John C. Blackshire, Jr., CPA
is the CEO of The Accountware Group, Inc. (TAG) of Austin, TX. He has over 40 years of business management, internal control, software development and auditing experience. TAG helps companies improve their business processes, implement financial systems, and comply with the requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
During John's career, he has conducted internal control audits, designed business operations, implemented automated financial systems, and created quality control methodologies. He has written numerous articles, system user guides, presented continuing education seminars, and published booklets on best practices in accounting, finance and information technology management.
John started his professional career at KPMG as a financial auditor. His clients included insurance companies, banks, manufacturing firms and non-profits. A number of his clients were public companies.
He moved from Public Accounting into the application software business. The first software firm focused its products on the application software needs of the insurance industry. At this firm, he work in the development of new products, supporting existing products, providing consulting assistance to clients and the direct sale of software. These applications included general accounting, investment accounting, procure to pay, policy process, claims process and administrative applications. His development and support activities included designing and setup of what is now called "artificial intelligence" driven applications. One of these applications used phonics driven rules to determine the names to return from a data base to assist in policy holders services. This application was also used by the FBI to identify possible suspects within their know "criminal" data base using a phonics driven lookup.
Blackshire moved from an insurance industry focused software supplier to one that was the first to offer data base processing in the ERM space in the early 1980s. At this firm, he spend several years in the financial software business designing, supporting, consulting and selling financial systems to the cross industry marketplace.
John received his undergraduate degree in accounting from the University of South Carolina. He is a member of the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) and helped plan their International Conference, and is a member of the international business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi and the honors accounting fraternity Beta Alpha Psi. John and David Marshall have been presenting informative and entertaining seminars on internal control, corporate governance and Sarbanes-Oxley Act compliance since 2003.
David S. Marshall, MBA, CISA, CFE is a Principal with Infotech Global, a provider of audit, compliance, IT and training services from Chicago, IL area. With over 20 years of experience, he is an expert in internal control, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and information technology. He has assisted numerous companies, from startups to multinationals, improve their operations by strengthening their internal control programs and complying with Sarbanes-Oxley, as well as providing IT auditing, computer security and fraud prevention training.
During his career, Dave has performed financial, operational and IT audits, security assessments, fraud investigations, financial and manufacturing system implementations, and regulatory compliance assistance. He headed up the IT Audit Consulting group at one of the largest aerospace and defense contractors in the United States, where he conducted enterprise risk assessments, audits, network penetrations, program effectiveness studies, business continuity reviews, fraud examinations, and financial data analysis using IDEA software. Prior to that, he was a senior manager in the management consulting practice PWC, where he performed similar services to Fortune 500 companies, banks and agencies. Dave helped to develop the firms Audit methodology, participated in writing the Institute of Internal Auditors’ System Auditability and Control Guidelines, and conducted quality assurance reviews of internal and external audit groups.
He has an MBA degree, and is a Certified Information Systems Auditors (CISA) and a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE). He is a member and past board director of the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA), is a member of the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) and helped organize the IIA International Conference, and is the President of the Chicago Chapter of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE). Mr. Marshall and Mr. Blackshire have been presenting informative and entertaining seminars on internal control, corporate governance and Sarbanes-Oxley Act compliance since 2004.
Robert Berry, CPA is a key instructor within the internal audit training industry and he is known as "That Audit Guy".
Robert believes the ultimate goal in business is to improve people, processes and profits. Every organization exists to make some sort of profit. Behind every profit is a series of business processes that must be in sync. But behind every process is a person. People are the heartbeat of every organization and need to be developed and supported.
Robert has spent the better part of his career trying to bring out the best in people. As a result, you will find that his training courses are practical and actionable. The compelling content typically contains good visuals to stimulate recall along with clear and concise language. As a service provider, Robert's approach is honest yet empathetic. The internal audit funciton and management can work together to evaluate processes in an organization to bring out the best in everyone.
