Grant Thornton Extends McGuire’s Term as CEO

Mike McGuire

The partners of Chicago-based Grant Thornton (FY17 net revenue of $1.75 billion) have voted unanimously to extend Mike McGuire’s term as CEO until July 31, 2021 – his mandatory retirement date.

“Mike has led our firm to great success over the past four years on many important fronts, from financial results to culture, and from innovation to quality,” says Dave Wedding, chairman of the partnership board. “This term extension means Mike can continue to lead Grant Thornton’s ‘Status Go’ approach to helping our clients overcome challenges and create value.”

Since becoming CEO in January 2015, McGuire and his leadership team have steered Grant Thornton to record-setting revenue, improved quality and invested in the firm’s culture and brand, the firm says. In addition, McGuire and his team are developing innovative capabilities aimed at transforming the professional services industry in the years to come.

“Businesses today face constant disruption and have to move at great speed,” says McGuire. “We’ve spent the past four years at Grant Thornton being intentional in executing our strategy and transforming our firm to ensure success in a complex and evolving business environment – and helping our clients do the same.”

Prior to assuming the CEO post, McGuire served on the firm’s senior leadership team as the national managing partner of operations

New Role, New Perspective: IPA Spotlight on … Mary Elliot

INSIDE Public Accounting has reached out to Warren Averett’s new CEO Mary Elliott, subject of an IPA Spotlight last year, to discuss the rise of advisory services, firm threats and challenges, and the future of the profession.

Name: Mary Elliott

Mary Elliott

Mary Elliott

Title: CEO

Firm: Birmingham, Ala.-based Warren Averett (FY17 net revenue of $133.3 million)


  • Became CEO in January 2018 as the first female CEO in Warren Averett’s history.
  • Worked her entire career at Warren Averett, serving clients in the firm’s health care consuling division for 33 years.
  • Appointed as Warren Averett’s Chief Operations Officer in 2012.
  • Developed operations board for the firm, and served as chair for six years.

Among the IPA 100, accounting and audit revenue is declining, and non-traditional services are on the rise. Which practice area is growing fastest at your firm and how do you plan to continue expanding this niche?

Warren Averett embraces a holistic view of client relationships, with the focus on WA360 – a client-centered approach to understanding and addressing client needs. With this focus, all areas of consulting are continuing to grow, especially in specific industries like health care and government contracting. We have sought to hire more specialists outside the accounting field in areas such as IT consulting, HR consulting, staffing services, M&A, and transaction advisory services. Simultaneously, we make it a priority to hire accountants to work in traditional roles, and then develop their strengths and passions to later transition into our niches and consulting roles.

What’s the biggest threat facing your firm today?

The accounting industry is facing a situation where you must be innovative and evolve with the market in order to grow and be successful. Our clients are becoming more complex and savvy, our competition is progressing, and technology is going to replace some of the compliance work that our firms are executing.

How do you intend to overcome threats the firm is facing?

Successful firms are the ones who will see these trends, and adjust their approach, technology and talent to meet these changes. Warren Averett focuses on innovation. Our communications and programs within the firm encourage and reward team members who show an entrepreneurial mindset when working with a client, improving a process or developing an out-of-the-box solution or service.

How do you envision CPA firm services evolving over the next 10 years?

As technology evolves with the introduction of blockchain, artificial intelligence and robotic process automation, the entire business ecosystem will change. Technology will provide us with nontraditional ways to serve our clients, and that is always the goal – to focus on the client and put them at the center of everything we do. With clients having more accessibility to their data, we believe that our focus will evolve into interpreting the data, solving problems and creating solutions to help clients succeed.

Do you know someone else who would make a good Spotlight? Contact Christina Camara.

Kepczyk Expands Role with Right Networks

Roman Kepczyk

Roman Kepczyk

Accounting technology leader Roman Kepczyk has expanded his role with Right Networks as director of firm technology strategy.

