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News from Your Accounting Association

CPAmerica Advantage 2018 – Looking Back on a Year of Achievement and Improvement C PA m e r i c a ’s st rapl i ne for 2018 (our 40th as an association) was “L e a d e r s A c h i e v i n g Cha nge” a nd the association has ta ken t he necessary steps to both strengthen our existing programs and to bring prestige to our members by enhancing member experience. 2018 saw a variety of new changes happening within and throughout the association. Here is an overview as a sampling of the different type of developments our association and our members experienced this year. New and continuing programs such as our Visitation Improvement Program (VIP); CPAmerica’s re-brand; new offerings such as the Outsourced Accounting Group and the New Partner Group; new member firms; transition to new managing partners; mergers & acquisitions; and the continued profitability of our firms all made up the big

December 2018 In memory of J. Robert Shine P. 2

picture of 2018.

Member News P. 3

The beginning of 2018 saw the President's Corner - Alan Deichler P. 4 annual leadership transition of our board of directors from the immediate past chair, J. Brad Steward of Pulakos CPAs, PC, to Brian Malthouse of VonLehman & Company, Inc. During his tenure as chair, Malthouse continued to provide oversight and guidance to the president and staff of CPAmerica. In 2018, CPAmerica celebrated its 40th anniversary as an association and also went through a brand refresh and also a Crowe Global rebrand. Our Visitation Improvement Program, or VIP, a dues-driven service dedicated to encouraging continuous improvement through peer-to-peer consultation July 15, 2010 - What's so by partners on firms’ most pressing special about this issue of the See 2018, continued on page 2

Brainstorming newsletter? Why, it's the first one published in full color.

In an Instant, Everything Changes: How HPG's disaster recovery plan helped them adapt to change after a fire This is part 2 of 2 of the Disaster Recovery article from the Nov. 2018 Advantage issue. To read part 1, go to: to give them an alert. In addition, as we have had to remodel the office due to the fire, having a list of previously used vendors that the business team is aware of, [is on my update] list. I would recommend for any firm that does not have an actual disaster recovery plan, to create at least just a model of one – one having at a minimum, employees’ contact information. We provide everyone with a copy of our plan so they know what it looks like and are familiar with it.” Pittman said, “In terms of what we did right, we had a disaster recovery plan and we followed it – kudos to Nikita; she drafted it several years ago. The second thing we did right was, some years back, we moved all of our computer network infrastructure out of the building and into secure facilities that are protected from fire and power loss. We had no network equipment inside the building; our computer systems were not impacted whatsoever.

We were completely operational at all times. I would say the same thing for our phone system. The system is entirely within the computer network and offsite, so it never missed a beat and didn’t affect our ability to communicate with our clients. We also were in the process of converting to a virtual desktop infrastructure, meaning any employee could use any computer to access our system and have the same experience had they been sitting in the office. This has been tremendously valuable to us. It has made a huge difference in our ability to function at speed and not lose productivity. Another thing that has gone well is that we have a great business team here. They have moved heaven and earth to keep things working and deal with all the infrastructure problems we alluded to earlier and to make it a seamless experience for everyone.” We asked Pittman if dealing with the fire changed the firm.

HPG, continued on page 2


2018, continued from front page

concerns, had 15 successful and productive visits completed through the course of the year. 2018 marked a time of expansion and growth for members, too. Merger and acquisition (M&A) is an important component to a firm’s growth and we started the reporting in February with three CPAmerica firms going through the M&A process: Whaley Hammonds Tomasello, P.C.; Gollob Morgan Peddy; and Honkamp Krueger & Co., P.C. Towards fall, Anglin Reichmann Snellgrove & Armstrong P.C., finished up the M&As for 2018. CPAmerica knows that a website is the front-facing portal for our members; one significant makeover in 2018 was the full implementation of the CPAmerica website. The launch was scheduled for full functionality by the beginning of the year and the new site was designed with a new, more efficient interface for better member interaction and information gathering. Expansion and development of profitable service lines (such as Client Accounting Services) continued to be increasingly attractive to our firms. CPAmerica’s first Client Accounting Services/Outsourced Accounting Meeting in November was specifically designed for members growing these services in their firms and proved to be successful, with a second meeting scheduled in 2019. CPAmerica added on five new firms to its numbers in 2018, contributing to the increased connectivity and resources of the association. Members saw Cooper Norman CPAs & Business Advisors (Idaho Falls, Idaho), Hertz Herson CPA LLP (New York, New York), Swink Smith Coplen & Company, P.C. (St. Louis, Missouri), and Bell & Company, PA (North Little Rock, Arkansas), join throughout the year. The association also gained more than 10 new firms in CPAConnect, providing sponsoring firms further opportunities for referrals and expanded geographic reach. Demonstrating the ongoing activity in leadership succession, CPAmerica had several partners that transitioned into managing partner roles, looking to predecessors to provide the historical knowledge needed for continuity. The annual Practice Management Survey also showed an overall 3 percent growth in revenue of member firms. Partners had the opportunity to discuss and compare strategies on how to affect the metrics at the Leading Partners Retreat in Tucson, Arizona, at the Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa this past September. Member activity and the participation in new and continuing initiatives that CPAmerica carried through in 2018 indicated that members were utilizing their benefits in order to improve. As we end the year with our 7th annual International Group Meeting in Atlanta, all signs indicate that 2019 looks to be an equally dynamic year for the association and its members.

