News from Your Accounting Association
CPAmerica Advantage What’s in a name? WEC’s Cost Segregation Group is now CSG Strategic Tax Consultants We recently spoke to Matt Needam and Will McCadden of (CSG), a subsidiary of member firm (WEC), on their recent rebrand and why it came about. Needa m has been w ith the firm since 2008. He is an electrical engineer and has led the CSG as director since 2013. Needa m commented, “CSG is a division within WEC that has historically focused on cost segregation studies.” He added, "In 1999 WEC was an early adopter of providing cost segregation services. In fact, Commerce Clearing House (CCH) consulted with us to help them improve some of the tools they were developing, and that relationship led to CCH engaging us to author the industry standard on cost segregation, The Practical Guide to Cost Segregation. Local CPA firms also engaged us to provide the service to their clients which is why we originally branded ourselves as the Cost Segregation Group. We merely acted as an extension of their practice. Before long, we were performing these studies all
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across the country for other practices.”
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From Member Services article P. 4 Will McCadden, CSG’s project manager, went on to say, “This interaction with other firms across the country taught us that the number one concern of many CPA firms is, ‘What is my competition talking to my clients about?’ In an attempt to address that [concern], we expanded our serCPAmerica's International vice offering first to WEC clients; it included Group Meeting - expand your R&D tax credits, 179D and 45L studies. Once firm's worldwide reach we developed the necessary expertise, we CPAmerica's International Group Meeting is set for Atlanta, Georgia, offered these services as an outsourced soluin the heart of Atlanta's Midtown. tion to our CPA firm clients.” The luxurious Four Seasons Hotel Needam continued, “As we diversified our product offerings, The Cost Segregation Group name no longer adequately identified who we were. We broadened the scope of our name while maintaining our roots by changing it to CSG Strategic Tax Consultants. We really wanted to remember the 18 years of history that we had created because many people know us by the old name. Being able to create synergy between the two names has been one of the trickiest parts of the rebrand."
Atlanta will host the annual event on Nov. 28-30.
We have reserved a block of rooms at $225/night (plus tax).* To ensure yours at the discounted rate, call the Four Seasons Hotel at 404-881-9898 and reference the code phrase "CPAmerica" or for more info on the CPAmerica website, visit: https:// tinyurl.com/ yc88ud9v
CPAmerica International Group Meeting
See CSG, continued on page 2
What Exactly Does Cyber Liability Insurance Cover? Bill Thompson from CPA Mutual examines the question.
ers are about hackers and other breaches in data security.
ing client information. The more often that stories are in the news about data breaches, the more concerned firm lead-
Data breach laws have now been adopted by 47 states in the U.S. Potential exposures and risks for closely held company directors and officers are reaching the level of publicly-held companies, according to CPA Mutual, a national risk retention group and accounting firm liability coverage provider. Judges are less likely to throw out claims than they were in the past, even for small and mid-sized independent public accounting firms. Liability not only affects the business, but also can
ccounting firms not only have the challenge of protecting their information as a business, but also protect-
* Group rate available until November 6
extend to individual leaders. According to CPA Mutual, since offering cyber coverage to their clients, members have experienced 18 cyber losses. On average, these have cost just under $17,000 with the most expensive claim to date coming in at $166,000. Since 2015, the number of claims has doubled each year. Some insurers, like CPA Mutual, that offer cyber liability insurance also have resources for risk mitigation and disaster planning. However, cyber liability insurance primarily covers the costs associated
See Cyber Liability, continued on page 2
MBK launches new website featuring beautiful western Massachusetts imagery Holyoke, Mass.-based member firm
(MBK), announced the launch of their new website. Featuring dramatic origi-
Above: A screenshot of the new MBK website
nal photography of the Pioneer Valley, mbkcpa.com is a written and visual depiction of MBK’s core mission to serve individuals, businesses and organizations throughout western Massachusetts and beyond. “We’re very happy with the way the new site highlights our commitment to the individuals and businesses in western Massachusetts,” said MBK partner James W. Barrett. “We work with many local, independent and family-owned businesses and are always inspired and energized by the strength of community found here in the Pioneer Valley. Our hope was to render this sentiment not only through words, but through a compelling visual representation as well.”
