2023 Accounting Power 50: I – Z (updated)

NJBIZ STAFF//June 26, 2023//

Accounting Power 50
Accounting Power 50

2023 Accounting Power 50: I – Z (updated)

NJBIZ STAFF//June 26, 2023//

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Paul Krieger

As managing partner of Deloitte LLP’s New Jersey practice, Krieger leads approximately 2,700 professionals in the state. With 32 years of audit and related experience at Deloitte, Krieger has served large clients in a variety of industries, particularly life sciences, and acted as lead client service partner as well as audit partner for a range of Fortune 100 and emerging growth companies. A partner since 2002, Krieger has an extensive background in leading audit and advisory services related to internal controls, business combinations, strategic alliances, global acquisitions and complex revenue recognition matters. In addition, Krieger serves on the board of the New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce and the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey.

Christopher Lovasz

Lovasz is managing director at Deloitte & Touche LLP and currently serves as a member of the board of trustees of the NJCPA. He also helped develop opportunities for the Deloitte Foundation to provide nearly $60,000 in grants to support the NJCPA Scholarship fund to assist racially and ethnically diverse students on their educational pathways toward accounting degrees and CPA career readiness. A passionate recruiter of talent, Lovasz helped establish the Mentor Program – a recruiting program for Deloitte in the Northeast – that ran for almost 20 years and was responsible for hiring almost 50% of new audit recruits each year from 1998-2016. He is a longtime NJCPA volunteer who is passionate about the success of students and future CPAs, and led the NJCPA Scholarship Fund through important changes to the program, including the recent addition of the Sophomore and Minority scholarships. Lovasz has been active in the NJCPA Student Programs and Scholarship Committee since 2009. As chair of this committee Lovasz was responsible for establishing the College Scholarship Mentor Program offered to NJCPA scholarship recipients. He also served as a trustee on the NJCPA Scholarship Fund and served as the chairperson of the Fund. And he is a member of the Wall Business and Finance Academy, an advisory group for Wall high school students who are interested in a business major in college and a future career in business.

Jerry Maginnis

A former Philadelphia office managing partner at KPMG, Maginnis is now accounting executive in residence at Rowan University, where he works closely with the dean of the Business School and chair of the Accounting Department to help prepare students for their transition from academia into the workforce. Maginnis is a powerful influencer of the next generation of CPAs. He is the author of “Advice for a Successful Career in the Accounting Profession: How to Make Your Assets Greatly Exceed Your Liabilities,” and has been credited with elevating the accounting program at Rowan, leading its Accounting Advisory Board with distinction, connecting to students in impactful ways and being an inspiration.

Christopher Massood

Manager at Massood & Co. PA, Christopher Massood was an NJCPA Ovation Award winner; he also created Elephant CPA, an innovative, low-priced, cloud-based management tool that helps small- to midsize-accounting firms streamline their businesses and help with client management, time tracking, integrated invoicing, e-signature, electronic payment processing and securing documents. He is also president of the NJCPA Passaic County Chapter.

Bryan Merrigan

In 2020, Merrigan, who boasts 20 years of experience in public accounting, providing audit, and advisory services to clients, took the helm as managing partner at Grant Thornton’s MetroPark office. Since that time, the 200-person office has posted record revenues, with Merrigan overseeing growth in some of the firm’s key industries, such as technology, finance and health care. He has also overseen and implemented a hybrid work model, especially through the pandemic. In addition to growing the firm, Merrigan’s leadership is focused on the people and culture-building, as he has served on a number of committees and task forces during his time at Grant Thornton, including the Grant Thornton International Ltd. global professional services steering committee, ASC 606 Implementation Task Force and is a mentor for Grant Thornton’s Senior Manager Academy, a career development program. Additionally, he has developed and delivered numerous training courses locally and nationally on accounting, auditing, and SEC-related matters. Merrigan also serves at his alma mater as a member of Rider’s Accounting Advisory Board.

Edward O’Connell

O’Connell is lead, International Financial Reporting and Multi-National Organizations at Withum. He is a licensed CPA in New Jersey, New York and Iowa; and is a chartered global management accountant, a certified fraud examiner, and is certified in financial forensics. With more than 25 years of industry experience, O’Connell specializes in the innovation and technology of accounting, auditing, and consulting services for public and private companies in the technology, life sciences, manufacturing, distribution, construction, and government and service industries. He is also the team leader of Withum’s International Accounting & Auditing Services Group, which includes International Financial Reporting Standards Implementation, Convergence and Reporting.

