ABOUT US

Founded in 1980, ACAUS is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting qualified accountants from sixteen Chartered Institutes with members who reside in the U.S.

Our mission is to facilitate the professional success of our members, promote the business community’s recognition of, and respect for, these professionals. Since our founding in 1980, we have worked to achieve this by focusing on achieving increased:

  • awareness and understanding of the Chartered Accountant qualification by the business community
  • value to members and institutes by being a vibrant organization
  • participation by our eligible members in chapter activities and other offerings
  • bench strength (emerging leaders) to sustain the association over time with active volunteers
  • advocate for mutual recognition of our institute qualifications and building relationships with other U.S.-based organizations. As of February 2020, all our foundational institutes bar one have MRAs in place with AICPA/NASBA. The remaining institute – ICAEW – is in active discussion to achieve similar.

LEADERSHIP

BOARD MEMBERS

AllExec CommitteeHome Institute RepresentativesLarge Chapter HeadsMini Chapter HeadsSpecial ProjectsDirector of Member Advocacy

Conall McGonagle

President

My professional experience is across the range of: Risk Management, Finance, Operations, Compliance, Cyber, Auditing, Project and Change management. I like challenges, teamwork and positive, proactive mindset. I have the CA, CPA, FRM, CAMS, CISM and CIA certifications.

I am the President of ACAUS (the Association of Chartered Accountants in the USA, www.acaus.org). ACAUS has circa 8,000 members. The members are from CPA Canada, CAANZ (Australia and New Zealand), ICAEW (England), SAICA (South Africa), ICAS (Scotland) and CAI (Ireland). This is a voluntary role.

I am the CFO and Treasurer of the St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York, the biggest and the oldest parade in the world. The parade started in 1762. This is a voluntary role.

Chris Easton

Vice President 

Chris is CEO of Applied Logic Software, a privately held company based in Boston specializing in enterprise software technologies and platforms including AI, Blockchain, RPA, SaaS, ERP, BPM, Cloud, and Mobile.

Chris is a CPA and a Fellow of the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ).

Currently serving as ACAUS Vice President, Chris is focused on creating and building the strategic value of the organization. Previously, Chris has served as President and ACAUS representative to CA ANZ.

Home Institute:CA ANZ

Mark Billings

Treasurer

Mark leads CFGI’s Healthcare Deals approach & strategy.

He has extensive healthcare deals experience on transactions ranging from $10 million to $50+ billion (a short-lived pharma inversion attempt). He has focused on healthcare & pharmaceutical sectors for the last 12 years. He has worked on over 100 due diligence transactions including for PE sponsors, healthcare systems and corporations.

Able to quickly digest and identify key risks, business drivers, and accounting issues where data is incomplete or from within large quantities of disparate or inconsistent data under tight deadlines.

Specialties: Mergers and acquisitions, financial and accounting analysis, due diligence, healthcare and life sciences.

Home Institute:ICAS

Veronica Beilby

Secretary

Experienced Leadership Presenter/ Thought Leader/ Business Trainer/ Finance Expert/ Professional Educator – Relocated to Toronto, ON pursuing new opportunities.

I am an experienced Leadership and Business Skills Presenter, with a strong career background in Finance. My unique background allows me to provide practical, engaging and memorable learning experiences for all levels of business professional – entry level to C-suite executives.

My experience in leading teams, combined with my years working in businesses from Small Business to Large Accounting Practices to ASX Listed Companies, allows me to tailor the training experiences I create to meet the needs of the participants.

Home Institute:CA ANZ

David Freeman

Director without Portfolio, Chapter President - Washington DC Metro

David Freeman is an Account Manager at RDA Corporation, a privately held company based in Hunt Valley, MD, that develops and integrates custom software solutions for its clients. David has been with RDA since his arrival in the United States in 1995 and served in various management capacities with RDA during this time.

Prior to RDA, David spent sixteen years at Arthur Andersen London office in the firm’s Audit and Business Advisory Practice. After starting out in the audit arena, David spent much of his tenure leading a variety of business and information technology consulting engagements in areas that included computer risk management and IT strategy. As Director of Audit Computer Services, David was also responsible for audit automation.
David is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales, having qualified 1982 and is also a Member of the British Computer Society.

David serves as a Washington DC area contact member for ICAEW members and is also President of the DC Metro area Chapter of ACAUS

David lives in Potomac, MD with his wife and two children. 

