Top 20 Accountants You Need to Know
Accounting is a profession that tends to get slept on by many without realizing its importance. Accountants can be beneficial no matter the scope of your business and can help you as an individual. They help save money, provide sound financial advice, help establish a solid business structure and enable the fulfillment of long-term goals. With them, we can make sense of the numbers involved in business and finances. We have compiled a list of the Top 20 Accountants You Need To Know to appreciate and show you how notable they can be. These fantastic individuals have vast experience in business, finances, and accounting. They provide excellent services and give insights to benefit future accountants and anyone involved in the industry.
Let's dive in and see what makes these accountants stand out.
Ron Baker is a speaker, writer, educator, and radio talk show host. He is also one of the founders of the VeraSage Institute, the leading think tank for educating professionals worldwide. He has vast experience as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). He has worked with KPMG's Private Business Advisory Services in San Francisco and has been an instructor for the California CPA Education Foundation since 1995. He has authored over 20 courses for them and seven best-selling books related to business, accounting, and professional services. He has spoken worldwide, spreading his value-pricing message to over 250,000 professionals. Ron Baker has received several distinctions, which include being voted among the Top 100 Most Influential People in accounting for several years and being inducted into the CPA Practice Advisor Hall of Fame 2018. He also received the 2003 Award for Instructor Excellence from the California CPA Education Foundation.
L. Gary Boomer is a leading accounting authority regarding technology and firm management and the visionary, strategist, and shareholder of Boomer Consulting Inc. The firm provides consulting services to some of the most notable CPA firms. He is a regular consultor and speaker worldwide on topics like developing a learning culture and change management. Furthermore, he also provides coaching to many top accounting firms. Some companies he has counseled to serve them and the CPA profession include IBM, Microsoft, and Thomas Reuters. He has also authored multiple books and contributed to several Boomer Advantage Guides. He has received various awards and recognitions, including being Accounting Today's 100 Most Influential People in Accounting for 15 years and being inducted into CPA Practice Advisor's Accounting Hall of Fame.
James C. Bourke
Jim Bourke is a Partner and Managing Director at Withum's Advisory Services practice. The practice provides professional consulting services in several areas of expertise, including cyber security, business advisory, and transaction advisory. He has earned the certified credentials of the AICPA and CITP. He was one of the first CPAs in the USA to receive the CITP credential, of which there are only 2400 in the country. He also served as the President of the New Jersey Society of CPAs. Jim is a sought-after keynote speaker who has presented at various conferences worldwide to multiple industries and has frequently provided consulting services to accounting firms worldwide. He is quite well-known in accounting, often making it into Accounting Today's ‘100 Most Influential People list.
Dawn W. Brolin
Dawn Brolin is a CPA, CFE, Advanced Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, and Managing Member of Powerful Accounting LLC. Powerful Accounting is a well-recognized accounting, tax, fraud, audit professionals, and QuickBooks consulting firm. Her goal is to leave clients in a better place than they were through good business processes, good accounting records, and her own business experiences. She has worked with various small, medium, and prestigious companies. This includes MSNBC, Fundera, and The Woodard Group. She is also an internationally recognized motivational speaker and educator with a hilarious presentation style that has been featured on MSNBC. She has spoken at conferences like Intuit's QuickBooks Connect and Sleeter conference. She also authored The Designated Motivator book for accounting professionals. Some of her accomplishments include being listed in CPA Practice Advisor's 2012-2021' Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Accounting' and Accounting Today's 'Top 10 Managing Partner Elite - Great Accounting Firm Leader' in 2017.
David Cieslak is the Chief Cloud Officer at RKL eSolutions, which provides business software, IT solutions, and process automation consultation services all over the USA. He is a Certified Public Accountant and CITP specializing in critical business processes. This includes cloud computing, information security, and project management. He consults various firms and helps them grow their businesses in these aspects. He also speaks frequently at accounting societies, like the AICPA and CalCPA. He is the past President of the California CPA Education Foundation and past chair of the AICPA IT Executive Committee. His notable accomplishments include being in Accounting Today's 'Top 100 Most Influential People' 4 times and CPA Technology Advisor's 'Top Thought Leader' between 2011-2022.
Gale Crosley is a CPA, CGMA, and award-winning strategic growth consultant. She has extensive experience working globally for mid-market and large-thinking CPA and Chartered Accounting firms. Her unique methodology and successful consultancy firm have helped her partners achieve organic growth. Her clients include 50% of the Top 100 CPA firms and 25% of the top 200. Some of the companies she has helped achieve success include technology companies like IBM, and she currently represents 9 of the top 20 fastest-growing CPA firms in the USA. Some of her recognitions include being one of Accounting Today's 'Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting' for 16 years and receiving The Advisory Board Hall of Fame Award.
