Category: News

DFK/USA Welcomes LWBJ!


DFK/USA is pleased to announce that LWBJ out of Des Moines, Iowa has officially joined our membership! LWBJ is one of the Midwest’s leading CPA, business advisory and M&A firms. They deliver a broad range of tax, accounting, consulting and investment banking capabilities to serve businesses and individuals and will be a great asset to the DFK membership. DFK now has 29 member firms in the US as well as offices in 91 other countries. We proudly welcome LWBJ to the association! Read more HERE

Forbes: How AI Could Protect Your Business From Financial Fraud


A milestone in the fight against corruption and corporate crime has been reached.

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been making a big difference in nearly every industry and is changing all of our lives on a personal level, but to date, it hasn’t curbed sophisticated white-collar crime. In this article, we will cover the world’s first known case of an AI-enhanced investigation by a California audit services firm as it uncovered a real human CPA, a controller, committing over $2.8 million in fraudulent transactions. Not only will this change how accounting works, but it may also start restoring confidence in the profession and our financial institutions.

Why does this matter? Fraud has been and will continue to be a massive drain on the world’s economy, with us as citizens bearing the brunt of its effects. According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners’ (ACFE) “Report to the Nations” (download required), the potential total global loss caused by fraud is approaching an estimated $4 trillion. There are many AI and machine learning solutions for high-volume, low-amount fraud problems, but while corporate white-collar crimes (financial statement fraud) are the least common cases, they are also the costliest. This means that the bulk of the problem has been left unresolved, and AI is the only realistic and proven technology to help clean this up by doing the impossible: processing, understanding and reporting on never-before-seen insights into our double-entry economy in seconds.

California audit services firm Gursey Schneider LLP used AI-enhanced audit tools to process and understand a massive amount of client data and extract insights with enough evidence to move forward with a $2.8 million criminal fraud case. This type of analysis of over six million transaction records would be impossible with traditional tools such as Microsoft Excel, computer-assisted accounting tools (CAAT) or robotic process automation (RPA), but it falls right within the sweet spot of the capacity and speed of AI. Its potential to ingest vast amounts of information — a must in today’s big data world — and understand the details of what’s going on under the hood far surpasses anything that older methods can accomplish. To date, only a few of the Big Four have had the opportunity to invest in and explore the possibilities of AI, but there are no known reported cases of them having this type of success. With the democratization of AI and surge of venture capital, we’re seeing the advent of a new class of solutions.

Yet this doesn’t mean that accountants, auditors, fraud and forensics experts, or any finance professionals should fear for their jobs. Rather, it’s the opposite. While AI can take 100% of the data and identify the suspect transactions, it still requires human context and intuition and client understanding to pull it all together and report to the client. In fact, Gursey has seen the perceived value of services they deliver reinforced thanks to this engagement.

With today’s challenges in the amount and complexity of data, and increasing scrutiny by regulators, firms must set a road map to AI for themselves. Given that 42% of fraudsters committed their acts by creating fraudulent transactions in accounting systems, it’s the only method capable of detecting schemes. How does AI help? The biggest advantage over traditional methods is that it unlocks anomalies and rare occurrences hidden in the deep mountains of data, where no human could possibly have the time or energy to inspect. AI does not necessarily flag instances of fraud directly — it still takes a human’s intuition and experience to make the final judgment call — but it does identify related patterns of activity across the full data set and calls out:

• Outliers: Transactions outside the norm, a common method used by fraudsters to cover their tracks within similar, legitimate transactions.

• Expert rules: Transactions outside the learned knowledge base of the system as input by real auditors, also known as “expert systems.”

While AI will never replace the need for finance professionals, those who don’t embrace the technology will be replaced by those who do. So, my recommendation is to look seriously into the technology and learn how it fits within your firm. Let’s change the definition of how fraud investigation really works.


by: Solon Angel

Chief Strategy Officer at MindBridge Ai, helping clean up the world economy with the first artificial intelligence-powered auditing solution

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ATLANTA, Feb. 14, 2019 – Bennett Thrasher LLP is pleased to announce the election of six firm professionals to its partnership, effective July 1, 2019. The six represent Bennett Thrasher’s largest new partner class ever and includes individuals from six different practice areas: Financial Reporting and Assurance, International Personal Financial Services, Real Estate Hospitality Tax, Risk Advisory, State and Local Tax and Transaction Advisory Services. Bennett Thrasher will now have 47 partners.


“We are proud that these outstanding professionals are joining our partnership,” said Jeff Eischeid, managing partner of Bennett Thrasher. “This milestone is indicative of our significant growth and our firm’s commitment to professional development. Each new partner has proven themselves through their dedication to providing superior client service and through an outstanding display of technical ability, leadership and commitment to the firm’s core values.”


The six professionals being promoted to partner include:


  • Stephen Bradshaw, State & Local Tax
  • Bridget Dunk, International Personal Financial Services
  • Brian Hamm, Financial Reporting & Assurance
  • Mike Hostinsky, Risk Advisory Services
  • Kelly Smith, Real Estate Hospitality Tax
  • Vijay Vaswani, Transaction Advisory Services


Stephen Bradshaw, CPA, of the firm’s State & Local Tax (SALT) practice, advises technology and fast-growth companies on sales and use tax issues, income and franchise tax matters, and state and local tax credits and incentives. Additionally, he provides SALT due diligence service in connection with merger and acquisition transactions.


