AICPA Governing Council Member & Former NJSCPA President Joins Whitman Business Advisors National CPA Firm Consulting Team

Whitman Business Advisors Announces Addition of WALTER J. BRASCH, CPA, CGMA As Managing Director

Today Whitman Business Advisors (WBA) announced the addition of Walter J. Brasch, CPA as their newest consultant. Walter brings more than 30 years of executive experience in the accounting and business advisory industry to Whitman Business Advisors. He possesses a successful track record in leadership roles at several top 100 CPA firms.

Before joining Whitman Business Advisors Walter served as a partner and chief business development officer at PKF O’Connor Davies. Prior to that role he served as regional managing partner at Parente Beard LLC where he oversaw substantial revenue and profitability growth cultivating trusted long-standing relationships with CEOs, board chairs and other key decision-makers throughout the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area.

Earlier positions include partner in charge of business development at Wiss and Company LLC as well as managing partner at Lipman, Selznick & Witkowski, where he orchestrated significant growth through the acquisition of prominent audit and consulting practices. He was also an audit partner at all of his prior firms and has significant industry experience in healthcare, professional services firms and regulated entities. He launched his career with Deloitte and Touche.

Walter currently serves as a member of AICPA Council representing NJ CPA members and is the former President of the NJSCPAs. In addition to Practice Management consulting, strategic planning, growth initiatives and Partner Retreat Facilitation, Walter will be helping WBA expand their newest service offering, the Practice Growth Multiplier.

Phil Whitman, CEO and President of WBA shared his excitement over Walter joining the WBA team. “Walter could have joined another Top 100 firm in a leadership capacity and the choice he made in joining us makes me proud.” Whitman continued “to have an AICPA Council member and former NJSCPA President as part of our team expands our ability not only to deliver the necessary messages of the changes CPAs need to make to remain relevant en mass, but an expansion of depth and breadth in our ability to deliver the services required as well”

“I am thrilled to be partnering with Whitman Business Advisors,” said Walter. “Being part of the WBA team gives me an opportunity to share my 30+ years of experience with CPA firms Nationwide. The talent bench and six-pack of services offered by WBA is unparalleled in the industry.”

About Whitman Business Advisors
Whitman Business Advisors is a national consultancy serving CPAs and CPA firms exclusively. Its Six Pack Plus of services includes: mergers and acquisitions, talent acquisition, partner retreats, training and coaching, lead generation and practice management consultation. For a 30 second video about our services click here


Noted Independent Accounting Industry Marketer To Advise Whitman Clients.


Wednesday, May 2, 2018:  NEW YORK – Whitman Business Advisors LLC, one of the nation’s leading accounting industry advisory firms, today announced that Richard Shippee, president of Richard Shippee Communications, has joined the Whitman team as an independent provider of marketing and communications services to Whitman and its CPA-firm clients.

Prior to establishing Richard Shippee Communications, Shippee had a four-decade career in marketing and communications for organizations and professional services firms. During the first boom he directed west coast marketing operations for management consultancy, A.T. Kearney. He later joined Deloitte in New York to manage public relations and media relations throughout the firm’s Boston-Philadelphia corridor. In 2008 Shippee became Director of Communications for EisnerAmper LLP, an Accounting Today Top 20 firm. In addition to his communications work there, he also directed marketing for the firm’s Personal Wealth Advisory practice, and was a member of its merger integration team.

In making the announcement, Whitman Business Advisors President and CEO, Phillip Whitman, said, “Dick Shippee is an acknowledged pro in professional services marketing whose background in helping accounting firms build their brands will be of immediate value to our clients.”  Whitman works with more than a third of the Top 100 accounting firms providing hands-on advice on talent acquisition, mergers and acquisitions, practice management consulting,  growth strategies, as well as managing partner coaching and more. “Dick will add a depth of experience in marketing and communications to our already growing arsenal of services, and I welcome him enthusiastically,” Whitman added.

In speaking about his new role with Whitman, Shippee said that “It has been my great fortune to have worked closely with some of the accounting industry’s most visionary leaders whose dedication to marketing and business development made it possible for me to develop the skills and experience that I can now bring to the firms that Phil Whitman is advising.”



