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  1. 1. CPA FIRMS EXPAND THEIR GROWTH OPTIONS WITH FINANCIAL PLANNING SERVICES................................................................................................................................................................................................................................S2 TALES FROM NEW YORK’S ACCOUNTING TALENT WARS............................................................................S4 SMALLER AREA FIRM HEDGES ITS BETS WITH INNOVATIVE SERVICES.............S8 A CULTURALLY DIVERSE APPROACH WINS AREA CPA FIRM’S NEW BUSINESS.........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................S9 CRAIN’S CORPORATE PROFILES ACCOUNTING Special Advertising Section
  2. 2. Crain’s Corporate Profiles in Accounting Special Advertising Section When Stuart Shapiro, a partner at accounting firm Shalik Morris & Co., with offices in Woodbury, N.Y., White Plains, N.Y., and Stamford, Conn., first devel- oped an interest in branching out into personal finance and wealth management over a decade ago, he pursued a traditional route. He became a personal financial spe- cialist, a designation of the American Society of Cer- tified Public Accountants and a registered investment adviser. He also acquired licenses to sell life, health and accident insurance. In the years since, he fashioned a lucrative sideline as a financial planner. But for a while it remained just that, a sideline. He tried convincing his partners at Shalik Morris that it made sense to cross-sell personal finance products to existing accounting clients who already trusted the firm. “I look at it as a value-added service,” Shapiro says. “They were worried that they’d lose accounting clients if anything went wrong [with the markets].” But Shapiro persisted, and eventually won over his partners. About six months ago, Shapiro got the OK to approach the firm’s accounting clients about its finan- cial planning services, both to help the owners of small business take a holistic approach to their finances and to improve Shalik Morris’s growth potential. It didn’t hurt that he already had an agreement in place with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney via a solicitor’s agreement to provide Shalik Morris’s clients access to a world-class selection of investment platforms and a top-notch investment team. “I’m more like the quarter- back,” says Shapiro. George Spiropoulos, family wealth director at Mor- gan Stanley Wealth Management, says in the 14 years he’s been offering his team’s services to CPA firms, he’s never gotten more inquiries than he has in recent months. Through the Morgan Stanley association, the midsize Shalik Morris can compete with much larger accounting firms and tap their existing client base for additional revenues. “I think a lot of midsize firms in the New York area are getting their margins squeezed at both ends, by big and small firms,” says Spiropolous. “Lately, I’ve been getting calls from people I’ve been calling on for years.” “Many smaller firms in the area see it as a way to build their practice,” confirms Rick Telberg, president of CPA Trendlines Research. In the late 1990s, many states (including New York) changed rules prohibiting accountants from offering financial planning. The number of CPAs enrolling in CPA FIRMS EXPAND THEIR GROWTH OPTIONS WITH FINANCIAL PLANNING SERVICES BY ALEC FOEGE In tune with our focus on finding the next generation of leaders, EisnerAmper has been a proud sponsor of the NYU Stern Business School’s Entrepreneurs Challenge, one of the nation’s largest and most rigorous business plan competitions. “New York City is the financial capital of the world; we have significant resources which we are able to put at our clients’ disposal right here,” says Charly Weinstein, CEO of EisnerAmper LLP. “One of the firm’s greatest strengths is our ability to connect our clients with the capital markets. We are strongly positioned in the emerging technology community, thereby connecting the two most important drivers of economic activity in New York today: technology and capital.” EisnerAmper is one of the largest full-service account- ing and advisory firms in the U.S. The firm provides audit, accounting and tax services, as well as corporate finance, internal audit and risk management, litigation consulting, forensic accounting and other profession- al services to clients across all the major industries; working with high net worth individuals, family offices, closely-held businesses, and start-up, middle-market, and Fortune 500 companies. EisnerAmper is recognized internationally as one of the premier CPA firms providing services to the financial services industry. This in turn fuels our knowledge of the capital markets, helping clients with mergers and acquisitions, debt financing, due diligence, valuation, international expansion, restructuring and more. EisnerAmper is one of the nation’s leading auditors of SEC registrants and maintains one of the largest public company practices of any independent firm, providing services to more than 150 public companies. Eisner- Amper is the fifth largest CPA firm in the New York area and represents the alternative to the Big Four. “What has made us successful is the drive to seek out entrepreneurial leaders. This keeps us active in emerg- ing markets and in turn drives our own growth,” says Weinstein. “Our clients’ success