News


McConnell & Jones LLP Open New Office in Austin, Texas

(HOUSTON, TEXAS — March 28, 2014)
McConnell Jones Lanier & Murphy, LLP (MJLM), one of the nation’s largest minority-owned accounting and consulting firms, proudly announces the opening of a new office in Texas’ capital city, Austin. The new office provides MJLM with the opportunity to expand capabilities to this rapidly growing geographic market, while better serving existing public and private clients located throughout the State.

MJLM Partner, Thomas Jones Jr., CPA, will be responsible for the new office and the firm’s business development and strategic growth efforts in Central Texas. With more than 30 years experience in tax, accounting, financial, and business consulting, Jones has an extensive background that also includes working with public and private organizations as well as nonprofit and governmental entities.

“I am pleased to introduce MJLM’s services to the Austin business community,” said Thomas Jones. “The expansion not only enhances MJLM’s relationship with clients within the State of Texas, but provides great opportunity for our firm in Austin’s high-growth market.”

Jones and the MJLM team are pleased to share office space with strategic alliance partner, Excel Global Partners, and will be located in their Austin office at 6034 W. Courtyard Drive, Suite 150. The MJLM local telephone number in Austin is 512.501.1042. “Providing practical recommendations with local relevance is the goal for our new office,” said MJLM Managing Partner, Wayne McConnell. “The opening of our office in Austin is a demonstration of MJLM’s significant and sustained investment in growth – not only for our firm, but for our clients.”


McConnell & Jones LLP Grows the Audit Team Appoints New Director, Wendy Nguyen

Wayne McConnell(HOUSTON, TEXAS — January 9, 2014)
McConnell & Jones LLP, one of Houston’s largest CPA firms, is proud to announce Wendy Nguyen as Director of the firm’s Commercial Audit Practice. In her new role, Nguyen will manage the firm’s SEC and commercial assurance services group which works with a wide array of private and publicly-traded companies as well as privately-held organizations looking to go public through an IPO.

With more than 13 years of auditing and accounting experience, Nguyen has worked with large and small public and private companies representing the oil-field services, energy, retail, power plants, manufacturing, construction, property management and distribution industries. She is highly skilled in helping clients with their prospectuses, proxy statements, Form S-1s, 10-Ks, 10-Qs and 8-Ks, reverse merger transactions. Additionally, Nguyen spent two years as a controller for a privately held company where she was responsible for reviewing financial statements, strengthening internal controls, budget to actual analyses, and financial forecasts.

“Wendy’s a great fit for our firm. Her technical expertise and practical knowledge is a perfect match to our clients’ needs and will enable us to continue to provide the best value and service,” stated Wayne McConnell, Managing Partner and Audit Practice Leader.

Nguyen is a graduate of California State Polytechnic University and sits on the Board of Directors for Messenger of Love, a local nonprofit supporting Vietnamese orphanages and underprivileged children. She is a current member of the American Woman's Society of Certified Accountants, and in her spare time she enjoys reading, travelling, and spending time playing with her husband and three children.


McConnell & Jones Selects Eric Ernest to Lead Specialty Practice

Wayne McConnell(HOUSTON, TEXAS — November 11, 2013)
McConnell & Jones LLP (MJ), a national leader in employee benefit plan audits, is pleased to announce the promotion of Eric Ernest, CPA, FCCA, to Partner of ERISA Assurance and Compliance Services.

Ernest has more than 20 years total experience in auditing and accounting for a variety of industries and benefit plan sponsors with extensive knowledge in the accounting, auditing, and reporting requirements of employee benefit plans. He is a specialist in benefit plan accounting, auditing, legislative, and regulatory issues to include SEC and DOL rules and regulations. As a leader in this specialty practice, he has been responsible for the design and implementation of employee benefit plan audit methodology, as well as the development and delivery of training to colleagues on his team. In addition, Ernest is well-versed in compliance requirements related to the preparation of IRS Form 5500, and as partner he will continue to lead this practice area for MJ.

