Jason Burian Named OMP of CohnReznick’s Chicago Office

Jason Burian

Jason Burian

New York-based CohnReznick LLP (FY17 net revenue of $617 million) named partner Jason Burian the OMP of the firm’s Chicago office. Burian succeeds George Klenovich, who will be the regional MP, South and West.

Burian, a member of the firm’s assurance practice and leader of the commercial real estate industry practice, has more than 15 years of experience in audit, compilation, compliance and due diligence work for real estate operating companies, syndicators, investment funds and developers. In addition to Burian’s client responsibilities, he develops programs and techniques specifically tailored to auditing commercial real estate entities for the firm. He specializes in the audits of commercial real estate entities, developments benefitting from the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) and employee benefit plans.

“Jason epitomizes the client-focused approach that CohnReznick brings to our clients nationwide, and I am confident he will continue to put his outstanding abilities to use in order to localize key services, enhance client services and grow the office presence in Chicago and the region,” says Klenovich.

Berdon Acquires Koch Group and Company

New York-based Berdon LLP (FY16 net revenue of $111.8 million) acquired New York-based Koch Group and Company LLP (Koch), effective July 1. Stuart Koch, founding partner of Koch, brings with him a team of four partners and 20 professionals who will move into Berdon’s midtown Manhattan office.

“Our clients will continue to receive the accounting and tax services they are accustomed to, but will also now benefit from a wider array of tax consulting and advisory services – including state and local tax; retirement, succession and estate planning; operational advisory; and asset valuation – through Berdon and its more than 400 professionals,” says Koch.

“Stuart and his team add a further layer of strength to our existing real estate expertise by providing additional specialization in the low income housing area,” says Mark Bosswick, MP of Berdon.

Koch has been providing high quality tax planning and advisory services to high net worth individuals and their families and businesses since 1988. Their expertise in the real estate, not-for-profit and charter schools sectors will enhance Berdon’s breadth of knowledge and service capabilities in these areas.

Sikich Names Kulek PIC of Agribusiness Services

Naperville, Ill.-based Sikich LLP (FY16 net revenue of $146.5 million) recently named Joe Kulek as PIC of its agribusiness services practice. Kulek will oversee the firm’s work across service lines with agriculture and food manufacturing clients in Sikich’s Springfield, Ill. office.

“At a time when the entire agriculture supply chain faces pressure from low commodity prices, our firm is uniquely positioned to help agribusiness organizations address their challenges,” says Kulek.

Sikich’s agribusiness practice serves farmers, grain elevator operators, farm cooperatives, heavy equipment dealers, chemical and fertilizer retailers, livestock operations, and pork and beef processors. The firm offers clients across industries audit, accounting and tax, technology, investment banking, wealth management as well as a wide mix of advisory and managed services.

Global Corporate Ethical Behavior Improves, Challenges Remain

More than half (52.4%) of C-suite and other executives say global corporate ethical behavior has improved since the enactment of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in July 2002, according to a recent Deloitte poll. Yet only 41.3% of executives say their organizations’ global ethics cultures are strong.

“As we’ve seen for decades, no organization is immune to unethical behavior,” says Don Fancher, partner at New York-based Deloitte. “But, the field of ethics compliance is evolving, as professionals’ skillsets, technologies to help hone and monitor programs, and multi-jurisdictional regulator coordination all improve. Now is a great time for global organizations to take a hard look at modernizing their ethical compliance programs – particularly for those relying heavily on employees to report misconduct.”

Less than one-third (32.5%) of executives polled are highly confident their organizations’ employees will report unethical behavior. Executives say the biggest challenges to employees complying with global ethics programs include inconsistency of clear, concise and frequent ethics program communications and training for all employees (28.5%); lacking incentives and repercussions around ethical and unethical behavior, respectively (16%); varied ethical postures of third parties with whom employees regularly interact (14.8%); and, differing ethical standards for various employee groups (12.5%).

“Whether they need to monitor internal, external or both aspects of culture risk, we see leading companies leverage technology to modernize their compliance programs,” says Carey Oven, Deloitte partner. “Some use cognitive solutions to identify anomalous employee behaviors. Others use advanced analytics to identify third-party patterns. The learnings from culture risk detection systems can help enhance the information leadership teams use to make decisions around ethics compliance policies and procedures.”

Questions to ask of your global ethics program include:

  • Do all leaders support the program? Strong ethics programs are organization-wide with ongoing, full C-suite and board attention, as opposed to being managed by the general counsel or chief compliance officer alone.
  • Is the whistleblower hotline or speak-up line evolving? The level, frequency and type of reports via whistleblower communication channels can be telling. Testing can help discern reasonable levels of reporting and false positives, so that uncharacteristic reports are quickly identified and investigated.
  • Are employees surveyed to gauge ethics culture? By surveying employees about ethical standards and behaviors on an annual basis – as well as in exit interviews – organizations can make better informed updates to standards language, employee training and communications.
  • Is third-party due diligence conducted annually at minimum? Personnel changes, financial strain, and other factors can change cultures quickly.