contributes to our own, and vice versa. Our expertise is in helping companies grow, from start-up through IPO.” We recognize that the fastest-growing, most dynamic companies are imbued with their leader’s sense of mis- sion and determination to succeed. Our experience has taught us that while all business owners and CEOs have their own management style, effective leaders share a number of attributes: › A clear vision of what the organization should be as it grows and evolves. › An ability to find, recognize and pursue opportuni- ties. › A strong drive to meet goals and immediately estab- lish new ones. › A willingness to make tough decisions about people, finance and strategy. › An ability to serve as the organization’s motivator and conscience. › An understanding that business is personal; that the relationships we build are critical to growth and success. EISNERAMPER LLP BUSINESS LEADERS IN NEW YORK CONTACT Charles Weinstein, CEO 212.891.8030 S2 (Continued on S3)
  3. 3. Crain’s Corporate Profiles in AccountingSpecial Advertising Section S3 CBIZ MHM, LLC (CBIZ) delivers high-caliber ac- counting and tax services to the New York marketplace, providing the depth of services of the Big Four and the personal service of a local firm. Middle-market clients rely on us as their trusted advisor because we address their unique needs and focus our efforts on providing specialized tax services that will benefit our marketplace. CORPORATE TAX OUTSOURCING Many corporations are consistently faced with the dilemma of whether to build an internal tax practice or hire an accountant. We make that decision easy by giving our clients an accessible team that will feel like an internal tax department but will also provide the breadth of services of a hired accountant. Our expe- rienced professionals partner with your executives to handle large, complex tax matters. Our expertise, cou- pled with proactive communications, ensures strong relationships with client personnel, making CBIZ a trusted resource for all tax matters. PRIVATE CLIENT SERVICES Our Private Client Services group provides innovative solutions for managing the day-to-day financial admin- istration activities of high-net-worth individuals and families. For more than 40 years, clients have relied on us to relieve the difficulty and burden of their routine matters so they can enjoy the benefits of their families and wealth, knowing their personal and administra- tive needs are being handled with the highest level of integrity and professionalism. Clients benefit from our multi-disciplinary team which is uniquely positioned to implement an end-to-end family office and person- al business management approach with a full suite of customized advisory and tax services. INTERNATIONAL TAX SERVICES Improved technology and communication have opened up international opportunities for every business, but operating on a global scale presents a unique set of business needs. Our international professionals enable clients to confidently take that next step. We are well- versed in the interrelationships of the many foreign and U.S. tax regimes that are vital to ensuring your business’s international operations and tax filings are correct. Our knowledge allows us to formulate innova- tive and proven structures to minimize your tax burden and provide proactive consultation on cross-bordered tax matters. Our experts are able to assist businesses of all sizes with operating on an increasingly global scale. CBIZ HELPING CLIENTS MANAGE THEIR SUCCESS CONTACT Kenneth Goldstein and Alison Wood 1065 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY 10018 Ph: 212.790.5700 W: “PROVIDING THE DEPTH OF SERVICES OF THE BIG FOUR AND THE PERSONAL SERVICE OF A LOCAL FIRM.” mixing financial planning with traditional tax work, the numbers suggest that the trend is likely to continue gathering steam. Says Kive Strickoff of his firm’s current business, “Fi- nancial services is growing at a higher percentage than the accounting side.” financial planning programs has steadily increased in recent years. In 2011, 427 accountants took the certified financial planner exam, as compared with 249 the previous year. Some 7,500 CPAs held the CFP designa- tion at that time, according to the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, and another 5,000 were registered as personal financial specialists through the AICPA. Large national firms usually build financial planning departments in house, but smaller firms typically need to outsource at least part of the function. Kive Strickoff, who runs a 37-year-old, seven-person accounting firm out Garden City, N.Y., and Manhattan with his wife, became a registered investment adviser in 1999 and chose to provide financial planning for his existing clients personally. “I have developed a good rapport with my clients over the years,” Strickoff says. While Strickoff directly provides many of his account- ing clients with advice regarding their investment portfolios and retirement plans, he relies on 1st Global, a Dallas-based research consultant and broker-dealer that caters to CPA firms, for all of his back-office finan- cial functions, including trading. Ryan George, director of communications at 1st Global, says his firm teaches accounting firms how to expand into wealth management as a growth strategy. “We believe a business’s accountant is the ideal person to counsel them on personal financial planning since the accountant has the whole financial picture,” says George. George says 1st Global has seen a pickup in account- ing firms looking to offer financial services in recent months, as well as M&A advice and payroll consulting. “The lack of organic growth in the industry” is a big driver, he says. In addition, “the traditional accounting business is transactional,” unlike wealth management, which generally bills a percentage of assets under man- agement. While some CPA firms still express reluctance about (Continued from S2)