“I have worked with Eric for more than 13 years and look forward to continuing our working relationship as he assumes his new leadership role in this important practice niche,” said McConnell & Jones Managing Partner, Wayne McConnell. “Promoting leadership from within our organization is a priority. Not only does it ensure a seamless transition for our clients, but it also guarantees our internal processes and team "synergies" stay connected.


McConnell & Jones LLP Executives Discuss Auditing and Benefit Programs With Texas Member Food Banks

Szabo(HOUSTON, TEXAS —March 9, 2012)
McConnell & Jones LLP (MJ) senior executives Jonathan Ellis and Mandy Szabo have been selected to share expertise with Texas food bank professionals. Government and Nonprofit Sector Leader Jonathan Ellis, and Human Resource Director, Mandy Szabo will speak to 19 Texas Member food banks at the Texas Food Bank Network's Accounting and Human Resource Conference. The topics to be covered are "Auditing the Auditor" and "Cost-Effective Benefit Programs".

The discussions will highlight MJ's audit knowledge and management style as it relates to assurance services and human resource management. Ellis will discuss best practices in working with external auditors, including auditor selection, rotation and retention. Szabo will discuss how designing, developing demographics and negotiating is key to cost savings when developing a benefit program.

"It gives us great pleasure to have two of the firm's top knowledge experts present at the conference," says Managing Partner, Wayne McConnell. "The attendees will receive insightful information and leave knowing the benefits of having internal controls in place."

The event will take place March 19-20th at the UT Arlington Fort Worth Center.


Partners' Expert Testimony on Behalf of the American Institute of CPAs
Results in an Increase in Small Business Size Standards

mjlm(HOUSTON, TEXAS —March 8, 2012)
McConnell Jones Lanier & Murphy LLP Partner, Odysseus Lanier, provided expert testimony to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) on behalf of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) which has resulted in the first substantial size standard increase in more than 20 years.

The SBA's size standards define whether a business is small and thus eligible for government programs and preferences reserved for small business concerns. To determine eligibility for federal government small business programs, the SBA establishes small business size definitions (referred to as size standards) for most private sector industries in the United States.

In April of last year, Lanier testified before the US House of Representative's Committee on Small Business regarding the small business size standard for CPA firms pursuing work with the federal government, and suggested the size standards for accounting firms should be increased to $25.5 million from the current $8.5 million. Upon review and consideration of Lanier's research, the SBA is adopting $19 million as the appropriate size standard for these professional services. In addition to the services of Certified Public Accounting firms, the SBA has ruled to increase small business size standards for 34 industries and three sub-industries in the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Sector 54, Professional, Technical, and Scientific Services. This change, which will impact hundreds of small businesses, is effective March 21, 2012.

"The services small accounting firms provide to the federal government have a strong public interest component," Lanier explained. "These services include, among others, implementation and maintenance of financial and accounting systems ensuring that taxpayer resources are effectively and efficiently utilized, and independent audits of government organizations and programs to provide reasonable assurance of compliance with appropriate laws and regulations."

The SBA started looking at the size standards issue as a result of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 which called for agencies to update/streamline their regulatory rules in order to "encourage and strengthen" the competitiveness of small businesses in our current economy. Under provisions in the Act, the SBA will continue its comprehensive review of all size standards for the next several years.

To view Mr. Lanier's opening statement during the standards hearing, visit www.mjlm.com


McConnell & Jones LLP Receives Energy Future Holdings (EFH) Gold Star Supplier of the Year Award

EFH Award(HOUSTON, TEXAS —Febuary 21, 2012)
McConnell & Jones LLP (MJ) received the Energy Future Holdings Gold Star Supplier of the Year Award at the Gold Star Recognition Reception held last Thursday night at the Belo Mansion located in Dallas, Texas. The award recognizes exceptional performance and customer satisfaction as well as community involvement and diversity in the workforce.

Energy Future Holdings Corp. (EFH) is a Dallas-based, privately held energy company with a portfolio of competitive and regulated energy companies. Its competitive businesses are Luminant and TXU Energy. EFH’s Supplier Diversity Gold Star Recognition Program acknowledges significant contributions of individuals, groups and businesses to supplier diversity progress and success. Executives from EFH, Luminant and TXU Energy, along with EFH corporate board members, participate in the annual event, honoring employees and suppliers who have made significant contributions to the company’s supplier diversity initiatives.

