IN THIS ISSUE
JULY/AUGUST 2015
REGISTER FOR 2015 WORLD CONGRESS - 2015 TAX & SALT CONFERENCE

2015 WORLD CONGRESS
OCT. 25 - 27
PAN PACIFIC HOTEL
VANCOUVER, BC
CANADA
 
  2015 TAX/SALT CONFERENCE
OCT. 28 - 29
PAN PACIFIC HOTEL
VANCOUVER, BC
CANADA


Hotel reservations deadline: Sept. 18, 2015
Conference registration deadline: October 1, 2015
North American Board of Directors Meeting: October 27, 2015


The annual World Congress (WC) is being hosted by the North American region, and as in years past when the WC was held in North America, the Tax & SaLT Conference will begin immediately following the WC in the same location. This year, the Tuesday evening dinner event (October 27) will be a joint evening at Grouse Mountain. This is the perfect opportunity for tax professionals from all AGN regions to become acquainted and get to know each other in a relaxed, social atmosphere.
             
The WC begins with the opening reception on October 25 and runs through Tuesday, October 27. Technical sessions are full of rich content and motivating speakers; topics include:

• Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work and in LIfe, One Conversation at a Time
• Making Business Development Happen
• Business Ideas Workshop
• Knowledge Management: Knowing What You Don't Know
• Courage: The Cornerstone of Great Workplaces

The Tax & SaLT Conference begins with the Tuesday evening, October 27, event at Grouse Mountain. Beginning Wednesday morning, October 28, and running through October 29, technical sessions include:

• Outbound and Inbound Transactions
• FICA & State Income Tax Plan; Equity-Based Compensation Plans
• Federal Tax Update - A Year in Frustration
• Update on Tax Aspects of the Affordable Care Act
• State & Local Tax Update
• 2 Tax Practice Management Issues & Answers Sessions

Benefits of attending the Tax & SaLT Conference are 16 hours of CPE credit, gaining knowledge & experience, learning from leading industry authorities, and visiting one of the most beautiful places in North America - Vancouver!

Do take a few minutes to review the websites for the 2015 World Congress and the 2015 Tax & SaLT Conference - don't forget your passport!


 

STAFF EXCHANGE PROGRAM

AGN created a Staff Exchange Program whereby AGN member firms may send their talented staff overseas for a temporary work assignment, and for AGN member firms that wish to accept such temporary staff.

Objectives:

• Foster the exchange of best practices, knowledge, and skills throughout the association
• Provide member firms with a means to develop  staff skills, expose them to new ways of working, motivate them, and ultimately assist them to reach their full potential
• Special assignments for projects requiring knowledge of local legislation and/or language of the staff person's home country
• Opportunity to attract and retain best staff (similar to opportunities available in Big 4 firms)

More information available for Members Only. Go to www.agn.org, scroll down the Members-Only home page, and click on the links in the Staff Exchange Program box. 

NEW AGN BRAND

Have you seen AGN's new website? It's a beautiful thing!

The new website is modern, forward-thinking, and unifies all regions under one AGN site; it effectively represents a globally connected organization. The contents support our  new brand and organizational commitment to high standards and great customer service.  

Do take a look around; please note that the site remains a work in progress in the Members-Only areas. We are working diligently throughout 2015 to refine and enhance our site and collateral materials.

Take this opportunity to ensure that your own use of the AGN brand is up-to-date and correct. Find the new logo and brand guidelines on the Members-Only home page.

AGN staff will ensure that all firms' websites are using the new logo and adhering to the brand guidelines.

AGN-NA UNIVERSITY

PDA Webinars - 2 Remain in the 2015 Series 
Mark your calendars! AGN-NA is delighted that one of the highly-rated partners of ConvergenceCoaching, LLC, Tamera Loerzel, leads our PDA* webinars! These free 75-minute webinars are designed for partners, principals, senior managers, and high level staff as appropriate by topic. Each session begins at 3 pm ET.

Remaining webinars are:


• 9/21/15 - Developing a Successful Strategic Initiative or Niche
• 12/4/15 - Delivering Transformative Feedback to Your Team 
(scroll down past the September webinar to see the December webinar information)

Register for one or both of the webinars in this series. Contact Patsy if you have any questions.

* PDA = Partner Development Academy and includes Emerging Leaders, PDA webinars, and Advanced Partner Training.

