“So, what makes you different?”
We anticipate this question from prospective clients and the answer is short and simple: Attitude and expertise. There are lots of experts in the world (including our specialized teams) but what you do with that expertise makes the difference. What we do with it is work to create the best possible results for you.
Relationships backed by performance – this defines our attitude.
Since 1974, the relationships we have developed and maintained over the years helped us become a leading independent accounting firm in the U.S. But these relationships would be meaningless (and would eventually disappear) without a daily commitment by the Frost team to provide the best solutions at the greatest value. We love our clients and they love what we do for them. This is what “relationships backed by performance” means.
Expertise that saves you the most valuable commodity of all: Time.
The fact that many of our professional staff and partners work day-in and day-out inside specific industries is why we are experts. Getting “up to speed” for us simply means sitting down with you. If you engage us, you won’t have to live through a learning curve.
LATEST FROST, PLLC NEWS
FACTA’s Stephen Shepard featured in Poultry Health Today article: “Five ways to put sustainability into action today”
Excerpt: Strong animal-welfare programs not only protect animals and appeal to consumers but they are also associated with better-quality products and increased productivity, says Stephen Shepard, a poultry specialist at FACTA (pictured above).
To reap all the benefits of high animal-welfare standards, Shepard recommends implementing strong programs that emphasize education.
“The problem is that some retailers don’t understand the daily challenges faced by producers, or what it takes to produce your products,” Shepard says. “Education is extremely important and producers are the experts.”
Furthermore, Shepard says, it’s especially important to regularly train and educate employees who handle flocks every day.
In addition to education, Shepard says effective animal-welfare programs should include clearly defined goals and metrics; comprehensive documentation and standard operating procedures; independent, third-party audits; and regular science-based assessments of production practices.
But above all, Shepard says, successful animal-welfare programs take commitment.
“From the CEO to middle management to the plant and barn workers, every person must be familiar with, and conversant in, animal welfare,” he stresses. “Animal welfare, like sustainability, doesn’t happen by accident — it takes constant and concerted effort by every member of the organization.”
FACTA and Stephen Shepard, Director, Poultry Animal Welfare Auditing and Training, quoted in Poultry Health Today article: “Tossing around the ‘S’ word: What sustainability means to poultry health”
Excerpt: Consumers have more choices, and producers benefit from higher margins and robust demand for niche products. But is the rise of organic, free-range and antibiotic-free poultry actually making the industry more sustainable?
Not necessarily, says Stephen Shepard, a poultry specialist at Farm Animal Care Training and Auditing (FACTA), which audits, assures and implements animal-welfare programs for producers internationally.
Shepard supports alternative production practices; in fact, he routinely consults with poultry operations that want to produce birds “raised without antibiotics” — a more accurate description than the popular “antibiotic-free” — to establish successful and sustainable programs. However, he does not believe that approach is necessarily more sustainable than conventional practices. In fact, he says, the risks to animal welfare, food safety and efficiency tend to be much higher in these alternative systems.
“The practice of never using antibiotic feed additives results in higher feed conversions, higher production costs and, if not managed properly, more sick birds,” Shepard explains. “This is not only a serious welfare issue, but it also results in a higher bacterial freight for poultry coming into the processing plant, which increases the risk of contaminated meat.”
For these reasons, Shepard believes that judicious antibiotic use is critical to both poultry and human health — not only to control and prevent disease, but also to ensure the ethical treatment of animals. But it shouldn’t always be necessary to wait for birds to get sick to start using antibiotics, he says. In many cases, he thinks it is actually more judicious — and more sustainable — to use antibiotics under veterinary supervision before they get sick.
“Antibiotic feed additives help maintain a healthy gut by controlling bacteria that are malignant to overall gut health, and a healthy gut leads to better absorption of nutrients,” he reasons. “As a result, we get better feed conversions. And when we get better feed conversions, we promote sustainable agriculture through more efficient land and water usage.”
PAACO Certifies Two New Animal Welfare Audits
Excerpt: The Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization, Inc. (PAACO) has granted Certified Audit status to two audit tools within the past month. The two audits that were reviewed by a PAACO-appointed panel and certified as having met the organization’s 12 minimum criteria are FACTA, LLC’s Humane Certified Animal Welfare Audit Program – Broiler and the Common Swine Industry Audit produced by a coalition of swine industry stakeholders involving customers, suppliers and producers and facilitated by the National Pork Board.
Certifying audit instruments is one of the services offered by PAACO, whose welfare auditor trainings and certification of auditors for meat plants and poultry have become an industry standard.
In order to become PAACO-certified, the program must be submitted for a third-party review by a species-specific panel of animal welfare experts appointed by PAACO and overseen by a PAACO representative. This group initially critiques the audit for improvements and primarily evaluates it to determine if the audit meets all 12 minimum criteria established by the PAACO board of directors for a certifiable audit instrument. These criteria apply to all meat animal species. PAACO’s board of directors makes the final determination to grant certification status. All certified audits must be reviewed annually and stay current with welfare criteria and standards to maintain certification status.
Information on these and other species with certified audits and programs, as well as the 12 core criteria for certified audits, may be found on the “Certification” page of the PAACO website, www.animalauditor.org.
Thomson & Company Merges with Frost, PLLC to Expand Agribusiness Reach
THOMSON & COMPANY, a full-service CPA firm in Phoenix, Arizona offering comprehensive accounting, tax and business advisory services to clients across the Southwest, is merging with FROST, PLLC. Our merged firm will continue to operate as FROST, PLLC from our offices in Little Rock and Fayetteville, Arkansas, Raleigh, North Carolina, and now Phoenix, Arizona. The merger is effective October 1, 2014.
“We are very excited to announce the addition of the Thomson & Company CPAs & Business Advisors, P.C. team to the Frost, PLLC family,” said Doug Richardson, Executive Committee Chairman. “As a combined entity, we will expand our experience, knowledge base and resources while continuing to provide our clients with the exceptional services they expect and deserve. The Thomson & Company associates will broaden our food processing and agriculture expertise to include the dairy industry, date palm production and will increase our row crop representation as well. While the food processing and agriculture industry represents a large portion of our firm’s business, we will continue to offer our clients a broad portfolio of services to meet their accounting needs.”
Craig Thomson, President of Thomson & Company, stated “One of Frost’s strengths is its expertise in the food and agriculture industry. Thomson and Company’s strength is also in serving the agriculture industry. The merger of our firm with Frost creates a deeper pool of resources to better serve the needs of agribusiness throughout the country.”
Our firm will be led by executive committee members Doug Richardson, Bob Childress and Keith Ekenseair. Frost, PLLC now represents business in 48 states in the U.S.
Frost, PLLC will continue as an independent member firm of Moore Stephens North America, which is itself a regional member of Moore Stephens International Limited (MSIL). All the firms in MSIL are independent entities, owned and managed in each location.
“Frost, PLLC is an independent member firm of Moore Stephens North America, which is itself a regional member of Moore Stephens International Limited (MSIL). All the firms in MSIL are independent entities, owned and managed in each location. Their membership in, or association with, Moore Stephens International Limited should not be construed as constituting or implying any partnership between them.”
To visit the Moore Stephens North America (MSNA) website, go to: www.msnainc.org
To visit the Moore Stephens International (MSIL) website, go to: www.moorestephens.com