Shawn Panson

Panson is U.S. private leader for PwC’s Private Practice, which serves the majority of the companies on the Forbes list of America’s Largest Private Companies; and he leads a team of more than 250 partners and more than 2,400 audit and tax professionals across 18 markets dedicated to serving private companies and their leaders. Panson has more than 25 years of experience providing private and public growing companies with audit and business advisory services across a broad range of industries including technology, entertainment, media, professional sports, telecommunications and retail and consumer. He works with assurance, tax and consulting teams to understand the strategies and business objectives of private companies and their owners. Before leading PwC’s private company services business, Panson served as the leader of PwC’s Risk Assurance Cyber-security, Privacy and IT Risk practice, helping clients manage the ever-changing risk landscape to build digital trust with their stakeholders. He also served as the Risk Assurance Emerging Services Leader, using technology, data analytics and process to bring compliance related services to clients in such areas as third-party risk management, cloud assurance, and controls automation.

Maria Rollins

As managing partner at KRS CPAs LLC, Rollins is responsible for guiding the growth and governance of the firm. In addition to managing the client accounting services and assurance and advisory practices, she also handles regulatory and compliance matters arising from state, federal and industry oversight. Her work finds her interacting directly with business owners and individuals to help maximize wealth, lower costs and develop tax planning strategies. The founding member of the firm also helped to craft its “counselor” program, where managers “spend time with junior staff, supporting them and guiding them through different processes,” Rollins has explained. In the spring, KRS embarked on a new chapter that allows it to supplement and expand the services already provided by the Paramus-based firm when it became part of BDO Alliance USA, a nationwide association of independently owned local and regional accounting, consulting and service firms with similar client service goals. With a reputation as an innovator, coming out of the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rollins acknowledged that changing times dictate the need to be accordingly responsive. “We recognize that the way we work is changing, and we embrace it,” she said. That support and insight resonates with KRS’s employees, whose feedback has made the firm a repeat honoree of NJBIZ’s Best Places to Work program.

Michael Saccomanno

Having dedicated more than 15 years to the forensic accounting field, Saccomanno is the partner-in-charge, Valuation, Forensic & Litigation Support Services in New Jersey for Marcum LLP. Saccomanno works with clients in a wide range of sectors, including manufacturing/distribution, technology, insurance and more. His broad expertise includes a concentration in business valuation, dispute resolution, economic mediation and fraud investigations. In fact, he is regularly tapped by area attorneys and appointed by courts to analyze, investigate, report on, and/or mediate financial disputes. He also provides critical insight on litigation and support strategies for trial or settlement strategies involving business valuations. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts, and Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts. Saccomanno is an in-demand speaker around the area and throughout the industry, recognized as a respected voice in the New Jersey business community.

Steven Schinella

A CPA with nearly 30 years of experience, Schinella is the New Jersey office managing partner for national advisory, assurance and tax firm CohnReznick LLP. Based in Parsippany, Schinella is also a member of the firm’s Consumer Industry practice, Manufacturing And Distribution practice and Public Company Audit practice, serving as an expert in accounting and audit advisory services for both publicly traded and privately held companies. Much of his work has focused on interpreting and implementing technical ac-counting issues, SEC rules and regulations and complex reporting requirements, as well as on helping companies implement Sarbanes-Oxley compliance and offering guidance for maintaining compliance in years to come.

Jennifer Shimek

Shimek took the helm of KPMG LLP’s Short Hills office in 2020, where she serves as a principal in the firm’s Advisory Services practice, specializing in regulatory enforcement and compliance in the health care and life sciences industries. She oversees more than 860 partners and professionals. In fact, Shimek brings more than two decades of sector experience, providing clients with a blend of core industry, business strategy and compliance skills. Those clients include large pharmaceutical and medical device companies, providers, payors, hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, and durable medical equipment companies. “I’m committed to the growth and professional development of our people and to giving back to the communities where we all live and work,” Shimek said when she took on this new role in 2020. And she has done that in a number of ways through professional and community endeavors. She holds a Certified Professional Coder designation. Shimek is also active in the health care and pharmaceutical communities as an author and frequent speaker at conferences and education sessions. “Jen exemplifies our firm’s values of Integrity and Excellence in her client work and her leadership of our people,” said Tandra Jackson, vice chair, growth and strategy at KPMG, when Shimek’s promotion was announced.

Chris Smith

Last fall, Friedman LLP and Marcum LLP merged, creating a national top-12 firm with nearly $1 billion in revenue and more than 3,400 associates. That includes Smith, a partner at Marcum, office managing partner in East Hanover and New Jersey leader for capital markets. With more than three decades working in the private and public sectors, Smith provides audit, compliance and advisory services to publicly traded companies with specialized emphasis in software, telecommunications, and manufacturing and distribution. Some of his practice areas include SEC compliance, financial reporting and internal controls. He engages with companies at all stages of development and his clients have raised more than $1 billion of capital in various debt and equity instruments. Smith is also a member of both the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the New Jersey Society of CPAs.

