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News from Your Accounting Association

CPAmerica Advantage Client Accounting Services Helps Accounting Firms Tailor-Make Plans for Their Clients’ Ongoing Success The notion of offering Client Accounting Services (CAS) means that your firm is invested in taking the time to see where your clients’ needs rest so you can best serve them. However, there isn’t one set way to do this. We spoke to three of our members who are leading their firm’s CAS efforts: John Pace, ; Jake Dopson, ; and Rick Schenkel, ; for their take on this growing area of offerings. We started by asking what the important factors are in growing a successful CAS niche. John Pace said, “I think that CPAmerica firms are likely to be mostly comprised of traditional CPA firms and because of that, the most critical aspect is going to be gaining buy-in from firm leadership … without buy-in, you may be in a scenario where you have one partner trying to swim upstream while trying to start a new practice niche and that can be pretty challenging.” He went on to emphasize the importance of having a firm-first approach, determining your industry niche, and staff allocation as also being key factors in growing a CAS practice. Jake Dopson expanded upon this point and said that

December 2019 DMJ Merger Article, Part 2 P. 2 Member News P. 3

one of the most important parts of a successful CAS practice is finding what President's Corner - Alan Deichler P. 4 he calls a champion. He said, “There are really two big pieces to the practice; there is the operational side and there is the business development side. So if the champion of your 2020 Marketing office is also a partner who has their own client Roundtable base and their own expertise elsewhere, there's only so much attention that they can pay to successful development strategy within the CAS niche … so finding somebody that has the ability to work on the operational side of things Join fellow marketing directors, managers and coordinators from as well as being able to sell the work is pretty across the U.S. for networking, member sharing and continuing important.” professional education in Philadelphia, Penn., on May 4-5, 2020 at the sophisticated Loews Philadelphia Hotel.

Rick Schenkel oversees work with clients in the entertainment industry and he leads the Business Management and Accounting This meeting is co-located with the Outsourcing Departments for his firm. He said 2020 AAM Summit. that in developing a CAS niche, it was important For more info, go to https:// for him to know everything he could about the entertainment business. "I would read one of the big publications within the entertainment business, Variety, every day so I could learn all about the industry, see who was doing what, and see if any of our clients were featured so I could keep up See CAS, continued on page 4

New Member Snapshot: Thomas, Head & Greisen, PC Thomas, Head & Greisen, PC

1400 W. Benson Blvd., Suite 400 Anchorage, Alaska 99503 Tel: (907) 272-1571 | Fax: (907) 277-2639 Debra K. Mason | Managing Director | Kevin Branson | Director | John Letourneau | Director | Erich Lamirand | Director | Cindy Hulquist | Director | Shane Baird | Director | Kimberly Hawkins | Firm Administrator | Kimberly Hawkins | HR Director | Kevin Branson | Marketing Director | Jeff Manfull | IT Network Administrator |


Anchorage, Alaska

Thomas, Head & Greisen provides outstanding service to their clients because of their dedication to the three underlying principles of professionalism, responsiveness and quality. Professionalism - By combining their expertise, experience, and the energy of their staff, each client receives close personal and professional attention. Responsiveness - The firm is responsive. Companies who choose the firm rely on competent advice and fast, accurate personnel. They provide full accounting services to individuals, large and small businesses, and other agencies. Quality - An accounting firm is known for the quality of its service. The firm's reputation reflects the high standards they demand of themselves. Their primary goal as a trusted advisor is to be available and to provide insightful advice to enable their clients to make informed financial decisions.

New Member Snapshot: Wheeler Accountants, LLP Wheeler Accountants, LLP

1475 Saratoga Ave., Suite 100 San Jose, California 95129 Tel: (408) 252-1800 | Fax: (408) 252-1875

Headquarters: San Jose, California

The firm has an intimate consultant/client culture. They work closely with their clients to help them develop a long-term plan for minimizing tax and maximizing wealth.

Matt Wheeler | Managing Partner | Jaclyn Skull | Partner | Michael Bryant | Partner |

Wheeler is an ideal fit for individuals and small businesses looking for a relationship with a trusted advisor that can take them to the next level.

