Accountants & Consultants

The world of accounting and consulting has its big four—PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte, Ernst & Young and KPMG—but consider this: The six other players in the Kansas City region’s Top 10 accounting firms combine to boast nearly identical numbers of CPAs as those four major brands do collectively.

That makes this region a highly competitive landscape for accounting and consulting services, and there is no shortage of experienced, talented professionals available to serve the needs of businesses and individuals in the Death & Taxes Continuum—not just tax planning and estate planning, but business operations, information technology needs, business valuation and forensic auditing, and many more areas of specialization. 

In 2012, Ingram’s introduced you to dozens of key figures from firms throughout the region, and what we found was that Kansas City has not a talent pool, but a talent iceberg, and the people recognized in that initial installment were just the tip of it.

Drawing on the recommendations of managing partners, connections with other business executives and our own research, we’ve assembled a similar cast of highly respected, highly accomplished accounting and consulting professionals. We hope this compendium will provide some guidance when you’re looking for assistance with complex financial issues at your own company.

Accounting, Auditing & Attestation

The Kansas City office of CBIZ has put its attest practice unit in the hands of Bob Dowling, who brings more than 25 years of public accounting experience to role of practice leader. There, he supervises and reviews attestation for mid-size and large-market clients, in addition to his own attest workload. He serves companies in the retail, manufacturing, consumer products, software and life-sciences sectors, dealing with financial-statement audits, Sarbanes-Oxley and SEC compliance, due diligence for acquisitions, and other business consulting.

Kevin Kaufman is the audit partner in charge for the Kansas City office of KPMG. In addition to the accounting acumen developed in his 23-year career, Kaufman is experienced in SEC filings and advising business clients on internal controls. His clients range from Fortune 500 companies to small start-ups in various industries—retail, agribusiness, industrial markets, software, and construction among them.

Bill Hancock isn’t just president at CBIZ/Mayer Hoffman McCann; he’s also a business builder: In just the past eight years on his watch, the firm has grown from a single office to more than three dozen locations across the country. Hancock, who joined the firm in 1975, also serves as its national attest practice leader. Among his specialties are financial-statement reporting, technical review and quality control of audit and attest engagements, and litigation support services.

Steven Wiebler a certified public accountant for House Park & Dobratz, has nearly a quarter-century of experience working with both individuals and businesses on matters of accounting, auditing, tax planning and business consulting. He is highly regarded for his technical expertise in accounting principles, auditing standards, securities reporting, income tax planning and compliance, human resources and business management. 

Howard Cohen’s commitment to the profession goes well beyond his role as audit partner in charge for Deloitte; he’s also been involved with the biennial accounting symposium hosted by the University of Kansas, and a major support of the drive to build a new business school there. Tony Torres, who heads the firm’s Audit and Enterprise Risk Services unit, specializes in consolidated financial statements and has a strong knowledge of accounting and reporting issues with SEC registrants, including accounting, reporting and corporate governance.

Brian Hall started his career with what is now Meara Welch Browne in 1988, armed with a degree in computer science and mathematics from Vanderbilt University. He left after four years, working in various roles to improve his skills in computer forensics and fraud investigation, then came back to MWB full-time in January 2011 as the director of information technology. In that role, his skills in computer forensics provide litigation support for a number of the firm’s clients.

Brett Lewis has been the Kansas City office managing partner for Grant Thornton since 2007, and brings nearly 25 years’ worth of experience to the firm, where he’s also an audit partner. He has worked with clients in retail, technology, manufacturing and distribution, and construction companies, providing corporate registration statements, integrated audits and review of registrant responses to SEC comment letters. Past clients include American Italian Pasta, Rent-A-Center and the parent for Village Inn/Baker’s Square restaurants, among others. 

Mark Radetic, Managing Partner of Marks Nelson Vohland Campbell Radetic, specializes in audit, consulting. Mark has extensive experience in capital-intensive industries such as construction and auto dealerships, as well as wholesale distribution. He has a reputation of delivering practical, common-sense business solutions. 

Jim Snyder is the managing partner for BKD’s Forensics & Valuation Services division, which, as the company says, is the intersection of accounting and law. Snyder, a lawyer himself, has worked with attorneys, judges and clients in settings that involve litigation, dispute resolution and investigations, and travels the country to help resolve commercial disputes as a mediator or arbitrator.

John Martin is a certified public accountant and he joined Higdon & Hale 25 years ago. He now directs the firm’s accounting and auditing practice. He has a broad client base that draws on his expertise, including manufacturers and wholesalers, non-profit organizations and small municipalities.

