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Top 100 most influential practitioners 2005.

We always knew that selecting the most influential practitioners in the accounting profession would be a difficult task--how do you take a profession as rich in people as it is diverse, and select just a few as representative of the entire group?

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We had many lofty goals in mind. First, we limited our scope to only those who work in public practice, and by their service, help others succeed in this profession. Locating the top accountants, without naming the usual suspects who are no longer practicing accounting, made it even more difficult.

To refine an exhaustive list to 100, we researched other selections of the most influential accountants, largest or best of the best, and requested input from state and national accounting societies and associations to find the most influential, fascinating practitioners around. This year's selections are members of the profession who are intent on continuing to rebuild the public's trust. Learning how they are successful and what makes them extraordinary is evident in their passion and unselfish devotion of their time to serve others.

Eldon Clingan was elected president of the National Society of Accountants in August 2004. He graduated from Columbia University and the American College in Bryn Mawr, Pa. where he received Masters degrees in financial services and in management. He served as district governor and vice chair of the Long Range Planning Committee during 2001-2002. An NSA member since 1991, he is a tax practitioner in Auburndale, Mass. Clingan, an enrolled agent, holds the professional designations of accredited business accountant, accredited tax advisor, accredited tax preparer, chartered financial consultant and chartered life underwriter.

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Robert Bunting is chairman of Moss Adams and chairman of the AICPA. He graduated with a BS from the University of Idaho. Bunting has been in public practice for over 30 years. During his tenure as chairman at Moss Adams, the firm grew from $13 million in revenues to $175 million to become the 10th largest firm in the U.S. Bunting will be the first AICPA chairman from Moss Adams, and only the 4th chairman from west of the Rocky Mountains in the last 30 years. The appointment speaks very well for the entire firm and for Bunting's personal accomplishments.

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Gary Shamis is both entertaining and controversial at times as manager at SS & G Financial Services and founder of The Leading Edge. He graduated from Ohio State University and Tulane University. Past affiliations include: columnist for CPA Magazine; senior partner of Page, Saltz & Shamis; senior auditor of Touche, Ross & Co.; board member of Better Business Bureau. He has his own column at CPA Magazine where he lays the groundwork for management practices. "Your charge is to get involved, and advocate and lobby for your interests," according to Shamis who hails from Cleveland, Ohio.

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Accounting Practice (Large Firms)

Kenneth E. Baggett is the managing principal of Reznick Group. He holds a BBA from Auburn University and is president and board member of Auburn School of Accounting Advisory Council. Baggett frequently speaks on corporate taxation, real estate development and investment. Regarding Reznick he said, "Our 10-year strategic plan calls for major national growth and to continue moving toward the top ranking of firms in our field."

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Timothy L. Christen is CEO of Virchow, Krause & Co, LLP. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. Past affiliations include: member of AICPA Council; chair of Managing Partners Committee, Baker Tilly International; treasurer of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce; past board chair of Wisconsin Special Olympics.

Mike Conway recently retired as a member of The National Managing Partner of The Department of Professional Practice for KPMG. He has a BBA in accounting with high honors from the University of Miami. Past affiliations include: member of the AICPA's Board of Directors; former chairman of the AICPA's SEC Practice Section (SECPS) Executive Committee; former president and campaign chairman of the United Way of Westport-Weston; board member of Goodwill Industries.

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Samuel A. DiPiazza Jr. is global CEO of PricewaterhouseCoopers. He graduated from the University of Alabama and the University of Houston. Past affiliations include: trustee of Financial Accounting Foundation; member of Mergers & Acquisitions Group; president of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of New York City; member and Executive Council of Inner City Scholarship Fund.

Mark A. Ernst is chairman, CEO and president of H & R Block Inc. He graduated from the University of Chicago and Drake University. Past affiliations include: senior vice president of American Express Co.; consultant for Coopers & Lybrand; intern for the U.S. Comptroller of the Currency; board member of Great Plains Energy; board of trustees of the University of Missouri.

William E. Fingland Jr. is managing partner at Baird Kurtz & Dobson, which merged with Olive LLP. The 40,000 client firm has been around for over 80 years and boasts revenue of approximately $216.5 million. He graduated from the University of Missouri and is affiliated with an impressive list of committees and boards, spanning from the Boy Scouts of America to the AICPA Health Care group.

Carl George is the CEO of Clifton Gunderson LLP, which experienced an 11% growth last year. He graduated from Ball State University with a Masters in management and is an AICPA board member and a Business Advisory Board member at Ball State.

William M. Hermann is managing partner of Plante & Moran PLLC. He graduated from the University of Detroit. Past affiliations include: board chair of Gabriel Richard Historical Society; board member of Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan; past board member of United Way Leadership Giving Committee; past board member of Catholic Social Service Board, Washtenaw County.

Robert H. Herz is chairman of FASB. He graduated from the University of Manchester. Past affiliations include: senior technical partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers; senior technical partner of Coopers & Lybrand; board member of IASB; chair of SEC Regulations Committee, AICPA; chair of Transnational Auditors Committee, IFAC.