About Whitman Business Advisors LLC:

Whitman Business Advisors is a national consultancy serving CPAs and CPA firms exclusively. Its Six Pack Plus of services includes: mergers and acquisitions, talent acquisition, partner retreats, training and coaching, lead generation and practice management consultation.


About Richard Shippee Communications

Richard Shippee Communications provides marketing and communications services to growing firms, family offices and professional services firms seeking to maximize their resources. Its specializations include: corporate communications, public relations and event management.





Prager Metis CPAs, LLC Expands Business Management Expertise;

Merges with Cameo Wealth & Creative Management, Inc. & The Asteri Group, Ltd.

January 2, 2018 – New York, NY—  Prager Metis CPAs, LLC, a leading accounting and advisory firm with offices in North America, Europe, and Asia, and a member of GGI International, today announced its combination with Cameo Wealth & Creative Management, Inc., and The Asteri Group, Ltd., two business management and accounting firms with offices in New York and California. Phil Whitman of Whitman Business Advisors acted as facilitators in the transaction.

Prager Metis will expand its office at 14 Penn Plaza, New York, to include Cameo’s existing adjacent space in the same building. Craig Manzino, David Fromowitz and Marc Rosen will join Prager Metis as partners, while Sandra Greenberg and Dean Michaels will join as Principals. The Cameo team will work side-by-side with Prager Metis partners to enhance the Business Management Department that integrates the vast experience of the combined group.

“We welcome this influx of significant expertise from Cameo and Asteri,” says David Neste, Co-Managing Partner of Prager Metis. “This combination enables Prager, Cameo and Asteri to serve all of our business management clients even more effectively, with a greater breadth of support, service and opportunity.”

Cameo Wealth & Creative Management, Inc. and Asteri Group Ltd., are full-service entertainment business management firms that have been an active financial resource for entertainers for over 30 years. Additionally they provide tax consultation and preparation for individuals and corporations in the entertainment, creative arts and related industries.

“The depth of expertise offered by Prager Metis in wealth services, international tax law, and advisory capabilities will benefit our clients immensely,” says Manzino. “At the same time they highly value the personal, boutique-style service our clients expect. The combination is powerful and we are all very excited to join the Prager Metis team.”

For more information, contact Diane Walsh at 212.643.0099, Ext. 125 or


Not So Fast . . .

One of the most far-reaching changes to Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime regulations was about to begin effective December 1st.

This change doubled the threshold for exemption from overtime pay to $47,476.  What’s more, the exemption would have automatically been adjusted every three years beginning in 2020.  On November 22, 2016 a federal judge in Texas halted this change and put on hold a major initiative of the Obama administration.

At this time, employers do not need to implement the FLSA changes by December 1st.  However, after hearing the full case, the court could allow the changes to move forward.  On the other hand, the incoming Trump Administration will now have time to weigh-in on the overtime initiatives sponsored by the outgoing Obama administration. WBA’s Human Capital Services team will closely monitor this important development and keep clients appraised in the weeks ahead

Current Dilemma

Many employers have already implemented the new overtime regulations.

Undoubtedly, this can pose a problem for employers having to pull-back from overtime eligibility notices that were implemented over the past few months leading up to the effective date of December 1, 2016.

Employers will have to think about which approach will cause the least disruption to their workforce. Some employers may decide to keep the changes – if already implemented – and abide by modifications put forth the by the Trump administration, and made into law by the FLSA.  Employers, who have not reclassified their employees for overtime purposes, would want to hold-off and keep a close watch on developments going forward.

Have you implemented any changes? How does this affect you, at this time?

New Advisor joins the WBA Team

Whitman Business Advisors LLC  is pleased to announce that Albert J. Frazia, a former Talent Management executive at Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP has joined the Whitman team of CPA industry experts.

The addition of Frazia on the Whitman team will broaden the firm’s client support with his focus on human capital growth and development, strategic workforce planning, regulatory compliance, and risk management.