Home Institute:ICAEW

David Powell

Acting Chief Executive

David stepped down from the ACAUS Board in March 2019 to take on the executive director position. At our Board meeting on 6th July 2020, he was appointed Acting Chief Executive. David had previously been working as an independent financial transformation consultant. Prior to this until January 2018 he worked with IBM Global Business Services as Global Brand Manager / Finance leader for IBM’s Outsourcing division (Cognitive Process Transformation), based near Boston, MA. Before this he was in a global role as a Finance Leader in the Business Analytics Center of Competence, with responsibility for Finance focused solutions using IBM software assets. David joined Cognos, which was later acquired by IBM Software Group, at the start of 2007, to build a North American specialist services practice for Cognos’s Consolidations software.

David has significant experience in Hotel software management and accounting systems, having worked at senior levels at Holiday Inn Worldwide (now Intercontinental in Brussels, Belgium) and Starwood Hotels (Braintree, MA), as well as moving to the USA in 1998 as the worldwide process owner for accounting for JD Edwards (ERP software).

David was born and raised in Swansea, Wales. He attended Cardiff University and earned a degree in Accounting and Management Studies. He did further professional studies and qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Deloitte Haskins and Sells. David is an FCA of the England & Wales Institute. Prior to his 3-year term as ACAUS president 2015 – 2018, he served as President of the New England Chapter.

Home Institute:ICAEW

Mark Coles

Member Organization Representative - ICAEW

Mark is a private equity investor, CFO and advisor with experience in strategy, managing operations, corporate & project finance, mergers & acquisitions, strategic alliances, financial reporting and taxation. Mark is a Managing Director and Partner at Jade Invest. He is based in New York.

Mark’s industry expertise includes energy, power generation, infrastructure, real estate and aerospace & defense.

Mark is a Chartered Accountant and Certified Public Accountant.

Mark is a Member of ICAEW Council representing the United States Constituency and is also a Member of the ICAEW Board. He is a Past President and former New York Chapter Head of ACAUS.

Mark is part of the ACAUS team working with the ICAEW to pursue the MRA with NASBA.

Mark works with ICAEW executives, officeholders and the global engagement team to develop the ICAEW’s US and international platforms and support for members, arrange US events and tours and provides member input and support.

Home Institute:ICAEW

Jayson Poulton

Member Organization Representative - CA ANZ

Jayson is a Senior Manager at Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), based in New York, with more than 16 years’ experience as a Chartered Accountant. Having worked in public practice with BDO in Melbourne, he has spent much of his professional career internationally in financial services, with roles at MF Global and CBA in London, before relocating to New York.

He is registered with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) as a Financial and Operations Principal and holds a Bachelor of Commerce, Majoring Accounting and Business Law.

Jayson is on the CA ANZ Council, representing Rest of World Members. He has held various positions on committees and advisory bodies of CA ANZ, including Education Team Leader on the UK Overseas Member Committee and as the New York Tri-state Link Member Representative.

Home Institute:CA ANZ

Natasha Holbeck

Member Organization Representative - South African Institute of Chartered Accountants

Natasha is a Financial Services Audit Partner at Deloitte in their New York office. With 20 years at the Firm, she has served clients across multiple industries and geographies. While she currently leads the Family Office Audit Practice within the Investment Management Industry, she has experience in all aspects of the Industry. She has a particular emphasis on family offices, wealth management and advisory corporate entities; as well as various investment products such as hedge funds, private equity funds, fund-of-funds, ETFs, registered investment companies and commodity pools. She has extensive experience auditing internal controls, both for public and non-public companies, including SOX reporting matters. She has also served clients in the retail, manufacturing and Japanese trading sectors.

Natasha organized the roadshows for SAICA held in several US cities in February this year. She is now working with SAICA to finalize a virtual roadshow to address key matters of interest to US based members. In particular to provide an update on SAICA’s MRA with NASBA/AICPA, agreed to at the start of 2020.

Ken Croarkin

Member Organization Representative - ICAS

Ken Croarkin, a graduate of the University of Dundee in the UK, is a licensed Certified Public Accountant and Chartered Accountant and is the Partner in charge of Insurance Industry Services at EisnerAmper. He currently leads the external audit engagements for a number of property & casualty and life and health insurance companies as well as brokers and MGA’s. Ken also provides internal audit consulting services.