John Hewitt is CEO and president of Liberty Tax Service. He graduated from the University of Buffalo. Past affiliations include: founder, CEO and president of Jackson Hewitt; president of Hewtax Software Development; regional director of H & R Block; board member and sponsor of Students in Free Enterprise.

Mark Hildebrand is CEO of Crowe Chizek & Co. LLC and Crowe Group LLP. He graduated from Northwestern University and Purdue University. Past affiliations include: board member of Horwath International; chair of Strategic Planning Task Force; board member of the National Governor's Association in Indiana.

Kenneth M. Hughes is co-managing member of Dixon Hughes PLLC. He graduated from Western Carolina University. Past affiliations include: founder and managing partner of Crisp Hughes Evans LLP; chair of Professional Liability Insurance Program Committee; past president of AGN International.

Stuart Kessler is a managing director of American Express Tax and Business Services and a founding partner of Goldstein Golub Kessler LLP. He was recently inducted into the Hall of Fame of the New York State Society of CPAs. Kessler is both a former chairman of the AICPA and a former president of the NYSSCPA. He holds a BA from Brooklyn College, an M.B.A. from the City College of New York, a JD from Brooklyn Law School, and an LL.M. in taxation from New York University.

Michael Lister is chairman, president and CEO of Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc. He graduated from Florida State University. Past affiliations include: senior vice president of company operations with H & R Block; franchise director of Central Florida Territories; board member of Council for Electronic Revenue Communication Advancement.

Thomas J. Marino is CEO of J.H. Cohn LLP. He graduated from Rider College. Past affiliations include: chair of Western Hemisphere for SC International; board member of Tri County Scholarship Fund; board member of Sussex Education Foundation; member of Advisory Council for Fleet Bank.

Edward E. Nusbaum is the CEO and executive partner of Grant Thornton and is on the International Board of Governors. He graduated from Ohio State University and received a MS in management from Purdue University. Nusbaum's firm boasts 1,000 new clients this year alone and nearly 25% in revenue growth.

Eugene D. O'Kelly is chairman and CEO of KPMG LLP. He graduated from Stanford University and Pennsylvania State University. Past affiliations include: trustee of Financial Accounting Foundation, AICPA; member and Board of Trustees for Carnegie Hall; member and Advisory Council for Stanford Business School; member and Executive Committee for The Partnership for New York City.

James H. Quigley is the CEO of Deloitte & Touche LLP, which in 2003 was the only "Big Four Firm" to retain its consulting unit after the Sarbanes-Oxley Act took effect. Quigley graduated from Utah State University and is a member of numerous affiliations including the Economic Club of New York.

Charles Edger "Eddie" Sams Jr. is co-managing member of Dixon Hughes PLLC. He graduated from the University of North Carolina. Past affiliations include: executive partner of Dixon Odom; global chairman of Moores Rowland International; past member of PCPS Executive Committee, AICPA; past treasurer of North Carolina World Trade Center.

James J. Smart is the founding partner of Smart and Associates, LLP. He graduated from LaSalle University School of Business. Past affiliations include: adjunct professor of accounting at St. Joseph's University; board member of Chester County Chamber of Business & Industry; board member of the Paoli Memorial Hospital Development Board.

Mark C. Tibergien is principal of Moss Adams LLP. He graduated from Bay de Noc College and the University of Wisconsin. Past affiliations include: president of Management Advisory Services; vice president of Willamette Management Associates; author of The Discipline of Practice Management (Bloomberg Press, 2005).

James S. Turley is a chairman for Ernst & Young. He is a graduate from Rice University in Houston where he also earned his Masters in accounting. Turley was the area-managing partner for the metropolitan N.Y. Practice from 1998-2000.

Accounting Practice (Small to Mid Sized)

Martha Bell is in practice in Lakeland, Fla. She graduated from the University of Akron, Kent State University and the University of South Florida and holds the EA, ABA, ATA, and ECS credentials. Past affiliations and accomplishments include: president of Florida Association of Accounting and Tax Professionals; member of IRS Information Reporting Program Advisory Committee; winner of NSA's Golden Quill award in 2004.

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Richard A. Berkowitz is managing director of Berkowitz Dick Pollack & Brant. He graduated from the University of North Carolina and the University of Miami. Past affiliations include: investment advisor representative of Provenance Wealth Advisors; president of FICPA; world president of the International Group of Accounting Firms.

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Bette Jo Berryman has operated an accounting and tax practice in Meridian, Idaho for the past 25 years and was named a NSA Accountant of the Year in 2002. Past affiliations include: member of the Idaho State Board of Accountancy; administrative chair of NSA's Right to Practice Committee; member and past president of the Board of Directors of the Idaho Association of Public Accountants (IAPA).

