November 2023 IN THIS ISSUE: ► Building winning culture through community involvement
News from your accounting association
Building winning culture through community involvement Interview with Staci Sprayberry Marketing Director, Maxwell Locke & Ritter LLP Maxwell Locke & Ritter, LLP (ML&R), headquartered in Austin, Texas, was founded in 1991 and has spent more than 30 years ensuring they are a great place to work. After consistently finding themselves on Accounting Today’s Best Firms to Work For, Regional Leaders and Staci Sprayberry Best Firms for Women, INSIDE Public Accounting’s Best of the Best Firms, and even being recognized as a Best Place for Working Parents, it’s evident that they’ve accomplished that goal. According to their website, from the beginning, ML&R’s founders — Earl Maxwell, Tom Locke and Mark Ritter — were determined to establish a new kind of CPA firm. Knowing there was a way to practice public accounting that increased employee satisfaction, they focused on founding a unique company culture, where people looked forward to spending their time in the workplace. This set the stage for their culture today, one that is focused on helping employees reach their potential, while providing exceptional service to clients and the community. Staci Sprayberry, ML&R marketing director, shared that the founders’ vision is still reflected in the current three pillars that guide the firm; their people, their clients and the community. One priority that they place a special emphasis on is the community. “Since the inception of the firm, one of our core values has been about honoring
your commitments and living up to your commitments to the community,” said Sprayberry. “Active participation is encouraged.” Giving back to the community is so ingrained in their firm’s culture that they have served nearly 300 different organizations over the years. They provide support to charitable organizations in a variety of ways, including firm-wide Days of Giving at a local food bank, sponsoring local events, collecting toys for holiday wish lists, providing in-kind accounting services to nonprofit partners, and more. Whether team members are involved in organizations for business development purposes or because of personal connections, Sprayberry shared the importance they place on supporting causes and initiatives that their team members are passionate about. Even with about 40 of their roughly 180 employees living outside of the Central Texas region, it’s crucial for all team members to feel supported in their volunteering efforts. “As our community activities have grown, we formed a Community Involvement Committee led by our IT security & compliance partner, Kate Williams. This committee features diverse team members from different service lines, levels, ages and genders to ensure all voices at the firm are heard,” explained Sprayberry. The Community Involvement Committee helps to shape, manage and track all firm-wide activities. One such organization that ML&R supports is Meals on Wheels. Since 1996, teams from ML&R have gathered to provide hot meals to seniors in need in their community. For the past
► Preferred Provider Spotlight - The Sales Tax Team ► Upcoming Events ► Member News ► CPAmerica Insights – Sophy Mott
several years, ML&R’s Meals on Wheels efforts have been led by Jill Lewis (right), audit support associate. “Maxwell Locke & Ritter provides a foundation that empowers me to be involved in so many ways with people and causes that are near and dear to my heart,” shared Lewis. “I’ve been active with our Meals on Wheels team for the past 12 years, as team leader and company liaison, delivering nourishment, helping with gardening tasks, providing household needs and holiday surprises, playing dominos, partaking in life celebrations, going on outings, and supportive hospital visits.” In addition to volunteering with Meals on Wheels, Lewis has been active in supporting other ML&R causes. “I’ve also been able to be involved in and create efforts, as opportunities arose, to support and care for locally unhoused persons, refugees, abused persons, people needing access to healthcare, the LGBTQIA+ community, local schools, children, animal shelters, foodbanks, and children’s education & basic needs in rural India. ML&R’s commitment to the community has enriched my life with meaningful interactions and has allowed me to live with greater purpose through these efforts,” said Lewis. If you’re interested in learning more about ML&R’s community involvement, please contact Staci Sprayberry at email@example.com.
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referred Provider Spotlight P The Sales Tax Team The Sales Tax Team specializes in multi-state sales/use tax consulting, serving companies of all sizes across most industries. They leverage their knowledge of laws, rules and exemptions, to help clients mitigate sales/use tax exposure and improve compliance. They also partner with CPA and CFO firms on a national level to help them support their clients’ sales/use tax needs.
State and Local Tax Specialists With offices in California, Texas and Wisconsin, and over 90 years of combined sales tax consulting experience, the firm assists businesses with: • Sales tax audit representation • M&A due diligence • Multi-state taxibility reviews • Nexus determinations • Internal Audits • Refund requests • Training • Registration and returns
For more information, visit www.thesalestaxteam.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
2023 International Group Meeting Fort Lauderdale, FL November 28 - December 1 The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale CPAmerica’s International Group Meeting will help expand your resources to identify and capture international markets locally and abroad. This 3-day meeting will support members’ international business development through networking between members of CPAmerica and Crowe Global and interactive sessions focusing on the unique requirements and knowledge of this niche.