Keith Plottel | Partner | Jennifer Hauck | Partner | Kevin Madej | Partner | David Wheeler | Partner | Dee Smith | Firm Administrator, HR Director | Matt Wheeler | Marketing Director | Michael Bryant | IT Network Administrator |

This is Part 2 of 2 of the DMJ Merger article, continued from the Nov. issue of the Advantage newsletter

Miller said that there is synergy between the two firms and “they are software compatible, which can be a major issue. It was as if we were already using many of the same common softwares. The firms do things very similarly in a lot of different areas. We had a good set of facts to work with.” Because the two firms have had such a long relationship before the merger, things went easier. Miller explained, “Before Miller & Co. decided to go paperless 15 years ago, we first went to DMJ’s Greensboro office to see what they did when they went through that. Over time, we’ve consulted with DMJ and there's been times when they've consulted with us. So there has been a little trading back and forth over the years. Also, we've been privy to some of their internal tax memos from time to time and their year-end tax planning engagement letters. DMJ has also invited us to some of their in-house webinars for CPE.” He went on to say he would tell his fellow CPAConnect members about the benefits of merging with a CPAmerica firm because you add on to the same kind of resources that you get in CPAConnect, but a firm can get even more by working with a CPAmerica sponsor. “We probably really started thinking hard about this about five years ago when we went to the CPAConnect Roundtable in Chicago and Joel Sinkin was the speaker. A firm has got to start putting things in place many years before you want it to happen. I'm 60 and I thought, ‘I’m five years out [from retirement]. What kind of plan would I like to have in place?’” “I think the most crucial thing is that you need to start planning five years before your transition might happen. Also, as far as the merger goes, culture is so important. So is the fact that we are merging with a firm such as DMJ that has similar work flows and uses similar software.” “The merger hasn’t totally been a one-way street. DMJ has said that every time they go through a merger, they learn something. It's not necessarily that you only learn from the big firm. The merger also benefitted DMJ in that they wanted to get into the Wilmington, N.C., market and we were an established firm that knew the people here. It was it was a good lateral move – it was a way for them to get into a market with people they know.” “The other big thing is if you're the smaller firm and you think


Wheeler is a well-established accounting firm with exceptional breadth and depth. They are right-sized, tech-savvy, energetic, and leaders in personal and business accounting.

Their professionals believe in lifelong learning and developing skills and techniques which they share with their clients. Wheeler regularly shares their insights on their blog and in their podcast which are both summarized in a monthly newsletter.

you may want to merge up, you need to make a concentrated effort to increase your firm’s billing rates over time so that there is not such a big disparity. Also, I will say if yours is the smaller firm, the process takes much more time than you realize. Having good practice management information and having a good relationship with a law firm that does professional mergers and acquisitions is essential,” finished Miller.

CPAmerica would like to thank the sponsors of the 2019 Tax Conference alliantgroup: alliantgroup’s mission is to strengthen American them to take full advantage of federal and state tax credits, incentives, and deductions that are available. Precision Payroll of America, LLC: provides personalized payroll ACPEN: ACPEN’s goal is to provide accounting and tax continuing education to every CPA, in the most convenient and economical way possible. Intuit: Our lineup of tax preparation products helps individuals and iSolved: The iSolved solution delivers a comprehensive approach McGuire Sponsel/Ernst & Morris: Segregation, R&D Tax Credits, IC-DISC, and Credits & Incentives. Thomson Reuters: Combines industry expertise with innovative technology to deliver critical information to leading decision makers in science and media markets. Leading quick reference provider for tax professionals that delivers accurate and useful answers in a down-to-earth, concise format with a sense of humor that is as unique as your clients. Tri-Merit: calculation, documentation, and substantiation of R&D tax credits and other specialty tax services for companies of all sizes and across all industries. QuickFee: within days of invoicing. SurePrep: SurePrep delivers seamless integration with your existing tax software to automate and streamline the entire 1040 process for both the taxpayer and tax professional. Crowe LLP: One of the largest public accounting, consulting, and industry and specialized knowledge with innovative technology. For more info on our sponsors, go to

Member News

Member firm BS&P announces merger, names Ruocco new partner announced that effective December 31, the firm of of Buffalo, N.Y., will be merging into BS&P, supporting their continued growth and expanding their ability to serve their clients' needs. BS&P felt this was an opportunity for strategic growth that was an excellent fit for both firms and for their clients as well. In welcoming the team from Schunk Wilson & Company to BS&P, the firm was able to immediately add additional professionals with exceptional strengths and experience and who will be part of the sustained growth and success of BS&P. BS&P also announced that Peter Ruocco, CPA, has been named a partner in the firm. Ruocco focuses his practice on the areas of cross-border tax for business and individuals, real estate tax, and multiPeter Ruocco state tax issues. He joined BS&P in 2009 after earning a bachelor's in accounting and master's in accounting and management consulting from the University at Buffalo.