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Milton Brown is a practicing accountant with offices in Passaic and Clifton, N.J., and holds the PA, EA, ABA, ATP and ATA credentials. Past affiliations and accomplishments include: president of the National Society of Accountants; member of the Board of Directors of ACAT; first public accountant ever elected president of the New Jersey State Board of Accountancy; chairman of the National Association of State Boards of Accounting (NASBA); Accountant of the Century in 2000 named by the NSA.

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Raymond W. Buehler, Jr. is president of Schneider Downs & Co. He graduated from Notre Dame. Past affiliations include: board member of Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board; chairman and board member of Young Presidents Organization, Pittsburgh Chapter; president of St. John Capistran Parish Council; president of Western Pennsylvania Community Accountants; vice-chairman of the International Group of Accounting Firms.

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James Castellano is chair of AICPA Private Company Financial Reporting Task Force and chairman of Rubin, Brown, Gornstein & Co. He graduated from Rockhurst College. Past affiliations include: member of Small Business Advisory Group and Task Force on Financial Reporting by Private and Small Public Companies; chairman of Council of Regents at Fontbonne College.

Richard Caturano is president of Vitale, Caturano & Co. He graduated from Bentley College. Past affiliations include: chair of PCPS Executive Committee and Practitioners Conference Committee; president-elect of Massachusetts Society of CPAs; board member of National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship.

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E. Martin Davidoff is founder and firm manager of E. Martin Davidoff & Associates. He graduated from Washington University School of Law, Boston University Graduate School, and Sloan School of Management. Past affiliations include: chair and founder of IRS National Tax Liaison Committee; past officer of New Jersey Society of CPAs; board member and Audit Committee financial expert for Bio-Imaging Technologies Inc.

David P. Donnelly is a partner for Gainer, Donnelly and Desroches, LLP, having joined the firm in 1983. He graduated from the University of Texas with a BBA. In addition to consultation and planning, Donnelly also represents clients in IRS audits and collection matters. Past affiliations include board member of the Houston Chapter of Amigos de Las Americas.

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Jim Galipeau is president of the Montana Society of CPAs and is the director of JCCS, Missoula. He graduated from the University of Montana with a BS in accounting. Past affiliations include: member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners; president of the Missoula Chapter of CPAs; president of the Garden City Exchange Club; member of the University of Montana Accounting Advisory Council.

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David F. Graling is managing partner of Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman, CPAs in Bethesda, Md. He graduated from George Mason University with an MBA. Past affiliations include: president of Greater Washington Society of CPAs; treasurer of Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce; warden at St. Dunstan's Episcopal Church; member of CPAmerica International Board of Directors.

David Hardesty is vice president of Wilson Markle Stuckey Hardesty & Bott. He graduated from Golden Gate University. Past affiliations include: adjunct professor of Golden Gate University; member of the State Committee on Professional Conduct, California Society of CPAs; author of Electronic Commerce: Taxation and Planning.

John J. Kearney is president of the NY State Society of CPAs. He is a shareholder of Jaeckle Kearney & Lepselter in Garden City. As the Society's president, Kearney continues to push for accounting reform legislation in New York State, to elevate the level of practice and better protect the public interest. John is a board member of the Nassau County Estate Planning Council and a graduate of Manhattan College.

Benjamin C. Kimmerling is vice chair of the Indiana CPA Society Board of Directors. He graduated with a BS from Ball State University. He currently is with Somerset/Whipple & Company as principal performing audit, consulting and tax duties. Past affiliations include: member of Finance Committee; member of A & A Conference Project Team; member of Firm of the Future Conference Project Team; member of UAA Exposure Draft Project Team.

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David Krajanowski is the managing partner at Singer, Lewak, Greenbaum & Goldstein. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from California State University with a BS in business administration. Krajanowski has authored articles for publications such as the Orange County Register, Construction Link and the Los Angeles Business Journal.

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Harold F. Krieger, Jr. served as president of NSA for 2002-2003 and is president of Krieger and Krieger Accountants and Tax Consultants in Jefferson City, Mo. He holds the EA, ABA, ATA and ATP credentials. Past affiliations include: Missouri State Director for the NSA; served in all offices of the Independent Accountants Society of Missouri.

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Debbie Lambert is founding partner of Johnson Lambert & Co. and is responsible for the insurance industry and financial services practices of the firm. She graduated Cum Laude from Wake Forest University. Past affiliations include: chair of Auditing Standards Board; chair of Audit Issues Task Force; chair of Insurance Companies Committee; chair of Assurance Services Executive Committee; senior manager with Ernst & Whinney.

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John M. LaPilusa is president of NJCPA and partner at Fazio, Mannuzza, Roche, Tankel, LaPilusa, LLC. He graduated from Rutgers University with a BA in accounting. Past affiliations include: president-elect, vice president, secretary and trustee of the Board of Trustees; chairperson of the Annual and Semi-Annual Convention committees; member of the Finance Committee for St. Joseph's Home for the Blind.

