By Frank Byrt
Krista McMasters – the first and only female to serve as CEO among the nation's current top fifty CPA firms and currently co-CEO of CliftonLarsonAllen (CLA) – has announced she's retiring from the firm as of April 1, 2013, a little more than a year after leading the merger that created CLA.
Steve Meindl, chairman of the CLA board of directors said in a March 19 press release, "At the first anniversary of our merger, the CLA Board reviewed the firm's co-CEO structure and determined that operating under the leadership of one CEO will increase the pace of integration of our two firms and give better definition to our firm's strategic initiatives. As a result, Kris elected to retire and Gordy Viere will assume the sole CEO role."
McMasters, then CEO of the CPA firm Clifton Gunderson, and Viere, then CEO of LarsonAllen, led the merger that created CliftonLarsonAllen on January 1, 2012. The two then became co-CEOs of the combined firm.
At the time the merger was announced, the firms had combined revenue of about $550 million, ranking it among the nation's ten largest CPA firms; employed about 3,600 professionals, including 500 partners; and operated from twenty-five states and Washington, DC.
McMasters, a CPA, joined the firm of Clifton Gunderson as an associate accountant in 1978. She was admitted as a partner in 1985, became the director of assurance services in 1991, and served as the chief practice officer before she was promoted to CEO in 2009.
McMasters has served on numerous AICPA committees and is currently a member of the AICPA Nomination Committee. She is a former member of the AICPA Council, the Professional Practice Executive Committee of the Center for Audit Quality, the Quality Control Inquiry Committee, the SECPS Peer Review Committee, and the Accounting Standards Executive Committee. She was the co-chair of the task force for the AICPA's Audit Guide Assessing and Responding to Audit Risk in a Financial Statement Audit.
In addition, she served as a member on the Financial Accounting Standards Advisory Council and the Blue Ribbon Panel on Private Company Financial Reporting.
According to press release, "Over the next few months, McMasters will be exploring new opportunities in business and board service, which leverage her leadership, experience, and passion for growing people."