MJ was engaged by EFH in 2010 to perform benefit plan assurance and compliance services which is required by Federal law for employee benefit plans with 100 or more participants.  MJ performs attest services for a myriad of benefit plans throughout the nation and offers subject matter experts in the areas of audit requirements, compliance changes and regulatory developments. 

 “It is an honor to have received this special award from Energy Future Holdings,” said MJ Managing Partner, Wayne McConnell. “Our benefit plan compliance team has worked diligently with this client for the last two years—this award is a testament to their exceptional customer service.” Rance Buss, Partner of Benefit Plan Assurance Services, added, “The diversity of our team is one of the finest qualities of our firm, one that enhances our ability to work together as a cohesive team, and I’m thrilled to have this trait recognized by Energy Future Holdings.”


McConnell & Jones LLP Expands Tax Team

john bradenjohn braden(HOUSTON, TEXAS — December 19, 2011)

McConnell & Jones LLP, (MJ) Houston's 14th largest certified public accounting firm, isproud to announce two new additions to the tax division; John Braden, Tax Partner, and Dee Anne Creach, Tax Manager.

Braden and Creach joined the firm as part of MJ's recent acquisitions and offer
more than 60 years of combined experience specifically related to tax planning
and compliance. Braden's background includes tax consultation for domestic
and international business owners, and Creach's unique experience includes
IRS representation.

"The diversity of the two will provide an added value to our clients. Specifically, in filing expatriate returns and providing tax consulting for high net worth individuals who may have matters before the IRS," says Thomas Jones, Tax Partner.

Both Braden and Creach are active members in the community. Braden has served on the committee of the Texas Society of CPAs, in which he oversaw the peer review program. He has also been active as a subcommittee chairman, and was involved in conducting seminars on the peer review process. Creach is active in her children's school; participating in fundraising and numerous committees. She is excited to now be involved in community activities as part of the firm's business development efforts.

"I am excited to join the McConnell & Jones tax team," said John Braden. "There are many opportunities to expand the firm and the tax practice to help achieve our strategic objectives, and I look forward to contributing."

MJ's tax and small business solutions group provides a full range of tax compliance and planning services to businesses and individuals, including representation before the IRS and other taxing authorities; trust and estate tax return preparation; business acquisition and sale strategies; tax research and planning; and tax law impact analysis.


McConnell & Jones LLP Announces Second Acquisition in Northwest Houston

Wayne McConnell(HOUSTON, TEXAS – November 17, 2011)
McConnell & Jones LLP (MJ), Houston's 14th largest public accounting firm, builds upon its strategy to grow its practice in North/Northwest Houston by acquiring a second practice in the area; Adamson, Hood & Company PC.

"In October we announced the acquisition of John A. Braden, P.C. This second transaction with Adamson, Hood & Company PC could have not come at a better time for the firm," says Wayne McConnell, Managing Partner for McConnell & Jones. "Both firms have more than 60 years of combined experience in serving a great group of loyal clients. Their experience and quality personnel will be key, not only for serving our combined client base, but in expanding our presence in the North/Northwest Houston area."

Adamson, Hood & Company PC is a full service audit and tax practice that also specializes in representing clients on matters before the IRS. Rick Adamson and Dee Ann Creach, both with the firm since its founding 21 years ago, will be joining MJ. "Our clients will greatly benefit from the additional resources and depth of experience that McConnell & Jones provides," said Adamson. "We are better positioned to continue building upon the great long-term relationships we have with our current clients."


McConnell & Jones, LLP Merges with North Houston Practice

(HOUSTON, TEXAS — October 4, 2011)
McConnell & Jones LLP, (MJ) Houston's 14th largest certified public accounting firm, will build upon its strategy to grow its practice in North and Northwest Houston by merging with the practice of John A. Braden, PC.

