

Title: Partner, IT Advisory Services

Firm: Houston-based Weaver (FY18 net revenue of $127.1 million)

Accomplishments:

  • More than 13 years of experience helping organizations improve the security, reliability, accuracy and efficiency of their IT systems and organizations
  • Rapidly built a capable IT advisory services team with a supportive, quality-focused culture in Weaver’s Austin, Texas, office
  • Admitted as a partner in September 2018 after joining Weaver’s IT advisory services practice in November 2016
  • Lecturer for the IT Accounting and Controls class at the McCombs School of Business, University of Texas

In your new role as partner, you’re expanding IT-related services to Weaver clients. What are the biggest needs, in your opinion?

Considering the never-ending list of IT priorities, constant security breaches and the balancing act between risk and cost, companies should evaluate the service providers they use and whether those providers really address their needs. Clients benefit most from finding a provider who will listen to their specific concerns. The provider can then tailor an approach that meets their financial constraints and addresses critical needs. As much as I would love to solve every IT and security risk, that is not realistic. Clients need to focus on their individual risks, processes and priorities, not just buying the software or service everyone else has.

If you could give clients only one piece of advice on how to improve IT security, what would it be?

It is difficult to give one piece of advice, as every company is in a different stage of IT security. The key is to approach security as a journey along a continuum — what we call a maturity model — rather than trying to comply with requirements piecemeal. Focusing on maturity and continual improvement enables companies to understand that controlling user access, training employees and building cybersecurity awareness are all ongoing efforts, not just requirements to finish and be done with.

Many firms are looking to improve client service through data analytics. What kinds of insights are possible now that weren’t before?

The ability to analyze an entire organization through its data allows us to uncover trends and correlations that we might not have previously seen. Before analytics, we typically relied on standard “industry-accepted” norms for evaluating a company’s success; we let the expectations drive the data. Now, we can use the data to drive the expectations. Of course, there’s also the benefit of being able to take current analytics tools and apply them to historical data sets in order to expand the company’s understanding of its customers, vendors and other stakeholders. That allows them to make smarter decisions today and tomorrow.

What is the biggest mistake clients make in managing a systems implementation and how can clients and their accounting firm work together to create a smooth process?

We have all heard the quote “a goal without a plan is just a wish.” Companies often want to implement new software, but don’t dedicate the time to defining detailed business and system requirements, including impacts to existing processes. New systems inevitably change the way business processes operate, including the reports for end users. Identifying an owner to build requirements for the new system should be a priority. This individual should work directly with each department, including legal, data privacy owners, IT security departments and human resources. Omitting these groups may introduce new, unexpected risks once the system is implemented.

Final thoughts?

I live by the motto of “leave things better than you found them,” which is an adaptation of Robert Baden-Powell’s original quote. When it comes to assisting clients, my company and my life, I strive to achieve this motto.

BDO USA Makes Key Promotions

Andy Zaleski

Chicago-based BDO USA (FY18 net revenue of $1.46 billion) has announced the promotion of three professionals: Andy Zaleski, who has been promoted to Detroit tax OMP; John Marquardt, who will serve as the tax MP for the central region; and Rich Black, who was previously a senior manager in the firm’s Detroit office and is now a partner.

In his new role, Zaleski is responsible for overseeing professionals, managing financial operations and fostering client and prospect relationships for tax services in BDO’s greater Detroit office. He has more than 25 years of experience in public accounting, advising both public and private multinational companies, and serving clients in the manufacturing, distribution, health care and private equity industries.

John Marquardt

In Marquardt’s new role, he will be responsible for establishing objectives and managing all aspects of the central region practice offices, including strategic planning, budgeting, client services, recruiting and staff development. Marquardt previously served as MP for the firm’s Detroit practice and has more than 25 years of experience in manufacturing and distribution, technology and private equity companies.

In his new role, Black will continue to conduct audits and internal control evaluations for public and private companies. He has more than 18 years of experience working with organizations in the real estate, manufacturing, health care and service industry sectors.

Connecticut Firm Admits New Partner

Brook Simpson

West Hartford, Conn.-based blumshapiro (FY17 net revenue of $79.5 million) has admitted Brooke Simpson as a partner.

Simpson joins the international tax practice in blum’s Boston office. With more than 15 years of tax planning experience, Simpson has provided strategic planning for both U.S. and multi-national corporations. She has worked as an international tax director at PwC in Boston since 2004, and since 2009 has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Massachusetts, teaching and developing business courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

“Brooke’s extensive experience providing strategic tax planning leadership to both U.S.-based and multi-national corporations makes her an ideal fit for blumshapiro. She is a results-proven, growth-oriented and globally focused leader who has seen myriad success over the past 15 years, and we are fortunate to have someone as motivated and dynamic as Brooke join our team to help grow our tax practice,” says Joseph Kask, CEO of blumshapiro.

In addition to tax and financial consulting, Simpson brings with her extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions, strategic product flow planning, tax reform strategies, vision and mission planning, IP planning and leadership development.

Friedman Names Dula MP for Philadelphia Office

Kim Dula

Kim Dula

New York-based Friedman LLP (FY17 net revenue of $101.5 million), with offices in New Jersey, Long Island, N.Y., Philadelphia and Beijing, announced Kim Dula will assume the position of MP for the firm’s Philadelphia office on Jan. 1.