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Stephen McEachern, a graduate of Texas A & M, is the president and managing partner at Fitts, Roberts & Co. PC. and protects the interests of small audit firms as chair of the AICPA Technical Issues Committee. Past affiliations include: president-elect of the Houston CPA Society; member of Technical Standards Review Committee of Texas State Board of Public Accountancy; member of AICPA Auditing Standards Board.

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James C. Metzler is vice president of Small Firm Interests for AICPA. He graduated from Canisius College. Past affiliations include: co-founder and member of ConvergenceCoaching LLC; chairman of GEMKO Information Group Inc.; partner of Gaines Metzler Krinder & Co.

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J. Patrick Milligan is president of the Oklahoma Society of CPAs and a principal/shareholder at Hogan & Slovacek, PC in Tulsa, Okla. He graduated from East Central University with a BS in accounting. Past affiliations include: chair of the OSCPA Tulsa Chapter CPE Committee; secretary of the Executive Committee in 2000; president of the Executive Committee in 2004; member of the tax department at Arthur Andersen; tax manager and shareholder of Hogan & Slovacek.

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Michael Mountjoy is the co-founder, president and managing director of Carpenter, Mountjoy & Bressler P.S.C., a Louisville accounting firm. The firm, launched in 1980, has grown under his leadership to become Kentucky's largest locally owned accounting and consulting firm. He earned a BS in accounting at the University of Kentucky.

Bea L. Nahon is president and sole shareholder of her own firm which specializes in tax planning and representation, litigation support with concentration in marital dissolution, financial statements, peer and strategic reviews of CPA firms and property management. She graduated from the University of Washington and is an elected member of the board of the AICPA. She also provides a course instructor for WSCPA, AICPA and Washington State Bar Association in areas of taxation, practice management, family law and litigation support.

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Daniel E. Setters owns and operates Accredited Business Services in Champaign, Ill. and recently completed his one-year term as president of NSA in August 2004. He graduated from Purdue University with a BA. Under his stewardship, NSA developed Tax Accounting Guidelines for Small Business, a set of guidelines for businesses to which PCAOB rules do not quite apply. Past affiliations include: district governor on the NSA Board; NSA state director of Illinois; president of the Independent Accountants Association of Illinois.

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Susan Speirs is a managing member of Susan Speirs & Associates, LLC. She graduated from Weber State University. Currently, Speirs serves as the president of the Utah Association of CPAs and is past president of the American Women's Society of CPAs. She specializes in working with small businesses in the areas of job costing, estimating and growth issues; her practice is focused primarily on the construction industry.

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Ronald Thompkins co-founded the CPA firm of Koon, Thompkins & Washington, which reorganized under several other names before merging with Watson Rice. Thompkins graduated from Howard University. The firm is the second largest culturally-diverse owned firm in the U.S.A. Past affiliations include: member of the 21 member Board of Directors of the AICPA; member of the AICPA Council; past president of the FICPA.

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Jeffrey H. Tucker is chair of The Ohio Society of CPAs Board. He graduated from Baldwin Wallace College. Past affiliations include: shareholder in Rea & Associates; president of the Society's Akron/Canton Chapter; co-chair of the Tuscarawas County Chamber of Commerce Business Education Committee; president of Junior Achievement; president of the United Way of Tuscarawas.

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Lynn Turner is managing director of Glass Lewis & Co. He graduated from University of Nebraska and Colorado State University. Past affiliations include: senior advisor of Kroll Zolfo Cooper; chief accountant of Securities and Exchange Commission; vice president and chief financial officer of Symbios Inc.; member of Standards Advisory Group.

S. Scott Voynich is the immediate past Chairman of the AICPA and is the managing partner of Robinson, Grimes & Company, P.C. He graduated from the University of Georgia. Past affiliations include: professor at Columbus State University; state president of the Georgia Society of CPAs; member of the AICPA Strategic Planning Committee.

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Jimmy L. Williamson is a senior partner of MDA Professional Group, P.C. He graduated from Jacksonville State University. Past affiliations include: elected member to the AICPA Board of Directors; member of the National CPA Vision Team; president of the Alabama Society of CPAs; member of the Board of Directors of the University of Alabama's Federal Tax Clinic.

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Steven H. Wimmers was elected to the AICPA Board of Directors in the fall of 2004. He graduated from Ohio State University with a BA in business administration. Past affiliations include: member of the AICPA's Governing Council; chair of the California Society of CPAs; president of CalCPAs San Diego Chapter.

Lee D. Wunschel is a partner with the Toledo, Ohio accounting firm of Lublin Sussman Group, LLP. He graduated from the University of Toledo with a BBA and an MBA. Past affiliations include: chair of the Executive Board of the Ohio Society of CPAs; member of Council for the AICPA; registered CPA in Ohio and Florida.

Auditing

William Balhoff is senior audit director with Postlewaite & Netterville. He graduated from Louisiana State University with a BS. Past affiliations and accomplishments include: member of the AICPA Board of Directors, AICPA Council and Differential Accounting Standards Task Force; certified fraud examiner; chairman of AICPA's PCPS section; board member of the Society of Louisiana CPAs; recipient of the Leading Edge Outstanding Member Award in 2001.