Robert has worked as an auditor and an accountant in small and multi billion dollar organizations. You will find the standard alphabet soup behind his name (CPA, CIA, etc), but improving people, processes and profits is what matters most.
Thomas E. Derise, CPA MBA has recently joined our group after retiring from 1st Constitution Bank where he was Vice President and Controller. Tom has over 35 years of business management, public accounting, and information technology experience. He has extensive background in banking and Sarbanes-Oxley compliance.
Tom has been an adjunct instructor in both accounting and information technology for many years. He has extensive experience teaching professional development subjects at CohnReznick, American Institue of Banking, MSPC, and St. Peter's University.
He has extensive project management and external auditing experiance. He has had numerous years of experience as a professional consultant for major CPA firms.
Tom received his undergraduate degree in economics from Saint Peter's University. He has an advanced professional certificate in Finance from New York University. His MBA and MSE Information Sciences are from the University of Pennsylvania.
Elliot A. Fisch, CPA, CIA, CFE, CFF, CGMA, CRMA, MBA has over 30 years experience in internal audit, corporate compliance, ethics, fraud reviews, and financial and project management in the corporate, government and consulting sectors. He has extensive experience in the compliance discipline, with significant responsibilities to oversee relations with various governmental authorities.
Elliot has directed internal audit departments in multi-billion dollar international organizations developing audit staff using a collaborative teamwork approach. He has also worked successfully with company executives and the Board of Directors.
Elliot has been a Compliance Monitor and has developed Corporate Ethics, Code of Conduct, Fraud Hotline, and Regulatory Compliance programs including training programs on these topics. He also has extensive experience with Sarbanes-Oxley Act requirements developing policies, procedures, testing and solutions to validate the organization's control framework and has conducted reviews to ensure the reliability and presentation of financial statement and contract data.
Elliot is a long time resident of southern Caliornia and has a degree in business administration from California State University - Northridge and an M.B.A. from National University.
David F. Kent, CIA, CISA, CGEIT, CRISC, CRMA, CGFM is a seasoned former audit practitioner, with more than 45 years in the profession. After heading SWIFT, Inc.'s US-based audit team for more than 10 years, he served as Internal Audit (IA) Quality Assurance & Improvement Program (QAIP) Manager from April 2014 until his retirement in June 2018. Prior to joining SWIFT, Dave spent more than seven years as a Client Service Director with PricewaterhouseCoopers' US Federal Government practice, where he focused on providing oversight and direction to large and/or complex automated information systems controls testing projects in various major Federal departments and agencies.
Before PwC, Dave spent over 26 years as a US Federal Government auditor and audit manager at the US General Accounting Office and the US Department of Transportation (DoT), including more than 18 years managing major audit projects - with heavy focus on auditing the development, acquisition, and operation of major computerized information systems. His 12-year tenure with DoT's Office of Inspector General (OIG) included 7 years of executive experience as a member of the Federal Senior Executive Service, during which he established and directed the OIG's financial auditing function and headed an audit team of more than 50 professionals. During his Federal career he received 12 awards for his work and testified before the US Congress on three occasions.
Dave is a member of the Institute of Internal Auditors and the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA). While an ISACA member, he has served on four international committees/boards, including one (i.e., the Information Technology Control Practices Committee) where he served as Chair for two years. He also co-developed a CISA Examination Review Course for ISACA's National Capital Area Chapter and served as instructor for five course offerings. He has served as an instructor for Corporate Compliance Seminars since June 2016.
Jim G. George is an independent consultant to banks focusing on issues of fraud, AML, and identity.
He has over 30 years of experience as a consultant and advisor to major banks. He was an associate partner and principal at PriceWaterhouse-Coopers Consulting, IBM Consulting in Bank Risk and Compliance, and Andersen Consulting (now Accenture).
He was a senior vice president for operations for a Fortis-US division providing outsourcing services to the banking industry.