Ken meets monthly with ICAS contacts representing ACAUS and is also a member of ICAS’s committee focusing on ICAS members in the USA.

Home Institute:ICAS

Claire Iball

Member Organization Representative - Chartered Accountants Ireland, Chapter President - Portland

Claire has spent over 15 years working with Intel, first in Ireland and then at their Portland Oregon headquarters. She has advanced from her first job as a Budgeting and Planning Analyst to now serving as Controller of the Data Center Group. Her team provided key financial input on P&L management, planning, investment prioritization, valuation analysis, influencing and operationalizing strategies, and financial controls.

Claire is also chapter head for ACAUS’s Portland Oregon chapter.

Claire meets monthly with CAI contacts to discuss what items to promote in the US (via both our website and Linkedin). She also feeds back member comments and requests.

Ramin Grewal

Approved Professional Body Representative - CPA Canada

Ramin is trying to make the best of life by living a sensible life and being mindful of how she make others feel around me. She is always trying to find meaning in everything; whether it is family, friends, jobs, connections or places. Forging meaningful and deep connections is the key driver in her life.

She is Community Development Manager for the Roundglass Foundation – which is focused on helping create a healthier, happier and more vibrant Punjab, India. #BetterPunjab

Ramin has a strong background in recruitment and helping place accountants in finance/accounting positions. She has worked with both Robert Half and Amazon Web Services.

Home Institute:CPA Canada

Ryan Clacher

Director of Member Advocacy - East

Ryan is an Associate Director at The Siegfried Group, where he works to create compelling relationships with leading financial executives, serving as a Leadership Advisor, to help them become more successful leaders in their organizations. He is also responsible for partnering with clients on important accounting and finance projects.

Ryan holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting from the University of Cape Town and Honors in Accounting from the University of South Africa. He is a Chartered Accountant and a member of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants. Before taking on this role with ACAUS in July 2020 he was co-chapter head of the New York Metro chapter/

Tim O’Reilly

Director of Member Advocacy - West

Tim is based in Portland OR and is the Finance Director for PCTEST. PCTEST is in the new Connected Technologies sector that serves a wide range of technology enabled customers.

Prior to this role, Timothy has managed the finance Integration of five acquisitions in the United States. A self-starter, and also a team player who enjoys working collaboratively, Timothy has a history of getting things done in complex environments, with an ability to influence others, implement change and standardize processes. He has the ability to thrive in an environment with ambiguity and change.

His key characteristics are: Outcomes focused, Digitally & Technology savvy, Collaborative and Competitive.

Timothy has held executive and management roles in business, finance and operations at organizations ranging from start-ups to Fortune 1000 companies. Timothy, a Citizen of the United States, started his career in Dublin, Ireland and is a Chartered Accountant (CA – CPA equivalent).

Sid Chitnis

Chapter President - Greater New York

Sid is a senior vice president with Houlihan Lokey, based in New York. Sid is co-chair of ACAUS’s New York Chapter. Sid is a CAANZ member and obtained a degree in accounting/finance from the University of New South Wales.

Home Institute:CA ANZ

Geoff Aldridge

Chapter President - Chicago

Geoff is a Managing Director in BDO’s Corporate Tax Practice, and leader of the Chicago inbound tax practice. A commercial international tax professional with over 14 years’ experience, he has extensive corporate planning and compliance experience. As his clients’ main point of contact, Geoff also coordinates advice to clients with regard to other areas of U.S. tax reporting (e.g., Forms FinCEN 114, W-8BEN-E, 1099, etc.) and other tax services such as sales and use, transfer pricing, R&D credits, etc.

Geoff’s clients are typically global businesses and he has extensive experience of cross border tax structuring, financing and tax due diligence. In particular, Geoff focuses on assisting foreign owned businesses with their U.S. tax needs.

He is a Chartered Accountant and holds an undergraduate Degree from the University of Bristol and post-graduate degree from the University of Warwick.

Geoff is a soccer player and fan and lives with his family in Wilmette.

Home Institute:ICAEW

Daniel Shafrir

Chapter President - New England

Daniel is a Partner at CFGI, leading the IT Risk Advisory Practice, nationally. He has an accomplished career, providing clients with a depth of experience in technology and internal controls. Daniel leads CFGI’s practice providing IT controls design, implementation, and assessment, both for SOX or other compliance needs, as well as for operational requirements. Daniel has initiated and is leading CFGI’s Cybersecurity and Data Protection & Privacy service lines. Furthermore, he offers clients unique insights regarding innovative solutions, such as the impact of Robotics Process Automation (RPA) and Blockchain technologies on the internal control environment.

