MGI Worldwide and CPAAI To Merge in January

Two professional accounting organizations, MGI Worldwide and CPA Associates International (CPAAI), are planning to merge on Jan. 1, and will represent more than 250 accounting, tax and consulting firms in almost 100 countries.

MGI Worldwide is a global network of independent audit, tax, accounting and advisory firms, headquartered in the U.K., and CPAAI is headquartered in Glen Rock, N.J. The new organization will have revenues approaching $1 billion, placing it in 16th position in the current global accountancy network ranking.

MGI Worldwide and CPAAI have complementary cultures and client service philosophies, the organizations say. They were both formed more than 60 years ago and are well established and active in their markets. The combination offers clients access to more than 9,000 professionals with a wide range of specialists.

Clive Viegas Bennett, CEO of MGI Worldwide, says, “This merger greatly strengthens the already solid market positions of both organizations and enhances our global reach, knowledge base, member offerings and services to valued clients. Our new global and regional management team will provide the leadership to take the combined organization to greater levels of success. The shared goal is to help keep all members up to date on the latest technical and business developments, exchange business best practices and expertise, and deepen our strong regional structure.”

Michael Parness, president of CPAAI, states, “Clients remain at the heart of all members’ firms and their goals and objectives are always paramount. The merger ensures that they will have additional ‘trusted advisors’ to call on for the industry expertise and support they need – regardless of where they operate in the world.”

The new group will be co-chaired by Roger Isaacs, chairman of MGI Worldwide, and Jim Holmes, the international chairman of CPAAI. Bennett will serve as CEO with Parness as COO.

HoganTaylor Moves Its Oklahoma City Office

Oklahoma City OMP Richard Wright and the firm’s other Oklahoma City partners host a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Tulsa, Okla.-based HoganTaylor (FY18 net revenue of $47.3 million) has relocated its Oklahoma City office to a new, expanded space at 1225 N. Broadway Ave., Suite 200, in the city’s new Innovation District.

“In the accounting industry, we spend a lot of time thinking about the future and what changes may come as a result of new technology,” says Oklahoma City OMP Richard Wright. “At HoganTaylor, new technology is driving our transformation from a public accounting firm to a full-service business advisory firm. Our new space is a reflection of that transformation.”

The firm says the move not only accommodates additional growth but allows for greater participation in the city’s efforts to form innovative partnerships in the new district.

The new office is designed to allow for increased interoffice collaboration and idea sharing.

“The No. 1 thing that’s going to change for our profession is that our clients are going to demand that we help them get better and not just do their compliance work,” says Randy Nail, CEO of HoganTaylor. “Our new space fosters the kind of collaboration and innovation we’ll need to help our clients get better, but it’s just one of many ways we’re innovating our future at HoganTaylor.”

HoganTaylor is also investing in new service lines through a merger with RainRock IT Services. A new subsidiary, HoganTaylor Technology, began doing business Nov. 1, offering a suite of information technology services, including managed information technology services, outsourced CIO and technology solutions, cybersecurity services, and IT strategy and assessments.

“In the future, if a client needs anything related to a business issue, whether it’s an IT need, a marketing need, an HR need or really anything, we want HoganTaylor to be the first place they turn,” Nail says. “Our move in Oklahoma City and this beautiful new space both support that goal.”

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SEC Whistleblowers Lead to $2 Billion in Enforcement Actions

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has released the annual report from its Office of Enforcement that confirms that the whistleblower reward program is helping protect investors from fraud.

The report says the SEC whistleblower law:

  • Is very successful and that whistleblowers have made meaningful contributions to significant cases;
  • Has resulted in high-quality SEC enforcement actions and led to more than $2 billion in financial remedies;
  • The SEC has paid whistleblowers about $387 million in rewards.

“Without whistleblower-insiders, the vast majority of frauds would go undetected, and investors would lose billions of dollars to those given by criminal greed,” says Stephen Kohn, SEC whistleblower attorney, in a statement. Kohn has represented corporate whistleblowers for over 35 years and worked with Congress in drafting the Dodd-Frank Act whistleblower protections.

“The SEC has confirmed that a well-placed whistleblower is the ‘goose that lays the golden egg.’ The SEC program has been highly successful, and we hope that the new regulations under consideration by the Commission will build on this substantial progress,” Kohn says.

Rea & Associates Admits Six Principals

New Philadelphia, Ohio-based Rea & Associates (FY18 net revenue of $50.4 million) announced that the firm has admitted Ben Antonelli, Paul Gregory, Scott Moyer and Dustin Raber to equity principals. They will join 27 other shareholders.

Antonelli is a principal in Rea’s Dublin, Ohio, office. In this role he is responsible for managing and providing guidance to the firm’s assurance engagement teams and regularly consults with clients on financial reporting, internal controls and other operational issues.

Moyer, a principal in Rea’s Zanesville, Ohio, office, oversees the firm’s oil and gas segment, which serves landowners who might be struggling with the management of their assets as a result of ongoing development in shale regions of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Raber is a principal in Rea’s Wooster, Ohio office, where he serves as director of manufacturing and distribution services. In this role, he is responsible for conducting audits, reviews and compilations for businesses and not-for-profit organizations. He also spends a lot of time consulting on financial reporting, accounting methods, internal controls, industry analysis and audit efficiencies.

Gregory, a principal in Rea’s Amherst, Ohio office, with more than 20 years of professional experience, is responsible for assisting with management of the office and generating new revenue through client service – particularly in the areas of bookkeeping, taxation and reviews and compilations.