HPG, continued from front page He said, “I would say we are probably going to come out of this more adaptive to change. As a firm and as CPAs, we tend to be very resistant to change, and when you go through something like this, in an instant, everything changes. It


changes your perspective on some things and maybe you become a little more flexible than you were to begin with.” Gowin noticed that “many people have realized that they do enjoy being in the office and interacting with their co-workers. We have development team meetings on the tax side so everyone is talking to each other on the phone, but actually seeing each other and being able to interact in person is something that people realized that they were missing from being out of the office for this long. People are also learning about whether they feel comfortable working from home. I think that surprised a lot of people. So being able to virtually work and having a [physical] space for staff has provided a balance.” Face-to-face interactions with clients are still necessary. Pittman commented that after the fire “we have office space available here and there. We have rented space in multiple locations and it is a balancing act. Our clients do not mind and have adapted quite nicely. I just have to be careful when I have three meetings in one day and they are all in different locations. The traveling … that’s the hard part.” Gowin added, “We have a few conference rooms that we always have access to; our property management has also given us access to some of their rooms, which is convenient for some of our clients. We have also found a company that rents out conference rooms which we have entered into a membership. That was a part where we had to get creative to find space that we could use for client [and staff] meetings.” Pittman finished by saying, “In watching this from my perspective, I have been very impressed with all of our people. Their creativity and willingness to work through this and come out smiling … it has shown the strength of our team.”

In memory of J. Robert Shine (1923-2018) In October 2018, the Monroe Shine community lost a great man, J. Robert (Bob) Shine. Though business and social etiquette has changed since he began his career in 1945, his colleagues, firm alumni, and the community continued to know him as “Mr. Shine.” Even though decades ago, he successfully transitioned his leadership and ownership in Monroe Shine & Co., Inc., Shine continued to be a mentor to the firm’s staff and J. ROBERT SHINE was active in the community. During his tenure as president of the firm, Shine emphasized the “One Firm Concept” and promoted teamwork to best serve the firm’s clients. This concept has allowed for the succession of ownership for several generations and the successful transition of service to the firm’s clients. In the summer of 1944, while still in college, Shine started with the firm as a junior accountant. He graduated from Indiana University in 1945 with distinction and was the president of Sigma Nu Fraternity. Following graduation, he became a permanent employee and immediately passed the CPA exam. He was past president of the Indiana CPA Society and served on the Indiana University Southeast Board of Advisors and the Dean’s Advisory Council of the School of Business of Indiana University. Shine had served on the board of Overseers of Saint Meinrad School of Theology and the Board of Trustees of Saint Meinrad Archabbey. No words can adequately express how much he will be missed by his family, friends, and community. Godspeed, Bob.


Member News Ohio firm Packer Thomas announces new principal

, a leading regional certified public accounting and business consulting firm, announced the promotion of Steven F. Higgins, CPA, CVA, MT to principal. Higgins is a graduate of Youngstown State University and the University of Akron. He has more than 22 years' STEVEN F. HIGGINS of public accounting experience, specializing in federal income taxation for businesses and high net worth individuals, business valuations and litigation support services. He is a member of the AICPA and the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts.

Florida based member firm THF names four promotions (THF), headquartered in Tallahassee, Fla., congratulated Leigh Jenkins on her promotion to senior manager and Catherine Stout, Christie Battles, and Taylor Harmon on their promotions to manager in the Assurance Services Department. Jenkins joined THF in 2015 and has over 14 years of experience. She received her bachelor’s in business administration from Auburn University, along with her master’s in accounting from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Leigh is a CPA with her license regulated by both Florida and Alabama and is a member of both the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants (FICPA). Stout joined THF in 2015 and has over three years of experience in the assurance services department. She works in the Tampa office. Stout received her bachelor's in accounting, and a bachelor's in finance from Valdosta State University. Battles joined THF in 2014 and has over four years of experience in the Tallahassee office. She received her bachelor’s in accounting and her master’s in accounting from Florida State University. Taylor Harmon joined THF in 2014 and has been providing assurance services since 2013. Taylor has significant experience in financial statement audits including single audit standards for governments and not-for-profits. He has additional experience in tax preparation for corporations, partnerships, individuals, and not-for-profits. Taylor graduated with his bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance from Florida State University. Taylor works in our Tallahassee office and is a member

of the Florida Society of Association Executives, Tallahassee Network of Young Professionals, Economic Club of Florida, and Florida State Accounting Society. Catherine, Christie, and Taylor are all members of both the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants and American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

