Kracunas: Blending Business and Technology

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As a partner at Vitale, Caturano & Company, one of New England's largest accounting firms, William J. Kracunas stands out for what he doesn't have. Kracunas, vice president in charge of the technology group at the Boston-based firm, is the only partner who is not a CPA. There are a total of 27 partners at the firm with the designation.

"Sometimes having those initials after my name would lend credibility. But then, maybe I wouldn't have the business skills that I possess today if I had focused on it," Kracunas says.

Kracunas says having a broad set of skills, including business and technology, will serve the firm well in the future, very handy at a time in which business issues with a heavy technology component-or perhaps that's technology issues with a business component-become an increasing part of the firm's technology consulting business.

Partner Insights

These include engagements involving Sarbanes-Oxley compliance and IT risk management and assessment. After studying results for 2006, Kracunas found that 50 percent of the firm's growth came from this area, while the other 50 percent came from advisory services and its Dynamics GP reselling and consulting.

Revenue is expected to hit $7 million for the year ended June 30, out of a total $46.6 million projected for Vitale Caturano for fiscal 2005. The technology group's revenues have grown from $5.5 million in 2004, when VCC acquired Wakefield, Mass.-based CoActive Consulting Group, also a Microsoft reseller. At the same time, the staff grew from 34 to 48.

Approximately half of the group's revenues are derived from the financial services and high-tech industries that are prevalent throughout the region. Vitale has had success selling Dynamics GP (formerly known as Great Plains) to public companies that need to be SOX-compliant. GP works well in these engagements because it "plays well with a lot of third-party products," and because it has good controls and has a reputation for being stable, Kracunas says. These installations also have appeal for biotech companies that want go public. SOX compliance can give them a better valuation, he continues.

Besides offering software reselling and SOX services, the group also offers technology planning, technology assessment, technology audit and review, network design and implementation and assessment, financial reporting analysis review, software selection, technology project coordination, project documentation, key reporting and business indicator review and specification, and forensics and fraud investigation.

The software lineup also includes Microsoft CRM. Kracunas says that most prospects have been waiting for Version 3.0, which has shipped. However, many resellers are still ramping up their efforts on that product. Vitale also handles a product called ThinPrint, which is designed to overcome problems in printing remotely over a system running on Citrix or Terminal Server. While VCC offers QuickBooks services, those are offered through the firm's small business practice area, which is not part of the technology group.

Meanwhile, one of Kracunas' jobs is his old job. Until late in 2004, Kracunas oversaw both the internal and external technology efforts, but those combined duties became too much for one person. However, the person hired to handle internal IT left after a short tenure and Kracunas is back to shepherding both efforts.

Because of this increasing interplay between technology and business issues, Kracunas has been stressing cross-training. The group is beginning to catalog the skills held by individual staff members and is trying to map out a course for them to acquire more. "We want to give our professional users a deeper skill set," he says. "We see the future as involving professionals who have more skills."

Riccardo A. Davis is Associate Editor of Accounting Technology and can be reached at riccardo.davis@sourcemedia.com.

VITALE, CATURANO & COMPANY TECHNOLOGY GROUP

HQ: Boston

Offices: 1

Employees: 48

Annual revenue: $7 million

Software brands: Dynamics GP, Dynamics CRM

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