Sandy Suchoff

After seeing how cannabis helped improve a family member’s health condition, in 1997 Suchoff sought to combine her love of tax and accounting with her passion for cannabis to establish a firm specializing in the cannabis and hemp space. Catering to all verticals – from cultivators to processors to retailers – The Canna CPAs (Lefstein-Suchoff CPA & Associates LLC) guides 100-plus businesses through the complicated industry, providing strategic tax planning, proper cost accounting, budgets and rolling cash forecasts. As partner of the firm, Suchoff has led The Canna CPAs to receive numerous recognitions for its expertise in cannabusiness accounting. She’s also a renowned national speaker on cannabis tax, appearing at industry conferences and on major media networks, as well as written her own articles for industry specific-publications and co-authored a book.

Karen Taylor-Burke

Bringing over 25 years of experience in public accounting, Taylor-Burke is partner at the Cranford office of PFK O’Connor Davies. There, she serves clients in the firm’s not-for-profit practice, delivering a wide variety of accounting, audit and advisory services to charitable organizations and labor unions. She also provides accounting and audit services to clients in real estate and construction. “Exceeding client expectations is my top priority,” she said. “My approach is hands-on, and my objective is to help clients unlock their full financial and operational potential.” Since 2019, she has led the firm’s Women’s Initiative Network and has been a driving force behind its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts. Taylor-Burke is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants. Outside of her professional work, she serves as an executive board member for the Rumson St. Patrick’s Day Parade, a committee member for Where Angels Play Foundation, and as a trustee for the Foundation to Save the Jersey Shore.

Jeffrey Thomson

Thomson was the president and CEO of the Institute of Management Accountants, a 140,000-member association focused exclusively on advancing the management accounting profession, until his retirement this year. He led the Montvale-based organization since 2008. Twice named Professional Body of the Year by The Accountant/International Accounting Bulletin, IMA has a global network that spans 150 countries and 350 professional and student chapters. Under Thomson’s guidance, the organization doubled the size of its Certified Management Accountant program. He is now a senior strategic advisor to Competent Boards, a Toronto-based provider of online environmental, social, governance and climate education programs for board directors and business leaders.

June Toth

After more than three decades with ZBT Certified Public Accounting & Consulting in Clark, where she was managing member, Toth made the move to WilkinGuttenplan this spring, which she joined as principal. “June will not only strengthen our team with her technical and industry expertise, but she will also strengthen our relationships with com-munity partners,” Managing Shareholder Ed Guttenplan said of her addition. Her clients operate in industries including not-for-profits, professional services, franchises and wholesalers. Her work is concerned with attest functions and she has provided expert reports and testimony in complex litigation matters, including calculations of damages and fraud and forensic investigations. Toth also has experience with HUD and Single Audit, as well as guardianships and estates. Active outside of the firm, she is president-elect of the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants for 2023-24. A past NJCPA trustee and current treasurer, the former chair of the NJCPA PAC has held a variety of volunteer leadership positions at the statewide organization and she regularly lectures on accounting and auditing topics and provides peer review services to other accounting firms. Toth is also president of Roots & Wings, a nonprofit dedicated to aged-out foster youth. Looking ahead, Toth is a leader ready to harness the power technology can bring to the professions, citing its evolution as what excites her most as the future of the industry. “It enables us to provide value to clients in more efficient ways,” she said.

Jay Weinstein

As vice chair of industries and markets at Eisner Advisory Group LLC – a leading CPA and business advisory firm – Weinstein is responsible for executing business strategies for existing markets and segments, as well as identifying new opportunities and overseeing initiatives related to innovation and technology. Before his promotion in 2020, Weinstein was partner-in-charge of the firm’s New Jersey office, as well as managing partner of markets and industries. With nearly 40 years of experience, Weinstein has background in the real estate and technology sectors and has worked on all aspects of the mergers and acquisition business, from running accounting firms that merged into larger practices to overseeing acquisitions for EisnerAmper. Since receiving private equity funding from TowerBrook Capital in August 2021, the firm has completed several deals, including with Lurie LLP; Raich Ende Malter, Popper & Co.; Caler, Donten, Levine, Cohen, Porter & Veil; and Morrison & Morrison.

Editor’s note: This story was updated at 3:11 p.m. ET June 26, 2023, to note that Paul Krieger was named partner at Deloitte LLP in 2002.