Jina Etienne is the Founder and Principal Consultant at Etienne Consulting, which provides business consulting services, training, and speaking. She has proven experience serving diverse clients, which includes Cohen & Co, Dedham Savings, and Withum. Some of the roles she has served include being the Director of the Tax Section of the AICPA and President & CEO of the Nation Institute of Black Accountants. As a CPA, she has over 26 years of experience in public accounting. She excels in various areas of expertise, like developing D&I strategies, implementing strategic direction, managing stakeholder relationships, and undertaking day-to-day operations. She produces custom training solutions for the Massachusetts Society of CPAs and delivers webinars, on-site training, and workshops for the Business Learning Institute.
Brian Fox is a CPA and CGMA, the founder and creator of Confirmation.com and Rivio.com. Confirmation.com processes over $1 trillion of confirmation data for over 2 million customers in more than 180 countries. It has been ranked #96 and #169 in the Inc. 500 list, among other achievements. He sold both businesses to Thomson Reuters and is now a Partner with Rockmont Investments. His most notable achievement, however, is his instrumental role in getting electronic audit confirmations written into the world's auditing standards. He received the first 7 patents granted on electronic audit confirmations. Brian Fox is also a notable speaker on auditing standards and financial fraud, having appeared in prominent media outlets like Fox Business News, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, and New York Times. He has won the 'Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting' four times and 'Top 40 Under 40 CPA in America' five times. He continues to invest in various startups and growing businesses to mentor the next generation of entrepreneurs.
Michelle Golden is a highly experienced facilitator, speaker, author, educator, and growth and profitability strategist. She has an extensive background in CPA-firm marketing and operations. Paired with her passion for pricing and positioning, she helps firms implement revenue models based on outcomes rather than time spent. She's most notable for being the creator of Advanced Pricing Methods (APM). APM took more than a decade to develop and was tested by thousands of CPAs and consultants to ensure it was effective for firms. Through these methods, Michelle has helped 150+ firms get past numerous challenges, grow and become more profitable. APM has been instituted at various firms, including 7 US Top 100 CPA firms. Some of the honors she has received include being in Accounting Today's 'Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting' and CPA Practice Advisor's 'Top 25 Thought Leaders in Public Accounting'.
Tom Hood, CPA, CITP, and CGMA, is the Executive Vice President of Business, Engagement, and Growth at the AICPA. He is also co-founder of the Business Learning Institute, a center for developing CPAs' leadership, strategic thinking, and collaboration skills. Most notably, he is known for his work on the CPA Vision Project, the CPA Horizons 2025 Project, and the Future of Finance 2030. These projects aimed to build awareness of the future opportunities and challenges that would meet the profession. His mission is to help accounting professionals thrive in times of exponential change. As a result, he is considered one of the most influential leaders of the Accounting profession and has received several honors for his work. This includes being in Accounting Today's 'Top 100 Most Influential People' for 15 years and being inducted into CPA Advisor's Accounting Hall of Fame.
Rita Keller is a well-known CPA firm management consultant, speaker, author, and facilitator. She has 35+ years of experience in management, marketing, technology, and administration of a successful firm. Additionally, she is notable for her leadership, implementation, and presentation skills within accounting firms. She also provides a coaching program for her management team and has been featured in every notable management conference. This includes The AICPA Annual HR Forum and Management Summit. Keller has also served in various leadership roles for accounting societies. This includes being chair of the AICPA PractitionersTECH+ Planning Committee and serving on the national Board of Directors of The AAA. She has constantly appeared in Accounting Today's 'Top 100 Most Influential People' and CPA Practice Advisor's 'The Most Powerful Women in Accounting.' Some awards she has received include the Everest Award and ACE Award.
Mark Koziel is the President and CEO of Allinial Global. The accounting firm consistently ranks in the top 5 globally, providing solutions to over 250 firms in 99 countries. The association consistently wins accolades, like being 2021 International Accounting Bulletin's Second Largest Largest Accounting Association in the World. Mark has over 20 years of experience in accounting, management, and consulting and is responsible for the association's growth and success. Before this, he served as the Executive Vice President of Firm Services at the AICPA for 14 years. As a result, he is highly regarded in accounting as a leader and advocates for CPA firms. He has received various recognitions for his work, such as in the Top 10 of Accounting Today's 'Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting' list and the International Accounting Bulletin's Global Accounting Power 50 List.