Tim Goodger of Topeka-based Mize Houser & Co. is an auditor with significant experience working with independent telecommunications companies, contractors, manufacturers and not-for-profit organizations. His clients praise him and his team for reducing the stress of “audit time” by bringing a professional presence that respects the client relationship, yet lightening the mood with humor when needed. Audrey Odermann, like Goodger a shareholder and CPA, focuses her practice of auditing and consulting on cities and school districts. She, too, has a reputation for helping clients do their jobs better and educating, not criticizing, them.


Tax Consulting 

Mike Mollerus is tax partner in charge at KPMG, and more than 20 years of experience underpin his work in corporate tax accounting, particularly with S corporations, partnerships and FAS109. He deals with multi-national and foreign-owned clients, portfolio companies of private equity funds and closely held businesses in manufacturing, distribution, retail, construction, and real estate. His colleague, Mike Torti, is a tax partner with 23 years in public account-ing. Torti helps companies comply with federal, state, and international tax rules in various settings—consumer products, industrial manufacturing, construction, and service industries.

Craig Kuckelman joined Deloitte in 1991 and became a partner nine years later; he’s been managing partner in the tax unit since 2003. His client base hails from such varying sectors as retail, transportation and manufacturing, and he also assists high net-worth individuals with their tax planning needs.

Among his duties as indirect tax partner at Ernst & YoungKevin Boyer tracks the impact of tax policy on business clients, which means the good—such as incentives for adopting green energy initiatives—to the not-so-good, like the tax increases on medical device manufacturers that were part of the 2010 federal health-care reforms. He also advises clients on state and local taxation issues.

With more than two decades’ worth of experience in accounting, Steve Johnson directs the financial institutions tax practice for McGladrey’s Kansas City office. His unit offers tax services to community banks across the Midwest. His areas of expertise include consolidated tax return, income taxes, planning and compliance for S corporations, and assistance with federal and state tax examinations. 

Douglas Miller founded the CPA firm of Miller Haviland Ketter in 1983, and serves as its managing partner. His primary concentration is small business clients, particularly those hailing from real estate, transportation, hospitality, retail and insurance sectors. He also provides guidance to individual clients for estate and gift tax planning as well as income tax and retirement planning.

Bret Curtis of Mize Houser & Co. focuses his tax and consulting practice on closely-held businesses. Praised by clients for his succession-planning skills, Curtis is also highly regarded for his competence: “When Bret answers a question,” one client volunteered, “we don’t even consider needing a second opinion!”

Tim Reynolds is a partner in the St. Joseph office of CliftonLarsonAllen. He is an 18-year veteran focusing on tax services for corporations, partnerships and high net-worth individuals, with an emphasis on manufacturers and wholesale distributors. He also has a background in tax compliance (federal and state), income tax accounting and uncertain-tax positions.

Scott Slabotsky, a 30-year accounting/taxation vet, is the managing director for the KC office of CBIZ. Among his clients are closely held businesses, health-care providers, companies in the hospitality and real-estate sectors, and wholesaler—including individuals, partnerships and limited-liability companies. He’s experienced in a broad range of accounting functions, including auditing and business-advisory services, acquisitions and dispositions, business valuations and due diligence, and succession planning.

Daniel Friedrich is a tax partner at Grant Thornton, where he puts more than 15 years of public accounting experience to work for large and mid-size multinational corporations. Among his clients are companies in the financial services, manufacturing, wholesale distribution, construction and transportation sectors. He made partner at a Global Six accountancy while still in his mid-30s, and is a graduate of the firm’s corporate tax academy.

Glenn Henderson, a 30-year veteran with broad experiences, is a RubinBrown partner working in the tax consulting, wealth management, construction and real estate services groups for the St. Louis-based company’s Kansas City office. He provides investment advisory services to individuals and closely held businesses alike, and is licensed in all areas of general securities. He’s joined in tax consulting and wealth management by Ed Warren, a partner who specializes in taxation issues and serves as an investment advisor, focusing on individuals and business for the former, and on retirement planning and investment services for the latter.

David Kaseff is not just a partner at Marks Nelson Vohland Campbell Radetic; he’s also a lawyer and a CPA. As leader of the firm’s insurance practice, his accounting and legal experience benefits clients in the areas of captive insurance, taxation and alternate risk financing. Among his clients, he’s worked with Fortune 500 companies and large private companies. The firm’s tax expertise also includes partner David Belpedio, leader of the state and local tax practice. He specializes in taxation of manufacturing, distribution, investment property—office, warehouse, utilities—and works with mid-market companies nationwide to help them minimize the amount of state and local taxes they pay.