Throughout his career, Daniel has supported a wealth of clients of varying sizes and complexity across a broad range of industries and is considered a subject matter expert in his field. Prior to joining CFGI’s IT Risk Advisory Practice, Daniel served as the IT Audit Subject Matter Expert at PwC’s National Office.

Daniel holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from the University of St. Andrews in the UK. He is a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA). More importantly, Daniel is a Chartered Accountant from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland in the UK and is the ACAUS New England Chapter President.

Home Institute:ICAS

Neil Kapur

Chapter President - Northern California

A CPA offering a wealth of experience in financial accounting, with a specialty in risk assessments and internal auditing.

Responsible for execution of risk-based audit plans and keeping current with emerging issues in the internal audit profession.

Manage internal audit and SOX engagements from inception to completion.

Specialties: Expertise in Internal Audit, Risk Management for financial institutions and high-tech clients.

Home Institute:ICAEW

Robert Ellis

Chapter President - Southern California

A CFO with 26 years experience, Rob has held C-level financial and operating responsibilities in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, and United Kingdom. He was professionally trained by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Rob Ellis has a track record – across three continents – of bringing financial discipline, operating efficiency and cost savings to employers, clients and customers. Early in his career he learned that overcoming resistance and gaining buy-in were keys to achieving operating efficiency and cost savings – that people will embrace improvement when they feel that the effort is theirs. He has worked throughout his career to hone his ability to achieve results through people and not in spite of people.

Rob has presented to external and internal audiences on Disaster Recovery, Financial Reporting Systems, Audit, and Management.

Rob was a LA Business Journal “CFO of the Year” nominee in 2017.

Home Institute:CA ANZ

Robert McDonald

Chapter President - Dallas, CPE Director

Robert is a results-oriented Fortune 500 strategic finance leader with international experience. He successfully partners and collaborates externally with business partners and vendors and internally with cross functional teams, to support and drive Treasury and business strategy, efficiencies and controls. Specializing in Corporate Treasury with strong leadership, team development, management and organizational skills including negotiation, problem solving, planning and project management. Robert heads up ACAUS’s Dallas chapter and has previously been both secretary and treasurer on ACAUS’s executive team.

Home Institute:CPA Canada

Tina Mehrabadi

Tina Mehrabadi

Chapter President - Pacific Northwest

Tina is a CPA Canada member working for Amazon as Global Financial Accountant, based in Seattle. She took over leadership of ACAUS’s Pacific Northwest chapter in December 2019. Prior to Amazon Tina worked for KPMG in Vancouver, Canada.

Home Institute:CPA Canada

John Kahn

Chapter President - Atlanta

Accomplished CFO and financial leader with deep international business and private equity portfolio company experience. Often hired by Private Equity firms and their portfolio companies as initial CFO to rapidly create, overhaul, or professionalize, accounting, finance, tax, treasury, legal, IT and HR functions. Bi-lingual in US and UK accounting (CPA and Chartered Accountant).

Have managed acquisitions and divestitures, including carve-outs and achieved over 50% IRR for private equity investors from a successful sale. Like to operate as strategic partner to the CEO / senior team, flexible, hands-on, high energy, good attention to detail and highly networked (so know who to bring to the table to assist). Block and tackle well (many 13-week cash forecasts) and also adept at negotiating and working with investors, bankers and analysts. Enjoy improving financial performance and helping hit home runs. Experienced in managing growth and turnaround situations.

Multi-national, middle-market, private equity backed and start-up company experience. CFO for public, private, and private equity owned companies. Big firm trained CPA and Chartered Accountant with strong international business and multi-currency treasury experience. Deep understanding of technology sectors (hardware, software, SaaS, FinTech) and technology issues, including cyber security and call centers. Substantial consumer products and consumer facing, business services, financial services, government services, aerospace and defense, construction and infrastructure related equipment and services (including Wireless and Telecom), healthcare, hospitality, e-tail, retail and distribution. Dual UK / US citizen. French language skills. US Federal Government security cleared.

Home Institute:ICAEW

Owen Power

Chapter President - Utah

I am a licensed CPA in the State of Utah, a member of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants using the designation CA (SA) in South Africa and a Chartered Global Management Accountant using the designation CGMA.