         
         
      Staff Training
October 18-21 - Tax Level 2 - Denver, CO
Currently have 47 participants

November 1-4 - Tax Level 3 - Denver, CO
Currently have 28 participants

November 8-11 - Tax Level 4 - Denver, CO
Currently have 12 participants

November 8-11 - Audit Level 4 - Denver, CO
Currently have 11 participants

November 15-18 - Level 5 (Supervisor) - Denver, CO
Class is full, contact Courtney for a waiting list

Visit the Staff Training information on our website!
Contact Courtney with any questions.
 
         
         
      Upcoming Webinars/Teleconferences
Several Sharegroups are scheduling webinars and/or teleconferences in September and beyond! See the Events calendar here!
 
         
SUBMIT YOUR DOCUMENTS

The AGN-NA staff has taken a hard look at the Sharegroups' Knowledge Banks to determine the validity of documents. Those documents prior to 2011 have been purged and a campaign is underway to re-populate the Knowledge Banks with as many relevant documents from member firms as possible. The Executive Committee has requested that every member firm submit their most recent versions of these documents:

• Deferred Compensation Agreements
• Shareholder/Partnership Repurchase Agreements
• Strategic Plan
• Merger & Acquisition Due Diligence Checklists
• Disaster Recovery Plan


Don't worry if you don't have all of the items listed above, send Patsy the documents you do have!
 

KNOWLEDGE BANKS 
Remember, the Knowledge Banks are libraries of documents submitted by members on "how we do it around here" and are priceless when it comes to helping other members short circuit the time in updating their procedures and policies.


Check the Knowledge Banks first when looking for information, and be sure to submit your firm's documents in those critical areas which are requested.

VIRTUAL FIRM VISITS

Rita and Patsy have developed a virtual update which showcases AGN programs, website, tools and resources - no travel or expenses required!

These firms visits are pending:

Dana F. Cole & Company, LLP
Evers and Company, CPAs, L.L.C.
Horwich Coleman Levin, LLC
Sharrard, McGee & Co., P.A.

These firms have completed their visits:
BPE&H; DeJoy, Knauf & Blood, LLP; Edelstein & Company; GKG CPAs, LLP; Hungerford Nichols CPAs + Advisors; Lanigan, Ryan, Malcolm & Doyle, P.C.; Meaden & Moore; Shechtman Marks Devor PC; Sisterson & Co. LLP; and Stegman and Company.

What about you?! If you'd like a one hour update for new and/or existing staff, please contact Patsy to schedule.
MEMBER NEWS
 
 
  INSIDE Public Accounting published their annual firm ranking lists in August. AGN firms on these lists are:
2015 IPA 100 Largest Accounting Firms: Schenck SC (10 offices in WI) ranked 50th; Clark Schaefer Hackett (6 offices in OH and KY) ranked 57th.
2015 IPA 200 Largest Accounting Firms: Robert R. Redwitz & Co. (3 offices in CA) ranked 131st; Windham Brannon, P.C., CPAs (Atlanta, GA) ranked 142nd; Daszkal Bolton LLP (3 offices in FL) ranked 166th; James Moore & Co. P.L. (3 offices in FL) ranked 177th.

Congratulations to everyone at these firms!
 
 
 
Bederson LLP, with two offices in NJ, is pleased to announce that partner Charles N. Persing, CPA/CFF, ABV, CMA, CLU, CGMA, FLMI presented on economics relating to family law at the firm's "Social Media - A New Frontier in Family Law" session. Charles was also interviewed on air by WABC's Laura Smith on September 12. He spoke about key financial "must-knows" relating to martial divorce and business divorce.

 
 
BPE&H CPAs, Woodland Hills, CA, is proud to announce the promotion of Scott Gilmore, CPA to partner in the firm. Scott has been with the firm for his entire career of over ten years, developing a specialty in taxation and real estate transactions. Congratulations, Scott!

 
 
Brock and Company, CPAs, with five offices in CO, is pleased to announce a new location for its Boulder office - 4949 Pearl East Circle, Suite 200, Boulder, CO 80301. The new office opened on July 28th providing all the same excellent services that clients have come to expect, plus more convenient access and parking for visitors and clientele. Phone numbers remain the same - 303-444-2971.

The firm is also pleased to announce the promotions of Erik Hegstad, CPA (Fort Collins) and Larry Keppler, CPA (Littleton) to the position of Senior Accountant. Congratulations!

