John Pace, CAS leader at GRF CPAs and Advisors, wins top award
NEW YORK (Dec. 5, 2022) – John Pace, CPA, has been named the recipient of CPA.com’s Digital CPA Innovative Practitioner Award, which recognizes individuals who are driving the accounting profession forward through innovative thought leadership, processes, services and technology implementation. Pace successfully used technology and forward-looking practice development strategies to drive advisory services and deliver critical business support to clients.
Pace is the Partner & Director of Outsourced Accounting and Advisory Services at GRF CPAs and Advisors. Since being promoted to lead the firm’s client advisory service (CAS) practice in 2017, Pace has led a transformation that has grown the CAS practice from $3 million to $8.5 million in gross revenue. Along the way, he has built a culture that is flexible, consultative, and fully remote, encouraging time off and working hours that create a healthy work-life balance. This people-first approach has helped shield GRF’s CAS practice from the recruitment and retention challenges many other firms have encountered in recent years.
“While John is great proponent of shifting business models, value-based pricing and technology implementation, it’s his focus on people that is enabling true transformation and maximizing value for his staff and his clients,” said Erik Asgeirsson, president and CEO of CPA.com. “His innovative approach to empowering, developing and creating balance for his team not only enables them to better serve clients, it creates a key competitive advantage for attracting next generation talent.”
Hannah Smolinski, president of Clara CFO Group, and Steve Chaney, founder and CEO of Chaney & Associates, were both named runners-up.
Smolinski, President of Clara CFO Group, created more than 100 videos when the pandemic struck in 2020 to provide education and guidance to small business owners who needed assistance from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) programs.
Chaney, founder and CEO of Chaney & Associates, uses cloud-based solutions for GL, bill payment, spend management, payroll and more to close the books each week for clients. By relying on automation and shifting pre-accounting work to clients, his 20-person team is able to serve more than 1000 clients.
“All of the practitioners recognized this year have demonstrated the practical impact of embracing new technologies and innovative business models to deliver a higher level of service to their clients and grow their businesses,” said Kacee Johnson, CPA.com’s vice president – Strategy & Innovation. “For practitioners at firms of all sizes, these leaders are showing the way forward as our profession rises to meet new challenges and opportunities.”
Pace, along with those receiving runner-up and honorable mention awards, will be recognized onstage at Digital CPA, CPA.com’s annual conference for practitioners focused on technology and its impact on the accounting landscape.
To find out more about what sets this year’s nominees apart, and to see the full list of winners including honorable mentions, please visit CPA.com’s Digital CPA Innovative Practitioner Award page. For innovative tools and ideas that can help firms deliver even more value to clients, visit CPA.com.
CPA.com brings innovative solutions to the accounting profession, either in partnership with leading providers or directly through its own development. The company has established itself as a thought leader on emerging technologies and as the trusted business advisor to practitioners in the United States, with a growing global focus.
Our company’s core mission is to drive the transformation of practice areas, advance the technology ecosystem for the profession, and lead technology research and innovation efforts for practitioners.
A subsidiary of the American Institute of CPAs, the company is also part of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, the world’s most influential organization representing the profession. For more information, visit CPA.com.