Guenther-Collins rejoins Albany, N.Y. firm, TBC Albany, N.Y.-based
announced that Gretchen GuentherCollins, J.D., M.S., CPA, has rejoined the firm in the capacity of tax manager. Guenther-Collins, a graduate from The College of Saint Rose, who earned her bachelor's in accounting as well as her master's in accounting, was previously an audit manager with the firm from 2000– 07 before taking a 10-year hiatus to pursue her own GUENTHER-COLLINS business and work. After her departure from TBC, Guenther-Collins transitioned from an adjunct professor at the College of Saint Rose and began as a full-time accounting instructor at the college and rose to the interim dean of the Huether School of Business. Meanwhile, she pursued her Juris Doctorate at Albany Law School and completed two legal internships before earning her degree. In her new role at TBC, Guenther-Collins will focus her time on individual and corporate taxation.
THF announces promotions, newly licensed CPA Member firm
,a professional accounting, assurance, and tax services firm headquartered in Tallahassee, Fla., lauded Brian Walgamott on his promotion to director, tax services; Mike Rosciam on his promotion to director of IT & assurance services; and Kim Rogers on her promotion to director of office management. He received his bachelor’s in biology from Wichita State University before attending Florida State University for his master’s in accounting. BRIAN WALGAMOTT Walgamott is a CPA and a member of the AICPA and the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants (FICPA). Walgamott currently serves as Treasurer for Big Brothers Big Sisters and was recently named Top 40 Under 40 by CPA Practice Advisor. Rosciam joined the firm in 1999 and has more than 17 years of public accounting experience providing IT consulting, audit, and accounting services. He received his bachelor’s in accounting from San Diego State University MIKE ROSCIAM and is a CPA, a Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP), and a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA). Rosciam is a member of the AICPA, FICPA, and the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA). He has authored multiple articles and has been involved with professional speaking engagements on a variety of topics including cybersecurity. Rogers joined THF in 2009 and has more than 37 years of experience as an executive assistant with duties including office manager, human resources, payroll, and accounts KIM ROGERS payable and receivables. THF also congratulated Chandler Russell on receiving her CPA license and Tim Icardi and Jorge Rivera on passing the CPA exam. Russell received her bachelor’s and master’s in accounting from the CHANDLER RUSSELL University of Alabama. Effective October 2017, Russell was promoted to senior accountant. She is a member of the FICPA and the AICPA.
GMP's Bass receives T.B. Butler Award for outstanding citizenship Former Tyler, Texas, Mayor Barbara Bass received the T.B. Butler Award as the city’s outstanding citizen for 2016. Bass accepted the award at the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting at Harvey Convention Center. Bass is a CPA and a partner with Gollob, Morgan, Peddy & Co. and served as mayor of Tyler from 2008 to 2014. The T.B. Butler Award was first presented in 1929. It was established in memory of Judge Butler and his son T.B. Butler Jr. to recognize outstanding citizenship.
From Member Services: The Inevitability of Change At the 2017 CPAmerica Leading Pa r t ners Ret reat a nd Fi r m Administrators R o u n d t a b l e , Jennifer Wilson of ConvergenceCoaching, L LC, faci l itated a session titled “The Next D'Yãn Davis Generat ion Pa nel.” Senior Member Services Manager This interactive session brought together four rising stars within their respective firms with the goal of better understanding what the next generation of leaders want and need in order to successfully navigate the changing landscape of managing a CPA firm. Meeting participants took full advantage of the opportunity to ask generationallyspecific questions about career path aspirations and expectations as well as topics focused on the use of technology and fresh ideas regarding firm management. As I listened to the incredibly honest and insightful answers, it reinforced the understanding that the coming generations will have a more comfortable relationship with the speed at which technology is impacting public accounting firms. This concept took deeper root on the flight home from our meeting as I was seated next to two college students. After meeting on the flight and discussing their upcoming college projects, both students opened their laptops and began brainstorming ideas to improve one another’s final product. By the time our flight landed, each individual had not only completed but improved upon their complex projects and were using social media to connect should they want
to work together again. In that moment, I was unintentionally mentored by two college students on the value of earnest and unfiltered collaboration, high quality technology, and the potential to find value in each person we meet.
in technology and generational stereotypes can help today’s leaders identify ways to ensure that firms can be proactive in driving change rather than being reactive when valuable talent jumps ship to a firm with a more innovative atmosphere.
