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.”


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.

Krom Elected as President of New Jersey Society of CPAs

Sarah Krom

Sarah Krom

Sarah Krom, MP, SKC and Co. CPAs LLC, was elected as the president of the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJCPA) for the 2018-2019 term. She is the youngest to hold the office at age 35 and is the third female president.

Krom joined the NJCPA in 2003. She is also a member of the Strategic Planning Committee and previously chaired the Young CPAs Council, which is now called the Emerging Leaders Council. In 2011, she was selected by NJCPA as one of the “30 most influential CPAs under 30,” and in both 2012 and 2016 she was recognized as an NJCPA “Woman of Note.”

“Her energy and drive are welcomed at the Society and by all members alike. We are excited to have her leadership, expertise and commitment on board,” says Ralph Albert Thomas, CEO and executive director at NJCPA. Krom replaced Edward Guttenplan, MP at Wilkin & Guttenplan PC.

2018-2019 NJCPA Board of Trustees

  • President: Sarah Krom — SKC and Co. CPAs LLC
  • President-Elect: Kyle Sell — Deloitte & Touche LLP
  • Secretary: Edward O’Connell — WithumSmith+Brown
  • Treasurer: Harry P. Wills III — Bowman & Company LLP
  • Immediate Past President: Edward I. Guttenplan — Wilkin & Guttenplan PC
  • CEO & Executive Director: Ralph Albert Thomas — New Jersey Society of CPAs
  • Trustees:
    • Jordan D. Amin — EisnerAmper LLP
    • Gregory A. Bedard — Prudential Financial
    • Amy Y. Both — Neral & Company PA
    • Robert J. Brown Jr. — Cowan Gunteski & Co. PA
    • Melanie A. Cobb — Abacus Financial LLC
    • Michael Coletti — Mazars USA LLP
    • Jason Lauretta — ADP
    • Kathleen Powers — Matheny Medical and Educational Center
    • Justin O’Horo — WithumSmith+Brown
    • Megan A. Sartor — Sax LLP
    • Shaune Scutellaro — CohnReznick LLP
    • June Toth — ZBT Certified Public Accounting & Consulting LLC

IPA Spotlight On … Jennifer Briggs, Indiana CPA Society

Name: Jennifer B. Briggs

Jennifer B. Briggs

Jennifer B. Briggs

Title: President and CEO

Association: Indiana CPA Society


  • 25 years of association management experience, with state and national organizations and at an association management and lobbying firm
  • Chair of Interchange 2018, a conference for the AICPA and State CPA Societies and one of my all-time favorite educational events
  • Not my accomplishment, but a team accomplishment this year was managing the launch of a new logo and improved website, all while preparing to move our office this summer and developing two new leadership programs.

As only the fifth CEO in the Indiana CPA Society’s 103-year history who replaced a 33-year veteran, do you feel a special responsibility in taking on the top job?

Absolutely! It’s a great privilege to work in an organization with a long history, and it involves a balancing act of honoring the past, delivering value in the present and leading the organization to the best possible future. My predecessors were all with the Society for a long time and developed extensive relationships. Having already been here for 16 years I feel fortunate to continue that tradition and am grateful for the many members I’ve known who have helped inspire my work over the years.

You’ve held numerous positions at the society, beginning in 2002 as a special projects manager. Has the variety of experiences within the society helped you in preparing for your new role as CEO?

No question. Having served in membership, communications and professional development positions here, I have a broad view of the Society and a better understanding of the day-to-day challenges the leaders in those areas face. Having said that, I tend to be the type of person who is very open to new things, so I try not to rely on past experience – even here at the Society – as a gauge for what will work in the future, it’s simply nice to have reference points.

Progressive leaders are focused on re-imagining and challenging the status quo. How does “remaining relevant” play a role in your planning for your 8,000+ members of the Indiana CPA Society?

We think about it every day. With INCPAS 2025 we have set “4 Bold Challenges” to ensure our relevance and to maintain the CPA brand. Our bold challenges encompass diversity, both in the profession and among our members, and ensuring our members are trusted business resources and advocates. We also are focusing on competency-based education through the Society and our subsidiary organization the CPA Center of Excellence®. Bringing the latest information to our members and engaging them in meaningful ways related to innovation and technology is paramount to our continued relevance. The changes coming to the profession due to AI, robotics and machine learning are real – it’s an exciting time.