His work experiences include projects in fraud investigation, fraud prevention, identity issues, compliance, and AML (anti-money laundering). Jim's background also includes work in bank operations and payments strategy, reengineering, systems, and quality improvement. He assisted a Justice Department led Federal taskforce investigating a very large money laundering situation.
He has an M.B.A. from Purdue University, Krannert School of Management. This was after he received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering also from Purdue University.
He has a very strong math background included graduate level computer science and statistical training. In addition he worked with Neural net, unusual behavior alerting and other artificial intelligence and decision support software.
He was also a Presidential Interchange Executive. He was competitively selected and served as a Federal executive during a one-year leave of absence. He worked in the Office of Management and Budget and at the Department of Housing and Urban Development in Washington D.C.
Amar I. Saini is the managing principal at HnC Smart Solutions, a risk management advisory firm based in Atlanta, Georgia.
HnC Smart Solutions provides a range of consulting practices, including, governance, risk and compliance, technology consulting, technical staffing and data management and advanced analytics.
Saini has more than 30 years of experience within the financial services industry working with some of the leading organizations in the industry to enhance business performance through risk management, operational effectiveness, enhanced governance and application of technology.
Saini attended the University of Greenwich, where he earned a bachelor's (honors) degree in engineering and the University of Bradford, where he earned a Masters degree in Engineering.
Henry Schneider, is the Process and Product Quality Consulting's (PPQC) Senior Principal Consultant.
PPQC, a provider of CMMI centered education and services. PPQC's mission is to provide premier technology and process improvement consulting, appraisals, and training to help our customers advance their business processes thereby increasing their strategic competitive edge.
Henry provides the following consulting services to his clients:
. Data-Driven Analysis
. First Class Training
. Invaluable Business Insights & Productivity Enhancing Solutions
. Process Improvement & Systems Engineering
. Product & Service Quality Assurance
. Program Development & Project Management
Don West, CPA, CISA, CISSP, CITP is the Founder and Managing Partner of Donald P. West, CPA, LLC of Columbia, SC.
Don is a seasoned professional. He has over 20 years of construction management experience along with years of auditing and information technology practice. He is currently the chairman of the Technology Committee for the South Carolina Association of CPAs. Don's CPA practice covers IT security, compliance, virtualization, PCI-DSS, systems analysis, design and implementation, large scale engineering and construction project controls. He has special skills in IT security and Business Objects usage.
Don is a graduate of University of South Carolina with a degree in Accounting. He is a licensed CPA in South Carolina.
Thomas N. Wickes, MBA, CISA, PMP is Founder and CEO of Audit Practice, LLC (Audit Practice) of Jacksonville, FL.
Thomas is a seasoned professional services, project management, audit and compliance professional with over 15 years of experience in manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, insurance and technology-based entities. He specializes in project management projects involving risk management, Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), strategic planning, compliance, security and risk assessment (including applications, network operating systems and security software packages) and business impact analysis and implementation engagements. In the past, he has held the titles of vice president of professional services, controller, vice president of finance, chief operating officer and vice president of sales.
Thomas is a graduate of Florida Atlantic University with an MBA in Finance.
Stanley I. Yakeris a very experienced auditor and financial professional.
Stan is a detail orientated, analytical professional with extensive financial, management and auditing experience. During his professional career he was know as a strong hands-on manager with the ability to evaluate and analyze everyday operations and implement innovative and effective solutions to control costs and enhance profitability. He has extensive experience with oral and written communications.
He spent over fifteen years in auditing in Medicaid Healthcare Programs. He worked as controller for a homecare, hospice and community service provider. His health care experience includes positions at JPS Health Network, Manor Healthcare, University of Maryland Hospitals and The Johns Hopkins Hospital.
In the past, he has held the titles of senior fraud auditor, controller, director of cost reimbursement, senior reimbursement manager, director of cost accounting and senior cost accountant.
Stan is a graduate of Loyola University of Maryland with a BBA in Accouting. He has worked on his MBA at The University of Maryland.