  4. 4. Crain’s Corporate Profiles in Accounting Special Advertising Section services, food services, franchising, funeral homes, healthcare, law firms, manufacturing/distribution, not- for-profit, real estate, restaurants, staffing, technology. CLIENT PROFILES › Public and privately-held companies › High-net worth individuals › Multi-family/generational businesses MERGER & ACQUISITION GUIDE FOR BUSINESS OWNERS While deals are happening around the world on a daily basis, many businesses are maintaining the status quo and are missing the opportunity to grow or tran- sition their business with an M&A strategy. Research data shows that the best business owners have M&A strategies long before they plan on participating in the M&A process. Get started on building your M&A strategy today and download 5 M&A Scenarios Every Owner Should Be Prepared to Face at Since 1979, Citrin Cooperman has grown successfully by adding quality clients in a diverse range of industries coupled with strategic mergers. Our commitment to being a trusted advisor in the lives of our clients has al- lowed the firm to attract and retain clients and talented professionals. FIRM STATS Employees: Approximately 500 Office Locations: New York, NY (Headquarters); White Plains, NY; Norwalk, CT, Livingston, NJ; Philadelphia, PA Annual Revenue: $132 million CORE SERVICE LINES › Audit and attest › Tax compliance and research services › Accounting and advisory PREMIER SERVICE AREAS › Business consulting › International tax › Litigation › Merger and acquisition › State and local tax › Valuation and forensic services INDUSTRY SECTORS Apparel, architecture and engineering, auto dealer- ships, construction, entertainment and music, financial CITRIN COOPERMAN ACCREDITATIONS Citrin Cooperman is a member of Moore Stephens North America and Moore Stephens International Ltd., an International network of accounting firms. Additionally, Citrin Cooperman offers wealth management and insurance services under their subsidiaries: Citrin Cooperman Wealth Management and CC Employee Benefits. JOEL A. COOPERMAN Managing Partner and Co-Founder Citrin Cooperman UNCOMPROMISED SERVICE AMIDST FAST-PACED GROWTH S4 Cornelius V. Kilbane, Jr., partner-in-charge at the mid- town Manhattan-based accounting firm Raich Ende Malter & Co., vividly recalls the time a couple years ago when he extended a generous offer to a partner at a competing firm to join Raich as a partner. After an intense period of negotiations, the deal was finalized. Or so Kilbane thought. In the eleventh hour, rather than coming on board, the candidate instead decided to accept a generous counteroffer from his current firm. Kilbane was disappointed, but the story doesn’t end there. A year later, he got a call from the very same partner, once again expressing serious interest in switching teams. Cautious but game, Kilbane ultimately acted against his better judgment and made a second offer. This time, the candidate agreed to make the jump and was hired. Today, he remains at Raich Ende Malter as a productive partner and just one example of several successful senior lateral hires Kilbane has made in recent months. Asked about this surprising twist in the talent acqui- sition process, Kilbane responds nonchalantly, saying only, “We gave him a fair shot.” A fair shot, indeed. Stories like Kilbane’s are becoming increasingly common in the New York area’s over- heated public accounting market. While the economy continues to recover, organic growth at locally-based accounting firms remains sluggish, and the average age of partners continues to rise with mass retirements looming. Meanwhile, firms are getting more specialized and need talented partners to fill out existing rosters and new niches. “We’ve had a substantial number of partners com- ing from the Big Four and other national firms,” says Charles Weinstein, chief executive officer of Eisner- Amper, a 170-partner CPA firm, also based in mid- town. Weinstein says his firm has hired 40 lateral part- ners over the last five years but never to acquire their clients. “We’re opportunistic: The only good reason to bring in lateral partners is to expand expertise.” As it happens, Weinstein arrived at what was then Eisner in 1989 as a lateral hire. Not that Weinstein hasn’t had his own frustrating battles in bringing on new talent. “One partner, three times he accepted offers from us, and each time he was countered and stayed with his current firm,” he says. After three tries, Weinstein moved on. TALES FROM NEW YORK’S ACCOUNTING TALENT WARS Whatever the reason, the accounting talent wars have reached a feverish pitch in the last year, by most accounts. In a 2013 survey done by the American Insti- tute of CPAs, respondents identified “finding qualified staff” as one of the top five concerns in four out five categories based on the firm’s size (the only exception BY ALEC FOEGE (Continued on S6)
