News from Your Accounting Association
CPAmerica Advantage Former CPAConnect member makes the jump to CPAmerica
August 2019 Upcoming Sharing Call P. 2
coin and has a unique perspective on the process In February 2019, member firm Grooms & Harkins, P.C. (Grooms & Harkins), of Casper, Wyoming, officially joined the Grooms & Harkins, P.C.is headquartered in ranks of CPAmerica. However, Casper, Wyoming the firm is rather unique. They were formerly with our alliance member CPAConnect and felt the need to make the change to CPAmerica. We spoke to Managing Partner Nicholas Grooms, of Grooms & Harkins to find out more about the move. We asked Grooms if he could tell us about his firm's transition from CPAConnect to becoming a member of CPAmerica. Groom started, "It's been an interesting transition for us because we felt so comfortable in CPAConnect. But at the same time, because of the relationship that exists between the two different organizations, the transition was seamless. Knowing Alan Deichler, Grace Horvath and Dâ€™Yan Davis at CPAmerica made it very easy for us during this time to go from one group to the next. So in some ways it felt the same, other than that there were different people at the meetings. The way the transition happened was another reason we were so happy with our membership in CPAConnect.
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"When the founders of our firm, Ted President's Corner - Alan Deichler P. 4 Grooms and Chuck Harkins, started with CPAConnect, we can go back and see a distinct point on the timeline of our firm when things started to change for us for the better, whether it was growth or positive changes in the way that we did business. It was always something that the founders felt was an investment that we got a lot of return on and because of that, CPAmerica's 2019 International we actively participated in CPAConnect. Group Meeting is set for Fort As we continued through our membership Lauderdale, Florida. The luxurious Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale will and time passed, Alan Deichler started host the event on Dec. 2-5. to notice that we were a firm that was The meeting will help expand your growing fairly well, in the context of being resources to identify and capture a firm in Casper, Wyoming." international markets. For more info on the CPAmerica website,
visit and sign in at: http://tinyurl. Although Grooms said his firm was com/y26j8b56 always aware of CPAmerica, but they d id not have a rea l relat ionsh ip w it h a ny firm in CPAmerica. "Being isolated here in Wyoming was a big part of that," said Grooms, "But back in the day, we knew there were some metrics (revenue, size of firm, that sort of thing) for membership in CPAmerica. When we first joined CPAConnect, we set those metrics as lofty goals that we wanted to achieve,
See Grooms & Harkins, continued on page 2
Preferred Provider Spotlight: Precision Payroll of America Paul Sivak, principal of Precision Payroll of America, spoke about the offering that Precision Payroll offers to CPAmerica members as one of our Preferred Providers. Sivak said, "Our first client and our first employee still work together after 35 years. We are a full-service payroll company. We have payroll services and an array of different products within those payroll services to manage all sorts of clients and all sizes of clients. I think our largest client right now has about 2,500 employees and our smallest client is a one-person company that does payroll yearly. When I say full-service, that includes HR benefits or modules within the
software. We have been with CPAmerica for about 15 years now as a Preferred Provider." Precision Payroll is well-suited to deal with CPAmerica members. Sivak explained, "We hired someone that is a former CPAmerica member. His name is Bob Farrell. He was a CPAmerica member back in 2010. He is now with us as our CPA and he has 42 years of background as a CPA. He is going to be working with us very closely and with CPAmerica firms because being that he is a CPA, he can really talk the Precision Payroll story as well as relate to all the other CPA firms and members. He knows what the association
is all about." Precision Payroll also offers a 10 percent marketing service fee for each referral. Sivak explained, "What we do is we work with CPAmerica and CPAConnect firms and any time that we do, they get a revenue share and the CPAs themselves also get a revenue share. However, that's not always the case because many times the firms will pass along that revenue share to their clients so that they pay less."
Precision Payroll, continued on page 4
CPAmerica Sharing Call: Join us for this call titled: Cultivating a Book of Business (Next Gen) Facilitated by Jorge Chavez, founder and president of Topaz Sales Consulting, successful seniors through managers (Next Gen Group) will learn itâ€™s important to the success of the firm and your personal career to start establishing a book of business. For CPAs who want to eventually become partner, business development is essential to advancement. Date: Thursday, August 15, 2019 Time: 3:30 pm ET - 4:30 pm ET For more info, go to: http://tinyurl. com/yyw4cq2c and log in.
