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

Bowling Named Chair of Maryland Association of CPAs’ Board

Samantha Bowling

Samantha Bowling, a partner at Garbelman Winslow CPAs of Upper Marlboro, Md., has been named chair of the Maryland Association of CPAs’ 2018-19 Board of Directors.

Bowling, an MACPA volunteer for more than 20 years, was elected on June 7 during the MACPA’s annual meeting in Bowie, Md. Her year-long term began on July 1.

Her plans for the upcoming year range from professional development to education to technology, all focused on her drive to continue to serve the interests of Maryland CPAs.

“My passion geared toward educating small firms and mentoring young accountants is central to the many issues that have serious implications for our profession,” she says. “My platform as chair is one of innovation. Exposing CPAs to the technology that’s available to them and making them aware of the possibilities is a huge part of the picture.”

MACPA

Joining Bowling on the 2018-19 MACPA Board of Directors are the following:

Vice Chair – Ray Speciale, Esq., CPA, associate professor, Mount St. Mary’s University

Secretary / Treasurer ­­­– Avonette Blanding, CPA, CFO, Maritime Applied Physics  Corporation

Immediate Past Chair – Ken Kelly, CPA, CGMA, consultant, KK Advisory

Director – Christine Aspell, CPA, Managing partner / audit partner, KPMG LLP, Baltimore

Director Mark Cissell, CPA, CEO, president, director, KatzAbosch

Director – Jeffrey Cook, CPA, CITP, CISA, principal, Coalfire Systems, Inc.

Director Leon Katsnelson, Director and CTO, Strategic Partnerships for Data Science, IBM

Director – Andrew Page, CPA, vice president / corporate controller, Under Armour

Director – Keith Parker, CPA, financial advisor, Morgan Stanley

Director – Karen T. Syrylo, CPA, owner, Karen T. Syrylo, CPA

Director – Denise K. West, CPA, CGMA, corporate controller and HR director, Insight Homes, Inc.

Herringer Elected President of NYSSCPA

Jan Herringer

Jan Herringer

Jan Herringer, partner at Chicago-based BDO USA LLP (FY18 net revenue of $1.5 billion), began her one-year term as president of the New York State Society of CPAs (NYSSCPA) on June 1.

A member of the NYSSCPA since 2005, one of Herringer’s goals as president will be diversity and inclusion within the profession, expanding the work of the NYSSCPA Diversity and Inclusion Committee, which aims to attract and advance aspiring professionals regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion or disability status. She has been an integral part of the NYSSCPA’s Women’s Initiative for the profession, which will culminate with a Women’s Initiative Conference in January 2019.

Prior to her presidency, Herringer also served as a member of the NYSSCPA Board of Directors and Executive Committee, and as past chair of the Accounting and Auditing Oversight and Auditing Standards committees, and was a member of the Board’s Audit Committee in 2014. Throughout her membership, she served on multiple statewide and chapter committees. Herringer is the current member of the NYSSCPA Legislative Task Force. She also serves as a member of the governing council for the AICPA.

Herringer is currently BDO USA’s National Assurance Group partner, responsible for ensuring firm compliance with all applicable auditing standards through the review, development, and updating of firm methodology and supporting forms and templates, as well as responding to questions from the field on audit-related matters. She actively participates in the standards-setting process through the development of comment letters on auditing and reporting matters. Herringer spent more than 11 years with BDO as part of the firm’s National Assurance practice, focusing on the auditing standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), the AICPA’s Auditing Standards Board and the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board.

“Jan’s inclusion initiatives will be crucial in continuing our goal of building a diversified profession that values and attracts the best talent for the future of the profession,” says Joanne Barry, NYSSCPA Executive Director and CEO. “That, coupled with Jan’s respect on a national level in the auditing standards arena, will provide a year of robust representation for the members of the NYSSCPA.”

Pastenieks Named President of CalCPA Education Foundation

Eileen Pastenieks

Eileen Pastenieks, has been elected president of the California Society of CPAs Education Foundation for 2018-19 by the CalCPA Council.

Pastenieks has served on the board since 2012 and most recently held the position of first vice president.

The Foundation, which has 48 state partners, offers more than 1,750 live and webcast CPE courses to CPAs and other financial professionals.

In accepting her new position, Pastenieks said that technology has changed the way accountants and finance professionals take their CPE. She noted that the majority of the training is being done online and keeps evolving at an accelerated rate.

“The Foundation is tasked with rapidly developing innovative products and services to meet the needs of its customers, which include young and seasoned accounting and financial professionals,” says Pastenieks. “Providing education continues to be an extremely competitive environment.”

She said that the Foundation strives to provide quality CPE. The newest trend in delivering CPE is called “nano” learning, which consists of 10-minute units. The Foundation plans to launch nano-learning modules within the coming year. Pastenieks is the MP of Modesto, Calif.-based Pastenieks Bucheli & Falasco LLP. She is the litigation services chair for CalCPA’s San Joaquin Chapter and is a former state chair of CalCPA’s Management of Accounting Practices Committee.