Prager Metis Expands Forensic and Dispute Advisory Practice; Admits New Partner

New York City-based Prager Metis CPAs (FY17 net revenue of $82.5 million) welcomes Yasmine L. Misuraca to the firm as PIC of the forensic and dispute advisory practice.

Yasmine L. Misuraca

“Bringing Yasmine on board is essential for our plans to expand our resources and further strengthen our reputation as the ‘go-to’ experts in forensic and dispute advisory,” says Glenn Friedman, CEO and co-MP. “She possesses a unique and extensive background in this arena and she is a valuable addition to the team.”

Misuraca is a forensic accounting specialist providing consulting and expert witness services and has more than 25 years of experience in both public accounting and private industry. Working for both plaintiffs and defendants, Misuraca’s clientele includes private individuals, attorneys, corporations and government agencies. She specializes in conducting forensic examinations and assisting clients in complex disputes, such as contract disputes, SEC actions, mergers and acquisitions, and matrimonial disputes.

The practice provides quality investigative, expert witness and consulting services.

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PKF O’Connor Davies Merges In Hodulik & Morrison

New York-based PKF O’Connor Davies (FY17 net revenue of $160 million) has merged in Hodulik & Morrison of Highland Park, N.J.

The firm says the move was designed to expand expertise in its public sector practice.

“Hodulik & Morrison has earned its reputation as a leading accounting resource for the public sector,” says MP Kevin J. Keane. “We’re excited to work with talented individuals who are as passionate about serving clients as we are. We welcome Bob, Andy and the entire Hodulik & Morrison team and look forward to combining our efforts.”

Two partners and more than a dozen team members will join the firm’s Cranford, N.J., office. For nearly three decades, Hodulik & Morrison has provided government accounting services with a focus on auditing, management advisory and financial advisory services for county, municipal, authority, school district and commercial clients.

“We’re thrilled to combine our experience in government audits with PKF O’Connor Davies’ industry-leading client service,” said Andrew Hodulik. “It’s exciting to join a network of professionals who share our commitment to serving central and northern New Jersey public entities.”

PKF O’Connor Davies has 11 offices in five states as it continues to expand through organic growth and acquisitions on the East Coast. Hodulik & Morrison is the third firm to join PKF O’Connor Davies in the last six months.

In February, the firm announced that Batchelor Frechette McCrory Michael & Co. (BFMM) of Providence, R.I., joined the firm. And in December of last year, Chestnut Ridge, N.Y.-based GKG CPAs joined PKF O’Connor Davies.

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Baker Tilly Makes Leadership Changes

Monica Modi Dalwadi

Monica Modi Dalwadi

Chicago-based Baker Tilly (FY18 net revenue of $578.4 million) has announced three leadership changes.

Monica Modi Dalwadi has been selected to serve as MP for the Washington, D.C. market effective June 1. She is succeeding Todd Stokes, who has been appointed to lead the firm’s people strategy.

“Monica brings an impressive background in consulting and a fresh perspective as managing partner of the metro D.C. market,” says Stokes. “Her passion and commitment to our clients and our people along with her willingness to try new things will serve her well in her new role.” The office is located in Tysons, Va., and has more than 400 team members.

Todd Stokes

Todd Stokes

Dalwadi, in her new role, will provide leadership, management and strategic direction for the firm’s metro D.C. market. She will continue serving clients focusing on internal auditing, risk assessment, fraud and forensics reviews and strategic consulting on a wide range of business issues. Dalwadi serves on numerous Baker Tilly committees and serves as a board member for various nonprofit organizations.

Stokes, in his new role, will lead a team to drive leading-edge practices in recruiting, learning and talent management and workplace culture. Stokes will be “laser-focused” on creating talent strategies at all career stages that anticipate and adapt to the future of work, the firm says. Last year, he was recognized by the Washington Business Journal as one of America’s top influencers in finance.

Baker Tilly CEO Alan Whitman called him a “creative leader,” and notes that his business acumen and curiosity push boundaries and challenge assumptions.

Fred Massanova

Fred Massanova

Additionally, the firm appointed Fred Massanova to serve as MP for the firm’s Philadelphia market. Effective June 1, Massanova will succeed Jeffrey Ferro, who will continue in his role as Baker Tilly’s East region MP.

“Fred is uniquely positioned for continuing our success in the Philadelphia marketplace,” Ferro says. “His strong relationship skills, commitment to the Philadelphia community and overall leadership will continue to be a significant asset to our Philadelphia market and firm.”

