BKD CEO Highlights New Initiatives, Growth in Annual Keynote

News Release Dec 03, 2021

NATIONAL OFFICE – BKD CPAs & Advisors is poised to further enhance the ways in which it serves its clients across the country in 2022, CEO Tom Watson said in a keynote address to employees at the firm’s recent annual Leadership Conference held in St. Louis.

Watson, who stepped into the CEO role in June, noted several areas of strategic focus for this fiscal year.

Chief among these is a continued commitment to people initiatives, innovation and new services being guided by a dynamic “next generation” of firm leaders. Watson said BKD also will prioritize investment in growing value-added advisory services while remaining committed to traditional service lines; and will continue to recruit and develop an upskilled, tech-enabled workforce capable of solving the complex problems faced by the firm’s clients.

During his update, Watson noted several new and burgeoning ways BKD is serving clients, including:

  • BKD’s recently launched global tax initiative service line will provide outsourced tax services to multinational corporations.
  • A new accounting advisory services practice will provide high-level advice to public companies and others to help them deal with complex accounting problems and audit readiness.
  • BKD’s new ESG (environmental, social and governance) practice will help clients navigate this increasingly important aspect of doing business as it relates to their ability to raise money and secure financing while also being socially responsible.
  • Additional investment in a grants management practice following recent success helping clients comply with the federal CARES Act and other grant funding.
  • BKD Private Client continues to grow in its second year, providing strategic financial planning, tax strategy and wealth management for high-net-worth individuals, families and foundations.
  • BKD Edge, the firm’s innovation program, continues to focus on new services and products, including proprietary software tools to help clients meet their goals.

In a midyear financial update, Watson said BKD has seen significant net revenue growth that exceeds its year-to-date growth targets. He said most of this incremental revenue is being reinvested in the firm’s people, technology and strategic growth initiatives.

Watson closed by answering a question he says he hears often when traveling the country and speaking with other leaders in the industry as the profession and the nation navigate unprecedented change: “How are you feeling?” In short, Watson said he is feeling inspired by BKD’s path forward as it looks ahead to its 100th anniversary in 2023.

“I’m inspired because I get to look across a room like this and see a group of people who are professionals, who are leaders, coaches, influencers and, frankly, difference makers,” Watson said. “I’m inspired because I know everyone in here is ready to hold each other accountable to achieve our mission and fulfill our purpose of making a positive impact on our people, our communities and our clients.”

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