Kepcyk is a veteran of Xcentric, which was acquired by Right Networks in 2017. He has been named an IPA Most Recommended Consultant every year since 2005.

Kepczyk has spent more than 30 years helping firms throughout North America effectively use information technology and accounting applications to optimize their tax, audit and administrative production workflows. He will extend that expertise in an expanded role with Right Networks, focused on both continuing to guide the firms on their journey to the cloud and providing firm input to inform the evolution of Right Networks offers.

“My goal with Right Networks is to help firms navigate, and benefit from, these advances while taking their feedback as crucial input to the evolution of the Right Networks offer roadmap,” Kepczyk says.

Audit Expert Joins Marcum as Assurance Partner

Dan McIntosh

Dan McIntosh

New York-based Marcum (FY17 net revenue of $469.5 million) announces that Dan McIntosh has joined the firm as an assurance services partner in the firm’s San Francisco office.

McIntosh specializes in performing financial statement and internal control audits, including SOX Section 404 and business process analysis and improvement. He has more than 13 years of experience working with public and private clients to address a wide range of financial, operational and technology risk issues.

Prior to joining Marcum, McIntosh led global and domestic audit teams with a Big 4 accounting firm.

Abacus Worldwide Appoints Former MSI Global CEO To Advisory Board

James Mendelssohn

James Mendelssohn

Abacus Worldwide, an international association of 58 accounting and legal firms in 31 countries, has appointed James Mendelssohn to its advisory board.

In addition to his strategic development role on the board, Mendelssohn will assist with membership recruitment efforts with specific focus on the region encompassing Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Prior to his appointment, Mendelssohn was the CEO and chair of MSI Global Alliance.  Julio Gabay, Abacus Worldwide president and CEO says of Mendelssohn, “He brings a wealth of knowledge and practical experience from his previous association management roles. Combining his wisdom with Abacus Worldwide’s dynamic membership will only lead to great things ahead in terms of growth and strategy.”

AAFCPAs Admits Ripianzi to Partnership

Joyce Ripianzi

Westborough, Mass.-based AAFCPAs (FY17 net revenue of $30.2 million) has announced the admission of a new partner, Joyce Ripianzi.

Ripianzi will be a core contributor to AAFCPAs’ managed accounting solutions practice, providing outsourced accounting solutions, including cloud-based bookkeeping and CFO services.

“Joyce’s reputation and great work in the accounting and nonprofit worlds make her a strong addition to the leadership at AAFCPAs,” says Carla McCall, co-MP at AAFCPAs, which has 26 partners and a total staff of 200. “As we continue to expand our footprint, Joyce will add to the wealth of insight and energy available at the firm.”

She has more than 30 years of diverse experience in public accounting at national and regional CPA and consulting firms, and is the former CFO of a technology networks integration firm. She also has deep experience in forming and running successful nonprofit organizations.

“AAFCPAs is passionate about helping others and does not shy away from tackling difficult challenges,” says Ripianzi. “The modern accounting and finance function is on the cusp of change, and I am thrilled to help lead the charge alongside such a talented team.”

BDO USA Names MP for SEC Services

Tim Kviz

Tim Kviz

Chicago-based BDO USA (FY18 net revenue of $1.46 billion) announced that Tim Kviz has joined the firm as national assurance MP for SEC services, succeeding Jeff Lenz, who will retire from BDO in 2019.

“Tim is an exceptional leader and SEC practice professional who will add significant strength and depth to our technical capabilities. His previous experience working at and with the SEC will prove invaluable in his new role with BDO,” says Christopher Tower, national MP for audit quality and professional practice,

Kviz joins BDO from Freddie Mac, where he served as vice president, head of accounting policy and external reporting for the past 11 years. In that role he had extensive experience working with the SEC as he led the accounting policy, accounting implementation, new business initiative evaluation and implementation, and external reporting teams. Prior to his tenure at Freddie Mac, Kviz was a professional accounting fellow at the SEC for two years. He also worked at PwC for 12 years.