Additionally, Ben Froese, based in the New Philadelphia office, and Julie Jordan, working from the Lima and Dublin, Ohio, offices, were admitted as income principals.

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North Carolina Firm Adds Partners to Tax Practice

Drew Haddock

Greensboro, N.C.-based DMJ & Co. (FY18 net revenue of $13.4 million) announces that Drew Haddock and Keith Jarmusch have been admitted as partners.

Keith Jarmusch

Haddock, based in the Sanford, N.C., office, handles tax planning and compliance for corporations, partnerships and individuals, especially closely held businesses within the dealership, manufacturing, distribution and real estate industries.

Jarmusch, based in Greensboro, has been with the firm since 2007 and has over 30 years of experience in both industry and public accounting. He works directly with both corporate and individual clients on their tax consulting, compliance and preparation needs as well as small business consulting and QuickBooks assistance.

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Aprio LLP Admits Partner in Information Assurance Services

Brett Williams

Atlanta-based Aprio LLP (FY18 net revenue of $96.1 million) has hired Brett Williams and admitted him as a partner in the information assurance services group.

He will focus on serving the information risk and compliance needs of small to mid-market companies that are experiencing an increasing escalation of security compliance requests by providing attestation and certification reporting.

Dan Schroeder, PIC of the practice, says, “We can now leverage Brett’s expertise to grow our practice nationally and provide mid-market companies and their trading partners with the highest level of confidence that the appropriate measures are in place to protect their businesses.”

Williams joins Aprio from Grant Thornton where he served as the Southeast special attestation reporting practice leader. Williams has over 20 years of experience focused on business process and information technology controls, and he has served clients in a variety of industries.

“As businesses of all sizes continue to see an increased threat from cybersecurity-related activities, the work we are doing to protect these businesses is more important than ever,” he says.

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Former PCAOB Executive Joins Weaver

Patrick Brown

Patrick Brown

Houston-based Weaver (FY19 net revenue of $141.1 million) announces that former PCAOB executive Patrick Brown has joined the firm and been admitted as a partner in the quality and risk management team.

Brown will be based in the firm’s Dallas office and will focus on assurance and advisory services. Brown was previously an executive leader and associate director for inspections at the PCAOB, where he spent close to a decade performing regulatory oversight of public company audits.

At Weaver, he will work with firm leaders to refine quality assurance processes and help ensure that audit services meet established standards.

“As Weaver continues to grow nationwide and expand our public company audit practice, Patrick will help us maintain the quality our clients, markets and regulators expect,” says CEO and MP John Mackel. “His experience at the PCAOB and as a Big 4 audit leader will add depth to our QRM processes.”

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Brent Lipschultz Rejoins EisnerAmper as Partner

Brent Lipschultz

Brent Lipschultz

New York-based EisnerAmper (FY19 net revenue of $380.6 million) announces that Brent Lipschultz has re-joined the firm and been admitted as a partner in its personal wealth advisors group.

He has more than 25 years of experience serving high-net-worth executives, family offices, board members of Fortune 100 companies, global investors, privately held business owners, celebrities and professional athletes.

He specializes in domestic and international income tax planning, executive compensation, estate and gift tax planning, charitable planning and wealth preservation strategies. He advises companies with expatriate tax and payroll matters, as well as represents clients before the IRS (including offshore voluntary compliance cases) and state taxing authorities on complex tax matters.

“We’re excited to have Brent back in the fold at EisnerAmper,” says Timothy Speiss, co-leader of the firm’s personal wealth advisors group. “He’s an intuitive leader with expertise across a broad spectrum of personal wealth clients, and he’s extremely engaged in the wealth advisory ecosystem. He’s (once again) a great addition to the firm.”

He will be based at EisnerAmper’s New York office. He has provided wealth advisory thought leadership to a variety of national media such as Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, CNBC, Reuters, MSNBC and others.

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Speer & Associates and Whitley Penn Unite

Speer & Associates Ltd. of Dallas joined Fort Worth, Texas-based Whitley Penn (FY18 net revenue of $114.1 million) on Nov. 1. The group will work out of the Plano, Texas, location.

“This is a great opportunity to offer our clients additional services and industry experience locally, nationally and internationally,” says M.L. Speer, MP of Speer & Associates.

The Speer & Associates team of professionals are known for their full-service tax planning and consulting experience with a strong concentration in the real estate industry.

“M.L. and his team bring added tax and consulting experience to our firm. They share the same value of relationships being the foundation and we look forward to this next chapter together,” says Larry Autrey, MP for Whitley Penn.

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Marcum LLP Merges in CPA Consulting Group in Nashville

New York-based Marcum LLP (FY18 net revenue of $549.7 million) has announced a merger with CPA Consulting Group of Nashville, effective Nov. 1.

The firm adds two partners and 15 associates to Marcum’s Nashville office. Cathy Werthan, CPACG president, becomes Marcum’s Nashville OMP.

CPACG was a full-service accounting firm providing a full range of professional, technical, consulting and business services to individuals and business clients in more than a dozen industries, including real estate; law; architecture, engineering and construction; creative services; and medicine and dentistry, among others. Services encompassed accounting, tax, valuation and financial planning.

“Cathy Werthan and Bryan Jones have built an exceptional team with deep roots locally and regionally. They will be great stewards of our combined growth and expanded service portfolio to our Nashville clients,” says Jeffrey Weiner, Marcum’s chairman and CEO.

“We have long been aware of Marcum’s strength in the middle-market and see tremendous synergies between our firms, particularly given Marcum’s focus on construction in Nashville, which is a great complement to our design-build client portfolio,” Werthan says.

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