Wegner CPAs announces new partner

announced that John Folsom has been elected as a partner in the firm. The firm is currently led by Glenn Miller, managing partner, and Folsom will join the leadership team of 14 other partners. Folsom is a leader in the Tax and Business Services Department JOHN FOLSOM and is the head of the construction and real estate niche. His passion is working with business owners to help them solve problems and be a partner in their success. He strives to provide his clients with value-added recommendations to help them reach their long-term goals.

Frazier & Deeter opens Charlotte, N.C. office

, a nationally ranked public accounting and advisory firm, announced the opening of a new office in Charlotte, N.C. The Charlotte office supports the overall growth strategy of Frazier & Deeter, a firm that has repeatedly been ranked among the fastest growing CPA and advisory firms in the U.S. “Charlotte is one of most important cities in the Southeast, with a vibrant business community,” noted Managing Partner Seth McDaniel. The Charlotte office will be led by partner Tim Koch.

Five promotions at Widmer Roel

, headquartered in Fargo, N.D., has promoted Rhonda Elkin to supervisor, Kyle Palczewski to tax senior, Chontay Mastel to audit senior, Scott Fossum to audit supervisor, and Rachel Myhre as an HR generalist. Elkin has earned bachelor’s from both the University of Minnesota and Dickinson State University. She has more than seven years of experience in small business and tax accounting. Palczewski earned a bachelor’s from the University of North Dakota. He specializes in small business accounting and tax preparation. Mastel earned a bachelor’s from North Dakota State University. Mastel joined the firm in 2014 and has more than four years of experience in business accounting, tax preparation, and auditing. Fossum was promoted to audit

supervisor in the Agricultural Department of the firm. He earned a bachelor’s from North Dakota State University. Myhre is SHRM-CP certified and provides numerous human resource services as an HR generalist. Myhre has a bachelor’s from North Dakota State University.

Alabama firm, RTBH, announces two new hires The partners of

(RTBH), recently announced the addition of Morgan McDaniel to their team as a staff accountant. McDaniel graduated from the University of South Alabama with a bachelor's in business administration with a concentration in accounting. RTBH also announced that Brooklyn McNeese has joined the firm as a staff accountant. McNeese is a 2017 graduate of the University of South Alabama with a bachelor's in accounting.

Segura receives his CPA certification

Charles Segura of San Antonio, Texasbased , has received his certification as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Segura joined the firm in 2012 and earned a master's in accounting and a bachelor's of business administration in accounting from the University of the Incarnate CHARLES SEGURA Word. Managing Shareholder Jeff Albrecht, added, “Charles is a hard worker and team player in our Audit Department. It is a pleasure to watch him grow professionally. We wish Charles congratulations and continued success.”

Bagdzinski Nominated for International ATHENA® Young Professional Leadership Award

Danielle Bagdzinski, marketing manager at leading accounting and profitability consulting firm, , has been nominated by the Monmouth Regional Chamber of Commerce for the prestigious ATHENA® Young Professional Leadership Award. The international ATHENA® Award Program celebrates women as valued members and leaders of the community, and recognizes those who support them. The award honors an individual for business or professional accomplishments, community service as well as mentoring others and being a role model to encourage women to achieve their full leadership potential. Bagdzinski joins six additional nominees in this category, as well as nine nominees in the ATHENA® Leadership category.


President's Corner: CPAmerica has a new name and look CPA merica has new name and new look. It is subtle and you may have to look for it, but the change is there and it is significant. Effective September 24, CPAmerica International Alan Deichler beca me CPA mer ica, President Inc. We dropped the “International” to more accurately describe our association of accounting firms located throughout the United States. As you know, our international connection is through CPAmerica’s membership in Crowe Global, whose name and logo also changed this spring. With our new name and new logo, we are now completely aligned with Crowe Global’s name and logo change as well. Here is another small but noteworthy item I would like to mention. Many of us have come to abbreviate CPAmerica International as CPAI. We didn’t want to lose that abbreviation and with the addition of

The old CPAmerica International logo

“Inc.” to CPAmerica, we can still accurately abbreviate our organization as CPAI.