In his new role, Massanova will have responsibility for providing leadership, management and strategic direction for the firm’s Philadelphia market. He will continue serving clients and leading the firm’s Philadelphia commercial practice as well as Baker Tilly’s East region private equity practice.

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Eide Bailly Plans Big Expansion into California With Merger

Fargo, N.D.-based Eide Bailly (FY18 net revenue of $299.2 million) has acquired Vavrinek Trine Day & Company (VDT).

Effective July 22, the combination will add 11 California offices and an expanded Phoenix office to Eide Bailly, ranked No. 20 on the 2018 IPA 100 list.

“The addition of VTD launches us into California with exceptional local talent and a culture that matches our own dedication to client service and being an employer of choice for our staff,” Dave Stende, Eide Bailly MP and CEO says in a statement. “This combination deepens our expertise in several key industries that Eide Bailly serves.”

VTD, established in 1948, specializes in government, education, commercial, tax and financial institutions. Becoming part of Eide Bailly will bring tremendous opportunities for both clients and staff, says Kevin Pulliam, VTD MP.

“Eide Bailly’s knowledge, resources and consulting services will allow us to help our clients more fully. Whether it is technology consulting, wealth planning, or some other industry-specific advisory services, we’re excited to be able to offer more,” Pulliam says in statement. “On top of this, Eide Bailly is a firm of talented and down-to-earth people. They care deeply for the well-being of their clients, staff and communities; this describes us, too.”

VTD will add 42 partners and 280 staff to Eide Bailly, bringing totals to 331 partners and 2,400 staff. The firm will have more than 40 offices in 15 states.

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Consultant Bill Reeb Elected Chair of AICPA

Bill Reeb, an IPA Most Recommended Consultant, was elected to the one-year volunteer post by the AICPA Governing Council May 21.

Bill Reeb

In his acceptance speech, Reeb said the profession must take “leaps, not steps” forward to take advantage of what will be a sea change in accounting and finance. “Our clients and employers are challenged to stay ahead in a time when rapid innovation and change is the new world order. They need us to be with them, side by side, helping them navigate the complexity and uncertainty that is the world we live in today.”

Reeb offered four pieces of advice for the profession:

  • Let go of what you think you know. Reeb says accountants should rigorously reexamine past lessons and work methods to see if they still hold true in a time of great change.
  • Accept that technical aptitude is not enough. Familiarity with technology and improvement in critical thinking, judgment and leadership will define accounting professionals in the future. “This powerful combination of our technical expertise, technological understanding and enhanced human skills are foundational to positioning ourselves for a brighter future.”
  • Challenge what it means to be an accountant. That means providing higher-value strategic guidance in core service areas, broadening tax practices for an integrated life planning approach, and extending assurance into cybersecurity risk management, sustainability and supply chain.
  • Embrace a disruptive mindset. “We need to shift our thinking from what our profession is and what we do today to what our profession should be and what we need to be doing tomorrow,” he said.

    Tracey Golden

As of June 1, Reeb will serve as vice chair of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, the unified voice of the AICPA and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), and will work closely with the Association’s incoming chair, Amal Ratnayake.

Reeb has held several volunteer leadership positions at the AICPA, having previously served as vice chair, a member of the board of directors and governing council, and secretary of the political action committee.

Tracey Golden, an audit partner with Big 4 firm Deloitte, was voted in as vice chair.

Armanino Launches AI Lab

An IPA Best of the Best firm, San Ramon, Calif.-based Armanino LLP (FY17 net revenue of $242.7 million) has launched the Armanino AI Lab, designed to help businesses interested in using AI technologies.

“More than 75% of companies believe AI is fundamental to their future success, but the majority of those aren’t taking advantage of AI technology today and don’t know how to,” says Tom Mescall, PIC of Armanino’s consulting practice. “Armanino’s AI Lab will serve as a one-stop shop that enables its members to harness the opportunities that AI offers without being left behind by their competitors.”

The announcement came May 20 at the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Executive Roundtable, hosted by Armanino at its offices for C-level executives to see a demonstration of AI and discuss practical ways to apply it.

The three components of AI are predictive analytics, robotic process automation and virtual assistants. Members of the Armanino AI Lab can access peer-to-peer meetings, exclusive product and vendor reviews, Armanino’s data scientists and AI developers and consultants. Members can also learn about AI best practices and execute on AI proof of concepts.

The firm says that in a survey of the Roundtable event attendees, more than 75% ranked predictive analytics as most important to their organizations. Additionally, 83% believe their data infrastructure will need further improvement to achieve the best results. Meanwhile, 60% of event attendees have not started their first initiative.

