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Live Oak Bank Announces Alliance with Whitman Business Advisors

WILMINGTON, N.C. (July xx, 2018) – Live Oak Bank is pleased to announce a partnership with Whitman Business Advisors designed to help accounting and tax firms simplify the process of buying or selling a firm. With the steady growth of transfers of ownership in the industry, the partnership allows Whitman to guide the M&A process and Live Oak to offer
expert financing for the deal.

“With the market primed for firm transitions, we believe that a concentrated focus on tools, market access and financing will help accountants more effectively facilitate these transitions,” said Shannon Hay, industry expert of accounting and tax lending at Live Oak Bank. “Aligning with Whitman Business Advisors in a collaborative effort makes it easier for the firms and lets us tailor solutions to meet their needs.”

“Working with trusted partners to empower accountants and aid in successful M&A transactions is paramount,” said Philip Whitman, President and CEO of Whitman Business Advisors. “Since having access to sound advice and financing will be paramount, we are collaborating to make it easy for accountants to find and work with us based on their specific needs.”

To learn more about Live Oak Bank and its services for accounting and tax firms, visit
To learn more about strategic partnership with Whitman Business Advisors, visit

About Live Oak Bank

Live Oak Bank, a subsidiary of Live Oak Bancshares, Inc. (Nasdaq: LOB), is a digitally focused, FDIC-insured bank serving customers across the country. Live Oak brings efficiency and excellence to the banking process, without branches, by using a focused approach to technology and innovation.

To learn more, visit

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

Claire Parker, Senior Public Relations Manager

Sarah Carroll, Marketing Programs Manager

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.





WBA forms Alliance to Bring Financing to CPA Firm’s Clients

February 1, 2018, Monmouth County, NJ, – Today Whitman Business Advisors (WBA) announced the addition of StrategicFunding, a premier online lender and alternative financing provider for small businesses, to their expanding Practice Growth Multiplier(TM) service offering for its CPA firm clients.

Phil Whitman, CEO and President of WBA explained the need for CPA firms to be at the forefront in helping their clients with growth challenges. “Our partnership with Strategic Funding will enable our CPA firm clients to bring to clients of theirs that may not qualify for traditional bank loans and lines of credit, alternative financing solutions.”

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Whitman Business Advisors,” said Ben Johnston, Chief Operating Officer of Strategic Funding. “Business owners place a high degree of trust in their accounting firms to provide advice on products, services and processes that often fall outside of the realm of their defined duties. Through this partnership, Strategic Funding and Whitman are able to provide Whitman’s CPA firms with a trusted source of financing to which they can refer their clients.”

About Whitman Business Advisors

Whitman Business Advisors LLC is a national consultancy that services CPAs and CPA firms exclusively. It’s six-pack plus of services includes: merger and acquisition, talent acquisition, partner retreats, training and coaching, The Practice Growth Multiplier(TM) and practice management consulting. To learn more, visit

About Strategic Funding

Founded in 2006 and headquartered in NYC, Strategic Funding has been recognized by customers and the industry as one of the most reliable and respected names in small business financing. Since its inception, Strategic Funding has provided nearly $1.5 billion to small business owners across the country. With flexible financing options, the company provides small businesses with the working capital they need to take advantage of opportunities and grow. To learn more, visit

7 Aspects of your CPA firm culture that can make or break a merger

When it comes to a merger of accounting firms, the process can depend on way more than the bottom-line financial terms of the deal.

President and CEO of Whitman Business Advisors LLC,  Philip J. Whitman, CPA, suggests many features of the firms involved will have an outsized impact on the key merger factors, such as compensation and governance.

Evaluating those features and having a plan for addressing them early on will help CPA firms navigate the M&A waters, says Whitman, one of Inside Public Accounting’s 10 Most Recommended Consultants in the country. One consideration is the firms’ client bases and how they will complement or overlap each other, says Whitman, whose firm specializes in succession strategies for CPAs and CPA firms. [He recently led a webinar, “Lean CPA M&A: Getting to the Finish Line Faster,” hosted by Sageworks.] A second is the firms’ areas of specialization – the niches within the practices that are significant and which set them apart. The chemistry between managing partners is an especially important feature to consider as well, as it relates strongly to how the two firms will explore and perhaps consummate a merger.

Watch the Webinar here


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