 
 
Daszkal Bolton LLP, with three offices in FL, proudly announces the firm jumped 17 spots on the INSIDE Public Accounting (IPA) Nation's Top 200 Accounting Firm list to 166th. The list was released on August 20, 2015. The firm also ranked by revenue as the 8th largest accounting firm in the latest Top Accounting Firms in South Florida list produced by the South Florida Business Journal.

Congratulations to everyone at the firm!

 
 
DeJoy, Knauf & Blood, Rochester, NY, celebrated its 25th anniversary with a partner & spouse dinner at Genesee Valley Country Club. All of the partners came together to give the two founding partners, David DeJoy and Mark Blood, a nice weekend getaway. The staff gave all of the partners gifts of customized coasters with the firm's 25th anniversary logo and chocolates.

Also at the firm, manager Janet Graves and supervisor Morgan Hopkins held a webinar on "Owning Your Own Business and What You Need to Know About Schedule C." Find a recording of this webinar on the firm's YouTube channel. The firm's annual Summer Outing was held on July 31 with team members choosing between golf at Bristol Harbour or to participate in an alternate activity. That morning, many of the staff were recognized for their hard work over the last year. After the daytime activities, everyone came together at the end of the day for a nice dinner where awards were given for winning team, longest drive, and closest to the pin. The group also enjoyed a "funniest picture" contest.

Mark Blood, CPA, partner, and
Stephanie Weaver, Senior Sales & Marketing Associate, spoke at the American Diabetes Association (ADA) Step Out Walk Kick-off event. They shared how Team DKB raises money and gets many staff involved in this walk. The firm hosted an ADA Lunch-n-Learn on August 27, and implemented a Jeans Day where staff could donate money to the ADA to wear jeans on that day.

Brett Dennis is the firm's newest CPA, being awarded the designation in early August. 
Congratulations, Brett!

 
 
Edelstein & Company, LLP, Boston, MA, announces these promotions: Joseph Burke, CPA and Robert DiBari, CPA promoted to Supervisor; Alejandra Buenrostro, Kara Dempsey and Christopher Hathaway promoted to Senior Associate; and Ashley Miller and Jing Zhang to Associate.

Congratulations, everyone!

 
 
Hoffman, Stewart & Schmidt, P.C., Lake Oswego, OR, is pleased to announce promotions effective August 1: Jennifer Perrier, CPA and Madeline Payne, CPA promoted from Senior to Manager; Ian Gelfand, CPA promoted from Associate to Senior. Congratulations everyone!

 
 
Horwich Coleman Levin, LLC, Chicago, IL, is proud to announce that  David J. Elyashar, CPA, CVA has been recognized by the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts ™ (NACVA®) as a 2015 "40 Under Forty" honoree. As a recognized expert in this field, David has emerged as one of the most prominent valuation analysts in Chicago. He has helped the firm take their BV/Lit practice to the next level, focusing on marital dissolution and business disputes. Larry Horwich, CPA, managing partner of the firm, says he has watched David go from "a number cruncher to a trusted advisor who can truly think outside the box".

NACVA's 40 Under Forty recognition program was designed to give voice and opportunity to the next generation of industry mavericks recognizing their contributions to the profession, their communities, and their contributions yet to come. Congratulations, David!

 
 
Hungerford Nichols CPAs + Advisors, with two offices in MI, is pleased to announce that Adriane Schrauben, CPA, MBA and firm Shareholder has been recognized by her peers at the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants (MICPA) with the Women to Watch - Experienced Leader Award. Adriane is one of three women in Michigan to receive this award. Winners were selected by the MICPA's Women's Initiatives Task Force. She was selected based upon her leadership position within the firm, her dedicated mentoring of other professionals at the firm, taking intentional steps to improve her workplace, giving back through public/civic service, and her contribution to the profession as a whole. She will be honored at the MICPA's Annual Awards Dinner in West Bloomfield, MI on September 30, 2015.  Congratulations, Adriane!

Promotions have been announced at the firm; Jon Sytsma, CPA, MST, Krista Koster, CPA, MSA, and Carol Schachermeyer, CPA were promoted to Senior Manager. Terra Muckenthaler, CPA, and Tracy VanderHeide, CPA were promoted to Manager and Joshua Cammenga, CPA was promoted to Senior Accountant. Congratulations to all!

