Burr Pilger Mayer, the largest California-based accounting and consulting firm with branch offices in Santa Rosa and Novato, is now operating as a corporation under the name Burr Pilger Mayer Inc. and is offering an Employee Stock Ownership Plan.

As a result, all the partners, and indirectly through the ESOP all of the employees, are now shareholders of BPM Inc. The ESOP is in addition to BPM’s profit-sharing and 401(k) programs.

[caption id="attachment_18150" align="alignleft" width="108" caption="Steve Mayer"][/caption]

“Without a doubt, this is the most innovative and important decision we have made since founding the firm 24 years ago,” said Steve Mayer, founder, president and chief executive officer of San Francisco-based BPM.

“BPM is the first full-service California CPA firm to implement an ESOP. We have been working on this concept for more than two years. Via the ESOP, all BPM employees will share in the growth and prosperity of the firm. It’s great for our clients because every person working on their account from BPM is an owner either directly or indirectly through the ESOP.”

He said the ESOP makes it easier to buy stock back from partners. “We are actually funding a big portion of our retirement as we go through this," he said.

An ESOP is a qualified retirement plan in which employees receive shares of common stock of the company, thus offering them a vested interest in the organization’s present and future success.

ESOP programs provide substantial tax benefits, said Mr. Mayer, and will play a key role in succession planning for the firm. It assures that a solid succession plan is in place for employees moving up the ladder, as well as those shareholders approaching retirement.

“For employees, the plan is important because not everyone can be a partner, but everyone can now be an owner of the firm,” Mr. Mayer said. “The ESOP builds on this tradition and philosophy. It’s terrific to be able to reward success.


Matthew Williams, CPA, was promoted to manager at Pisenti & Brinker LLP. Mr. Williams is a graduate of Sonoma State University and was formerly with Deloitte & Touche in San Francisco. He works in the Assurance Services Department and is based in the firm’s Petaluma office.


Brotemarkle Davis & Co. LLP, a St. Helena-based accounting and advisory firm focused on the wine and hospitality industries, announced that Craig Underhill, CPA, CSPM joins the ranks of a group of accountants sharing their passion for business improvement via a new Web site, www.thepassionateaccountant.com.

The Web site was inspired by a group discussion of Gary Vaynerchuk’s book "Crush It!" at a Mentor Plus Consulting Accountants Round Table meeting in January.

The group decided it was time it shared their passion via blog posts, success stories and social media tools.

While Mr. Underhill has been a blogger on the firm’s Web site for some time, the new site allows him to join forces with other similar-minded accountants and gain a wider audience.

Members are all trained to offer the kinds of services that help their customers improve their business outcomes. They focus first on education, then teamwork, and finally on measurements to empower business owners and their employees.


Submit items for this column to Jenna V. Loceff at jlocecff@busjrnl.com, 707-521-4259 or fax 707-521-5292.