Grooms & Harkins, continued from front page
all with the caveat that we were very happy in CPAConnect. We wanted to reach those goals and we didnâ€™t know if that would mean we would like moving to CPAmerica, but we liked being eligible to join. Alan started talking to us and said that CPAmerica saw some things in our firm that he thought might be mutually beneficial to both CPAmerica and our firm and asked if we would give the idea of joining CPAmerica some thought." His firm pondered this point. Grooms went on to say, "But we were happy with CPAConnect. Then we talked again at the next CPAConnect Roundtable and we were invited to come to the CPAmerica Leading Partners Retreat. The thing we found there that made us decide to go ahead and apply for membership was seeing a larger group of firms that were similar to ours in the sense of growth and transitions within their firms." "We are going through unique changes; we are transitioning from the actual founders to the next generation of ownership. One founder just retired in May and our other founder is in a short window. We saw that CPAmerica had many resources to help us go through our transition. At the retreat, we saw a larger population of firms that had already been through this, some several times. That was a very big selling point, along with having many resources for helping us with our organizational structure and staffing." Grooms said, "We love CPAConnect; it is extremely varied in its breath from sole practitioners to multi-partner firms, but CPAmerica has multi-owner firms across the board. Also, at the Leading Partners Retreat, we met many firms that had commonalities. However, I would be lying if I said there wasn't hesitation to join CPAmerica for a couple reasons; one, we would now be the smallest fish in a very big pond. Also, we formed some really deep relationships with other firms in CPAConnect and this made us hesitate joining CPAmerica." We asked Grooms what the final reason was for making the change to CPAmerica. He said, "We saw that we were at a point in time in our firm where we were looking ahead strategic planning-wise and our vision of where we wanted to move
towards mirrored the profile of firms within CPAmerica. So we wanted to surround ourselves with firms that were either trying to do that as well or that had already walked that journey." Grooms then spoke about how long this took from concept to reality. He said, "CPAmerica was knocking on our door about three years ago, but it took two CPAConnect Roundtables. During the first roundtable, Alan kind of put the bug in our ear and during the second one, our firm was thinking about making the switch, so we went ahead and did a visit and then it took one Leading Partners Retreat in Tucson and I was sold. We immediately applied after that visit." Although it hasn't been very long since the firm joined CPAmerica, Grooms still felt that they have benefitted so far and said, "I think it has changed a little bit of the mentality for our future planning. It has brought a level to us of a challenge and maybe lighting those fires up a little bit more - the ones where our firm aligns with much bigger firms and with other firms that are extremely high performing. Also, realizing the expanded resources that CPAmerica provides for our firm and getting some ideas from other firms that have already done a transition similar to ours." The future is looking good for Grooms and Harkins. Grooms elaborated, "I hope that we see continued growth of the firm, both in revenue and profitability, of course, but also within our staff size. We would like to see some growth there, and also the successful completion of a transition from founding shareholders to the next generation of shareholders. That would be something that I'd really like to see for the future of Grooms & Harkins." As far as the relationship with CPAmerica, Grooms said, "I hope that we see the development of some deeper personal relationships with people within the other firms, and I hope we can grow to be at least a break-even user and facilitator of that. We understand right now we will be a net user of resources, but we would like to see that ledger start to creep back towards a break-even point. This is a big transition for us. We went from figuratively being the big man on campus and now we're definitely the freshman trying to find out where his next class meets." "It's not anything personal, but the direction we saw the firm heading required something that was going to take a little more than the resources that were available with CPAConnect. Not that they were inadequate, but we needed something different. When we started to draw the outline of the firm that we wanted to work and grow towards being, we felt that firm would be a firm that was in CPAmerica. We wanted to surround ourselves with those firms so that we could learn from them. We also wanted to jump off from such a wonderful relationship that we had with CPAConnect. We owe a great deal of the firm's success to our association with CPAConnect," Grooms added. "I really would like to emphasize the help of the staff of CPAmerica in helping us consider this transition. That was a really big deal, too. We very much like the model and it's obvious that CPAmerica is an association of high-performing firms and individuals we would like to associate with," finished Grooms.
Wilmington, Delaware member firm WW&D announces Rodriguez as new CPA recently announced that Mani Rodriguez has passed the Uniform Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Examination and earned the CPA credential. Rodriguez joined WW&D in 2017 and is a graduate of Rowan University with a bachelor’s in accounting.
New principal and promotions at Coulter & Justus, P.C.