Kentner Sellers adds four new professionals

Member firm recently added four new professionals to the firm: Scott Broering, CPA, as accounting manager; Erica Schmidlapp as tax senior; Elizabeth Ovel as accounting staff; and Shelby Gibbs, CPA, CFE as accounting senior. Both Broering and Schmidlapp are graduates of Wright State University, Ovel graduated from Sterling College in Kansas and Western Governors University in Utah, and Gibbs graduated from Ohio Northern University. Broering has extensive audit experience, including employee benefit plans and not-for-profit entities. Schmidlapp has several years of experience in tax return preparation and review. Ovel has many years of prior experience working in the accounting department of an electric cooperative in Alaska. Gibbs has an audit background and holds the CFE credential, which she utilizes in litigation support work. Wyma has joined DGN as vice president of operations Kaleb Wyma, MBA, has joined as their vice president of operations. Wyma brings a wide variety of experience, including various financial and accounting positions focusing on operations, strategic planning, and project management for high-growth entities. Wyma is in the final stages of completing a DBA degree from

Walden University, with a specialization in organizational leadership and a dissertation focusing on enterprise risk management strategies for organizational sustainability. He is a graduate of the Davenport University Honors Program where he earned an MBA as well as two bachelor's with concentrations in finance and accounting.

Baum, Smith & Clemens, LLP employee meets CPA requirements Harleysville, Pa.-based, , announced that Joshua Lerch has met the requirements to become a licensed CPA in Pennsylvania. He has passed the written Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination and also completed the required work hour requirements. Lerch joined the firm in 2018 after earning his bachelor's in accounting from Lycoming College.

Aldridge Borden & Company announces three promotions

Montgomery, Ala.-based member firm Aldridge Borden & Company recently announced three promotions. Shana M. MacDonald has been promoted from staff accountant to senior accountant.MacDonald, a CPA, joined the firm in 2016 and graduated from Auburn University at Montgomery with a bachelor's in business administration with specialization in accounting. Jessica L. Hudson has been promoted from manager of attestation to principal. She is a CPA & joined the firm in 2006. Additionally, Hudson is a primary consultant for the OneSource outsourced CFO services. Caterina A. Mozingo has been promoted from a principal within the firm to shareholder. Mozingo began her accounting career in 1991 and works in the taxation services group. A CPA and Personal Financial Specialist, she is a member of the Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Mozingo is a member of the Montgomery Estate Planning Council and serves on the Board of Directors of the Federal Tax Clinic as well as the ASCPA Committee on State Taxation. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Alabama in commerce and business administration before earning her master's of tax accounting.

RTBH names new firm administrator, staff accountant (RTBH) welcomed Renee Leonard to their team as firm administrator. Leonard and her husband relocated to the Mobile area from Tennesse where she was a controller for an independent CPA firm, worked for a building supply company, and owned

a coffee shop and bookstore. She holds a bachelor’s in business administration from Western Governors University and her CAP-OM designation. RTBH also welcomed Javier Marroguin to the firm as a staff accountant. Marroquin earned his bachelor's in accounting from Spring Hill College in 2019.

THF welcomes Vickers to their Assurance Services Department

(THF), headquartered in Tallahassee,Fla., welcomes Renn Vickers to the Assurance Services Department! Renn, a Tallahassee native, attended Florida State University and earned her bachelor’s and master’s in accounting. Vickers is a licensed CPA and will serve as a director in the Assurance Services Department in the Tallahassee office.

DMJ’s CHRO selected member of Leadership North Carolina

, a North Carolina based CPA and accounting firm, announced that Alicia Williams, PHR, SHRM-CP, Chief Human Resources Officer, has been selected as a member of Leadership North Carolina Class XXVII. Each year, Leadership North Carolina (LNC) selects committed individuals interested in learning more about their state and connecting with fellow leaders. Through innovative programming, LNC teaches these engaged citizens about the challenges and opportunities facing North Carolina and offers tools to turn their knowledge into action for the benefit of the state.

