The 2016 MP Elite

The fifth edition of our annual report highlights eight outstanding accounting firm leaders.

A selection of the best A selection of the best

In our fifth collection of the Managing Partner Elite, we've brought together a selection of the country's best firm leaders, from firms of all sizes, to highlight the skills and strategies it takes to lead an organization to success in the 21st century.

Antonio Argiz / MBAF Antonio Argiz / MBAF

In his almost-20 years at the helm of MBAF, Argiz has boosted its revenue almost tenfold and its staff fivefold, while expanding its geographic reach across the country and around the world, creating a widely respected powerhouse that stands out in the profession for its international expertise — and its diversity. With all that, he still finds time to be deeply involved in his communities, whether by volunteering with the American Institute of CPAs and his local state board, or serving a wide range of charities and civic groups.

Richard Berkowitz / Berkowitz Pollack Brant Richard Berkowitz / Berkowitz Pollack Brant

One of Berkowitz’s goals has been to build a place where people can develop great careers, a focus he retains to this day, where it’s led to a proactive embrace of the workstyles of Millennials — and a stunningly low single-digit turnover rate. He has paired that concern for culture and environment with strong, detailed plans for the firm’s future -- he has even planned for the firm’s future without him: They have had a succession plan in place for over five years, under which Berkowitz has been grooming and mentoring the next CEO to succeed him when he transitions to the chairman’s role next January.

Joey Havens / Horne Joey Havens / Horne

Leaders are rare, but rarer still are leaders who develop other leaders — and Joey Havens is definitely one of those. It shows in the “Wise Firm” culture he has installed at Horne, an incredibly positive and empowering ethos that urges employees to “beBetter,” even as it gives them unparalleled flexibility and support to do so. (It’s well worth a look at The results at Horne are clear: Under Havens, the firm has grown its revenues over 40 percent, grown its staff almost 30 percent (while significantly lowering turnover), and innovated in service areas like its new cybersecurity practice.

Diane Medley / Mountjoy Chilton Medley Diane Medley / Mountjoy Chilton Medley

Medley built the firm she co-founded from scratch into the largest firm in Kentucky, a powerhouse with a spot among the leading firms in the country that’s now pursuing an aggressive regional expansion plan. Underpinning all that success is a strong focus on leadership and talent, with programs for identifying and grooming rising stars, and an active Next-Generation Committee to help with recruiting and retention.

Jeffery Mowery / Mowery & Schoenfeld Jeffery Mowery / Mowery & Schoenfeld

It’s hard enough to lead for today — leading for tomorrow is even more difficult, but Jeffery Mowery manages to do both, with a strong grasp of what his firm needs to succeed now, and constant effort to prepare for what’s ahead. And to give you an idea of how far ahead he’s planning, he’s already identified his successor as MP, though the transition is still at least five years off.

Charles Postal / Santos, Postal & Co. Charles Postal / Santos, Postal & Co.

What sets the MP Elite apart is that they’re generally really good at a broad range of things, and Charles Postal is a perfect example of that. During his tenure, Santos Postal has quadrupled in revenues and quintupled in staff; completed five acquisitions; added six new practice areas; launched annually revised strategic and succession plans; implemented a host of cutting-edge technology innovations; and been named an Accounting Today Best Firm to Work For five times. Given that he is clearly firing on all cylinders, it should come as no surprise that Postal won a Digital CPA Innovative Practitioner Award this year.

Scott Price / A-LIGN Scott Price / A-LIGN

Price is running his firm now the way everyone will in five or 10 years. From a single office in Florida he has expanded to offices in major markets all over the country, with clients all over the world, thanks in no small part to his ability to leverage technology and the firm’s remote workforce — which has also helped him significantly grow his international client base. Price has made innovation in sales and business development a priority, but at the same time, he has created a “Strategic People Plan” with an emphasis on engaging with and actually listening to the firm’s employees.

Jeffrey Weiner / Marcum Jeffrey Weiner / Marcum

Weiner was a member of our inaugural class of the MP Elite in 2012, and it’s no accident that he returns this year — he’s one of the most admired firm leaders in the country, and continues to lead Marcum to new heights, remaining just as aggressive in both M&A and organic growth. When he first made the list, we noted his national drive; now we can note his international drive, with a major presence in China. He keeps the firm innovative with new offerings in practice areas like LGBT services, cybersecurity, and alternative investments, and built a stable of affiliated companies in wealth management, technology, executive search and more.

10 Ways to Lose a Client

BKR International shares the quickest ways to shrink your business.

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CPAs Giving Back

Illinois CPA Society holds its 7th annual CPA Day of Service

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10 Habits That Threaten Your Firm’s Data Security

EFilecabinet CEO Benoy Tamang shares the bad practices that are endangering your firm’s and your clients’ critical information

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7 Things You Need to Know About Private Tax Collectors

H&R Block’s Jim Buttonow shares critical facts about the upcoming IRS program

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10 Ways to Turn Accountants into Consultants

Maureen Schwartz, executive director of the accounting association BKR International, and some of her colleagues describe 10 ways that firms can turn even the newest accountant into a better consultant.

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The Top People in Public Accounting – 2016

The most influential people in the field of accounting, as chosen by their peers

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Top 10 Productivity Tools for Accountants

Leaders in the field pick their favorite efficiency-enhancers

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ACA Pitfalls for 2016

7 questions to help protect your business clients

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Xero Recognizes Outstanding Partners at Xerocon 2016

Every year, Xero recognizes app, bookkeeping and accounting partners that have performed well the previous year. These are the 2016 award winners.

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The HR Helpline

Consultants Tamera Loerzel and Jennifer Wilson of ConvergenceCoaching answer tough HR questions.

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