Knoxville, Tenn.-based , announces the promotion of Jill Neace to principal. She has over 15 years of accounting experience and joined the firm in 2008. Neace is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants (TSCPA). She received her bachelor’s in accounting from Eastern Kentucky University and master’s from Morehead State University. Other promotions: Bill Butler, CPA, has been promoted to senior manager in the Tax Department. He holds a bachelor’s and master’s in accounting from The University of Tennessee. Stefanie Frost, CPA, has been promoted to senior manager in the Tax Department. She holds a bachelor’s and master’s in accounting from Western Michigan University. Meaghan Coltharp, CPA, has been promoted to manager in the Tax Department. Coltharp holds a bachelor’s and master’s from Aurora University. Cassie Carter, CPA, has been promoted to senior in the Accounting & Assurance Department. Carter holds a bachelor’s and master’s in accounting from The University of Tennessee. Daniel Reller has been promoted to senior in the Accounting & Assurance Department. He holds a bachelor’s and master's in business administration from Carson Newman University. Shane Wells, CPA, has been promoted to senior in the Accounting & Assurance Department. Wells holds a bachelor’s in accounting from The University of Tennessee.
Scisci named managing partner of Teal, Becker & Chiaramonte Albany, N.Y.-based
(TBC), announces that Pasquale M. Scisci has been elected as their new managing partner, succeeding James W. Drislane. "I am honored that the shareholders have entrusted me to serve as managing partner," Scisci said. In this role, Scisci will be responsible for continuing to monitor all aspects of the firm’s strategic plan, managing day-to-day operations, and share in the executive
committee responsibilities. Scisci joined the firm in 1986. He has a bachelor's in business administration from the College of Saint Rose and is on the board of directors for the Ellis Hospital Foundation and chairs the Audit Committee. He also sits on the Accounting and Auditing Executive Committee for CPAmerica, Inc.
Dawson joins Frazier & Deeter as an international tax partner
, announced that James Dawson, CPA, CGMA, has joined the firm as a tax partner with a focus on international tax. Dawson will serve as a business and tax advisor to growing U.S. and foreign enterprises, focusing on supply chain management, structuring of international business models and operations, cross border transactions, project management and coordination of services in foreign jurisdictions. Prior to joining FD, Dawson served as an international tax partner with two Big Eight accounting firms, serving in both U.S. and international leadership positions. Dawson has a master's in taxation from the University of Cincinnati and a bachelor's in accounting and business/ management from Anderson (Indiana) University.
Pennsylvania firm BSC announce promotion & new employee
announced that Brianna Kauffman, CPA, has been promoted to senior accountant. She joined the firm in 2017 after graduating from James Madison University earning her MSA with a concentration in audit. Kauffman also earned her bachelor’s from Eastern Mennonite University. Also, Jake Curry recently joined the firm as a staff accountant. He is a graduate of Messiah College where he earned a bachelor's in accounting and is currently sitting for the Uniform CPA examination.
Cg Tax, Audit & Advisory’s Bagdzinski honored by Monmouth Regional Chamber of Commerce
Danielle Bagdzinski, marketing manager at , will receive the Monmouth Regional Chamber of Commerce’s 2019 Beacon of Excellence Young Professional of the Year Award. The awards honor outstanding community enrichment through service, leadership and achievement. The Beacon of Excellence Young Professional of the Year Award recognizes a professional under the age of 40 who has made a significant impact and has shown leadership in guiding the next generation of business professionals.
HPG announces Engles and Wilson as partners (HPG), announced Candace Engles and Rod Wilson as recent members of the partner group. They have been promoted in recognition of their dedication to achieving client goals and contributions to growing the firm. Engels joined HPG in 2015 as a member of the firm’s tax team where she works primarily with closely-held businesses. She has experience with clients in the healthcare, professional services and restaurant industries. Her experience in these industries includes tax planning, consulting, transactional analysis and compliance. Wilson joined HPG in 2007. He was a member of the audit practice at HPG and in 2018, transitioned to lead the client accounting services team. In his roles with both teams, he has worked with clients in a variety of industries, including biomedical and pharmaceutical, software and technology development, ag biotech, healthcare, venture funds, nonprofits, and family office. In addition to his current role with the Client Accounting Services team, Wilson also leads the Ag Biotech Practice at HPG.
Thompson Greenspon Wins 2019 Top Workplace Award for sixth consecutive year
Member firm has been named one of The Washington Post’s 2019 Top Workplaces in the Washington, D.C., area. Selection is based solely on employee feedback gathered through an anonymous third-party survey administered by research partner Energage, LLC, which measured several aspects of workplace culture, including alignment, execution, and connection. This year’s list honors more than 150 companies including government contractors, law firms, nonprofits, schools, and businesses.
Beasley honored as 40 Under Forty
Las Cruces, N.M.-based , recently announced that David Beasley, a partner with the firm, was honored by Albuquerque Business First to the 40 Under Forty group.
DMJ tax partner completes AICPA international certificate
, a North Carolina based CPA and accounting firm, recently announced that Milton Howell, CPA, CSEP, completed U.S. International Tax: Core Concepts, a program by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). The course is a comprehensive learning program geared to help global finance and accounting professionals navigate the highly complex world of international taxation.