Stromple Admitted to Herbein + Company’s Partnership

Maria Stromple

Maria Stromple

Reading, Pa.-based Herbein + Company announces that Maria Stromple is joining the firm as partner and director of firmwide tax services. Coming to Herbein with extensive tax experience at other regional firms, Stromple will be based in the Pittsburgh office, but will oversee tax operations for all nine of Herbein’s offices.

Michael J. Rowley, COO of Herbein + Company, says, “We’re delighted to have someone of Maria’s caliber and experience leading our tax group. Over the last several years, we’ve experienced steady growth and to keep pace with that growth, our management team realized that we needed to unify the thought leaders in our tax group.”

Stromple’s responsibilities include developing a consistent firmwide approach to client service, establishing and monitoring tax policies and procedures, overseeing staff training and mentoring, and creating processes to ensure that the firm is providing progressive and excellent tax planning services. 

For more than 30 years, she has been based in southwestern Pennsylvania and has been dedicated to serving tax clients in a variety of industries including manufacturing, transportation and logistics, wholesale distribution, insurance, professional services, real estate and high-net-worth individuals.

“Leadership is about the team, the culture they embrace and keep, it’s about being proactive when dealing with clients, employees and the communities where you do business,” Stromple says. “It’s about doing the right things for the right reasons, being confident to take risks and responsible enough to realize the impact the decisions will have on others. Herbein is a firm that possesses these core values and continues to maintain the right culture to prosper and deliver exceptional services to the business community.”

DMA Appoints Hutmacher as President and CEO

Dan Hutmacher

Dan Hutmacher

DuCharme McMillen & Associates (DMA), which has four offices in Canada and 17 in the United States, has announced that its board of directors has appointed Dan Hutmacher as president and CEO.

Earlier this year, DMA’s board commissioned a national executive search for a successor to Dave Meinika, the firm’s longtime president and CEO, who stepped down in April due to health reasons. Though no longer an employee of the company, Meinika continues to serve as a member of DMA’s board of directors.

Hutmacher, who had been serving as interim president and CEO since Meinika’s departure, emerged from the search as the clear choice to lead DMA into the future.

Hutmacher joined DMA in 1989 and served in a variety of operational and managerial roles with increasing responsibilities. He most recently served as the company’s COO.

“I’ve been a proud DMA employee-owner for many years, and now I’m honored to lead the company,” Hutmacher says. “Over his many years of service, Dave poured his heart and soul into DMA and, in the process, created a unique and special culture that centers on our employee-owners and on providing great client service experiences. We want to preserve that culture while we continue to evolve as a business in order to meet our clients’ needs.”

Thomas Howell Ferguson Admits Two Partners

Julian Dozier

Julian Dozier

Tallahassee, Fla.-based Thomas Howell Ferguson (FY17 net revenue of $11.2 million), announces that Julian Dozier and Brian Walgamott have been admitted as shareholders and will join the eight other shareholders as owners of the company.

A graduate of Leadership Tallahassee Class 32, Dozier has been providing assurance, consulting and other accounting services since 2006. He has a special interest in for-profit entities with specialized engagements that include forensic and financial statement audits and litigation support. He is a board member of several organizations and has won numerous local and national awards.

Brian Walgamott

Brian Walgamott

Walgamott, also a graduate of Leadership Tallahassee Class 35, has been providing tax, consulting and outsourced CFO services since 2008. His current clients served include corporations, partnerships, trusts and high-net-worth individuals. He has a special interest in the medical, professional service, and technology industries. He is treasurer of Big Brothers Big Sisters in his area and has received a “Top 40 Under 40” award.

Winston Howell, MP of Thomas Howell Ferguson states, “Julian and Brian have been consistently outstanding in their career and personal growth and development. Each has worked hard to not only achieve their career goals but also advance and create awareness for the CPA profession as a whole. It has been an incredible journey over the past decade of watching both of these young men become seasoned CPAs in our firm.”