Dula will work closely with current MP Chuck Shechtman to transition management responsibilities. He will continue serving clients and developing new business opportunities within the Mid-Atlantic region.

“The entire Philadelphia office is so passionate about their work and is a great team to be a part of. They demonstrate exceptional client service each day, and we can thank Chuck for setting that example in his role,” says Dula.

Dula is a partner who provides tax planning and compliance services to the firm’s high-net-worth clients and their closely held businesses and private foundations. She also provides clients with the consulting and compliance services required to fulfill their estate, gift and fiduciary needs.

“Kim brings an impressive background in accounting and a strong dedication to her clients to the position, which is critical to maintaining our reputation for excellence and service,” says Shechtman. Dula will continue to manage the Philadelphia tax department and remain active in the firm’s high net-worth and closely held business practices.

Much of the staff in the Philadelphia office joined Friedman following its acquisition of Philadelphia-based accounting firm Shechtman Marks Devor in January 2016. Dula has been a partner at Friedman since 2013.

RSM Board of Directors Announces Three New Members

Sudhir Kondisetty

Sudhir Kondisetty

Chicago-based RSM US LLP (FY18 net revenue of $2.14 billion) elected three new board members – Sudhir Kondisetty, risk advisory services principal; Sara Lord, national director of audit services; and Jerry Martin, international tax partner. Each new board member was elected to a four-year term, effective Dec. 1.

As incoming board members, Kondisetty, Lord and Martin will work closely with board chair Sergio de la Fe, whose term began Sept. 1, and other board members to ensure the effective execution of the board’s responsibilities. In addition, the board is intensely focused on accelerating RSM’s technology and innovation strategies, and building the firm’s “first-choice advisor culture.”

Sara Lord

Sara Lord

Kondisetty is a consulting principal and OMP of the firm’s Philadelphia office. He oversees the Philadelphia risk advisory practice, which includes business risk, technology risk, and financial regulatory compliance, security and enterprise risk management. Kondisetty also is the northeast technology risk leader for RSM, and he leads the firm’s culture, diversity and inclusion (CDI) initiative in the Northeast region.

Lord is the national director of audit services with RSM. She is a member of the audit leadership team and leads the Assurance Standards and Methodology Group (ASMG), which has overall responsibility for the methodology, tools and training supporting RSM’s assurance services, and the Specialized Services Group (SSG), which includes industry leaders who support audit quality for specialized industry practices.

Jerry Martin

Jerry Martin

Martin is a partner specializing in advising businesses on global tax matters and leads the firm’s international tax practice. He is a member of the firm’s tax leadership and global strategy team teams. Martin focuses on consulting with clients to solve for their complex global tax planning and compliance needs. He works with RSM’s global teams to provide services that include global business and tax planning, structuring, and compliance services.

New Partner Karl Seemer Joins Mazars

Karl Seemer

New York-based Mazars USA LLP (FY17 net revenue of $189 million) announced that Karl Seemer has joined the firm as a partner in the New York real estate practice.

Seemer will provide focused tax advisory and compliance experience, continuing the firm’s growth in the real estate industry.

Shahab Moreh

“The significant changes to the tax regime have particularly impacted the real estate sector and Karl’s expertise in taxation will be of significant value to our clients as we continue to grow our real estate practice,” says Shahab Moreh, partner and real estate practice leader.

Seemer has over 15 years of experience in the field of taxation and law. His background includes tax compliance and tax consulting for partnership clients with a real estate focus. His  expertise includes partnership allocations, capital account and basis calculations, REIT and partnership structuring, contracts, leases and other consultations. In addition to real estate, he has a deep background serving clients in financial and professional services, manufacturing, technology and renewable energy. He also has experience with high-net-worth individuals, trusts and foreign reporting.

“This is a time of volatility in real estate,” Seemer says. “I look forward to leveraging the global resources of Mazars to continue delivering exceptional service to my clients and help them overcome their challenges.”

Weinberger to Step Down as CEO of EY in July

Mark Weinberger

Mark Weinberger will step down from his role as global chair and CEO of New York-based Ernst & Young (FY17 net revenue of $13 billion).

The move is effective on July 1, 2019, the start of EY’s financial year 2020.

During Weinberger’s tenure, the global organization has undergone tremendous change. EY has more than 270,000 employees in over 150 countries, and last year 65,000 people joined the firm.

During his tenure, the firm’s annual compound revenue growth rate was 8.5%. Over the past six years, over 120 acquisitions have brought in new skills and capabilities, such as cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and data, the firm announced.

Today EY has 2,000 software robots (bots) at work, with 1,300 of these for clients and 700 in use internally. There are now over 20,000 data and analytics practitioners and more than 2,000 data scientists in EY. Best-in-class blockchain, cyber and digital solutions have been developed in EY.

Within the organization, Weinberger championed increasing diversity. On the Global Executive, the highest governing body in EY, the percentage of women increased to more than 26% and it included more representation from the emerging market and early stage partners to bring in younger voices. Additionally, nearly 30% of the EY FY18 partner class consisted of women.

Weinberger has served on the EY Global Executive for the past 10 years and on the Americas Executive Board for the five years prior. He was elected to his current role in 2012.

Weinberger says, “When I reflected on the massive changes we have navigated over the last seven years and the strong position we command to enable EY to excel in the years ahead, I realized that the time is right for me to step aside.”

EY expects to appoint a new EY global chairman and CEO sometime in January, allowing a six-month transition.