President's Corner: Change is Starting in Innovative Technology Ernest Hemingway is given credit for saying something like “Bankruptcy happens g r adu a l l y a nd t hen suddenly”. Variations of the quote are also attributed to Mark Twain and others. The message is change comes very slowly and Alan Deichler sometimes not even seen President in our everyday lives until one day, the tipping point, change happens abruptly. I can’t help but feel that is the case with innovative technology. Even with great intentions of changing, midsized firms are finding it difficult to change much more than implementing a few new isolated tools (e.g., a predictive analytics module to their accounting platform or an occasional bot for repeatable and mostly mundane tasks). There aren’t many good implementations of innovative technologies available for small and midsized CPA firms - yet. Moving to the cloud is an important strategic change which will serve as a foundation for the tools which will transform our profession in the future.
that major changes to a firm’s audit platform should be postponed for at least two years and maybe three. Major changes are coming to audit tools and approaches, but they’re not quite ready yet. But like bankruptcy, that slow and unrecognizable change will most likely increase exponentially and quickly in the near future. It is difficult in an hourly, billable world to devote time to something that does not provide a quick and measurable return on investment. To-do lists are long and need attention, but the tipping point will arrive without warning. What is evident is there really isn’t a one-sizefits-all implementation plan for firms with itemized, actionable, line items that can be put in place to be taken in the next 3-5 years. However, firms cannot just wait for the tipping point to start trying new approaches – if you wait until the last minute, you will be too far behind to catch up with your competitors. What can and should your firm do now and in the near future? First, partners need to have enough knowledge of new technologies to be able to answer basic questions for clients. You may hear questions like, “What is a smart contract and how should I, as your client, prepare?” or, “What are your firm’s plans for implement ing A I a nd blockcha in a nd how w i l l it affect your clients?” or, “What cybersecurity measures have you put in place in the last few months to ensure my data in your systems?”
Cha nge is sta r t i ng i n i n novat ive tech nolog y. We hear of AI in normal applications both within the profession and in our everyday lives, but to date, the changes seem minimal and not that evident. There are also a lot of applications claiming AI that really don’t employ the new technology. It is interesting that “AI and blockchain” are often used in the same phrase. They are rather It should be noted that I’m not the only person different and while AI will be here in our who expects big changes in the near future. Our world pretty soon and already here in some association’s retained IT consultant, Randy applications, blockchain will take a little bit Johnston, suggests that due to changes in longer. Smart contracts will use blockchain applications, standards, and audit approaches and may be the first application that we will
need to be prepared for and certainly prepared to explain to clients, however, we expect more AI-based tools to enter the market in the next year or two. So how do you prepare for this technological revolution? I would suggest putting aside an hour or two every week to read an article. If you hear a phrase or topic you really don’t know much about, Google it and save or print out an article to read in your dedicated time. It is amazing what you can pick up in a relatively short period of time if you are dedicated to this process. (It’s how I learned about innovative technology). The other actionable item is to make a professional in your firm the application expert or “product champion”. This employee can be the one that reads the most, goes to events for technology professionals, develops the relationships with technical consultants and becomes the go-to person for a solution used in your office- perhaps a supervisor, an ambitious manager, or even a new partner could do this. Those selected for this position will be a resource for everyone in the firm, and will be involved in the firm’s approval process for innovative technology. Innovative technology changes is coming slowly but it will soon come suddenly. Let’s all keep moving forward so we are ready for the tipping point when it arrives.
Precision Payroll, continued from front page Sivak said that Precision Payroll plans on attending two of our association's conferences this year and that their company handles clients in Puerto Rico and almost every state. "We also have a human resource company called Precision Human Resources. So folks that want to talk to a person in real-time or email issues that they may have are able to talk to a person that knows Human Resources inside and out. We have a multitude of different products depending on what a client needs." We asked Sivak What would be the best way
for members to find out more about Precision Payroll. He said, "The website because it is laid out very nicely and it also has an area where you can talk live to somebody for a quote. We do have a number that people can call and ask for either Bob Farrell, Tom Sodeika or Paul Sivak. Our phone number is 877-941-1040." The website can be found at: http://www.precisionpayroll.com. To read more about the relationship between CPAmerica and this or any of our Preferred Providers, go to and login at: www.cpamerica.org > click on the Services tab and navigate down to Preferred Providers & Consultants.
Our new address is: 7555 W. University Ave. Gainesville, FL 32607 (352) 727-4070 www.cpamerica.org Send feedback and firstname.lastname@example.org OHM
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