Who do you call when you have big questions about business or little questions about life? At LarsonAllen, you'll develop a personal connection with a team of people devoted to your industry. With more than 50 years of experience, we offer valuable insights, produce original research, and develop techniques and tools specifically designed for you. We value quality and integrity and create noticeably different client experiences. With our industry experience and national resources, we provide services that impact your business.
LarsonAllen is a leader in assurance, accounting, consulting, tax, and outsourcing throughout the country. We serve over 3,500 nonprofit and government entities nationwide, and we understand the unique challenges of building a flexible, sustainable organization in today’s marketplace.
Kathy H. Pitts is an Executive Director with Ernst & Young LLP’s National Exempt Organization Tax Services practice. Kathy provides services to tax-exempt organizations, including hospitals and health systems, colleges and universities, charitable organizations, supporting organizations, and other tax-exempt organizations.
Kathy provides these organizations with tax services related to a variety of issues, including Form 990 and other public disclosures, community benefit, executive compensation, intermediate sanctions, lobbying and political activities, private incurement and private benefit, foreign transaction disclosure, corporate sponsorship, and unrelated business income tax. She has represented taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service in applications for tax exemption, changes in tax-exempt status, private letter and other rulings, and audit inquiries.
Kathy has 22 years of accounting experience, with 18 of those years in public accounting. In addition, she teaches technical and behavioral courses to both Ernst & Young LLP professionals and external audiences.
Kathy received a B.S. in accounting, cum laude, from The University of Alabama. She is a certified public accountant licensed in Alabama, Georgia, Maryland and Nebraska. She also has practice privileges in Texas. Kathy is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants. She has also successfully completed the Certified Management Accountant, Certified Internal Auditor, and Healthcare Financial Management Association’s Certified Healthcare Financial Professional examinations. Kathy currently sits on the Gulf Coast IRS Tax Exempt/Government Entities Council.
Karen Gries is a principal with the LarsonAllen specializing in the tax implications of exempt organizations and leads the firm’s Exempt Tax Services Group.
Experience in serving clients
Karen's 25 year public accounting career has been focused on serving the needs of exempt organizations. Her experience includes providing services to a variety of tax-exempt organizations, including charities, social welfare, business leagues and associations, credit unions, health care providers, religious organizations, and others. Her experience also spans many industries such as public charities and private foundations, higher education, health care and senior living, arts and social welfare, etc.
Karen provides a broad range of services to tax-exempt clients, including analysis, planning, and reporting of unrelated business income; intermediate sanctions analysis and application including assistance in mitigating an organization's exposure; organizational structures; corporate compliance reviews; joint venture planning to preserve exempt status; consulting on matters of fringe benefits and compensation; applying for exempt status; resolving disclosure issues related to Form 990; and maintenance of exempt and public charity status.
Karen is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Greater Washington and Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants, ASAE and National Association of College and University Business Officers. Karen currently serves on the Internal Revenue Service Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities (ACT). The ACT consists of external stakeholders and representatives who deal with employee retirement plans, tax-exempt organizations, tax-exempt bonds and federal, state, local and Indian tribal governments.
She is a frequent speaker on tax exempt issues for the Aging Services of Minnesota and South Carolina, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, ASAE, Minnesota and Iowa Society of Certified Public Accountants, Minnesota State Bar Association Continuing Legal Education, Nonprofit Financial Group, Wisconsin Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, and other organizations.
Jeffrey M. Halfpenny, CPA, is a senior manager in Eisner Amper’s not-for-profit practice and has years of experience in planning, administering and supervising audits of not-for-profit organizations, as well as hands-on experience in the day-to-day administration and management of their operations.
Jeff was previously the chief of a multi-funded, outpatient, mental-health facility and, as such, was responsible for labor negotiations, health-insurance procurement, and information-technology services, as well as for traditional budgeting/forecasting and fiscal reporting, both internally and to governmental agencies. He has also had extensive experience with the testing and preparation of the reports required by U.S OMB Circular A-133, as well as with the New York State Consolidated Fiscal Report and with the various schedules required by City and State agencies.
Jeff remains an active participant in the oversight and operation of a behavioral health-care agency located in West Harlen and is on that entity’s board of directors’ advisory counsel. A graduate of Hofstra University, Jeff is a member of the American Institute of CPAs and the New York State Society of CPAs. Jeff is a leader in Eisner Amplers’ not-for-profit training program, and is a frequent speaker on current topics of interest in the not-for-profit marketplace.