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Randy G. Fletchall, a graduate of Kansas State University, is a partner with Ernst & Young LLP, Assurance & Advisory Business Services (AABS). Past affiliations include: member of E & Y's Americas Executive Board; member of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board's Initial Standing Advisory Group; member of the Board of Directors of the AICPA; vice chair and member of the AICPA's SEC Practice Section Executive Committee.

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George S. Willie is the managing partner of Bert Smith & Co. and has more than 30 years of public accounting experience including the audits of federal, state and local government entities and private sector organizations. He graduated from the American University. Past affiliations include: member of the Board of Examiners--CPA Exam and AICPA's Benevolent Fund; assistant professor of accounting at Howard University and the University of the District of Columbia.

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Karen Wiltsie, a graduate of the University of Michigan, is a partner in Assurance Practice at Deloitte & Touche, Detroit. Past accomplishments include: immediate past chair of the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants (MACPA); member of the AICPA's governing council; one of Detroit's 100 Most Influential Women by Crain's Detroit Business; recipient of MACPAs William A. Paton Award for receiving the highest score in Michigan on the CPA exam.

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Business Specialties

Sonia Freeman, CPA Magazine All-Star, is a graduate of the University of Houston, Clear Lake. She advises entrepreneurs in the Editorial Advisory Group with the CPA firm PKF Texas in Houston. She says, "When you work with the entrepreneur, you are the luckiest of all service providers because you work with creative, hard working business owners."

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Thomas Hilton is a graduate of the University of Missouri-St. Louis and St. Louis University. Hilton has a recognized valuation practice for the CPA firm of Anders, Minkler & Diehl, LLP. "Possession of a valuation skill set enables the CPA to provide invaluable consultative advice because it is focused on what the client values most."

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Edward F. Moran, Jr., CPA Magazine All-Star, received a BA in economics from Georgetown University, a BS in accounting from the University of Arizona, and an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh. He encourages other CPAs with restaurant clients to "start by attending the AICPA Conference on Restaurants; but don't overlook educating your restaurant owners about their values, searching your geographical area for interested national lenders and leasing companies, and proposing internal control."

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Forensic Accounting

Donna Ingram, CPA Magazine All-Star, is a certified fraud examiner from Vicksburg, Miss. and is a partner with May & Company. She teaches five to 10 courses annually for the AICPA and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE). On speaking she said, "In February of 2002, I was asked to talk to the ACFE on detecting fictitious revenue. Although the problems at Enron were on the expenditure side, many other high-profile cases involving fraudulent revenue started hitting at the same time. As a result, I had a wealth of material to use."

Joseph T. Wells, CPA Magazine All-Star, is part of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners team in Austin, Texas. He is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. Regarding the importance of fraud investigation training, he responded, "Detecting and deterring fraud is an important mission to society. For CPAs wishing to specialize in this field, I would recommend several years experience as a fraud investigator for law enforcement. Not only will it broaden your understanding, it will add significant credibility to your resume."

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Financial Planning

Jeffrey Adelstone operates Adelstone Financial Services in Tucson, Ariz. and holds EA, ABA, ATA, ECS, CFP and RFP credentials. Past affiliations and accomplishments include: president of the National Society of Accountants; member of the Board of Directors of the Accreditation Council on Accountancy and Taxation; chairman of the IRS Information Reporting Program Advisory Committee; president of the Arizona Society of Practicing Accountants; NSA's first Accountant of the Year; Accountant Advocate of the Year in 1988 by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

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Phyllis Bernstein is president of PBC. Accounting Today has named her as one of the top ten people in financial planning for three years and as one of the top 100 most influential people in accounting for five years. In 1997, she received the AICPA PFP Division Distinguished Service Award. She was the head of the personal financial planning for the AICPA for 16 years and is co-author of the book, Managing Client Expectations: In an Uncertain Market.

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Robert S. Keebler, CPA Magazine All-Star, deals with retirement plans for Virchow, Krause & Co., LLP. He graduated from Lakeland College and from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Keebler suggests, "Do not underestimate the complexity of retirement plan distributions."

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Sheryl Rowling, a partner of Rowling, Dold & Associates, has been providing tax and financial planning advice since 1979. She graduated from San Diego State University. Past affiliations include: manager of various tax departments at Arthur Young & Company; member of AICPA PFP National Committee.

Jim Shambo has been the president of Lifetime Planning Concepts PC since 2000. He graduate from Northern Illinois University. Shambo frequently speaks to audiences on a variety of financial topics, promotes the efforts to save the CPA Financial Planners and is an active Personal Financial Specialist supporter.

Brian T. Whitlock is a partner at Blackman Kallick Bartelstein LLP and chairperson of the Illinois CPA Society Board of Directors. He graduated from Northwestern University with a BA and from the Illinois Institute of Technology with a JD and LLM. Past affiliations include: co-author of Passing Your Business on to Your Family and Blackman and Whitlock's Tax Secrets of the Wealthy; adjunct faculty at DePaul University.

