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    North America Member Services

Practice Consultants

Our practice consultants are on call and ready to assist our members with client service and management issues. They include consultants for Accounting & Auditing, SEC Practice, Tax Legal Issues, International Tax, Fraud Prevention and Detection, Government and Not-For-Profit Practice, Personnel Development, Information Technology and Legal.

Accounting & Auditing – Ray G. Stephens, DBA, CPA

Ray Stephens is Professor of Accounting at Ohio University and former Director of Ohio Center for Professional Accountancy.  He has served as a consultant to CPA firms and as an expert witness on accounting and auditing issues. He is a former member of the Accountancy Board of Ohio and the 2004 recipient of the Ohio Society of CPAs’ Gold Medal. He was previously the KPMG Peat Marwick Professor of Accounting at Kent State University and a faculty member at Ohio State University. He is also a frequent instructor on continuing education and author of numerous books and articles. Our Accounting & Auditing Consultant is available for consultation with our members on accounting and auditing issues and practice problems.

SEC Practice – Robert F. Richter, CPA

Bob Richter has over 40 years of SEC practice experience, including 14 years as the director of SEC practice for a national accounting firm. He is the author of SEC Accounting and Reporting Manual, published by RIA/Thomson Reuters in print and on the Internet.  He has been a member or chairman of numerous professional committees including the SEC Regulations Committee and Accounting Standards Executive Committee of the AICPA, and is a nationally recognized speaker and seminar leader on SEC and PCAOB topics. Our SEC Practice Consultant is available for consultation with members on the filing and financial reporting requirements of the SEC and the requirements of the PCAOB.

Tax Legal Issues – Kadish, Hinkel & Weibel

The Cleveland based law firm of Kadish, Hinkel & Weibel are active in the representation of clients in tax controversies with the Internal Revenue Service and state taxing authorities including audits, administrative appellate proceedings and judicial proceedings. They specialize in tax planning and controversies, including estate planning, corporate, partnerships, and exempt organizations. Our Association’s contacts with the firm are partners, Steve Kadish and Matt Kadish. Steve Kadish has been a leading tax attorney in Cleveland for a number of years, has been included in each edition of “The Best Lawyers in America” since its inception in 1983 and has also been included in each issue of “Ohio Super Lawyers”. He has substantial experience in practice before the IRS, Tax Court and U.S. District Court in tax related matters. Matt Kadish has represented individual and business clients in a wide variety of tax related planning including choice of entity, business succession, estate, charitable giving, exempt organizations, retirement planning and IRS controversy. He has been named one of the “Ohio Super Lawyers” since 2006 in the tax area and is included in the “Best Lawyers in America” since 2009. Our Tax Legal Issues Consultant is available to help our members with interpretation of the tax law and with tax controversies with the IRS and other taxing authorities.

International Tax – Brian Schwam, JD

Brian Schwam, is a Principal and National Managing Director – International Tax for WTP Advisors based in Minneapolis.  He has almost 30 years of experience as an international tax practitioner. Prior to joining WTP Advisors in 2010, he was a co-founder and Managing Director of the Wisconsin practice of U.S. Tax Advantage, LLC, an international tax specialty consulting firm. Before becoming an independent advisor, he was the Milwaukee office practice leader for international tax services and export incentives for both Ernst & Young and KPMG for a combined 18 years, delivering international tax services to both publicly traded and closely held businesses.
Brian has significant experience providing U.S. international tax and cross border tax advice, both inbound and outbound, related to mergers and acquisitions, legal entity structuring, local country tax planning, foreign tax credit and repatriation planning, transfer pricing, tax treaties, global cash management, income sourcing for foreign tax credit, earnings and profits, FATCA, US international tax compliance and maximizing export incentives such as the IC-DISC and FSC. In addition to traditional C corporation international tax issues, he puts special focus on the outbound international tax issues faced by U.S. based pass-through entities. These special issues relate to claiming foreign tax credits and export incentives, choice of entity in foreign locations and claiming tax treaty benefits.

Government & Not-For-Profit Practice – Celina Miller, CPA

Celina Cereceres Miller, is an Audit Partner of Whitley Penn, LLP in Houston, Texas. Celina oversees audits and other attest engagements for school districts, universities and colleges, other large governments and non-profit organizations.  These entities receive large amounts of federal assistance ranging from $500K to $250 million.  As such, Celina has extensive knowledge with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requirements under Circulars A-133, A-87, A-122 and A-21.   Our Government and Not-For-Profit Consultant is available for consultation and training to help members service federal, state and local government engagements, and not-for-profit engagements receiving federal and state funding.

Personnel Development – Rex Gatto, Ph.D.

Rex Gatto is a nationally known consultant, lecturer and author who works closely with a number of CPA firms, corporate 500 companies and small businesses in helping them enhance their productivity and enrich the working lives of their people.  He is a licensed professional counselor, certified psychologist, Board member of the National Association of Cognitive and Behavioral Therapists, has authored the highly acclaimed "Smart Manager’s FAQ" in addition to books on stress, presentation and mentoring and is featured often in the media.  He helped CPAAI develop its Leadership Development Program and is one of the program’s regular presenters.  Our Personnel Development Consultant is available for consultation and training to help our members with 360 degree partner and staff evaluations, employee pre-hire, skills assessment, coaching and mentoring, performance evaluation, personnel assessment for acquisitions, and firm evaluation development and strategic planning.

Information Technology – Member Consulting Team

The Association’s Information Technology Member Consulting Team is composed of the following individuals from our member firms with a high level of technical expertise, and helps our members improve in-house technology and expand client services.  They are Rick Sommer of Master, Sidlow & Associates, P.A., Wilmington, Delaware; and Rich Wagoner of Greenwalt CPAs, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana.  Our Information Technology Member Consulting Team can assist our members with client services, operating systems used internally, software used, software and hardware supported by firms, reseller affiliations, and industry expertise.

Legal – Wilson Elser

The New York based law firm of Wilson Elser is a full service firm with clients in the United States, Latin America, Europe and Asia. Domestically, the firm is ranked among the top law firms identified by The American Lawyer and listed in “The Top 50” by The National Law Journal.  Wilson Elser specializes in servicing CPA firms and represents more than 100 accounting firms worldwide. Its services include crafting terms of engagement for an accountant’s new relationship with a client; representing CPA firms in malpractice litigation or disciplinary proceedings; counseling firms on practice structure; negotiating merger terms for new accounting practices; and helping firms assess risk management issues, partner disputes and third-party claims. The firm’s Accountants Professional Liability Practice Team, headed by Thomas Manisero and Peter Larkin, are available for consultation with our members for a number of issues including transactional matters, practice and risk management, client engagements, regulatory issues and litigation.