Dean Dorton Adds Intacct Cloud Financial Applications to Its Portfolio

Lexington, Ky.-based Dean Dorton (FY16 net revenue of $27.3 million) announced a partnership with Intacct, a provider of cloud financial management and accounting software. Together they will sell, implement, support and integrate solutions for Intacct’s cloud financial applications.

“We’ve been helping clients choose, implement and use the best software for their businesses for a long time, and lately it is very clear that successful companies are increasingly interested in using a cloud-based financial system so they can access their financial data anytime, anywhere,” says Jason Miller, director of business consulting services at Dean Dorton.

Dean Dorton clients will also benefit from the web-based dashboards, reporting and business intelligence capabilities built into the Intacct system. Intacct provides a powerful set of analytics and reporting tools that empower users with real-time, accurate and consistent visibility into financial and operational data. The ability to run financial reports by dimensions, (customer, vendor, project or fund) is beneficial to business owners, board members and investors.

“Our cloud based system is well suited to today’s ever-changing technological advancements and will help companies of all sizes operate efficiently and effectively using their real-time financial data. Jason Miller and the Dean Dorton team have extensive background in technology and accounting, which will be a huge benefit to our mutual clients,” says Taylor Macdonald, vice president of channels for Intacct.

Kolzow Named Managing Director of DHJJ Certified Public Accountants and Business Advisors

Patrick Kolzow

Patrick Kolzow

Naperville, Ill.-based DHJJ Certified Public Accountants and Business Advisors named Patrick Kolzow as managing director.

“After 25 years of being the managing director of DHJJ, it’s very reassuring to have the next managing director be a person of character and experience who will continue the firm’s values, including its culture and client service,” says Tom Jordan, former managing director.

Kolzow has more than 20 years of public accounting experience and serves a wide variety of industries, helping clients develop successful tax and business strategies. He has been with DHJJ for more than 10 years.

“It is truly an honor to be named the managing director of a firm with outstanding core values and a history of success,” says Kolzow

DeLeon & Stang Welcomes New Principal

Michele Mills

Michele Mills

Gaithersburg, Md.-based DeLeon & Stang Certified Public Accountants and Advisors announced the addition of Michele Mills to their professional team.

Mills joins the firm as a principal in the audit department. She specializes in working with non-profit organizations and governmental units, including local municipalities and employee benefit plans. She brings with her 30 years of accounting and audit experience serving Frederick County and surrounding areas.

“Michele is a powerhouse of an accountant and we’re lucky to have her join the DeLeon and Stang team,” says Richard Stang, partner at DeLeon & Stang. “She is highly regarded in the industry and brings with her a wealth of experience. Additionally, she is an all-around good person, continually making a positive impact in the community.”

Kernutt Stokes Names Ritchie as MP

Steven Ritchie

Steven Ritchie

Steven Ritchie was named as MP of Kernutt Stokes (FY17 net revenue of $10.4 million) of Eugene, Ore. on June 1.

“I value his experience and energy. I know he will promote excellence by continuing our firm’s focus on superior service and strong client relationships. Stepping back as a managing partner allows me to spend more time with my clients and I am looking forward to that,” says Warren Barnes, the firm’s most recent MP, who will remain a full-time partner at the firm.

Ritchie has been with the firm for more than 20 years, having been promoted to partner in 2007. He focuses on privately held, owner-managed, entrepreneurial businesses in the manufacturing, distribution, forest products, wholesale, retail and insurance industries.

“When I started my career with Kernutt Stokes, I never imagined I would one day lead this amazing firm,” says Ritchie.

Carr Riggs & Ingram Expands in Atlanta

Enterprise, Ala.-based Carr Riggs & Ingram LLC (CRI) (FY16 net revenue of $235.8 million) has acquired AGH LLC of Atlanta, a $14 million firm.

“There’s no doubt that Atlanta has been booming non-stop for several decades,” says Bill Carr, chairman and MP of CRI. “Add to that a consistently growing economy, a healthy real estate and job market and easy global access via the world’s busiest airport, and it is a winning combination full of opportunities for a rapidly growing, innovative firm like CRI. We intend to continue building upon our position as a top player in this market and are pleased that AGH has joined us.”

“AGH has an exceptional client base and great depth of talent but felt CRI could provide additional resources to its clients and accelerated growth opportunities for their associates,” says Allan Koltin, CEO of Koltin Consulting Group, who advised both firms on the merger. “They also felt CRI’s commitment to strategic investments in technology, innovation, and training provided the perfect platform to grow their clients and people.”

Johnson Miller & Co. Admits Speer as New Shareholder

Catherine Speer

Catherine Speer

Midland, Texas-based Johnson Miller & Co. CPAs PC (FY16 net revenue of $21.8 million) admits new shareholder, Catherine Speer, who joined Johnson Miller & Co. in January 2005 as a staff accountant upon graduation.

Speer is located in the firm’s Odessa, Texas office and previously served as an assurance manager in the Midland/Odessa audit practice. She has extensive audit and accounting knowledge in the energy, manufacturing and construction industries, as well as experience in auditing governmental and nonprofit organizations.

“From staff to now shareholder, my vision is to continue the legacy by providing quality service to our clients, future clients, staff and the community,” says Speer.