Loretta Doon, CalCPA CEO, to Retire in June

Loretta Doon

The California Society of CPAs (CalCPA) and the CalCPA Education Foundation has announced that CEO Loretta Doon will be retiring in June.

After a nationwide search, the CalCPA board of directors and the foundation board of trustees have named Anthony Pugliese as the incoming CEO of both organizations. Pugliese will join CalCPA on May 1 and will work closely with Doon on the transition.

“I’m incredibly grateful to have worked with my talented staff, dedicated boards and committee volunteers, our diverse members and our partners over these years to build CalCPA into the largest state CPA society,” says Doon. “Our goal is to continually meet the evolving professional and education needs of our members so that they can protect the public interest. We accomplish this through a collaborative, diverse and inclusive culture that leads us to more innovative solutions for our members.”

Anthony Pugliese

Anthony Pugliese

Doon is recognized for her many achievements as head of CalCPA and the foundation, including surpassing a record-setting 45,000 in membership and purchasing the headquarters building in Burlingame. She has been named one of Accounting Today’s Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting numerous times. Doon was also the chief architect for constructing a platform that attracted 53 education partners across the country, including 48 state CPA societies, four associations and a national CPE vendor.

Pugliese was most recently the executive vice president of membership, technology and learning for the AICPA. Prior to that, he served as AICPA’s chief operating officer.

“I look forward to sharing my experience in all aspects of the profession with our staff and members, and all our partners and being inspired by their diverse perspectives,” Pugliese says. “We will draw upon these collective experiences to lead CalCPA and the foundation into the next era.”

CalCPA chair Lewis Sharpstone says, “It was important for us to select an incoming CEO with a strong vision for the future of CalCPA and the foundation. Anthony’s vision not only builds off of Loretta’s accomplishments to date, it will keep us focused on our mission to serve the profession’s needs as it evolves and to protect the public interest.”

CalCPA, founded in 1903, has 14 chapters throughout California.

New Jersey CPAs Say Minimum Wage Should Be Raised, But Not to $15

More than 55% of the 1,204 New Jersey CPAs surveyed earlier this month by the New Jersey Society of CPAs support raising the state’s minimum wage from the current $8.60 per hour, or $8.85 starting Jan. 1.

However, if the minimum wage were raised to $15 an hour – even over a period of years – 63% of those surveyed said it would hurt the state’s economy.

The majority of those surveyed supported a minimum wage hike even without exemptions for seasonal or teenage workers. Nearly 50% of survey respondents said such exemptions would not affect their opinion. Yet, 32% said they would be more likely to support a gradual minimum wage hike to $15 with the exemptions included.

Gov. Phil Murphy is in favor of having a $15 minimum wage in the state without any exemptions, but opponents and others have supported the exemptions to get more widespread acceptance of the full hike. New Jersey’s current minimum wage also excludes employees who are tipped, student workers and other exempt occupations.

Raising the minimum wage will have an inflationary impact, causing ripple effects which will impact consumers, and ultimately drive businesses out of New Jersey, say respondents, according to NJCPA. As one commented, raising the minimum wage is “nothing more than a short-term stop gap…It’s a false front for the politicians, not a true economic creator or benefit.”

Any wage hike should also be indexed to reflect the difference in cost of living in various New Jersey communities, according to respondents. Several cited the need for the wages to remain below $15, though increased from its current level, as it is a minimum wage designed for entry-level workers and not a living wage to support a family.

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.

N.J. CPA Poll: Almost 70% Have Outstanding Student Loans

Robert Albert

The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJCPA) says that nearly 70% of the 109 respondents in a member survey last month carry student loan debt. Of those who provided data, close to 75% cited more than $20,000 in debt.

About half of the respondents are between the ages of 26 and 30, with 21% between age 31 and 35. The majority of survey participants (67%) said they expect to pay off their student loan debt within 10 years, while 19% said it will take more than 15 years to pay off their debt.

Because of the debt, more than 80% of the respondents said they are equally considering either moving to where the cost of living is less (43%) or taking a second job (43%). More than 25% said they would consider borrowing money from family or friends to pay down debt.

“Student loan debt is so pervasive today that young professionals in a variety of careers, including accounting, face considerable challenges,” says Ralph Albert Thomas, executive director of NJCPA. “The survey should enlighten accounting firms and other corporations who employ these professionals as to how much debt they have and see if they can help to alleviate that burden.”