Practice Management

Thomas Bonadio, a CPA Magazine All-Star, leads The Bonadio Group in Pittsford, N.Y., and is a small business leader in his field. He graduated from St. John Fisher College. He suggests, "Successful practice management starts with balancing the need for ever increasing payroll demands of employees with the difficulty of getting clients to accept fee increases for traditional work."

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Jay Nisberg is president of Nisberg and Associates and is considered a cutting-edge consultant and one of the most influential CPA leaders. He graduated from Pacific Western University, Detroit College of Law and the University of Buffalo. He is a member of The Advisory Board and author of three Random House business reference books.

Marc L. Rosenberg is president of The Rosenberg Associates. He graduated from the University of Illinois. Rosenberg is the creator of The Rosenberg MAP Survey, the most authoritative annual survey of accounting firm performance statistics, and is the publisher of The Management Catalyst newsletter. INSIDE Public Accounting has recognized him as one of the most recommended accounting firm consultants in the country.

Management Consulting

Bruce Andersen has a tax and accounting practice in Woodland Hills, Calif. and also teaches QuickBooks through BTA Consulting and Training. His firm offers on-line accounting through the internet as well as outsourced accounting. As a bridge, or interim step, they perform monthly closings, and account analysis through a remote dial-up without even having to make an on-site visit.

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Gary S. Hoffman, CPA Magazine All-Star, is a management consultant with Weaver and Tidwell, LLP in Dallas, Texas. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin. His advice to public accountants is that "anyone in public accounting who is thinking about becoming a consultant should consider the fundamental difference between consulting and their role as an accounting/auditing/tax expert."

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Allan Koltin is president and CEO of PDI Global Inc. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin. Past affiliations include: founding member of The Advisory Board; board member of Outsource Partners International; board member of BKD Financial Advisors; board member of National Speakers Association.

Leslie A. Murphy is vice-chair of the Board of Directors of the AICPA, chair-elect for 2005-06 and is a partner with Plante & Moran. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a BA in accounting. Past affiliations and accomplishments include: one of the Top 10 Women Business Owners named by the National Association of Women Business Owners; member of the AICPA Management of an Accounting Practice Committee and the Group of 100.

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John "Jack" W. Schabow is president of the 2004-2005 Board of Directors of ACAT and specializes in business consulting and forensic divorce cases. He holds the ABA, ATA, and ATP credentials, and has had a public accounting and tax practice in Phoenix, Ariz. Past affiliations and accomplishments include: NSA district governor; NSA Accountant of the Year in 2000; co-founder and president of the Arizona Society of Practicing Accountants.

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John Turnage is a shareholder of Dallas-based Turnage & Company, P.C., a consulting and public accounting firm. He graduated from Angelo State University and from Texas Tech University. Turnage has been recognized for his consulting service, especially his work in value-added billings, and has written on the services that complement tax return preparation. Past affiliations include: ten years in the Big 5 where he worked exclusively with middle market companies; current columnist for CPA Magazine.

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Tax

Andrew B. Blackman, CPA Magazine All-Star, is a member of the Shapiro Lobel, LLP team. He graduated from Boston University and works hand-in-hand with celebrities and their estates. He states, "While working with celebrities requires specific industry knowledge that only comes from experience, the basic skills of personal financial planning are essential to managing their financial affairs appropriately."

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S. Scott Curtin, CPA Magazine All-Star, is with Grant Thornton LLP in Kansas City, Mo. He graduated from Wichita State University. His recommendation to other practitioners is to "focus on the economic drivers for client transactions, and ensure the client understands the financial accounting treatment. Good tax expertise is only relevant after you understand the business conditions your client has set."

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Allison A. Gerhardt, CPA Magazine All-Star, is a trusts expert with PKF Texas stationed in Houston. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin. She says, "The overlap of attorneys, trust officers and CPAs practicing in the trust area can sometimes cause confusion for the client." The remedy is to "be involved with the drafting of the document and ask for clarification of any ambiguous clauses."

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Bonnie Houldsworth, CPA Magazine All-Star, deals with exempt organizations for Houldsworth, Russo & Co. She graduated from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. In regard to tax filing, she says, "The biggest error I see is not filing 990Ts. The unrelated income is either not identified, or because the expenses are in excess of the income, the return is not prepared."

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Susan E. S. Howe is a Principal in the Human Capital practice with Ernst & Young in Philadelphia. Her specialty is taxation of globally mobile employees. She served as a National Director in Ernst & Young's U.S. Tax Compliance Practice. Susan holds a BA from Ohio Wesleyan University, and an MBA from Villanova University. In 2004, Susan was elected the first female president of the Pennsylvania Institute of CPAs. She is an elected member of the AICPAs governing council.