Dave Higdon of Higdon & Hale has been immersed in the accounting profession for more than half a century, developing a rich history in auditing, tax consulting and business advisory services. CPA-certified in both Kansas and Missouri, he’s also a certified financial planner.


Business Consulting

Mark Barrett started his own firm in 1982, and today, it’s known as Barrett Herman Ragland & Schartz. There, business clients benefit from his 41 years of accounting experience in both tax planning and consulting for companies in construction, real estate, property management, manufacturing, and distribution. That work also includes preparation for business–sale agreements, business valuations, and succession planning.

Stephen Park, of House Park & Dobratz, advises closely held enterprises for their accounting and tax needs, and provides business consulting services for closely held companies. He has more than 30 years of experience in the sector. His colleague, Michael Dobratz, has offered similar consultations for businesses and individuals for more than 25 years, with a particular focus on taxation of partnerships and real-estate transactions.

Angie McElhaney of Marks Nelson Vohland Campbell Radetic is a partner who leads the firm’s assurance and business advisory department. She specializes in construction, auto dealerships, retail, distribution, service and nonprofits. 

Experience at larger firms like Deloitte Touche and BKD helped Robert Parker build his skills before joining TPP, where he works with closely held businesses in the construction, manufacturing and distribution sectors. Business planning and financial reporting services are specialties, and he also offers guidance on increasing profit, financing, personal and corporate tax issues and succession planning.

Gary Hawkins is chairman of HSMC Orizon, which draws its name from the two firms that merged last fall. His career has focused on helping small business owners achieve success, grounded in a belief that it’s the best path they have to accrue personal wealth. Rosalie Newkirk, client service partner for the firm, works with both individuals and with business owners from the retail, manufacturing, construction, professional services, and non-profit sectors.

Lawyer, accountant, business executive: Chuck Haviland’s career path incorporates all aspects of his training; he holds a law degree and an MBA and he’s a CPA and director of tax operations for Miller Haviland Ketter. He started there 30 years ago, and now engaged in business tax planning for MHK’s clients, as well as offering guidance to non-profit groups.


Information Technology

Heather Hoyle, a shareholder for McRuer CPAs, is also the firm’s accounting services team coordinator. She’s an accounting systems strategist with more than a decade of experience, and works with business clients to implement accounting-system efficiencies. She also manages the firm’s creative business solutions online accounting and bookkeeping programs that serve business clients.

Scott Brouillette is a principal at BKD Technologies, a division of BKD, LLP, and his unit was in the first class of those recognized last year with Microsoft’s Highest Add Growth YOY FY12 award for Dynamics GP, an intuitive, broad-based enterprise resource planning solution for midsize companies. Microsoft presents the award to high-performing partners.

Michael Bohning is director of tech services for HSMC Orizon, and his perspective in that role was deeply influenced by his experience as part owner of a manufacturing company. That has given him insights on ways that IT can improve cash flow, facilitate process improvements and help make payroll.

Rob Wolf is a leader in KPMG’s IT assurance practice and partner in charge of the firm’s Midwest SAS 70 practice. He has more than 16 years of financial and technology auditing and consulting experience, and he’s responsible for ensuring the quality of the approach, design and execution of the firm’s technology risk and controls assessment work.


Estate Planning/Charitable Giving

Mark Vlasic directs the wealth management office for McGladrey in Kansas City, where he’s highly regarded by peers not only for his skills in estate planning, but expertise in comprehensive financial planning, wealth management, retirement planning through 401(k) and other qualified plans, and business succession planning. He can offer sound guidance on the 15-yard-out, too—Vlasic spent six seasons as an NFL quarterback, including two with the Chiefs.

Steve Toomey studied investment management consulting at the University of Pennsylvania’s prestigious Wharton School. His previous experience at other area investment companies is now on display at BKD Wealth Advisors, a wholly owned subsidiary of BKD, LLP. Toomey is a wealth manager serving not just individuals and families, but institutional clients, for whom he offers investment consulting and compliance guidance.

David Perky, co-founder of the TPP accounting firm, has been a CPA for 35 years, and offers tax services to individuals, trusts, partnerships and corporations. His tax planning emphasis is on minimizing income taxes and he has extensive experience with succession and estate planning.