Prior to launching its AI Lab, Armanino researched the most common business cases for using AI – from finance, supply chain, customer experience and talent management to compliance and privacy.

“As we continue to build out the Armanino AI Lab, we are proud to align ourselves with many of the world’s technology and software leaders in the AI space,” says John Horner, PIC of Armanino’s data and analytics practice. “This makes it easy for clients to access our knowledge and relationships, thereby decreasing their investment time and increasing their benefits of embracing AI technology.”

Armanino has already accepted several existing clients into the Armanino AI Lab and will continue to add members. To submit your membership application, visit: learn.armaninollp.com/ailab.

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IRS Provides Filing Extension For Returns Affected By Wolters Kluwer Outage

Wolters Kluwer has announced that the IRS has approved a filing extension for certain May 15 federal returns, which are now due on May 22.

Deadlines are extended for returns that were affected by the outage of Wolters Kluwer’s Electronic Filing System during the week of May 6 – Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax; Form 1065, U.S. Return of Partnership Income; and Form 1120, U.S. Corporation Income Tax Return.

The IRS is providing simple, specific instructions that return preparers must follow for any of these returns that are filed after May 15, but no later than May 22, 2019.

Wolters Kluwer says it is working with state tax agencies to obtain similar relief. Updates will be provided to return preparers as new information becomes available. Tax practitioners with questions can call Wolters Kluwer at 800.930.1753. Live chat is available at https://taxna.wolterskluwer.com/support.

Brown Schultz Sheridan & Fritz Merges In RLH CPAs & Business Advisors

Camp Hill, Pa.-based Brown Schultz Sheridan & Fritz (BSSF) (FY17 net revenue of $14.1 million) will add 31 employees June 1 when the firm joins with RLH CPAs & Business Advisors.

RLH has offices in Hanover, Pa., and two in Maryland in Frederick and Westminster.

The merger will expand BSSF’s footprint into Maryland and increase firm size to more than 130 employees.

“RLH is committed to providing the best for our clients, and we look forward to joining a firm like BSSF that will allow us to add and strengthen our expertise and service areas,” says Ryan Hastings, co-MP of RLH. “This is an opportunity that benefits our clients, and like BSSF, we truly believe in helping our clients achieve extraordinary outcomes.”

Both firms have been named a Best Place to Work in Pennsylvania for a number of years.

With the merger, BSSF will become a five-office firm, adding the three RLH locations to their Pennsylvania office locations in Camp Hill and Lancaster.

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Windes Admits Cheevers, Fazio to the Partnership

Long Beach, Calif.-based Windes announced that Therese Cheevers and Ed Fazio have been admitted as partners in its employee benefit services and tax and accounting practices, respectively.

Therese Cheevers

Cheevers joined Windes in 2007 and has served the retirement plan needs of small- to middle-market corporations and unincorporated entities since 1984. Her practice focus includes pension and cash balance plans, 401(k) plans and cross-tested, profit-sharing plans, along with plan compliance, correction and IRS reporting. Her specialty services are consultation on qualified plan issues, plan documents, and design and implementation.

Ed Fazio

Fazio started with Windes in 2006 and has more than 20 years of experience in public accounting. His practice includes tax planning for business owners and analysis of multi-state corporations, as well as facilitating mergers and acquisitions, reorganizations, succession planning and real estate tax deferral strategies. He specializes in the manufacturing, energy, real estate, retail, construction, aerospace, technology, restaurant and personal services sectors.

“These are well-deserved promotions for Therese and Ed,” says MP John Di Carlo. “Both have been instrumental with leadership roles in the firm and have been exemplary with practice development, client management and administrative responsibilities. Therese is an expert in her field and we look forward to the direction and growth that she will bring to our employee benefit services practice. Ed has been a strong contributor to the development, growth, and expansion of the firm’s Orange County tax practice.”

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Katz Sapper & Miller Names New KSM Location Advisors Director

Indianapolis-based Katz Sapper & Miller (FY18 net revenue of $94.6 million) announces that it has hired Brian Szymanski as a director in the firm’s site selection advisory affiliate, KSM Location Advisors.

Brian Szymanski

He is the director of national projects and specializes in assisting clients with identifying, negotiating and maximizing economic incentives throughout the country.

Prior to joining the firm, he spent over 10 years with Grant Thornton’s national credits and incentives practice. His current and former clients cover a variety of industries, including manufacturing, warehouse and distribution, retail and professional services.

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