"We are pleased to bring Braden's clients into the McConnell & Jones fold and will continue providing them with the high quality and hands-on accounting, audit, tax and business advisory services they've grown accustomed to over the years," says Wayne McConnell, Managing Partner for McConnell & Jones LLP. "John has served many of his clients for over 40 years and we look forward to having him and his staff as part of the McConnell & Jones team as we further position our firm in the North Houston area."

Braden will continue to work with MJ as a Partner and will focus on servicing his existing clients as well as assist with the continued growth of the firm in the Greenspoint, Spring and Woodlands areas of North Houston.

Braden's practice was established in the Houston market in 1971 and services a diverse client base that includes domestic and international business owners to which he provides assurance, tax and business advisory services. "Our clients will greatly benefit from the additional resources and depth of experience that McConnell & Jones provides," said Braden. "We are better positioned to continue building upon the long-term relationships we have with our current clients."

"Our firm has seen successful organic growth over the last year which has propelled us to the 14th spot on Houston's list of largest CPA firms," says Edward Hlousek, Leader of McConnell & Jones' Mergers and Acquisitions Practice Group. He concludes, "This acquisition continues us along that path and positions our firm for even greater success in the coming year."


McConnell & Jones, LLP Enhances Management Team with New HR Director

Szabo(HOUSTON, TEXAS — August 11, 2011)
McConnell & Jones LLP (MJ) one of Houston's largest CPA firms is proud to announce that Mandy Szabo has joined the firm as Director of Human Resources. Szabo, with more than 14 years of experience, brings in a wealth of knowledge from the professional services industry to MJ.

Szabo has a strong passion for people and service. She says, "People are the 'Human' in Human Resources. Resources don't make the organization; the people do." Her outlook about Human Resources is having an open door policy where employees can feel welcomed and not intimidated by the Human Resource Department. "Mandy brings her expertise to McConnell & Jones at a critical time in our growth. We are raising the bar for our recruiting efforts to support our expanding client needs. Mandy's recruiting and strategic HR experience is perfectly aligned with our goals, and we are excited to have her join our leadership team," said Ira Wayne McConnell, Managing Partner.

Szabo has extensive experience in HR within the accounting industry and comes to McConnell & Jones from the CPA firm of MaloneBailey LLP where she was the HR Manager. Szabo is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management and HR Houston. A native Houstonian, she is a mother of three who enjoys reading and spending time with family. She received a degree in Human Resource Management from Devry Institute.


McConnell Jones Lanier & Murphy Partner Selected for Who's Who in Black Houston

Thomas(HOUSTON, TEXAS —May 25, 2011)
McConnell Jones Lanier & Murphy, LLP (MJLM) is excited to announce the selection of Tax Partner, Tene Thomas, as a Who's Who in Black Houston. The recognition is afforded to those who have made a mark in their chosen field and whose contributions to community affairs have improved the quality of life for all of us.

The Who's Who in Black Houston, in its fourth year of publication, is committed to delivering remarkable stories of high-achieving African American in the Houston metropolitan area with the goal of not only celebrating the success and accomplishments of those recognized, but also inspiring future generations. As a testament to this goal, this year, the organization stated the Who's Who 1,000 'Books for 1,000 Kids' campaign to bring awareness to children throughout the City of Houston and showcase honorees as strong, positive role models.

"I look forward to working with other community leaders to make an impact in our City", said Thomas. "Through 'Who's Who', I can use my past experiences and personal encounters to empower others and make positive change for future generations."

"We have always recognized Tene as a leader in our organization," said MJLM Partner, Thomas Jones. "I'm now looking forward to seeing her accomplish these leadership goals on a large scale and influence constructive transformations in our community."

Thomas, a licensed CPA with more than 16 years of technical experience, is a graduate of California Polytechnic University, Pomona, where she holds a bachelor of business administration. In addition to her involvement with Who's Who in Black Houston, Thomas serves as Treasurer of the Board of Directors for National Kidney Foundation of Southeast Texas, is a member of Leadership Houston Class XXVII, and sits on the Board of Directors for the Robert Horry Foundation. She also is an active member of the Texas Society of CPAs.



