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Private Equity Impact in Accounting: Gary Shamis

Learn from Gary Shamis on how to grow your accounting firm and navigate private equity partnerships.

Welcome to the Accounting Influencers Podcast, going live every Monday to 150 countries and 30,000 accounting practitioners, fintech specialists and influencers in the accountancy, CPA and bookkeeping space.

In today’s episode, “Private Equity Impact in Accounting”, Rob Brown talks to Gary Shamis about his experience in the accounting industry, from working for one of the Big Eight accounting firms to growing his own accounting firm and eventually selling it to BDO. He also discusses private equity in the accounting industry and the challenges facing the industry.

Key Takeaways

➤ Private equity firms increasingly invest in various industries, including accounting and financial services. As a result, many accounting firms are shifting their focus to represent private equity and portfolio companies to maintain business and grow their revenue.

➤ Private equity partners often have a controlling interest in the companies they invest in and their primary focus is on a return on investment. This can create tension with managing partners trying to implement growth strategies and manage the company’s complex operations.

➤ Private equity deals between young and old partners are critical, as there may be differences in goals and priorities. It’s important to consider these differences and how they may impact the partnership’s success.

➤ There has been consolidation within the accounting industry due to the rise of alternative practice models and rollups, which have been the subject of lawsuits and controversy. Large companies such as American Express, H&R Block, and CBIZ have been involved in this consolidation trend.

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Guest Bio

Gary Shamis is a former top 40 US accounting firm managing partner who sold to BDO in 2015. He is now CEO of Winding River Consulting, a high-level strategy consulting for the Restaurant, CPA, and professional services industries. Gary won EY Entrepreneur of the Year and is a Top Ten Managing Partner Elite (Accounting Today), among many other accounting accolades. He was called the “very model of the modern managing partner. He was awarded Most Admired Peer (INSIDE Public Accounting) and has over a dozen appearances on the Most Influential list (Accounting Today). He has served within the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants ranks. He co-authored How to Manage Your Accounting Practice: Taking Your Firm from Chaos to Consensus.


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