  5. 5. Crain’s Corporate Profiles in AccountingSpecial Advertising Section S5 For decades, Anchin, Block & Anchin LLP has been recognized as a top-tier firm nationwide in terms of its quality, size, management, scope of services, and work environment. With a diverse staff and nu- merous specialized industry and service teams, the full-service firm provides privately-held businesses and high net worth individuals with a wide range of traditional and non-traditional advisory services. Services include financial statement preparation; tax planning and compliance services; tax credits and incentives; management and succession adviso- ry services; litigation support, forensic accounting and valuation services; and merger and acquisition services. The firm’s mission is to be our clients’ Expert Part- ner, accomplishing this through creativity, inno- vation, insight, integrity and care. Our size and culture allow us to provide a full range of services while offering personalized attention to the diverse needs of our clients. By offering this type of superi- or service and a quality work product, Anchin has enjoyed long-term relationships with our clients – some for more than half a century. ANCHIN’S TAX CREDITS & INCENTIVES GROUP: HOW WE HELP CLIENTS The Anchin Tax Credits & Incentives Group is committed to helping clients take advantage of the many incentive programs offered by federal, state and local government agencies. These programs en- hance economic development by spurring compa- nies to make business investments and to create and retain jobs, thus promoting commercial activity and strengthening the economy. Our specialists identify companies that are eligible for these business incentives and assist them through the complexity of government programs. The group works with a wide range of tax and business incentive programs to deliver tangible benefits. Millions of dollars are awarded annually to compa- nies in the tri-state area through economic devel- opment incentives. These opportunities translate to significant tax savings, many resulting in substan- tial refunds or credits. Don’t leave money on the table: Anchin’s Tax Credits & Incentives Group can analyze your current situation and help you obtain and maximize valuable incentives. ANCHIN, BLOCK & ANCHIN LLP SOME IMPORTANT PROGRAMS TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF NOW INCLUDE: › START-UP NY › New York State Excelsior Jobs Program › Federal Research & Development Tax Credits › New Jersey Economic Opportunity Act CONTACT Paul Gevertzman, Practice Leader, Anchin’s Tax Credits & Incentives Group 1375 Broadway, New York, NY 10018 Ph: 212.840.3456 W:
  6. 6. Crain’s Corporate Profiles in Accounting Special Advertising Section Ninety years old – generally the thinking is that things slow down at this age. This is not the case with Fried- man LLP and its more than 300 accounting, tax and business consulting professionals. The firm will cele- brate this milestone throughout 2014 with a renewed sense of purpose and a determination to continue to provide exceptional service to its clients, some of which have been with Friedman for decades. INDUSTRY-FOCUSED ACCOUNTING, TAX AND BUSINESS CONSULTING SERVICES “What makes Friedman unique is our power in a small package,” explained Friedman’s Managing Partner Bruce Madnick. “We are able to access resources from our New York City headquarters, multiple New Jersey locations, Long Island office and worldwide through DFK International - all staffed with the area’s leading industry and technical professionals.” Part of that power comes from Friedman’s ability to specialize. A good example of this is exhibited in the firm’s tax department. In addition to its well-regarded core compliance and planning services, the practice includes professionals dedicated to areas such as Inter- national Tax, State and Local Tax (SALT), Tax Contro- versy and Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC). Friedman is particularly known for niche practice areas, such as the Real Estate and Forensic Account- ing, Litigation Support and Valuation Services (FLVS) practices, both of which have seen continuous growth over the past year. In addition to these practice areas, the firm’s industry expertise includes Fashion, Not-for- Profit, Affordable Housing, Hospitality, Manufacturing, Telecommunications and Technology, to name a few. ACHIEVING GOOD IN OUR OFFICE AND OUR COMMUNITY Friedman is dedicated not only to its clients, but also to its employees and the community. The firm provides its staff with unique opportunities to grow and manage their careers. The firm is consistently named one of the best places to work by Crain’s New York Business, Accounting Today, NJ BIZ, Long Island Business News, and Demonstrating a commitment to the community, members of firm management have been involved with a number of nonprofits, often in leadership positions. Organizations include Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York, NY Philanthropic Advisors Network, Brooklyn and Manhattan Chambers of Commerce, B’nai B’rith and ORT America. The firm is also a proud sponsor of a Fashion Institute of Technology scholarship award. The firm’s commitment to its clients, employees and community will continue through 2014 and beyond, as the values which have served the firm so well for ninety years continue to be the center of its philosophy. FRIEDMAN LLP THE NAME YOU SHOULD KNOW CONTACT 1700 