McConnell Jones Lanier & Murphy Partner Offers Expert Testimony Before the US House of Representatives on Behalf of the American Institute of CPAs

Lanier(HOUSTON, TEXAS — May 6, 2011)
The American Institute of CPAs, through the expert testimony of McConnell Jones Lanier & Murphy LLP Partner, Odysseus Lanier, told a congressional subcommittee Thursday that the small business size standards for accounting firms should be increased to $25.5 million from the current $8.5 million.

The information from this hearing will be useful as the SBA is in the process of redefining what exactly is a small business. Thursday's hearing focused specifically on legal services, accounting and tax preparation services, architectural and engineering services, computer systems related services, management services and advertising.

"We heard firsthand from small business owners who provided specific insight into factors that must be addressed by the SBA, such as grouping related industries, reducing the number of size standards, and the issue of small businesses being denied the protections of the Small Business Act," stated US Congressman Joe Walsh (R-IL), Chairman of the House Small Business Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Assess.

Lanier, testifying on behalf of the AICPA and the accounting profession, confirmed before a House Small Business subcommittee about the need to raise the limit. "To fully capture the small business accounting firms that have the resources to invest in the necessary infrastructure and properly perform services as required by Federal government contracts reserved for just small business contractors, …the size limit standard would need to be raised to $25.5 million," he said.

The SBA's size standards define whether a business is small and thus eligible for government programs and preferences reserved for small business concerns. To determine eligibility for federal government small business programs, the SBA establishes small business size definitions (referred to as size standards) for most private sector industries in the United States. The SBA's existing size standards use two primary measures of business size – receipts and number of employees.

"Accounting firms contract with the federal government to provide accounting and attest services as well as a wide array of consulting services such as strategic planning and financial management," Lanier explained to the House Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access. "The services small accounting firms provide to the federal government have a strong public interest component. These services include, among others, implementation and maintenance of financial and accounting systems ensuring that taxpayer resources are effectively and efficiently utilized, and independent audits of government organizations and programs to provide reasonable assurance of compliance with appropriate laws and regulations. As such, AICPA believes that SBA should focus on the experience and qualifications of the accounting firms performing the services and ensure the small business size standard for accounting firms is closely aligned and appropriate."

To view Mr. Lanier's opening statement during the standards hearing, click here: www.mjlm.com.


IRS Announcement 2011-21, 2011-12 I.R.B. – Form 8955-SSA

The IRS has announced due dates for filing Form 8955-SSA, which replaces Schedule SSA (Form 5500), for the 2009 plan year and subsequent years. In the announcement the IRS also discusses the availability of Form 8955-SSA for the 2009 and 2010 plan years and provides filing relief for plan administrators who have submitted Schedule SSA for the 2009 plan year or are completing Schedule SSA for the 2009 and/or 2010 plan years.

The following matters are addressed in the announcement:

Availability of Form 8955-SSA
• The IRS anticipates making the Form 8955-SSA for the 2009 plan year available for filing shortly, although a date has not been announced.
• The 2010 Form 8955-SSA is being developed and is expected to be available for filing later this year.
• However, in an effort to expedite filings, the IRS is allowing plan administrators to report the 2010 Form 8955-SSA information on the 2009 Form 8955-SSA.
• The IRS has developed a voluntary electronic filing system for filing Form 8955-SSA which will be ready to accept filings when the form becomes available.

Filing due dates
• The Form 8955-SSA, like Schedule SSA, is due by the last day of the seventh month following the close of the plan year (plus extensions).
• Plan administrators are allowed additional time to file Form 8955-SSA for the 2009 plan year. The due date for filing Form 8955-SSA for the 2009 and 2010 plan years is the later of: (1) the due date that generally applies for filing the Form 8955-SSA for the 2010 plan year, and (2) August 1, 2011.

Form 5558 – Extension of Time to File
• Form 5558 may be used to apply for an extension of time to file Form 8955-SSA.
• The rules for filing for an extension of time to file Form 8955-SSA are the same as those that applied to Schedule SSA.
• The IRS has announced that it is revising Form 5558 to allow filers to apply for an extension of time for Form 8955-SSA and that the revised Form 5558 is expected to be available soon.
• The automatic extension of time to file until the due date of the employer's federal income tax return is also available for Form 8955-SSA.