Bradshaw chairs the SALT Committee of DFK International, a worldwide association of independent accounting, tax and business advisory firms. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee and a Master of Taxation degree from the J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University.


Bridget Dunk, CPA, of the firm’s International Personal Financial Services Tax practice, specializes in income tax, estate tax and wealth planning services to individuals and closely-held businesses with cross-border considerations. She has significant experience consulting on global mobility issues and on tax compliance for US and non-US persons and entities.


Active in the community, Dunk previously co-founded two non-profits and hosts Life Lessons Over Lunch, a workplace initiative where co-workers gather to watch engaging and uplifting messages. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Memphis.


Brian Hamm, CPA, of the firm’s Financial Reporting & Assurance department, has more than fifteen years of experience advising clients on due diligence and financial statement audits for clients ranging from start-ups to multinational companies. Hamm serves as co-leader of Bennett Thrasher’s technology industry segment, and his additional industry experience includes hospitality, pharmaceutical, healthcare and service-oriented companies.


He earned his bachelor’s degree and a Master of Accountancy degree from Auburn University.


Mike Hostinsky, CIA, CISA, leads the firm’s Risk Advisory Services practice and has more than 15 years of experience in risk management and business consulting.  Hostinsky evaluates interrelationships between technology, operations and finance, to provide business insights that promote effective internal controls, process efficiencies and operational effectiveness. He has a specialized focus on IT and business risk consulting, internal audit services, and System and Organization Controls (SOC) reporting.


Hostinsky is an active member of the Atlanta chapters of the Institute of Internal Auditors and ISACA. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Goizueta Business School at Emory University.


Kelly Smith, CPA, of the firm’s Real Estate Hospitality tax practice, focuses on complex tax consulting and compliance for both domestic and foreign-owned companies within the commercial real estate industry. She has extensive experience advising foreign real estate developers on U.S. investments and transactions. Her additional industry expertise includes restaurant companies.  


Smith co-leads tax training at Bennett Thrasher. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Mercer University and a Master of Taxation degree from the J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University.


Vijay Vaswani, CPA, leads the firm’s Transaction Advisory Services practice. Vaswani specializes in mergers, acquisitions and divestitures for private equity firms and strategic investors in a range of industries including healthcare and technology. He is well-versed in navigating the complexities at every stage of the deal process.


Vaswani is a Board Member of the BT Foundation, serving on the grants committee and as chair of the communications committee. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Warrington College of Business at University of Florida.


About Bennett Thrasher LLP

Bennett Thrasher LLP is one of the country’s largest full-service certified public accounting and consulting firms. The firm creates significant value and a unique positive experience through collaboration – with and between clients, partners, associates and the community. Founded in 1980 by Rick Bennett and Ken Thrasher, Bennett Thrasher has a dedicated, experienced team of partners and associates who believe in creating value by working “Better Together.” For more information, please visit Bennett Thrasher’s website at

DFK Call for Speakers!


Based on feedback from the 2018 North American Annual Conference in Orlando, we would once again like to feature speakers from DFK firms at the 2019 Conference.

If your firm has a topic you think would be of interest to the DFK NAAC attendees, please complete the form found HERE no later than February 8th for consideration from our planning committee. Please keep in mind that the audience is made up of partners from primarily US and Canadian firms, so topics that hold relevance to both will be more favorably considered.

Compensation will not be provided, however selected speakers will receive comped admission to the full NAAC conference and one night of accommodations at the conference hotel. Travel, incidentals, and remaining hotel nights will be the responsibility of the speaker/firm.

Please contact Maureen Dillmore at with any questions. Thank you!

DFK/USA Save the Dates


Mark your calendars for the 2019 DFK/USA Conference Dates!

Managing Partners Conference | 15-17 May | Chase Park Plaza, St. Louis, MO
Who to send: DFK Managing Partners and DFK/USA “Champion”
Registration now open – see “Conferences” tab


New Managers Part II | 3-5 June | Maven Hotel, Denver, CO
Registration closed (attendees)


Leadership Symposium | 24-26 June | Kansas City, MO
Who to send: DFK Managers and Partners

Agenda available on “Conferences” tab. Registration coming soon!



DFK/AGN Major Firms Meeting | 4-5 August |Crawford Hotel, Denver, CO

More Information to come in early 2019


North American Annual Conference | 29 October – 1 November | Four Seasons Wailea, Maui, HI

Who to send: DFK Partners

More Information to come in May 2019



New Managers Training/DFK University | 10-13 December | The Line Hotel, Austin, TX

Who to send: New Managers, Beginning in Charge Tax & Audit Seniors

More Information to come in Spring 2019

Ciampino Sr. on Tax Reform Panel


On January 4th 2019 Managing Director, Daniel Ciampino Sr. of Staff  Ciampino & Company, P.C., CPAs & Advisors, participated in a tax reform panel conducted by the Albany Business Review. The panel consisted of leaders from the area’s top accounting firms addressing questions regarding the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and its continued  impact on businesses and individuals. The Albany Business Review will be publishing a summary of the discussion in the February 1st, 2019 edition of their publication. 