Two CPAs Win Innovation Awards

Two CPA firm leaders – one an early champion of blockchain services, another an advocate of artificial intelligence in the audit process – have been named recipients of CPA.com’s 2018 Innovative Practitioner Award, which recognizes innovation in process, services or technology implementation in public accounting.

The honorees are:

Samantha Bowling

Samantha Bowling

  • Samantha Bowling, partner, Garbelman Winslow of Upper Marlboro, Md. – Bowling is chair of the Maryland Association of CPAs. Bowling and her team of small firm practitioners are successfully integrating artificial intelligence (AI) in auditing for small businesses, nonprofits and local government. Using an external AI platform, the firm has improved the audit process and helped reduce the risk of material misstatements for its clients. As an early adopter, Bowling is providing valuable input to help make the technology more usable for other firms.
  • Jagruti Solanki, senior manager, Atlanta-based Aprio (FY17 net revenue of 85.1 million)Solanki helped launch the firm’s blockchain services group and has been instrumental in developing best practices for accounting and financial reporting related to the digital distributed ledger technology. Among other services, her team helps clients navigate blockchain implications for domestic and international accounting, as well as tax obstacles associated with tokenization, initial coin offerings and cryptocurrency. Solanki is being admitted to the partnership next year in recognition of her leadership on initiatives such as blockchain that drive growth and profitability for the firm.
Jagruti Solanki

Jagruti Solanki

“Samantha and Jagruti define what being an innovative practitioner is all about: the ability to assess where the profession is going, incorporate emerging technologies to either imrove an existing service or launch a new one, and then successfully position the practitioner’s firm as a leader in that area,” says Erik Asgeirsson, president and CEO of CPA.com. “Both blockchain and AI stand to make a big impact on the profession and our honorees are both advancing strategies around these technologies for their firm.”

Frabotta Receives Distinguished Service Award

Anthony P. Frabotta

Anthony P. Frabotta

Chicago-based UHY (FY17 net revenue of $140.8 million) announced that its chair and CEO, Anthony P. Frabotta, has been recognized with The Distinguished Service Award from the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants.

The Distinguished Service Award is presented to those who have made significant contributions to the accounting profession. Honorees have shown exceptional leadership and service, making a lasting impact in their industry and their communities.

“As a true advocate for the profession, Tony has mentored hundreds of young CPAs, both at the firm and on the campus of Wayne State,” says Guy Gordon, WJR radio host and the emcee for the night. “Beyond the profession, Tony is a strong supporter of Detroit and its surrounding communities through involvement in several area charities”

Frabotta helped establish UHY Cares, a nonprofit organization run exclusively by employees. Over the entirety of his 44-year career, he has been an outstanding leader in the MICPA family.

Maryland Association of CPAs Names Four ‘Women to Watch’

Jill Gansler, Heather Latham, Maxene M.  Bardwell & Ebony Hypolite

Four outstanding business leaders have been honored by the Maryland Association of CPAs as Maryland’s “Women to Watch” for 2018. This year’s awards attracted 21 nominations.

Jill Gansler, CFO of Regional Management, Inc., and Heather Latham, director of accounting and finance for R&F Metals, Inc., have been honored in the “Experienced Leader” category.

Gansler has three decades of corporate finance, tax, governance and oversight; internal auditing; personnel administration; portfolio management; general accounting, and commercial lending. Latham served on the board for the MACPA’s Southern Maryland Chapter for 21 years, and helped implement mentoring programs in the local community to help new CPAs develop and increase interest in the community to become a CPA.

Meanwhile, Maxene M. Bardwell, director of internal audit at the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, and Ebony Hypolite, a manager in SC&H Group’s Business Performance Management consulting practice, have been honored in the “Emerging Leader” category.

Bardwell leads an audit team that saves the commission millions of dollars each fiscal year. She is an avid volunteer and ethics commissioner for the City of Laurel.

Hypolite helps organizations transform how they forecast and analyze results through technology implementations and process re-engineering. An alum of Stevenson University, she established the Ebony Hypolite ’06 Annual Scholarship for juniors and seniors.

Launched in 2014 by the AICPA, the awards highlight the accomplishments and contributions of women in the CPA profession and demonstrate to emerging female leaders that success is not out of reach.

“We are incredibly proud of this year’s winners – indeed, of all the leaders who were nominated for this year’s awards,” said MACPA Executive Director Tom Hood. “They represent the best this profession has to offer, and they serve as role models not only for other women in the profession, but for every accounting and finance professional on the planet.”

