Accounting Today’s 100 Most Influential – Part 3

And here we are at the end of my little series.  Let’s look at one last batch of the accounting profession’s most influential of 2016.


Samantha Mansfield – Director of Corporate Communications,

It wasn’t until quite recently that I learned about, but now that I have, I think it’s one of the great up-and-coming resources for the profession.  The company provides a variety of resources for firms in the areas of practice management and client services, as well as educational resources such as trainings, webinars, whitepapers, and a steady flow of news updates around the industry.  Samantha herself has participated in various speaking engagements and is active on social media, advocating for the profession’s future with an emphasis on technology.  Check out her Twitter here.


Scott McFarlane – Co-Founder/CEO, Avalara

Avalara is an automated tax software targeted to businesses of all shapes and sizes.  They focus on all types of transactional tax, and the cool thing about their software is it can be customized to reflect tax data respective to any state in the U.S.  Another thing about them I like is their credo: “Cult of the customer”.  With over 20,000 happy customers and a remission of $14.4 billion in taxes in 2015, clearly they’ve built up a great following.  As they expand their presence with 10 national and 4 international offices, along with more events following their first user conference this past May in New Orleans, I’m looking forward to seeing how Avalara blossoms in the marketplace.


Bill Sheridan – CCO, Maryland Association of CPAs

I was certain that Bill Sheridan had appeared on this list before, but I couldn’t find any evidence anywhere.  Nonetheless, he’s a great guy to follow if you want the scoop on anything accounting because, as he says on the description in his Twitter profile, he’s “a worshipper of CPAs”.  Along with his YouTube channel full of videos where he speaks with leaders of the profession as well as leaders of MACPA such as Tom Hood and Kimberly Ellison-Taylor, and his articles and blog posts, he’s an indispensible PR guru for the profession and its future.  For some of the articles he’s authored, check out the blog on the MACPA website.


Candace Wright – Chair, PCC

The Financial Accounting Standards Board’s Private Companies Council, established in 2012, is a body that seeks “to improve the process of setting accounting standards for private companies”.  As an experienced partner in a major regional firm, Candace brings her own expertise to the role, working with private companies to improve the financial reporting process.  I can only imagine her role will become increasingly relevant as the profession evolves, and private companies embrace new technologies and other methods to report their finances.

Finally, I want to recognize the firm CEOs and Managing Partners that made the list.


J. Michael McGuire – CEO, Grant Thornton


Timothy Ryan – Chairman/Senior Partner, PwC


Denny Schleper – CEO, CliftonLarsonAllen


Dave Stende – Managing Partner/CEO, Eide Bailly

And that’s a wrap for this feature!  Join me next week as I look at millennials in the accounting profession.  It’ll be a good time.

Ciao for now!


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