Philip Varley

Chapter President - Denver

Over 30 years financial experience after qualifying as a Chartered Accountant in the UK, and  CPA in the US. Experience has had an international emphasis in over 20 countries in roles of CEO, CFO, (including NASDAQ and NYSE traded companies), Operating Partner, and Board Member. Expertise is in turn-arounds, predominantly for Private Equity Group portfolio companies, and in 2012, I published a text book, “Failure Is Not An Option’ from which I have taught University and private company CPE.

I am a strong proponent of ethics, and maintain my belief that the FCA qualification is the absolute best preparation for a senior executive role, as it enables us to look at the business holistically, and ensure that revenue growth is profitable growth. My focus is on structuring deals in the most tax efficient manner, and creating restructuring, operational and strategic plans to achieve aggressive profit targets, often resulting in the acquisition of the improved company.

In addition to ACAUS, I serve on the Strategic Advisory Board for Imperial College, London, from where I obtained my BSc in Chemical Engineering.

Home Institute:ICAEW

Pranita Fernandes

Chapter President - Houston

Experienced professional and manager with a demonstrated history of working in the accounting industry. Strong analytical skills coupled with experience in Accounting & Auditing Standards, Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), Financial Accounting, Management Reporting and Teamwork. Current member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ).

Home Institute:CA ANZ

Becky Linnett

Chapter President - Southern Florida

Becky is a senior audit manager working with Grant Thornton in Miami, Florida. She heads up ACAUS’s South Florida chapter. She is an ICAEW member and prior to qualifying as a chartered accountant obtained a BA in politics, philosophy and economics at Oxford University.

Home Institute:ICAS

Graham Kitching

Chapter President - Northern Florida

Graham is Business Process Services practice lead with Withum Advisory, based in Tampa/ St. Petersburg FL. Graham is an ICAEW member and was previously active with the ACAUS chapter in Greater New York. Graham moved to the USA (Princeton NJ) with Bristol-Myers Squibb. He has also held senior positions with Sandoz, McGraw Hill and Tyco, where he was Finance and IT transformation leader, before moving to head up BPS – Finance and Accounting for North America with Tata Consulting.

Home Institute:ICAEW

Ellen Makitka

Chapter President - Philadelphia

Ellen is the Accounting manager for Ditech Financial LLC, based near Philadelphia. Ellen heads up ACAUS’s Philadelphia chapter. Ellen is a CPA Canada member and studied Accounting at McGill university.

Home Institute:CPA Canada

Gerard Bond

Chapter President - Austin

As Manager of Financial Operations for Bridgepoint Consulting I work closely with consultants, principals and clients in resource and client management.

Experienced accounting manager that has progressed in varying accounting and financial roles in Austin, Texas and Dublin/ Limerick, Ireland with companies such as Pfizer, Nestle, Grant Thornton, Forcepoint (Raytheon the parent company) and Bridgepoint Consulting since 2010.

Strong accounting and finance professional with a Certified Public Accounting (CPA) qualification from the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy and a Chartered Accountant (ACA) qualification from the Chartered Accountants of Ireland. Bachelor of Business Studies majoring in accounting and finance and minor in financial services from University of Limerick, Ireland.

David Nickson

Projects

Commercially focused partner with over 20 years tax, financing transactional and technology experience. Chartered Accountant (Fellow, ICAEW), Chartered Tax Adviser (CIOT), Six Sigma Black Belt and IRS Enrolled Agent

I integrate technology (SAP, Microsoft, Oracle), accounting/controllership, and tax requirements to increase the efficiency and robustness of E2E business processes, with experience across multiple industry sectors and geography. The business case justification for addressing tax requirements in a holistic manner extends across the organization to include treasury (cashflow enhancement), FP&A (profitability insights), finance operations (process efficiency), internal audit (enterprise risk mitigation), supply chain/logistics, and IT strategy.

Many organizations already faced substantial challenges in the execution and tax reporting of their transactions, but following U.S. tax reform (bringing a significant increase in data granularity required to meet planning, compliance, and monitoring goals) those same organizations are actively considering their ability from both an IT systems and controllership process perspective to meet these obligations. The opportunity to address this, given that so many companies currently are replatforming their ERP systems and at the same time trying to optimize their value chain under new tariff/customs scenarios could never be more timely. I can help you navigate this landscape.

Home Institute:ICAEW

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