Featuring these influential speakers and more: Dr. Anirban Basu, Sage Policy Group | Kassi Rushing, Kassi Rushing Consulting Juan Carlos Lara, Crowe Global | Harrison Schofill, CPAmerica | Jennifer Elder, The Sustainable CFO | Michael Arena, Hughes Pittman & Gupton, LLP | Sean King, Align Global Consulting
Be sure to book your hotel guestroom before November 6
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DMJPS PLLC Announces New Partners
Widmer Roel hires Powers as HR Generalist
DMJPS PLLC, a U.S. Top 200 North Carolina CPA and accounting firm, is pleased to announce that Laura Hartley, CPA, and Isaac Rowles, CPA, have been named partners with DMJPS PLLC. Hartley and Rowles both previously held positions of senior managers with DMJPS’ Assurance Department. The promotion of these seasoned professionals strengthens the firm’s commitment to delivering unparalleled assurance services to clients while further fortifying the firm’s expertise in auditing, financial reporting, and risk management. “We Laura Hartley are thrilled to welcome Laura and Isaac as partners. Their proactive and thoughtful approach to client service has been invaluable,” said Mike Gillis, CPA/ PFS, CEO of DMJPS. “Laura and Isaac’s contributions will continue to be pivotal in our firm’s growth and in our ability to serve exceptional clients. We are excited for the future.” Hartley is an experienced assurance and accounting professional with fifteen years of public Isaac Rowles accounting experience. She has a pivotal role, actively engaging in a multitude of audits, reviews, and other attestation engagements for the firm. She is entrusted with the critical responsibilities of planning and supervising engagements for various businesses, organizations, and nonprofits, including compliance-related audits, reflecting her experience in the field. Rowles is an experienced accounting professional with extensive experience in assurance and accounting across diverse industries, including hospitality, manufacturing, construction, real estate, and non-profit sectors. He offers a skillful approach to services like consulting, agreed-upon procedure engagements, financial statement audits, reviews, compilations, and targeted assurance and accounting solutions.
Kelsey Powers has joined Widmer Roel, a Fargo, N.D.-based public accounting and business advisory firm. Powers as an HR Generalist will provide numerous human resource services. Powers previously worked for Kelsey Powers over four years as a recruiter in the professional and industrial industry. Powers is currently working towards her associate of science degree in human resources at M-State Moorhead.
LMC Advisors named a Best Place to Work in NYC LMC Advisors is very pleased to share that the firm has been named one of the 2023 Best Places to Work in NYC by Crain’s New York Business! This is the firms’ second consecutive year being named on this prestigious list. Crain’s New York Business annually partners with the Best Companies Group, an independent research firm, to find
the top 100 employers in New York City. The rankings are based on extensive employee surveys and audits of benefits, human resources, policies and perks. On Thursday, September 28th, members of the firm had the pleasure of attending a luncheon event held by Crain’s at the New York Marriot Marquis, celebrating the winning companies. “Achieving this prestigious recognition by Crain’s, would not have been possible without the unique contributions that each and every employee brings to the firm. We value and appreciate everyone’s dedication and hard work. Every member of our team is a leader in their own right, and their unique perspectives are invaluable,” said Managing Partner, Lee M. Cohen, CPA.
Kassouf hires former hospital CEO as healthcare advisor Kassouf recently named Liz Mahon the firm’s newest healthcare advisor. Prior to joining Kassouf, Mahon worked as the CEO for a rehabilitation hospital in Alabama. “We are confident that Liz will be a wonderful addition to the firm’s rich history in healthcare. From her experience in patient care to healthcare administration, she will be able to connect with our clients in a Liz Mahon special way, providing the best service while understanding their challenges and opportunities,” said Managing Director Jonathan Kassouf. Mahon began her healthcare career as a provider, providing physical therapy in the U.S., England, and South Africa. She has over 25 years of experience in acute and postacute healthcare settings and specializes in operations management, team leadership, patient experience, employee engagement including employee wellness and resiliency initiatives, DEI, safety, regulatory compliance, strategic planning, and clinical excellence. “I am thrilled to join Kassouf’s dynamic team and use my experience to help our clients in new and innovative ways. My goal is to empower providers and practice managers to navigate to complexities of our healthcare system with confidence,” Mahon said.