Al, a well-established and highly diversified human resource professional, has helped many organizations realize the connection between high employee engagement and strategic success.   Al has also provided specialized search and staffing services to CPA firms and business entities nationwide.   Al’s counsel has been sought by senior leaders to guide them through challenging organizational issues and initiatives ranging from succession planning; nurturing future leaders, compensation, awards and incentives; benefit plan design and cost-savings; internal investigations; crisis management among other organization imperatives.

Prior to its merger with Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP in 2012, Al was Chief Human Resources Officer for Holtz Rubenstein Reminick a leading New York regional CPA firm with offices on Long island and New York City.  After joining Holtz Rubenstein Reminick in 2005, the firm’s workforce more than doubled in size.  Moreover,  during this period Holtz Rubenstein Reminick was recipient of numerous awards and citations about it’s working environment including “Best Place to Work on Long Island” (No.1)”, Best Companies to Work for in New York State” (six consecutive years.), and the Alfred P. Sloan award for Excellence in Workplace Flexibility awarded by When Work Works Foundation.  Al was also a driving force in instituting the award-winning CARE Program at Holtz Rubenstein Reminick – an initiative designed to provide comprehensive coaching and career-guidance for professional team-members. The CARE Program was a recipient of the Best Practices Award by the American Psychological Association that recognized the top-ten workplace initiatives for organizations on both the U.S. and Canada.

Al has presented before groups including the Foundation for Accounting Education (FAE) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) on topical human resources issues.  He is a member of the Executive Board and the Directors’ Forum for New York City/SHRM, and serves as VP-Finance and Treasurer for this large, local chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management.

Phil Whitman, President and CEO, shared “Al Frazia’s robust human resources background will help WBA to further increase the depth and breadth of our service offering to our expanding CPA firm client base.   From consulting around human resources best practices and human capital optimization, I am sure Al will be instrumental in helping our clients with developing strategies to enhance the recruiting and retaining of talent, which continues to be the most critical issue facing firms of all sizes.”

In commenting on his joining WBA, Al stated:  “WBA occupies a vital niche for the CPA firm community.  Its’ commitment to helping CPA firms improve net income per partner through their six-pack of services makes WBA an extremely valued and unique resource.   I am delighted to join WBA and its’ distinguished team of advisors, and play a part in WBA’s commitment to the CPA firm community going forward.”

David Wolfskehl, Director of Operations, shared: “Al’s addition to the WBA team is important in our mission to positively impact CPA firms.  Talent is such an important area and having an expert with Al’s pedigree helping our clients is very exciting.”


WBA helps facilitate another significant merger


Effective August 1, 2016, Fried & Kowgios Partners LLP (FK Partners), a certified public accounting firm based in New York, NY, which is one of the leading accounting firms in providing services to theatrical productions, not for profit and entertainment companies, joined its practice with WithumSmith+Brown, PC (Withum), a regional CPA and consulting firm with 14 offices, 800 staff members and annual revenue of $140M, ranking in the top 30 firms in the country.

“We are excited about joining forces with Withum,” says Karen Kowgios, one of the founding and managing partners of FK Partners. “Since our inception in 2003, our primary focus has been to provide the best possible technical and personal service to our clients in the theatrical industry. This union enhances our ability to pursue this objective by offering our clients access to Withum’s significant breadth and depth of resources, giving us the opportunity to continue to even more effectively serve as a trusted advisor.”

FK Partners provides tax, accounting, audit, and consulting services predominantly to commercial and not-for-profit theatrical clients both domestically and abroad. The firm has extensive experience and depth in providing the theatrical industry and related producers, general managers, and lawyers the essential services that these entities need in order to operate effectively.

“We are thrilled to have the staff from FK Partners come on board,” says Michael Stallone, CPA, the partner in charge of the acquiring firm’s New York City office. “Their expertise in serving clients in the theatrical industry will nicely augment our current commercial and not-for-profit practice areas.”

Phil Whitman and Barry Wagman of Whitman Business Advisors acted as facilitators in the transaction.

*originally published on