Millennials (born 1977 to 1995) and Gen Z (born 1996 and later) have grown up with technology at their fingertips. These younger generations will be the architects of new services for your firms and will utilize emerging technologies to meet client needs. These individuals are not only at ease with the fast paced changes in technology, they anticipate change. They demand more options, better functionality and the opportunity to hand off less complex tasks to tech in order to function at a higher level. While many firms are discussing how they can transition from historians to trusted advisors, Millennials and Gen Z will utilize the fast-paced changes in technology to begin their careers as advisors.
Reverse mentorship not only benefits the senior member of the relationship, it also allows the younger mentor to become more invested in the future of the firm. As threeand even four-generation workplaces become the norm, it is increasingly important that the lines of communication not only remain open, but are intentionally designed for robust and collaborative discussion. When we understand one another and the mentorship relationships begin to evolve, firms will be more prepared for the future and the inevitability of change.
According to a recent article in the New York Times, “As technology has changed the way business runs, it has also put power in the hands of digital natives, and left older, less tech-savvy executive angling for ways to keep up.” While this sounds much like a dire prediction, embracing a trend called "reverse mentorship" can ensure that firms are technologically nimble and designed for longevity. The concept behind reverse mentorship is simple … pair a Millennial/Gen Z mentor with a manager or partner to allow current leaders insight into the minds of those who will be the future leaders in your firm. Initiating conversations regarding trends
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Defending Your Data "Defending Your Data: Risks and Responses and Other Hot Topics in A&A" will focus on recent activity by the various standards setting bodies, such as the FASB. The session will then discuss issues related to data and cybersecurity, including specific threats faced by entities in this area, best practices for enhancing data security and resources available for companies to assess and improve their controls in this vital area.
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Thursday, November 9, from 2-4 p.m. ET
Rich Daisley of Surgent CPE will present this webinar. He has more than 25 years of experience in the accounting and auditing field. He has worked in both the client service setting as well as in internal capacities as a facilitator of accounting and auditing courses.
For more details, go to: www.cpamerica.org > under the News and Events tab, select Upcoming Events > Webinars
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News from Your Accounting Association
CPAmerica Advantage Washington, D.C. was the site of the 2017 Leading Partners Retreat Washington, D.C., our nation’s capital, was the setting for the 2017 CPAmerica Leading Partners Retreat (LPR) this September. Trends in the accounting industry and developing your talent were themes at the forefront of the meeting. More than 160 CPAmerica managing partners and executive team leaders met, shared best practices and listened to industry leaders as they planned and learned techniques to successfully develop and advance their firms into the future. A year of planning for the annual event, led by co-chairs John Cournan of Packer Thomas, and Mark Dreher of Wallace, Plese + Dreher, L.L.P., made for a concentrated agenda that explored long-standing partner-related topics.
to help members assess the strength of their current strategy. Later, he presented on leading the firm of the future with innovation. The afternoon session saw Barry Melancon of the AICPA presenting on the theme of the current state and future of the profession. Melancon spoke about the evolving priorities for the profession in the areas of client service models, technology adoption, and the top firm issues and their impact in upcoming years. As firm business models are shifting, new skill sets will be needed.
Current trends and opportunities dealing with firm growth, attracting, retaining and growing talent, and developing firm leadership were only a few of the topics covered at the three-day conference.
Jim Carroll futurist with Carroll Consulting finished up the day with a presentation titled Think Big, Start Small, Scale Fast: Innovating in the Age of Disruption. Carroll, who is also a CPA, went over the idea that professional services firms are being reshaped at a rapid pace and disruptions such as the emergence of new competitors, new technologies, and political volatilities.
Jim Castellano of Jim Castellano Consulting LLC, opened the meeting with an overview covering the theme of this year’s LPR, The Firm of the Future. Castellano relayed his experiences to: help attendees better understand the key trends affecting firms today; show how the firm of the future might differ from today’s firms; and
Jennifer Wilson of ConvergenceCoaching, LLC presented in two parts; in the first, Wilson looked into Building a Next Gen Firm and the challenges that the various generations working at firms today present. She explored strategies that firms can use to proactively prepare for and drive changes in the way firms manage their
Events Special Issue Fall 2017
talent. The second part saw Wilson going over The Changing Firm Business Model and she explored how to develop a vision for innovative business model changes to consider in your firm.