The new CPAmerica, Inc. logo

We are asking our firms to update our logo for electronic items that are easily changed as soon as possible, and letterhead, business cards, and other branded items, as appropriate. The new logo in various formats have been distributed to CPAmerica firms. If you need extra copies or have questions on use of our logo, please call Sarah Coulson at (352) 727-4137.

The year is shaping up to be another great one. I look forward to seeing many of you and wish you all a prosperous 2019.

As you read this, we have wrapped up another successful year of “Improving through Sharing.” Events have been very well attended and our Webinars have broken participation records. We’ve said goodbye to three firms, and (counting in-house applications) we will say hello to five new firms. Our prospects for new firms look good for 2019. Your CPAI staff is busily building events and agendas based on member input and will have many of the 2019 events open for registration by January. It will be a busy year with our Leading Partners Retreat/

First New Partner Meeting Held in New Orleans – 2019 Planning Underway by Member Request CPAmerica held its first New Partner Meeting on November 8 in New Orleans. If members are not yet familiar with the New Partner Group, it’s a newer specialty group in CPAmerica for partners in the role three years or less. The one-day meeting provided members with the opportunity to gain insight from peers with shared experience on a variety of topics relevant for newly promoted partners. Experienced industry trainer, Vicki Flier Hudson, facilitated enlightening discussions on partner relationships, difficult conversations, and developing your team.

Firm Administrators Roundtable in Hawaii; A&A Conference in Seattle; Tax Conference in Austin; and Next Generation Conference in San Diego. We will have three regional meetings locations in 2019 - Albuquerque for the Central Mountain and West Regions; Minneapolis for the Midwest Region (with Northeast Region members invited to attend); and Atlanta for the Southeast Region. VIP meetings are being set up and the schedule will be finalized after January planning phone calls.

CPAmerica would like to share that we will be holding the meeting again next year via member request.

Gainesville, FL 32601 (352) 727-4070

Vicki Flier Hudson at the New Partner Meeting

We have already started the planning process for 2019 and we held the first 2019 planning call on November 29. We invite all new partners to join upcoming planning calls to help shape the meeting content for next year so that together, we can put on another successful meeting.

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2019 CPAmerica Events and Meetings CPAmerica, Inc.

Share. Innovate. Grow.

Share. Innovate. Grow. 2019 Events and Meetings

Large Firm Group

Marketing Roundtable

Leading Partners Retreat

January 25

June 10

September 25-27

San Diego, California

Las Vegas, Nevada

Kapolei, Hawaii

Focus: Leading Partners and Partners Growth and Leadership

Focus: Marketing

Focus: Practice Growth and Management

Hotel: MGM Grand

Hotel: Four Seasons Resort O’ahu

Next Generation Conference

Midwest/Northeast Regional Meeting

Firm Administrators Roundtable

May 14-17

Hotel: The US Grant

June 20-21

September 25-27

San Diego, California

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Kapolei, Hawaii

Focus: Senior/Manager Growth and Leadership

Focus: Partner-Level Member Sharing

Focus: Firm Administration

Hotel: Minneapolis Marriott West

Hotel: Four Seasons Resort O’ahu

New Leading Partner

Central Mountain/West Regional Meeting

CPAConnect Roundtable

May 20

July 18-19

San Diego, California

October 27-30

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Memphis, Tennessee

Focus: Partner Growth and Leadership

Focus: Partner-Level Member Sharing

Focus: Practice Growth & Management

Hotel: Doubletree by Hilton

Hotel: Sandia Resort & Casino

Hotel: The Peabody Memphis

A&A Conference

Southeast Regional Meeting

Tax Conference

Hotel: Kona Kai Resort

June 5-7

August 15-16

November 10-13

Seattle, Washington

Atlanta, Georgia

Austin, Texas

Focus: Audit

Focus: Partner-Level Member Sharing

Focus: Tax

Hotel: Fairmont Olympic Hotel

Hotel: Mandarin Oriental Atlanta

Hotel: Westin Austin Downtown

Technology Roundtable

New Leading Partner/Large Firm Group

June 5-7

September 24

Seattle, Washington

Kapolei, Hawaii

Focus: Technology

Focus: Leading Partners and Partners Growth and Leadership

Hotel: Fairmont Olympic Hotel

Hotel: Four Seasons Resort O’ahu

112818 Ver. A

12 2018 Advantage newsletter  

This is the December 2018 CPAmerica Advantage newsletter. Articles include: Looking back on a year of achievement; Part 2 of HPG's Disaster...

12 2018 Advantage newsletter  

This is the December 2018 CPAmerica Advantage newsletter. Articles include: Looking back on a year of achievement; Part 2 of HPG's Disaster...