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AICPA Recognizes Outstanding Contributors to Forensic and Valuation Fields

The awards spotlight significant individual member contributions to advancing the forensics accounting and business valuation fields.

The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) honored the contributions of 12 finance professionals during the 2022 AICPA & CIMA Forensic and Valuation Services Conference held in Las Vegas in November. AICPA & CIMA, together as the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (the Association), hosts this annual conference to provide cutting-edge information on new technology and quality networking opportunities to the profession. The awards spotlight significant individual member contributions to advancing the forensics accounting and business valuation fields.

Joshua Shilts, CPA/ABV/CFF, CGMA, and John Tira, CPA/CFF, were named Volunteers of the Year, while 10 young finance professionals received the Forensic and Valuation Services (FVS) Standing Ovation award.

2022 Volunteers of the Year

Each year, the AICPA recognizes volunteer contributions to the practice and profession. Shilts received the 2022 AICPA Business Valuation Volunteer of the Year award, and Tira the 2022 AICPA Forensic Accounting Volunteer of the Year award.

“Both Joshua and John have been instrumental in advancing the interests of the forensic and valuation services area in the past year,” said Barbara Andrews, director of forensics and technology advisory services for the AICPA. “They have helped to support AICPA’s initiatives by serving as presenters and panelists and participating on committees and task forces. Their example strengthens the whole of the global accounting profession.”

Shilts is president of Shilts CPA, PLLC and is a member of AICPA’s National Accreditation Commission (NAC) Committee. Before serving on NAC, Josh was a member of the AICPA’s Business Valuation Committee for three years. He was integral to several significant initiatives, including developing resources to help members navigate the CARES Act, bankruptcy and assistance with advocacy efforts. He is also a regular AICPA & CIMA FVS Conference speaker. Josh was a valuable contributor to the FVS Podcast series, hosting 15 episodes.

Tira is a forensic accountant and dispute consultant with Green Flash Forensics and a member of AICPA’s FVC Planning Committee and CFF Credential Committee. He was instrumental in crafting cases and questions as part of the task force for the new CFF® experienced exam pathway, launching in 2023. He led sessions for new candidates in the virtual CFF study group task force. John also participated in expert panels to educate global university affiliates through the CFF university task force and created cases to coach forensic accounting students in their virtual international forensic case competitions.

Standing Ovation Program

The Standing Ovation Program recognizes young professionals holding the Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF) or Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV®) specialty credentials who have exhibited exemplary personal achievement. The recipients in this year’s class were honored during the AICPA & CIMA Forensic and Valuation Services Conference. They were recognized for their efforts to advance their fields, including volunteering at various nonprofit organizations, speaking to local CPA groups, serving as volunteer experts to legal organizations and guest lecturing in college accounting classes.

“It’s an honor to recognize this outstanding class of ‘Standing Ovation’ recipients who continue to go the extra mile to advance the profession and serve their communities,” said Mark Smith, director of valuation services for the AICPA. “They serve as a shining example of all the positive traits our membership encompasses as well as the future of the profession.” 

The 2022 list of FVS Standing Ovation recipients is in alphabetical order below:

  • Aaron Ballard, CPA/ABV — Whitley Penn LLP, Fort Worth, Texas
  • Brian Burns, CPA/CFF/ABV — FORVIS, LLP, Richmond, Va.
  • Ashley DeCress, CPA/ABV — Marcum LLP, Rocky River, Ohio
  • Jaclyn Franks, ABV — Valuation Fraud & Forensics, LLP, Conroe, Texas
  • Erica Johnson, CPA/CFF/ABV — Cogence Group PC, Hillsboro, Org.
  • Tiffany Mellow, CPA/ABV — Perkins & Company, Portland Org.
  • Carey Miller, CPA/CFF — J.S. Held, LLC, Annandale, Va.
  • Justin Robinson, CPA/ABV — AlixPartners, LLP, Dallas
  • Greg P. Saunders, CPA/ABV — Keiter Stephens Hurst Gary & Shreaves, P.C., Glen Allen, Va.
  • W. Alex Smith, CPA/CFF — FORVIS, LLP, Charleston, S.C.

In addition to forensic accounting and business valuation represented by the FVS Section, the Standing Ovation Program also recognizes young finance professionals who exhibit exemplary professional achievement in the areas of Personal Financial Planning (PFP) and Information Management and Technology Assurance (IMTA).

Business partners or managers are encouraged to submit applications on behalf of nominees, and applicants may self-nominate with an accompanying letter of recommendation from a partner or manager. Standing Ovation nominees must be 40 or younger, and nominations may be submitted on AICPA & CIMA’s website.

Through the Association, AICPA & CIMA represent the largest and most influential body of finance and accounting professionals and work to drive trust, create opportunity and grow prosperity worldwide. We continue to recognize extraordinary efforts by profession leaders working to uphold confidence and serve the public interest.