Broadway | New York, NY 10019 Ph: 212.842.7000 E: W: John Fleury (Audit Senior), Maria Gonzalez (Senior Manager), Bruce Madnick (Managing Partner) (from left to right, back row) Daphne Liu (Experienced Associate), Harriet Greenberg (Partner) (from left to right, front row) S6 was sole practitioners). This was a dramatic rise from the 2011 survey, in which only one category cited the talent deficit as a top five concern. In New York, the pressure to hire talented partners seems even more acute. “The New York metro area is the global center of the public accounting universe,” so naturally everything happens here on a larger scale, says Robert Fligel, pres- ident of RF Associates, a Manhattan-based firm that re- cruits and helps place partners at area accounting firms. Fligel, who also consults on accounting firm mergers, says the region’s accounting M&A mania of recent years has created a pool of accomplished partners who may be suddenly unhappy with the new leadership of the merged firms. Fortunately for them, the lack of organic growth in the industry means that plenty of competing firms are looking to add potential rainmakers to their ranks. Over the last decade, colleges graduated fewer account- ing majors, due to the pull of Wall Street and technol- ogy companies, and of those who did pursue account- ing, many joined the corporate world. And while the economic crisis of 2008 made some of those flashier careers seem a little less appealing, the more recent recovery has left many area accounting firms desperate for experienced talent. Joel Cooperman, co-founder and managing partner at Citrin Cooperman, says his firm has been bringing in lateral partners for more than a decade. “But over the last couple years, it has been more prevalent,” he says. Just in the past month, his firm has hired three lateral partners. (Continued from S4) (Continued on S7)
  7. 7. Crain’s Corporate Profiles in AccountingSpecial Advertising Section S7 FIRM OVERVIEW Grassi & Co. specializes in providing accounting, audit- ing, tax, litigation support, valuation, business manage- ment and technology consulting services to businesses in the New York metro area. The breadth and depth of services available to Grassi & Co.’s clients are equivalent to those offered by Big Four firms, but enhanced by a more personalized approach. CLIENT-CENTRIC SERVICE APPROACH Grassi & Co. is built around a client-centered approach, providing clients with expertise based around their specific needs. Each practice group studies the dynam- ics of their industry, gathering information to make positive business improvements for clients. The firm’s professionals meet with thought leaders within the industries they serve in order to provide a high level of service and stay abreast of the major issues impacting their clients. COMMITMENT TO GROWTH Grassi & Co.’s overall mission is to help its employees, clients and community succeed and grow. The firm and its professionals have been committed to the growth and improvement of the New York Metro community for more than 30 years. As a firm that values and embraces cultural differences, Grassi & Co. strives to continuously enhance inclusive- ness throughout the firm. The firm’s commitment to diversity, continuous training and improve- ment for all of its employ- ees instills the confidence that its team has the tools necessary to drive growth—for its employ- ees, the firm, the commu- nity and most importantly its clients. LEADING THE INDUSTRY As a leader in our market, Grassi & Co. has been recognized by many industry publications and organizations. Some of the firm’s most notable accolades include: › “Best of the Best Firm” for EIGHT consecutive years › Top 50 Fastest Growing Company in New York City › Best Places to Work in New York City › Best Company to Work for in New York State › Accounting Service Firm of the Year Award › Long Island Business Achievement Award GRASSI & CO. Industries served: Construction . Manufacturing & Distribution . Healthcare . Technology . Real Estate . Architecture & Engineering . Financial Services . Retail . Transportation & Shipping Bringing clients to the next level CONTACT 488 Madison Avenue | New York, NY 10022 Ph: 212.661.6166 50 Jericho Quadrangle | Jericho, NY 11753 Ph: 516.256.3500 W: In early October, Patricia A. Cummings joined Citrin Cooperman as a partner after 17 years with Grant Thornton, where she most recently served as assistant managing partner of its New York office. “Pat is representative of the burgeoning need for fast- track lateral partners,” says Fligel, who was advisor on the deal. “As a professional with robust rainmak- ing skills, a highly technical background and current leadership skills as the Assistant Managing Partner for a national firm, she realized that she wanted a more entrepreneurial next step and chose Citrin.” Not surprisingly, Joel Cooperman credits increased activity by recruiters as partly responsible for the surge. “I’m still getting calls for me to leave,” he says, jokingly. But bringing in a lateral partner is rarely a simple process. First, there are recruiting fees, which can be significant. Then there is the cost to the firm until the partner brings in new business. Most accounting partners also come with restrictive covenants, which need to be negotiated with firm the partner is leaving. Depending on whether or not a partner is bringing along existing clients typically prompts another round