Rene Lacerte is the founder and CEO of BILL, one of the USA's leading business payments networks. He works with notable banks and accounting firms to simplify payments, enabling businesses to focus on other aspects. He has over 20 years of experience as a fintech entrepreneur in the finance and payments industries and founded PayCycle. Some of the awards he has received include being the E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year national finalist. He has also been on Accounting Today's ‘100 Most Influential People' list for seven years in a row.
Greg LaFollette is a consultant, speaker, and established expert in all things accounting and technology. He has had a varied career, having been Vice President of Product Strategy at Thomson Reuters, Executive Director at the CPA Technology Advisor, and VP of Product Strategy at CPA2Biz. As a result, he understands all the aspects and issues of public accounting. He travels throughout the USA to deliver keynotes at CPA conferences and consultations for various firms. He was named in CPA Practice Advisor's 'Hall of Fame' list and 'Top 25 Thought Leaders in Accounting.'
Mike McGuire is a licensed CPA who has served as the CEO of Grant Thornton LLP. Grant Thornton LLP is a US member firm of Grant Thornton International, one of the world's leading organizations of tax, audit, and advisory firms. He has over 35 years of experience in various industries, including technology, venture capital, and franchising. In particular, he specializes in advisory services and capital market transactions on M&A strategies and deals structures. He has worked with and advised numerous high-growth, startup, and middle-market companies, helping them get past various obstacles.
Barry Melancon is the CEO of the Association of Internationally Certified Professional Accountants (AICPA). The AICPA is the world's most influential body of professional accountants. He is the body's longest-serving CEO, having grown into the largest membership body of CPAs and spearheaded various initiatives. These initiatives have benefitted the accounting profession, various business owners, investors, and the general public. Under his leadership, the CGMA designation was formed, which is given to professional accountants who fulfill the highest quality benchmark. He has even testified in front of Congress for the profession numerous times. He has been given various awards, like the 2011 National Association Executive of the Year.
Bryan Cohen is a certified and nationally recognized CPA and CGMA who is the Principal Operation Controller at DLR Group. He is responsible for all financial operations and manages a team of finance professionals to ensure projects are delivered timely and within budget. He also helps practice leaders with project billings and forecasts. His specialties lie in tax, business management, and consultation. As a result of his qualifications and expertise, he has helped the DLR group obtain much success.
Sanjay Sah is a Chartered Accountant, founder, and Managing Director of Makesworth Accountants. The firm is an award-winning accountancy practice of Chartered Accountants, which provides taxation, accounting, and advisory services to individuals, contractors and businesses. He has over 15 years of experience working with various companies, whether a one-person startup or a large enterprise. As a result, he is highly respected in the field of accounting. He has worked in a variety of positions when it comes to business, including the education sector and boardroom-level positions.
Karen Abramson is the CEO of Wolters Kluwer Tax and Accounting. It is a leading global provider of solutions for tax, accounting, audit, finance, and risk professionals. It is headquartered in the Netherlands. Under her leadership, the company has launched groundbreaking products, improved the daily workflow of customers, and delivered strong financial results. She has held various positions at notable enterprises like Inc., Thomson Corporation, and MemberWorks. She has been featured in prominent publications like Forbes and The New York Times. She was featured in CPA Advisor's 'Most Powerful Women in Accounting' list six times, and Accounting Today's 'Top 100 Most Influential in Accounting' list multiple times. She was named CEO of the year by the SIIA in 2019.
Angie Grissom is the owner and Chief Relationship Officer at the Rainmaker Companies. The firm provides training and consultation services to help accounting firms grow. About 42 of the top 100 accounting firms have been Rainmaker clients, and they have earned over $270 million in revenue. This has been due to her leadership as she forms major strategic alliances and national networks to advance professional services. This includes working with accounting firm CEOs, leaders, and professionals to help them obtain success. As a result, she is considered one of the most influential people in accounting, who has presented at various conferences and appeared in notable publications like Accounting Today. She has received much recognition, which includes appearing in Accounting Today's 'Top 100 Most Influential People' list over 10 times and being among the Most Powerful Women in Accounting by CPA Practice Advisor.
The accountants mentioned in this article have vast expertise in business, accounting, and finance. They are fantastic individuals that are responsible for having helped some of the biggest companies, banks, and enterprises we are familiar with. Most of these accountants also offer consultation and advisory services, which can help you benefit whether you are a startup or a large organization. We hope this article has been insightful and has helped you understand the fantastic work that the best accountants in the world do. Thank you for reading!