Anglin Reichmann Armstrong ‘Serve Day’ connects volunteers with causes

To celebrate volunteerism with their professionals and give back to the community, hosted a ‘Serve Day.' The event involved more than 50 professionals from the firm’s Huntsville, Ala., and Pensacola, Fla., offices. Service activities focused on youth, seniors, animal welfare and nutrition. Anglin employees, organized in small groups, worked on six different Serve Day projects for four organizations in Huntsville. Anglin’s Pensacola team added a fifth organization and seventh project for Serve Day at the Pensacola Humane Society where they spent time tending to shelter cats, created chewable dog toys and made dog treats. Activities in Huntsville included projects and grocery deliveries for aging seniors, landscaping and yard cleanup for shelter pets, a shift at a hydroponic garden that provides fresh veggies for families, and spruce-ups at a youth center.


President's Corner: 2019 - A Year of High Points for CPAmerica

Alan Deichler President

As we approach the end of the year, let me share some of the high points of 2019 and some things we may work on for 2020. Events – We conducted 17 events in 2019 and the big 4 – the Leading Partners Retreat (LPR), A&A Conference, Tax Conference, and Next Generation Conference

Conference set a record with 168 members in attendance. Regional meetings will continue in 2020 with the Northeast Region inviting Midwest Region attendees to Boston, Mass., and West and Central Mountain Regions meeting together in Meeting will remain in Atlanta at pastattendees’ favorite hotel, the Waldorf Astoria Atlanta Buckhead. Specialty groups that had excellent participation were Client Accounting Services, Large Firm Group Partner. For 2020 and beyond, we will be reviewing those meetings that were a bit below expectations and potentially redirecting those resources. Webinars – 14 webinars were held in 2019 with eight on the topic of tax and six on A&A. All participants on the live calls received CPE. Attendance levels were high, averaging over 320 per call with a high of 516 people on the Update on Section 199A-Part 1 webinar. Over 6500 hours of CPE were obtained through the 2019 webinars. We will continue this program in 2020 and topics are being determined.

program’s inception, 115 VIPs have been conducted with 225 visitors participating.

and relationships with other parts of the Training new relationship with ACPEN and Surgent

2020 VIPs will culminate in phone calls to set up dates by end of January 2020. Member Firms – in 2019, we have added

negotiated with each company in the hopes

our objective to grow for the sake of being big, we are pleased to welcome so many accord with our geographic consideration policy and only after onsite member reviews, board recommendations, and exceeding 75 percent of member votes in

of making the planning, execution, and

association has the resources to maintain favorite programs and evaluate new ones. International Reach – Crowe Global the world. Along with using the network for our outbound referrals, their meetings key meetings for our members will be the Americas Regional Meeting scheduled for Puerto Rico on May 27-29 and the Global Annual Meeting next year in Buenos Aires, Ernie Gelpi of Kushner LaGraize, L.L.C.; Perry Barnett of Rushton & Company, LLC; and Sabin Pradhan of Hagen, Kurth, Perman & Co., P.S. accompanied me to Sydney, Australia, for the Global Annual Meeting. Top 10 Firm Relationship – Our strategic plan calls for a relationship with a Top 10

easier task. Surveys person to conducting surveys of and for our members. Practice Management, HR, IT, and Marketing were all big hits for 2019 as they are in every year. What you may not know is that CPAmerica will conduct analysis surveys of your clients and also your employees for about half the going rate in the profession. Let us know if you would like to learn more about these surveys. 2019 was a great year and we expect 2020 to continue in that fashion. We look forward to seeing you at one of our events, attending a webinar, on the discussion lists or participating in one of the many other and participation!

to have such a relationship with Crowe VIP Program continued in its eighth year with CAS, continued from front page

with them. I wanted to meet everybody in that business … So, it's learning about the industry, networking and connecting with the people in that business. The trick now is to try to deepen and expand those relationships and help them understand that our [CAS] exist and that we can perform services for their clients that they might not even be aware of as an option.” After speaking with our different firms, it was apparent that there were varied approaches to CAS and making it fit within each firm’s overall structure. In the case of Pulakos, Dopson said that CAS “fits really well with us being a full-service firm, mostly because before we had a client accounting services department formalized, we would perform those services almost as a favor to clients and not get paid for it, either when they needed our help or when there was a cleanup needed. This is Part 1 of 2 of the CAS article, to be continued in the next issue of the Advantage newsletter

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12 2019 CPAmerica Advantage newsletter  

This is the December 2019 issue of the CPAmerica Advantage newsletter. Articles include: Client Accounting Services offerings from three mem...

12 2019 CPAmerica Advantage newsletter  

This is the December 2019 issue of the CPAmerica Advantage newsletter. Articles include: Client Accounting Services offerings from three mem...

Profile for cpamerica