Sidney Kess, CPA Magazine All-Star, is a former National Director of Taxes at KMG Main Hurdman and a former partner at KPMG Peat Marwick. He graduated from Harvard Law School. Kess has lectured to more than 600,000 practitioners and authored or co-authored more than a dozen major books including 32 editions of the AICPA's Individual and Corporate Tax Workshops.

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Max A. Koss, CPA Magazine All-Star, is in Foreign Activities with his team Moore Stephens Doeren Mayhew. He graduated from the University of Arizona at Tucson. He says, "A valuable international tax consultant has a solid base of general tax knowledge coupled with international expertise, a competent network of experts throughout the globe, and most importantly persistence and desire to be the best."

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Carol C. Markman is a partner with Feldman, Meinberg & Co., currently serves as NCCPAP President and operated her own CPA firm for more than 20 years. She graduated from the City College of New York and from the School of Professional Accountancy, C.W. Post Center of Long Island University.

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Bonnie Braun Padilla, CPA Magazine All-Star, is an expert on the 1065 form at Stirtz Bernards Boyden Surdel & Larter, P.A. She graduated from the State University of New York. She says, "Partnership expertise is the domain of the lifelong learner because it is a challenge to navigate through the complex federal tax laws."

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Janet M. Smith, CPA Magazine All-Star, is with the TravisWolff team in Dallas, Texas. She graduated from University of Florida and from the University of Texas at Dallas. She says, "I think people like people who are like themselves; we tend to attract like-minded clients and enjoy the success that comes with that kind of synergy."

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John W. Stottman, Jr. is president of the Arkansas Society of CPAs and is a partner in the firm of Campbell and Stottman. He graduated from Arkansas Tech University. Past affiliations include: board member of the Salvation Army; member of the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas School for Mathematics and Sciences.

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Claude A. Titche III, CPA Magazine All-Star, is with the firm Beene Garter LLP and is a member of Moore Stephens International. He graduated from Michigan State University. He says, "The preparation of the annual income tax return is only a by-product of the long-term planning process that generates a valuable benefit to my clients."

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Beanna Whitlock maintains a tax and financial services business in San Antonio and holds EA, ATA, and ATP credentials. Past affiliations and accomplishments include: national director of Public Liaison for the Internal Revenue Service; member of the Board of Trustees for the Scholarship Foundation; Person of the Year award in 2004 by the NSA; Speaker of the Year award in 2002 by the NSA; one of the 100 Most Influential People in Accounting from 1997 through 2003 by the Accounting Today.

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Technology

L. Gary Boomer is CEO of Boomer Consulting Inc. He graduated from Kansas State University. Past affiliations include: vice president of Varney & Associates; board member of numerous CPA associations; chairman for countless other CPA groups.

Susan E. Bradley, CPA Magazine All-Star, helps head up the Tamiyasu, Smith, Horn & Braun firm in Fresno and is a front runner in the computer-consulting field. She graduated from California State University in Fresno and holds the CPA, CITP and MCP credentials. She doesn't spread herself thin, and she tells others to "find your niche. Find your passion. Find your patience. So many of the best CPA/computer consultants I know are also the best technology instructors around."

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Carlton Collins is an accounting software analyst and the editor of the Accounting Software Advisor web site. Since 1984, Carlton is the 1996 recipient of the Outstanding Discussion Leader Award from the Georgia Society of CPAs, and the 1998 recipient of the AICPA Lifetime Technical Contribution to the CPA Profession Award. Collins was named "Top Ten CPA Technologists" in November 1998 by Accounting Technologies Magazine.

Tom Davis is managing partner of TC Davis & Associates, LLC, a Certified Public Accounting and Consulting firm. In addition to the typical CPA services such as tax preparation and planning, preparation of financial statements, and bookkeeping services, they specialize in the implementation of computer technology. He reviews software applications for Accounting Today, Accounting Technology and CPA Magazine.

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Richard K. Oppenheim, CPA Magazine All-Star, runs Systrust Services Corporation. He graduated from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and holds the CPA and CITP credentials. He is a columnist for CPA Magazine.

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Rick Richardson is CEO of Richardson Media & Technology and has worked for 28 years with Ernst & Young. He has been named to the "Technology 100"--the annual honors list of the 100 key achievers in technology in America and honored by the AICPA with a lifetime achievement award for his contributions to the profession in the field of technology. Richardson is a sought after speaker around the world and a technology columnist for CPA Magazine.

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RELATED ARTICLE: Critical Issues Facing Practitioners

Robert Yudkin: Identify and share your viewpoint on three critical issues facing the practicing accountant today.

Gary Shamis:

1. Succession planning. Recently I heard a statistic that 50 percent of all partners in CPA firms are over 50 years old. This is problematic, as entry into the profession has been cyclical, and 10 years ago, not enough people entered the profession. We don't have sufficient numbers of experienced accountants in their mid-30s to replace today's aging Baby Boom-generation partners. Many firms have not yet recognized this problem. My firm has 20 partners who will eventually retire. We are working now to have the right people in place.

