Accounting's Finest

Members of a profession seldom in the limelight get their due [From the May/June issue of Nashville Post magazine]

Experienced CPAs are vital to a business' growth and success. From business plan to succession strategy, they have a hand in every aspect of a business' life cycle. And for public companies in a post-Sarbanes-Oxley world, they are more crucial than ever.

Despite this, accountants, especially the good ones, remain relatively invisible. Unfortunately, unless there's a scandal of Enron-ic proportions, members of this profession maintain a relatively low profile. As a result, this is a list of "best in field" that is a bit more difficult to compile than the others Nashville Post will present in the coming year.

Not surprisingly, Ernst & Young is well represented, as the firm audits nearly two dozen Nashville companies who are SEC registrants. The list is also admittedly male-dominated – an indictment of the profession's slow-turning gears more so than any bias on our behalf.

This peer-review list encompasses practicing accountants from traditional to niche players, meaning from members of the Big Four firms serving the needs of big public companies to more entrepreneurial firms providing key tax and other services that help build companies big and small. It also includes a few individuals who are not practicing accountants but whose influence on the profession is profound. Thanks to the following list, these professionals will have to tolerate a higher profile than usual.

Tom Aaron
Tennessee Managing Partner
Deloitte & Touche
Vic Alexander
Chief Manager
Wynne E. Baker
Edward H. Braman
Ernst & Young
Sam Bumpus
Partner-Nashville office
Carr, Riggs & Ingram
Mike Cain
Co-managing Partner
Lattimore, Black, Morgan & Cain (LBMC)
Lucy R. Carter
Carter, Lankford
David Costello
President & CEO
National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA)
Dell Crosslin
Managing Principal
Crosslin & Associates
Kevin Crumbo
Member in Charge
KraftCPAs Turnaround and Restructuring Group
Robert Davidson
Co-founder/Managing Partner
Davidson Golden & Lundy
Sam B. DeVane
Managing Partner
Ernst & Young
Jerry W. Faulkner
Faulkner, Mackie & Cochran
Jane B. Finley
Belmont University
Deloitte and Touche Professor in Accounting
Click Here To See Her Profile
Charles E. Frasier
Founding Partner
Frasier, Dean & Howard
Click Here To See His Profile
John T. Gawaluck
Audit Partner
Ernst & Young
Randy R. Laszewski
Office Managing Partner
David K. Morgan
Co-managing Partner
Lattimore, Black, Morgan & Cain (LBMC)
Larry Morton
Crowe Horwath
Michael Musick
Partner, Tennessee Assurance Business Line Leader
BDO Seidman
John O. Pearce
Tennessee tax practice leader
Ernst & Young
Sid Pilson
Personal Financial Planning Specialist
Lattimore, Black, Morgan & Cain (LBMC)
Rick Swafford
Member in charge
RM Wolff
Mike Vaden
Troy Waugh
Waugh & Co. (The Rainmaker Academy)