ALABAMA

Barfield Murphy Shank & Smith, Birmingham, has received the Alfred P. Sloan Award for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility for the second year, and has been included in Inc. Magazine's 2009 list of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in the U.S.

CALIFORNIA

Gerber & Co., Los Angeles, has formed the Gerber & Co. Family Wealth Group to provide tax, accounting, investment, business advisory and traditional family office services in a multi-disciplinary team. ... NetSuite Inc., San Mateo, has partnered with Fujitsu Ltd. and Fujitsu Business Systems Ltd. to distribute, resell and support its online business applications in Japan.

FLORIDA

Polaris International, Miami, has admitted six new firms as members: Lehman Tax & Accounting, Beijing, China, with nine partners and a staff of 189; Consultores y Asesores Financieros, Guayaquil, Ecuador, with three partners and a staff of 14; HMS - Assurance Group SRL, La Paz, Bolivia, with three partners and a staff of 44; Kancelaria Audytorska Dudek i Partnerzy Biegli, Bielsko-Biata, Poland, with two partners and a staff of six; SOGEX, Colmar, France, with four partners and a staff of 80; and Asad Abbas & Co., Dubai, UAE, with two partners and a staff of eight.

ILLINOIS

Grant Thornton LLP, Chicago, announced that it had admitted 19 new partners and principals to the firm.

MASSACHUSETTS

AccuFund Inc., Needham, has partnered with Public Sector Group LLC and NWBS Consulting to expand its reach in the Midwestern and Northwestern United States.

MICHIGAN

Plante & Moran PLLC, Southfield, has launched a Liquidity Stress Test designed to help companies understand their cash requirements. The free liquidity stress test can be downloaded at www.stresstest.plantemoran.com.

NEW YORK

The KPMG Foundation, New York, is marking the 15th anniversary of its Minority Accounting Doctoral Scholarship Program by announcing a total of $390,000 in scholarships to 39 minority doctoral scholars for the 2009-2010 academic years. This year's new recipients are: Elio Alfonso, Louisiana State University; Dereck Barr, University of Mississippi; Cathalene Bowler, Morgan State University; Elicia Cowins, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill; Paige Gee, Temple University; Aisha Meeks, Jackson State University; Wayne Nelms, Morgan State University; Genese Rogers, Morgan State University; Menghistu Sallehu, Drexel University; John Williams, University of North Texas; and Reginald Wilson, Jackson State University. ... The corporate advisory and restructuring services team at Grant Thornton LLP, New York, has launched Integrated Case Solutions to provide information and claims management services to distressed middle-market and large companies involved in bankruptcies or negotiated workouts. The team will be led by director Alan Dalsass, who was previously with BMC Group. ... Friedman LLP, New York City, has been included in Inc. Magazine's list of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in America for the second year in a row, jumping more than 900 places to No. 3,839.

NORTH CAROLINA

Cherry, Bekaert Holland LLP, Raleigh, has received the Standing Ovation 2009 MetroBravo! Award in the category of Professional Services from Metro Magazine. The awards are voted on by readers of the magazine. The firm was also included in NC Magazine's 2009 NC Power 180. ... Hughes Pittman & Gupton LLP, Raleigh, has received a Metro Magazine MetroBravo! Award as a top local accounting firm for the second year in a row.

OHIO

Skoda Minotti, Cleveland, has been included in Inc. Magazine's list of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in America for the third year in a row, jumping more than 500 places from its 2008 ranking.

PENNSYLVANIA

The first class of 22 leaders has completed the Leadership, Entrepreneurism and Achievment at Parente Randolph program, and three more classes are under way. Parente Randolph LLC had the program created by Penn State to build leadership competencies and core business skills in its managers, partners and principals.

TENNESSEE

The Dealer Services Group of Dixon Hughes, Memphis, will co-host a first-of-its-kind regional Dealer Technology Summit with Helion Technologies on Sept. 24th in Tysons Corner, Va.

TEXAS

McConnell Jones Lanier & Murphy LLP has opened a new office in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Practice growth director Marilyn S. Locus will be responsible for the new office and the firm's business development and strategic growth efforts in North Texas.

UTAH

Universal Accounting, Salt Lake City, has been included in Inc. Magazine's list of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. for the third year in a row, ranking No. 4 in Utah for financial services companies, and No. 4,425 overall.

VIRGINIA

The Virginia Society of CPAs and the VS¬CPA Educational Foundation, Richmond, have pledged a combined $25,000 over five years to the Accounting Doctoral Scholars Program sponsored by the AICPA. Launched in 2008, the ADS program provides funding for up to 30 individuals each year.

WISCONSIN

Jefferson Wells, Milwaukee, has launched a global risk advisory services practice, to be run by global practice leader Gary Sturisky. The firm also announced an alliance with S&S Business Solutions to expand its services into India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

MINNESOTA

RSM McGladrey

RSM McGladrey made a charitable contribution totaling $42,000 to Special Olympics recently.

Zach Johnson, PGA Tour professional and Team McGladrey member, along with McGladrey executives, Special Olympics athletes and other VIPs were on hand at a check presentation August 11 during the 91st PGA Championship at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Minneapolis.

McGladrey employees who donated $1,000 or more to the cause had their names placed in a drawing to win the chance to participate in the PGA of America's "Walk Within the Ropes" program at mid-August's PGA Championship. RSM managing director Christi Mack was the lucky winner.

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