The Potomac View Terrace was the site of the LPR special event
Members and guests at the conference were able to enjoy some downtime to network and socialize, too. The special event on Thursday of the conference was on the Potomac View Terrace, a private rooftop deck on the top of the American Pharmacists Association’s headquarters. The terrace featured unique views highlighting the National Mall, Lincoln Memorial, and Washington Monument. Members took in the views during cocktails and dinner on the terrace. Finally, planning was started for the 2018 LPR taking place next year in Tucson, Arizona at the Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa in September. CPAmerica looks forward to seeing you there.
Leading Partners, Firm Administrators come together in 2017 1) Brian Malthouse (VonLehman CPA & Advisory Firm) shares a laugh with fellow members in Washington, D.C. 2) Mark Perry (HCWA) and Grace Horvath (CPAmerica) at the LPR in September 3) Mike Gillis (DMJ & Co., PLLC), seated center, taking in one of the presentations at the LPR 4) Alan Deichler (CPAmerica), Barry Melancon (AICPA), and Art Winstead (CPAmerica) at the conference 5) Jim Castellano (Jim Castellano Consulting LLC) was one of this year’s speakers 6) Brenda Olesuk (Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C.) and Sylvia Vargas (GYL Decauwer LLP) talk it out
More 2017 LPR/FAR images Managing Partner Kathy Klang (Cummings, Keegan & Co., P.L.L.P.) spends some quality time with fellow members
Ernie Gelpi, (front) managing partner with Kushner LaGraize, L.L.C., at one of the LPR sessions
CPAmerica Vice President of Services Grace Horvath (left) and Ellen Donovan, CPAmerica member development manager, assist an attendee
Dreher, Cournan to co-chair 2018 Leading Partner Retreat
2018 Co-Chair Mark Dreher
Putting together an event as involved as the CPAmerica annual Leading Partners Retreat can only be done with the cooperation and input from our members to ensure that attendees are able to continue to effectively grow their firms.
The vision and guidance from the co-chairs are a crucial part of this. The co-chairs help coordinate and represent 2018 Co-Chair the member-driven emphasis of CPAmerica; John Cournan for the upcoming 2018 meeting taking place in Tucson, Ariz. (at the Westin La Paloma Resort), co-chairs Mark Dreher (Wallace, Plese + Dreher, L.L.P.) and John Cournan (Packer Thomas) will help make this happen as the meeting convenes in September. CPAmerica would like to also thank our outgoing co-chairs for 2017, Greg Hammonds (Whaley Hammonds Tomasello, P.C.) and Don Cowan (Cowan, Gunteski & Co., P.A.) for their outstanding work 2017 Co-Chair Greg Hammonds in setting up the retreat in Washington, D.C., this year. Their help with everything from planning calls to welcoming attendees to 2017 Co-Chair Don the meeting was greatly appreciated by Cowan CPAmerica.
CPAmerica’s Firm Administrators Roundtable
The 2017 Firm Administration Roundtable – designed to help develop effective leadership skills The 2017 CPAmerica Firm Administrators Roundtable (FAR) continued to grow and feature a trend towards firm administrators (FAs) having a more lead role with their firms. This September in Washington, D.C., FAs heard presentations from industry speakers such as: Jim Castellano (Jim Castellano Consulting LLC) on trends and insights on the firm of the future; Jennifer Wilson (ConvergenceCoaching, LLC) spoke on embracing Next Gen trends in CPA firm talent management; Barry Melancon (AICPA) covered the state and future of the profession; and Steve Platau (University of Tampa) gave a presentation on professional liability dos and don’ts for FAs. The theme for this year’s meeting was “The Firm of The Future” and the speaker topics and member sharing content and discussions reflected this. 2017 co-chairs for the roundtable, Paula Hooser (Hagen, Kurth, Perman & Co., P.S.) and Ashley Lough (Aldridge Borden & Company), put their own mark on the meeting, making it more interactive and personalized. Firm administrators act to make sure that the initiatives of the firm are met and that partners and staff are able to perform their work seamlessly. This year’s FAR also had member sharing sessions that assisted the group in learning effective leadership skills crucial for the growth of their firms.
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Published on Oct 31, 2017
This is the November 2017 CPAmerica Advantage print newsletter. Articles include WEC's Cost Segregation Group, cyber liability insurance, me...