of negotiations. “Often, a partner will leave with a book of business,” says Cooperman. Hence, the counteroffer. “The firm might be losing a key person,” says Robert Fligel. “So when they go in to resign, the company tries to retain them.” As a general rule, Fligel doesn’t think accepting counteroffers is a good idea, “unless the partner is made aware of newly provided information.” Finally, many area firms agree that there also has been a generational shift in the way partners view the account- ing industry. “The younger generation views work as an integral part of life,” says Norman Schulman, co-managing partner at Schulman Lobel Wolfson Zand Abruzzo Katzen & Blackman. Many are younger partners are more entrepreneurial than their predecessors, eager to find the perfect fit for their skills and ambitions. “I think the view of a lateral partner is ‘the grass is always greener.’” Many younger partners also have lived through merg- ers that make staying put less desirable. “Sometimes the firm is too top-heavy or opportunity is too limited,” says Kilbane. That said, area firms say their prime interest when hiring partners away from rivals is always acquiring talent. Right now, the demand in sectors such as taxes and financial services is particularly strong. But cultural fit also ranks nearly as high, meaning many CPA shops like to take their time to get to know a partner candi- date. “We don’t need a decision the same day,” says Joel Cooperman. “We’re not the Titanic.” With large accounting mergers increasing, and many smaller firms struggling to keep pace, many firms anticipate a continuing stream of partners looking to make a move to a firm that fulfills their career dreams. The opportunities are definitely there. As Norman Schulman puts it, “We’re anxious to talk to anyone who’s talented.” Still, making the lateral leap warrants serious contemplation. “If someone’s very unhappy, you can get them in a heartbeat,” says Schulman. “But we want someone to come here because they’re a good fit.” “RIGHT NOW, THE DEMAND IN SECTORS SUCH AS TAXES AND FINANCIAL SERVICES IS PARTICULARLY STRONG. BUT CULTURAL FIT ALSO RANKS NEARLY AS HIGH, MEANING MANY CPA SHOPS LIKE TO TAKE THEIR TIME TO GET TO KNOW A PARTNER CANDIDATE.” (Continued from S6)
  8. 8. Crain’s Corporate Profiles in Accounting Special Advertising Section THE MARCUM REAL ESTATE GROUP The Firm s Real Estate Group specializes in providing financial, tax and accounting solutions. Marcum provides a full range of services to real estate owners, developers, managers, REITs, private equity funds, institutional investors hotel owner operators and other real estate related entities. Our expertise includes assurance services, tax return preparation, tax consulting, acquistion due diligence, operational agreed upon procedures, partnership cash flow modeling and transactional services. The Real Estate Group offers a wide range of assurance, tax and accounting services tailored to the meet the specific needs of the real estate industry. These services are client customized to satisfy the requirements of the real estate investor ranging from the individual real estate owner through the largest global institutional investor. The professionals in the Real Estate Group have years of experience and expertise to perform at the highest level. Our partners have spent their careers building strong reputations among real estate leaders. From day one to the completion of our engagement, you ll have ongoing access to a partner who will make sure you get the comprehensive advice your investment deserves. Our background encompasses. Daniel Vitulli, CPA, Partner Phone 212.485.5575 Private and Public REIT s Office Buildings Residential Condo Conversions Hotels Shopping Centers Industrial Buildings Storage Centers Golf Courses Land International Member of Leading Edge Alliance A S S U R A N C E I T A X I A D V I S O R Y Discover the Difference The complexity of hedge fund investing can create unique challenges for the accounting firms that prepare their tax returns. But funds composed of investments in other funds, so-called funds of funds, make such challenges even tougher, due to their seemingly endless web of reporting requirements. Whether it is a technological upgrade, an expanded array of services, or new billing structure, innovations in areas that are relevant to specific niches of a firm’s client base often can help an accounting firm differenti- ate itself in a crowded, competitive marketplace such as the New York area. It was in this context that Kenneth Wolosoff, a tax partner at Margolin, Winer & Evens, a 200-person accounting firm with locations in Garden City, N.Y., and Manhattan, gave a presentation at an all-day tax conference held by the Nassau County chapter of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants in December 2012. “I spoke for an hour on how to understand a Schedule K-1,” Wolosoff recalls, referring to a tax document used to report the incomes, losses and dividends of a busi- ness’s partners or shareholders. To complete their Schedule K-1s, funds of funds are required to gather all items of income and deduction from their underlying hedge funds while preserving the tax attributes reported by each of those funds. One difficulty in preparing a fund of funds K-1 is that the various funds and their accountants can end up enter- ing the same item in different places on a Schedule K-1. Qualified dividend