Packer Thomas CPAs garners top honors in the accounting industry In a year marked by significant milestones and achievements, Packer Thomas CPAs is honored to announce its recognition in AccountingToday’s prestigious 2023 rankings. The firm not only celebrates a century of excellence in 2023, but received a remarkable double triumph, securing the top spot on AccountingToday’s nationwide Best Firms for Women list and a prominent position on the highly acclaimed Best Firms to Work For list. For a century, Packer Thomas has been a trusted partner for businesses and individuals seeking unparalleled financial and accounting services. Founded in 1923, the firm’s unwavering commitment to quality, integrity, and client success has paved the way for the achievement of these significant milestones and accolades. Packer Thomas is honored to announce its ranking as the #1 firm in the nation on AccountingToday’s Best Firms for Women list. This prestigious achievement underscores the firm’s dedication to promoting gender equality and creating a diverse, inclusive, and empowering workplace environment for all team members. In addition to its groundbreaking success in the Best Firms for Women List, Packer Thomas has secured a spot on AccountingToday’s esteemed Best Firms to Work For List. This recognition reaffirms the firm’s commitment to fostering an exceptional workplace culture that values teamwork, innovation, and continuous learning. The dedication of Packer Thomas to its employees and its mission to provide a supportive, collaborative, and growth-oriented atmosphere have earned it a prominent place amount the best workplaces in the accounting profession.
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Inspiring the ‘NextGen’ of firm leaders Adaptability, empathy, self-direction – while these traits may not be on the list of technical proficiencies showcased on an accounting resume, they are critical to success in the workplace.
Sophy Mott, Senior Member Often referred to as Services Manager “soft skills,” the term increasingly used is “power skills,” and they are the backbone of CPAmerica’s Next Generation (NextGen) Conference. This summer’s NextGen event in San Diego, Calif., marked the tenth consecutive year of the conference, which convened 185 members from 68 CPAmerica firms, a record turnout. The collaborative nature of CPAmerica member firms is showcased with NextGen; many attendees are at the career stage where they’re beginning to consider their future at their respective firms – be that partnership or other options. In addition to the interpersonal skills, the NextGen conference opens up a new way of thinking about your firm, explained Marty Kirshner, partner at member firm, Gray, Gray, & Gray, LLP, in Boston, Mass., and a NextGen alum (2018). “The NextGen conference was really my first
exposure to understanding how an accounting firm is run and what it takes to be a successful partner,” said Kirshner. “As an employee, you are so focused on servicing clients and training staff and don’t spend as much time learning about how the firm operates and makes its money. [The] NextGen conference opened up the doors to that side of the table and helped prepare me better for things that might have otherwise been surprises when I first became partner.” Kirshner served as a panelist during the popular “Ask a Partner Panel” at this year’s conference, where participants are invited to submit questions in advance, giving a behind the scenes look at what partnership can look like. Given the competitive recruiting atmosphere, firms recognize that investing in employee development is an important element in a firm’s culture, and can be a real differentiator when it comes to retention. Frankie Capparelli, talent development manager at Gainesville, Ga.-based Rushton Accounting & Advisory, participated in NextGen in 2022 and 2023 along with several members of the Rushton team, and offers his perspective as a human resources professional. “Attending the CPAmerica NextGen conference has been an invaluable journey into the heart of our industry’s future,” said Capparelli. “As a leader in HR, I view every attendee as a
member of our collective team, and this year’s insights on delegation, team growth, training, remote work, and understanding the current generation’s mindset have become the pillars of our path to success.” Capparelli also shared, “We’ve learned that ownership is the key to delegation, team growth goes beyond numbers, learning and development are paramount, remote work is the way forward, and understanding generational dynamics is the key to harmony. At Rushton, our commitment to people remains unwavering as we continue to evolve and adapt, shaping a culture of growth and innovation. If your firm is looking for a conference where industry leaders shape the future, CPAmerica NextGen is the answer.” The CPAmerica board of directors is equally invested in NextGen, and they showed this commitment by voting to provide one complimentary registration for each member firm. This member benefit began in 2022, and is aimed at reducing barriers for participation and ensuring that the future leaders of CPAmerica firms have access to the foundational knowledge that NextGen provides. We’re excited about the future of NextGen and will gather June 12-14, 2024 in Denver, Colo., with a creative agenda packed with “a-ha” moments and practical takeaways. Registration will launch in December - join us!
Plan your 2024 learning and development Marketing Roundtable May 15-16 | Orlando, Florida
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Central Mountain/West Coast Regional June 6-7 | Colorado Springs, Colorado
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NextGen Conference June 12-14 | Denver, Colorado Tax Staff Essentials Level 2 June 17-24 | Durham, North Carolina Tax Staff Essentials Level 3 June 24-27 | Durham, North Carolina A&A Conference/Technology Roundtable July 16-19 | Napa, California
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