 
 
Markowitz, Fenelon & Bank, LLP, with four offices on Eastern Long Island, NY, announces these additions to the firm: Elif Immitt, CPA, MBA joins the Riverhead office as a Tax Manager. She earned her BS in Psychology from The Bosphorous University in Turkey and her Masters with Emphasis in Accounting from St. John's University. Joseph H. Knockenhauer of Riverhead is the firm's Information Technology Support Specialist. As a member of the US Air Force stationed at the 106 Rescue Wing in West Hampton Beach, Joseph has worked as a Computer Support Technician where he supported a network and domain of over 800 machines.

The firm's Riverhead office is expanding with the purchase of buildings for new office space. After years of search for an office building that would provide the much needed room for the growing Riverhead office, the firm has settled on facilities located at 552-554 East Main Street located in downtown Riverhead, a stone's throw from the Riverhead Aquarium. The firm anticipated moving into the new location after needed renovations are complete, hopefully before the end of 2015 and definitely before the 2016 tax season.

 
 
Shechtman Marks Devor PC, Philadelphia, PA, is pleased to announce that Brian Duffy, CPA, CFF has been promoted to Shareholder. He was also named by the Philadelphia Business Journal as a 2015 "40 Under 40" winner. Congratulations, Brian!

Further promotions at the firm are: Jacqueline Caniglia, CPA, MBA and Solong Boltbaater, CPA promoted to Senior Accountant; Hafiz Elbashir, CPA, CGMA promoted to Supervisor; Yana Fishman, CPA promoted to Manager; and Marie DeCicco, CPA promoted to Principal. Congratulations one and all!

 
 
Sisterson & Co. LLP, Pittsburgh, PA, announced an appointment to strengthen the firm's lender services practice. Brenda Czekaj joined the firm as Manager in the Lender Services practice. She brings more than 30 years of field exam experience to this well-established area, which includes 20 personnel experienced in providing field exam services and six professionals dedicated to the practice.

"Brenda is a great addition to our Lender Services practice," said
Brad Lusk, Managing Partner. "We have known her for years and have tremendous respect for Brenda, her work and her ethical standards."

 
 
Stegman & Company, Baltimore, MD, is celebrating 100 years in business! Beginning in January 2015 the firm started celebrating 100 Happy Days at Stegman; check out their Facebook page to see all they have done so far.

Edward Stegman founded the firm in 1915 and served for more than 30 years as chairman of the Maryland State Board of Accountancy. His two sons succeeded him and following in their father's footsteps, established a foundation of high standards, which are still followed today.  



Congratulations to everyone at the firm, what an achievement!

 
 
Windham Brannon, P.C., CPAs, Atlanta, GA, is pleased to announce that Heidi LaMarca, CPA has been elected Managing Partner of the firm. Heidi has been with Windham Brannon since 1994, most recently as the Audit Practice Leader for the firm's employee benefit plan services. She has demonstrated exceptional leadership skills with her teams, as well as the technical expertise and innovative thinking needed to bring value not only to clients, but to the firm as well.

Heidi's election is just the next phase in the firm's commitment to providing the very best in tax, audit, accounting and advisory services. The firm thanks David Kloess, CPA for the exemplary job as Managing Partner elevating the firm's technical expertise, talent and service offerings during the past five years.

Congratulations, Heidi!

 
 
Weinstein Spira & Company, P.C., Houston, TX, is pleased to announce that John Toth, CPA has been promoted to the position of Shareholder. He has experience in a wide range of industries including manufacturing, distribution, professional services, and restaurants. The concentration of his practice is on corporate tax.

Dianne Peckham
, managing shareholder of the firm, shares, "We believe the strength of our firm starts with our people. John has distinguished himself with the significant contributions he has made on behalf of the clients we serve and with his unrelenting dedication to our firm."

Congratulations, John!

 
NEWS FROM THE AGN TEAM

The NA Executive Committee met August 13-16 in Quebec City! Below, EC members and significant others enjoyed their surroundings while waiting for their walking tour of this beautiful city.

         

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Contact your AGN-NA REGIONAL OFFICE and they will assign you an individual username and password.

In addition, you will receive email newsletters and other communications from AGN (international and regional updates, announcements about AGN conferences, webinars, teleconferences, etc.)

 

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