Johnson Lambert Announce Trio of New Partners in 2019


Johnson Lambert LLP is pleased to announce that Allan Autry, CPALane Miller, CPA, and Lauren Williams, CPA have been named partners, effective January 1, 2019. Based in the North Carolina office, Allan, Lane, and Lauren exemplify leadership not only within the firm, but also in the community and the industries they serve.

Allan joined Johnson Lambert in 2009. He has extensive experience in engagement management and review of federal and state tax returns for commercial insurance companies, captive insurance companies, alternative risk entities, and affiliated entities. He provides the North Carolina tax practice leadership in marketing, recruiting, and employee mentorship. Allan attends numerous conferences throughout the year, often speaking on insurance tax and workplace dynamic topics. He is a member of the AICPA, Insurance Accounting and Systems Association, and North Carolina Association of CPAs.

Lane joined Johnson Lambert in 2009. His comprehensive insurance experience includes property and casualty, medical professional liability, captive, and life insurance entities. Lane plays an active role in recruiting, marketing, and mentoring program activities, and both internal and external speaking opportunities. He is an active member of the AICPA, North Carolina Association of CPAs, and Raleigh Chamber of Commerce – Young Professional Network. Highly involved in the Insurance Accounting and Systems Association, Lane is a member of the Mid-South chapter and recently completed a two-year term as President of the Carolinas’ chapter. He frequently attends industry conferences and enjoys presenting on GAAP, SSAP, and other insurance topics. He will also be attending the upcoming inaugural Emerging Leaders Conference, hosted by the Insurance Careers Movement, PCI, and A.M. Best.

Lauren joined Johnson Lambert in 2008. She has more than a decade of experience providing audit and consulting services to a variety of clients in the insurance industry. Lauren’s oversight of the North Carolina audit practice includes client relationship management, marketing, and recruiting, teaching and mentoring staff. She is on the firm’s Technical Committee and frequently contributes to technical newsletters on insurance industry and accounting profession topics. Passionate about teaching, she presents external and firmwide trainings on current accounting topics and project management.Lauren actively volunteers for the AICPA, North Carolina Association of CPAs, and Insurance Accounting and Systems Association, with leadership roles in many of these organizations, including her recent participation in the AICPA Leadership Academy and current appointment to the AICPA’s NAIC Task Force.

BT Welcomes Davin Williams as Managing Director of Advisory and Interim Management


Bennett Thrasher LLP, one of the top 100 full-service public accounting and consulting firms in the U.S., is pleased to announce the addition of Davin Williams as managing director of Bennett Thrasher’s Advisory and Interim Advisory Services practice group.

In his role, Williams will oversee the advisory and interim management for outsourced accounting services. The newly formed group offers a full range of customized business solutions for growth, expansion and increased financial transparency. The group also provides interim and fractional executive services designed to help growing companies in need of additional accounting resources, while complementing existing financial functions.

Williams acts as a strategic advisor, helping clients make management and financial decisions that support growth and enhance business objectives. He consults with clients on growth strategies, business combination accounting, out-of-state expansion and financial reporting.

Williams has more than 16 years of experience in public accounting and is a licensed CPA in Florida, Georgia and Mississippi. He also brings experience in finance for start-ups and international companies seeking expansion in the U.S. Williams is a member of the Georgia and Mississippi Society of CPAs.

About Bennett Thrasher LLP

Bennett Thrasher LLP is one of the country’s largest full-service certified public accounting and advisory firms. The firm creates significant value and a unique positive experience through collaboration – with and between clients, partners, associates and the community. Founded in 1980 by Rick Bennett and Ken Thrasher, Bennett Thrasher has a dedicated, experienced team of partners and associates who believe in creating value by working “Better Together.”

BT Recognized as a Leading US Transfer Pricing Adviser in World Transfer Pricing 2019


Bennett Thrasher has been ranked as a leading tax firm in the World Transfer Pricing 2019 guide. As a Tier Two transfer pricing practice, Bennett Thrasher joins an impressive listing of international transfer pricing tax and law firms from around the world. The annual directory rates the tax and transfer pricing expertise from more than 50 jurisdictions.

Bennett Thrasher’s practice was distinguished for its experience designing transfer pricing systems for multinationals throughout North America, Europe and Asia and for its ability to help clients implement significant tax savings. Only 28 firms in the United States made the World Transfer Pricing Leader list, and Bennett Thrasher is the only Atlanta-headquartered accounting firm to be listed.

World Transfer Pricing 2019 edition, in association with International Tax Review, ranks firms based upon content in submissions, input from the market and tax and transfer pricing professionals. Tier Two rated firms boast a varied portfolio of clients. Inclusion in the guide is also based on firms’ breadth and depth of resources. Firms were not able to pay to be included in this list, and the list is updated each year.

Learn More

For more information on Bennett Thrasher’s transfer pricing department, please contact Ben Miller by calling 770.396.2200.