The accounting industry in New Jersey looks very different now than it did at this time last year. Several significant mergers have reshaped the landscape, perhaps most notably the combinations of Marcum LLP and Friedman LLP
– which created a top-12 national firm with more than $1 billion in revenue – CLA’s acquisition of SobelCo and Citrin Cooperman’s deal for Untracht Early.
In addition, private equity has become a larger factor on the M&A scene. Alan Sobel, now managing principal of the New Jersey offices for CLA, cited the emergence of buyout firms
as one of the many reasons SobelCo sought a partner. “There’s a lot of capital being thrown around, which is fueling a lot of consolidations in the industry,” he told NJBIZ in February.
In addition, several prominent leaders in the profession have either retired, moved on to different roles or expanded their responsibilities. One of the most significant retirements occurred at the industry’s trade group, the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants, where Ralph Albert Thomas will step down June 30 after nearly a quarter century at the helm. Aiysha Johnson takes over as CEO
July 1 and made the rounds at the NJCPA annual convention in Atlantic City earlier this month. Click here to read
NJBIZ reporter Matthew Fazelpoor’s story about the meeting – including an interview with Johnson.
All these changes are taking place as the profession faces some significant challenges. The evolution and continuing growth of technology is an issue many businesses are tackling. And an industry that deals in calculations and numbers will be at the forefront.
Attracting and retaining talent is another challenge other industries face, but accounting firms must do so at a time when many young people lack either the inclination or the resources to pursue the extensive and expensive training necessary for a career as a CPA. Industry leaders must find some creative solutions to the problem and cultivate a new generation. Dan Geltrude’s Work for Credit
represents a step in the right direction, at least as it has been implemented by Saint Peter’s University and PwC.
More such efforts will be necessary. And if the profession is able to meet the moment, the leaders profiled in these pages will be the individuals who get it done.
So, take a look at the profiles and let us know what you think of the list and the people on it. As always, the top 10 honorees appear in numerical order; the remainder are listed alphabetically.