income, for example, can appear on line 6B or on line 1, or even on line 11F. Because a K-1 is filed for each related fund, the Summary K-1 can add up to a mountainous pile of paperwork. After the talk, Wolosoff says, attendees formed a long line to ask him further questions. “One person said, it takes me three hours to gather the information for just one individual’s K-1,” he says. Astonished that many tax professionals were confounded by the process, Wolos- off thought to himself, “Can’t you make it simpler?” Fortunately for Margolin’s clients, the answer was yes. Wolosoff and his firm spent the next few months devising an innovative, technology-based Schedule K-1 solution tailored specifically to the needs of the hedge fund industry, from which it draws a substantial num- ber of clients. For example, Margolin’s Summary K-1 tracks non-passive income and loss across any lines SMALLER AREA FIRM HEDGES ITS BETS WITH INNOVATIVE SERVICES it can appear on and alerts the user of any anomalies that need further attention, such as foreign qualified dividend income. While it becomes increasingly difficult for smaller New York area accounting shops to compete with large na- tional and regional players, there are still advantages to be had for nimbler firms that can develop new products and services for existing clients. “Some hedge funds, since the Madoff affair, go to the Big Four or national firms,” due to compliance concerns, says Margolin’s managing partner, Teddy Selinger. But oftentimes, a local CPA firm with a strong focus on their industry can help investment firms operate more efficiently and transparently. Selinger says Margolin’s new K-1 solution has already served as a good marketing tool: “We have several interviews lined up with firms interested in the new product.” The benefits of devising alternative and creative solu- tions to industry-specific accounting problems also helps reinforce a firm’s value to existing clients, reem- phasizing to those clients why they chose the CPA firm in the first place. BY ALEC FOEGE
  9. 9. Crain’s Corporate Profiles in AccountingSpecial Advertising Section S9 “MORE AND MORE SMALLER AND MIDSIZE ACCOUNTING FIRMS ARE SIMILARLY DISCOVERING THE BENEFITS OF HIRING TALENT FROM SPECIFIC IMMIGRANT COMMUNITIES TO HELP GENERATE NEW BUSINESS.” He could see the kid was bright. But when Mark Curcio first hired the young staff accountant, he had a few concerns. Curcio, a principal at the 15-employee Man- hattan-based CPA firm Curcio, Wieselthier & Cohen, noticed that Anthony Chen, a Chinese native educated in the United States, was a hard worker but his English wasn’t perfect and he lacked some of the basic commu- nications skills that characterize the profession’s best rainmakers. So Curcio decided to do something about it. “I encouraged him to pursue clients in the Chi- nese-American community,” says Curcio. “I told him if he brought in clients, he’d get compensated according- ly.” To his surprise, Chen came to him soon after and told him he had connected with Chinese businessman look- ing to establish a new venture in the New York area. The Chinese gentleman, who hardly spoke any English, explained to Curcio – with Chen interpreting – that he wanted to emigrate from Shanghai because he was concerned about the impact of the city’s heavy air pol- lution on his children. He said he wanted to establish a mortgage banking firm here, and that if he moved here, other families he knew in China would come here too. Curcio hasn’t signed the client yet, but the experience has changed his whole mindset about growing his practice. “None of this could happened without having someone on staff who knew the language and culture,” he says. While multiculturalism is nothing new in the New York marketplace, more and more smaller and midsize accounting firms are similarly discovering the benefits of hiring talent from specific immigrant communities to help generate new business. “I consult with firms of every size, from sole practitioners to the Grant Thorn- tons and McGladreys,” says Philip Whitman, partner at accounting consultancy Erickson Whitman. “A lot of firms I’ve been working with have been focusing on the immigrant market.” Some firms are more methodical in their approach. Prager Metis, a 40-partner, 150-employee Manhattan firm, has established an Italian desk, a Turkish desk, a German desk and French desk, to help target in-bound business from those particular countries. “At our firm, we’re very cognizant of diversity,” says Prager Metis partner Glenn Friedman. “Do we market that? We do when appropriate.” “Any firm of any size that does not consider global is- sues is not optimizing its growth potential,” says Marta A CULTURALLY DIVERSE APPROACH WINS AREA CPA FIRM’S NEW BUSINESS BY ALEC FOEGE THE REAL RISK IN INTERNATIONAL EXPANSION IS STAYING HOME Growth in China and the rest of Asia is slowing. Europe is still struggling to emerge from the Great Recession. Middle market business owners may think this isn’t the time to consider overseas expansion. Demographics say they’re wrong. Taken together, China and India account for more than a third of the world’s population. The pace of the massive infrastructure projects that spurred growth in China may have slowed, but demand for US consumer goods is likely to remain very strong, as does growth in financial services and other service sectors. Lifting the standard of living in developing markets will be