Leone McDonnell & Roberts Partner Named NHSCPA Board President

Evan Stowell

Leone McDonnell & Roberts partner Evan Stowell has been installed as president of the New Hampshire Society of CPAs (NHSCPA).

Stowell joined the NHSCPA in 2010 and has served in various roles throughout the organization. Stowell announced new initiatives for the membership association, including a new smartphone app, which provides easier access to society information, event listings and the ability to search over 1,000 live and web-based CPE programs.

Stowell also launched the NHSCPA’s new volunteer initiative, Credits for Community. The NHSCPA has partnered with Volunteer NH and Granite United Way to offer members the opportunity to earn credits toward in-house continuing education by volunteering through Volunteer NH’s volunteer hub. The NHSCPA plans to give members one free hour of CPE for every two hours they volunteer, up to eight hours per year.

“Evan has been a tireless advocate for the accounting profession. His experience, vision and ties to the local community will serve the NHSCPA organization well,” says MP Jack Callahan at Leone, McDonnell & Roberts.

Stowell joined Leone McDonnell & Roberts in 2002. The firm has five offices in New Hampshire.  He specializes in audit engagements and provides a variety of taxation and accounting services to individuals and businesses.

Mass. Society of CPAs Announces High School Program to Increase Diversity

The Massachusetts Society of CPAs (MSCPA) is launching a new early college academy focused on accounting at Haverhill High School in Haverill, Mass.

The program will allow high school students to earn up to 12 college credits through the University of Massachusetts, Lowell (UMass Lowell). The academy is the first accounting-focused, early college initiative in Massachusetts.

The MSCPA developed the academy to increase the number of first generation and diverse entrants into the accounting profession, working with the Haverill, Mass., high school, UMass Lowell and NAF, a national network of education, business and community leaders.

AICPA data shows that minorities represent only one in six professionals in accounting firms nationwide. Additionally, accounting is often a second-generation career – people with CPAs for parents frequently follow them into accounting.

The new academy at Haverhill High School is the latest initiative executed by the MSCPA to address these issues and help build a pipeline of diverse young people interested in accounting. The MSCPA hopes to scale this program to high school across the state in the coming years.

“The MSCPA believes increasing diversity in the accounting industry will strengthen the profession as a whole,” says Amy Pitter, president and CEO of the MSCPA. “The new academy in Haverhill will open doors for local students and is a testament to the profession’s commitment to diversity and inclusion at all levels.”

Participating students will gain exposure to the fundamentals of accounting, economics, statistics and information technology. They will also benefit from a mandatory internship program supported by area accounting firms and businesses. Community leaders will also provide mentorship opportunities and participate in work-based learning exercises. Upon completion of the academy, students will earn up to 12 college credits through UMass Lowell at no additional cost.

The academy is part of NAF’s Academy of Finance, which started in 1982 with 30 students and today serves 26,000 nationwide in over 200 academies. According to NAF, 98% of participating seniors graduate from high school and 89% go on to a college or university.

“The NAF Academy of Finance has stood the test of time and continues to make a difference in the lives of students. I am confident it will create a world of opportunities for students at Haverhill,” says J.D. Hoye, president of NAF.

Ten students are currently enrolled in the new academy at Haverhill High School; it is fully funded by the MSCPA’s Educational Foundation. The Educational Foundation also runs two summer programs for diverse young people interested in careers in business and accounting and supports future CPAs through a scholarship program.


Mass. Society of CPAs Honors 7 Women

The Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants (MSCPA) has announced the 2018 honorees of their Women to Watch Award, which recognizes women who have made an outstanding contribution to the accounting profession, their community, place of employment and/or to the development of women as leaders.

Seven Massachusetts women were selected, three in the Emerging Leader category for professionals with 15 years of experience or less, and four in the Experienced Leader category, for women with more than 15 years in the field.

Award winners will be honored Oct. 25 at the MSCPA’s Annual Women’s Leadership Summit at The Westin Boston Waterfront.

The 2018 Women to Watch Award winners are:

Jessica Ackerman, audit and assurance managing director, Deloitte & Touche LLP

Cheryl Burke, partner and COO, DiCicco Gulman & Company

Janice O’Reilly, partner, AAFCPAs

Jane Steinmetz, Boston OMP, EY

Emerging Leaders:

Angela Barcelos, partner, CFGI

Maura Hodge, audit partner, KPMG LLP

Tracy LeMaire, manager, AAFCPAs