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2. Finding enough staff. These people are generally in the 25- to 35-year-old range, and I think the problem will get worse before it gets better. While we are now at a point in the cycle where we have more people coming into the profession, it will take three to five years for them to gain the experience we want. Our approach to this problem is to differentiate our firm from others and to hopefully attract--and retain--people due to our differentiation and the way we run our practice.

3. Standards overload. Standards are constantly developed and changed, and it is hard to keep current. In addition, I question whether we get paid for our efforts.

Eldon Clingan:

1. Restoring the public's trust in the accounting profession. It has suffered recently as a result of unethical, illegal and inappropriate actions from some of our peers.

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2. Developing tax accounting guidelines for small business, something that the NSA is in the process of completing.

3. Obtain recognition and acceptance of earned credentials other than the CPA. NSA urges all accountants to obtain at least one credential that assures professional competence, such as ACAT's Accredited Business Accountant (ABA) credential.

Robert Bunting:

1. Ethics and Professional Standards. I believe that great professions do not expect others to be the sole enforcer of their standards, and that they must take on much of that responsibility themselves. Although regulators serve a vital role for our profession, the responsibility of the profession is to go beyond mere compliance with minimum regulatory standards and work toward the highest standards possible. The CPA profession has always held itself to high expectations. Our responsibility must be greater than simply meeting minimum standards.

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2. Renewing the Profession. Thanks in part to the notoriety our profession has experienced over the past three years, enrollment in college level accounting programs has experienced significant growth. Enrollments are up 11 percent compared to 2000, and student interest in accounting continues to grow. Today's challenge is to retain this enthusiastic new talent in the profession for the long term. Demands for accounting and auditing talent are growing at the same time as the leading edge of the Boomer generation phases into retirement. Firms must innovate and be willing to cast aside outdated notions if they expect to benefit from this influx of new talent.

3. Building Bridges. The CPA profession, along with the regulatory and governmental sectors, shares a profound commitment to protecting the public interest. The number of these bodies has grown. Most notable is the PCAOB. However, the SEC, IRS, Department of Labor, FBI and GAO also have a great interest in how we carry out our professional mandate. We are working closely with all these bodies to build a stronger profession. It is critical that the AICPA have a seat at every table where regulations affecting the profession are made. We must strike a balance between responding to legitimate public interests and vigorously opposing regulations that don't make sense.

Yudkin: How has Sarbanes-Oxley affected your practice? If you don't deliver SOX services, how do you think it's changed the landscape of accounting?

Shamis: We have definitely benefited from Sarbanes-Oxley. The amount of work has expanded so much for the "Big 4" that they have abandoned many private firms. In addition, many former large firm clients have moved away from these firms to achieve better customer service, and in many cases, lower rates. This is a win-win situation for accounting firms; clients get better service and generally lower rates, while the accounting firms generate more business at strong rates. We've also benefited by additional 404 compliance work, although that is probably a short term phenomena.

Bunting: We are strongly supportive of the reforms of Sarbanes-Oxley. The AICPA has worked closely and cooperated with the PCAOB, the private-sector, non-profit corporation created by Sarbanes-Oxley, ever since its inception. We meet with its officials frequently. Our goals are similar in that we both want to ensure that the CPA profession meets its responsibilities to the public. Most of the 100 largest U.S firms have seen more growth in the post-SOX period than in their recent history. Their largest challenge is to make good risk management decisions regarding new assignments and avoid burning out their staff by taking on too much work.

Clingan: Speaking on behalf of the members of NSA and our state affiliates, Sarbanes-Oxley has added a new layer of federal regulation to the accounting profession. The addition of consumer advocates to the regulatory landscape has also focused scrutiny on the professional rules of conduct at state levels.

Yudkin: How can today's firm continue to change to adapt itself for the future?

Bunting: As I said in my inaugural speech at the AICPA's fall Council meeting, great professions don't just accept change or embrace it; great professions initiate change. One of my priorities as Institute chair is to ensure that the AICPA is an organization that promotes change. This is not about fads or change for change's sake. In the face of a rapidly changing environment, firms and the profession as a whole must be adept at identifying the right kinds of changes and pursuing them in a timely way before they are imposed upon us by market forces or regulators. We can shape our own future if we initiate appropriate changes in a timely way.

Shamis: Gone are the days when we came to work and did the same thing everyday. Many firms today are in a rut and not focused on their business. We must keep our eyes on the ball and pay incredible attention to our own practices. Accountants must be aware of our environment and recognize opportunities. We need to talk to colleagues, strategize, and then act to implement the strategies.

Clingan: Today's firm needs to be alert to new client needs, such as e-filing, eldercare services and financial planning. If an accountant is not already e-filing, he/she needs to plan to do this, since more and more states are adopting mandatory e-filing requirements. In addition, the NSA has pioneered seminars on eldercare. Judging by the interest in NSA's Serving Aging America seminars, practitioners are reacting enthusiastically.
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Publication:The National Public Accountant
Article Type:Cover Story
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2005
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