the major driver of global growth for years. For US compa- nies, it’s often a choice between incremental growth at home or exponential growth overseas. THE OPPORTUNITY IS CLEAR. THE RISKS ARE OFTEN LESS SO. What’s the best way to enter new markets? Working with a sales agent or an alliance with a foreign oper- ation? Buying an existing company? Starting a new one? Opening new facilities? The right answer varies depending on your goals. How do you manage your global tax exposure when you’re dealing with numerous tax regimes and facing new challenges like transfer pricing? What about com- pliance risks, for example US and local anti-corruption laws? How do you consolidate financial results when you’re dealing with different accounting standards? Just as operating in the US means dealing with federal, state and local jurisdictions, operating overseas can mean dealing with a variety of regional, national and pro- vincial rules and regulations. From market to market, everything – business customs, employment laws, consumer preferences – changes. Successful international companies integrate their operations seamlessly. Getting that right takes seamless advice. McGladrey and our global network, RSM Inter- national, are devoted to integrated international service – service focused on the middle market companies that are the lifeblood of our business and of the global economy. The risks are real. But not pursuing global opportuni- ties may be the biggest risk of all. McGladrey is ready to help. MCGLADREY CONTACT Peter M. Brady, Principal Consulting Leader - Northeast Region P: 212.372.1880 E: Peter Brady Principal - Consulting Leader - Northeast Region (Continued on S10)
  10. 10. Crain’s Corporate Profiles in Accounting Special Advertising Section Alfonso, a principal at Morrison, Brown, Argiz & Farra, with offices in New York and Miami. “A diverse work- force provides strength.” In a previous generation, an immigrant small business owner might have looked for an accounting firm run by accountants of a similar ethnic background. But the dynamics have changed as certain immigrant-owned businesses in the New York area have flourished. “Ethnicity-specific firms are smaller,” say Lou Grassi, managing partner and chief executive at Grassi & Co. “For companies that have larger growth, they’re looking for bench strength. If they have large plans, they want to know that their CPA firm can service them as they expand.” Grassi notes that his 250-employee firm speaks more than 27 languages. Whatever the reason, New York area firms are discov- ering that the “unicultural” approach to finding new clients can be a differentiator when competing against larger national firms. “I don’t know where this is going,” says Curcio of his firm’s initial foray into the Chinese-American client base. “But it’s been a nice story so far.” To us, trust is more than a word; it’s our currency – an asset we value above all else. We deliver it every day through our actions, our information and a relentless focus on doing what’s right – the first time, every time. That’s what’s made us one of the world’s most trusted accounting and advisory firms for leading businesses owners, institutions and individuals in the U.S. and abroad. With more than 1,000 dedicated employees in 10 offices, we combine market-leading expertise with decades of real-world experience and collaboration. For more than five decades, we’ve helped our clients achieve the highest levels of performance, prosperity and security. A TRUSTED INDUSTRY LEADER Built on a foundation of trust, our firm’s original service model was designed for the alternative investment space where high-pressure, high-stakes and high-speed are the norm. Our experience is unmatched when it comes to audit, tax and consulting services for venture capital funds, private equity funds, hedge funds, funds of funds, broker-dealers and registered investment advisors. Today, we’ve broadened our model to serve diverse industries and individuals who share one common goal: trusted performance. We achieve this through our people, process and work product purposefully built for the new era of accounting and advisory. Our experts rank among the world’s leading authorities on tax, accounting, finance, regulatory and an array of business services. Our published insights, thought leadership and signature conferences are commended for identifying trends and shaping conversations in a changing world. And with our comprehensive approach and customized solutions, we deliver innovative and practical strategies that help our clients gain the critical competitive edge to stay one step ahead. That’s why they trust us. That’s why they stay with us. POWERED BY TRUST INDUSTRY RECOGNIZED AND APPROVED › 2013 Forbes 100 Best Companies to Work For › 2012 Hedge Funds Review Top Accounting and Auditing Firm › 2012 Working Mother 100 Best Companies › 2012 Accounting MOVE Project Best Public Accounting Firm for Women › 2012 Family Office Review Best Private Client Accountancy EXPERIENCE TRUST FIRST-HAND Howard Altman Ph: 917.438.3940 E: “FOR MORE THAN FIVE DECADES ROTHSTEIN KASS HAS HELPED CLIENTS ACHIEVE THE HIGHEST LEVELS OF PERFORMANCE, PROSPERITY AND SECURITY.” ROTHSTEIN KASS S10 (Continued from S9) Crain’s Corporate Profiles in Accounting was created by Crain’s Custom Connections Studio. For more information, or to be included in the next edition, please contact Trish Henry at or (212) 210-0711.