Can you give me some examples of firms that have done something innovative and proactive to help clients?

Kruggel Lawton has done incredible work on their internal teams using CPA Center of Excellence® courses on core skills like communication and leadership and our insight assessment tool. This has translated into better internal relationships, improved goal-setting and stronger client relationships. Summit CPA Group is changing the traditional business model with an entirely virtual team offering outsourced CFO services. We recently created an INCPAS Innovation Award so we can recognize those firms and companies that are doing great things – Summit CPA Group won the award last year.

Final thoughts?

As automation advances, CPAs will need to consider next-level services they can provide. There is a huge opportunity here. People skills will never be obsolete (in conjunction with understanding the technical issues behind the automation) and I’m a firm believer that core competencies can be taught and improved upon. Not everyone will have the same strengths, but we also can’t wait to find the ‘born leaders’ – the profession can do a better job developing them.

Massachusetts Society of CPAs Names New Board of Directors

The Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants has appointed 17 members to its board of directors for its 2018-2019 fiscal year. The new members were formally welcomed at the MSCPA’s Annual Meeting and Recognition Reception on May 3.

“The MSCPA’s board of directors plays a vital role in shaping the priorities of the Society and this group of dedicated individuals truly want to better the profession,” says Amy Pitter, president and CEO of the MSCPA. “I am thrilled to have them on the board and look forward to witnessing first-hand what their leadership will contribute to the Society, community and the profession.”

The 2018-2019 Board of Directors are:

Mark Nichols, President, Mark W. Nichols CPA PC

John Micalizzi, Human Resource Leader, RSM US LLP

George Neble, Senior Advisor, AVALT

Vice Chairman, Finance Committee:
John Colucci, Managing Director, McLane Middleton

Vice Chairman, Audit Committee:
Doug Fiebelkorn, Healthcare Principal, CliftonLarsonAllen LLP

First-Year Directors:
Elise Caputi, Audit Partner, KLR
Laura Felice, 
Senior Vice President, Controller, BJ’s Wholesale Club
Laura O’Brien,
 Director, ALL CPAs
Ronald Tull, Partner/Shareholder, Schofer Dillberg & Company Inc.

Second-Year Directors:
Karen McElroy, Audit Partner, Financial Services, Deloitte & Touche LLP
Francisco Oliveira, Associate Controller, Akcea Therapeutics
James Powers, 
Partner, Powers & Sullivan, LLC
Kathryn Seekell, 
Principal, Kurzman Dempsey & Kowalke, LLP

Third-Year Directors:
Laurie Austin, Managing Partner, DiCicco Gulman & Company LLP
Shay Blanchette, 
Senior Lecturer, MSA Faculty Director, Babson College
Robert Miller, 
Managing Director, New England Accounting & Auditing Group, CBIZ & MHM
Richard O’Connor, 
Partner, Johnson O’Connor

Maryland Association of CPAs and Business Learning Institute Launch Future-ready Podcast

The Maryland Association of CPAs and the Business Learning Institute (BLI) have launched a weekly podcast to make accounting and finance professionals more future-ready.

Titled “Future-Proof: A Podcast for Tomorrow’s Accounting and Finance Pros,” the show is hosted by MACPA and BLI chief communication officer Bill Sheridan and will feature interviews with forward-thinking futurists and thought leaders. They will offer updates on the latest trends to watch and, perhaps most important, answers to the question: How can this profession become future-ready?

“We’re on a mission,” Sheridan says. “For the past few years, [MACPA and BLI executive director] Tom Hood and I and the rest of the BLI’s team of future-focused thought leaders have been crossing the country, one speaking engagement at a time, in a bid to help accounting and finance professionals prepare for what’s ahead – to become future-ready. This podcast is the latest weapon in our profession’s future-ready arsenal.”

This brief trailer will tell you a little more about the podcast.

Illinois CPA Society Names 2018-2019 Board of Directors

The Illinois CPA Society named its board of directors to serve April 1, 2018 – March 31, 2019.

“In this dynamic time of change in the accounting profession, we are fortunate to be guided by such an impressive and diverse team of experienced leaders making up our new board of directors,” says Todd Shapiro, ICPAS president and CEO. “They are all experts on key issues impacting our members and will support accounting and finance professionals throughout Illinois.”

View the full list here.