Relief for submitted Schedule SSA
Plan administrators who have already submitted the old Schedule SSA to the IRS for the 2009 plan year and/or are in the process of completing the old Schedule SSA for the 2009 and/or the 2010 plan year., will be considered as having satisfied the reporting requirements, and no Form 8955-SSA is required to be filed for that year if the Schedule SSA is filed by April 20, 2011.

Notice of change for plans or administrators
Under Code Sec. 6057(b), administrators of plans subject to the vesting requirements of ERISA §203 are required to notify the Secretary of the Treasury of certain changes relating to the plans or plan administrators, such as any change in the name of the plan or in the name or address of the plan administrator. The changes are reported on a plan's Form 5500. According to the IRS neither the removal of the Schedule SSA from the Form 5500 nor the creation of Form 8955-SSA affect this requirement. A plan administrator should continue to report these types of changes on Form 5500 for the plan year in which the changes occur, according to the IRS.



McConnell & Jones LLP Welcomes New Partners Rance Buss,
Edward Hlousek and Tene' Thomas

(HOUSTON, TEXAS —November 10, 2010)
McConnell & Jones LLP (M&J), one of Houston's largest CPA firms, is proud to announce the recent promotions of Rance Buss, Edward Hlousek, and Tene' Thomas to Partner. As Partners for the firm, Buss, Hlousek, and Thomas are responsible for the organization's strategic growth initiatives as well leadership and mentoring to the firm's audit and tax teams.

ThomasTene' Thomas
Thomas, a periodic CNN Contributor, is a licensed CPA with more than 13 years of accounting experience in nonprofit, entertainment, manufacturing, real estate, financial services, and professional services industries. As the leader of tax services and small business solutions, she currently specializes in the preparation of nonprofit tax returns, employee benefit plan returns, federal and multi-state tax returns for domestic and foreign individuals, corporate, partnership and fiduciary income tax returns. She is highly skilled at conducting technical research, providing high-level individual and small business accounting and tax solutions, and consultation on business entity formation and restructuring. Thomas is a graduate of California Polytechnic University, Pomona where she holds a bachelor of business administration.

"Rance, Edward and Tene' all demonstrate a dedication, not only to our clients but to our industry and our community, that strives to provide quality solutions that solve today's need and lays a foundation for tomorrows success," said MJLM Managing Partner, Wayne McConnell, "They have a tremendous amount of experience as well as an incredible work ethic that adds value to our firm and our clients."

Buss, Hlousek and Thomas are all active members of the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants (TSCPA) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).



McConnell & Jones LLP Joins the Airwaves on the Price of Business

(HOUSTON, TEXAS —March 4, 2010)
McConnell & Jones LLP (M&J), one of Houston’s largest CPA firms, is proud to announce its weekly radio appearance on CNN 650’s "The Price of Business” heard on Fridays from 11 a.m. to 12 Noon. Hosted by Kevin Price, an award-winning writer and speaker, "The Price of Business" is a weekly radio show discussing hot topics in business including finance, accounting and tax issues of the day.

Tene' Thomas, Principal of M&J’s Tax and Accounting Services Division within McConnell Tene' Thomas& Jones  the third largest African-American owned CPA firm in the country., stepped up as the firm’s first regular CNN contributor with her expertise in the tax concerns of small businesses and privately-owned companies as well as publicly-traded organizations. Bringing expertise as a certified public accountant, Ms. Thomas adds a human quality to business by expressing her passion for the Ashlyn Horry Foundation, a foundation raising funds and awareness to improve the quality of life of disabled children, and the National Kidney Foundation of Southeast Texas where she serves on the Board of Directors.

 



In future broadcasts, Thomas Jones, Jr., Partner in Charge of Tax and Small Business Services will join Ms. Thomas. With more than 32 years of experience in tax Thomas Jonescompliance and financial management, Mr. Jones works directly with a diverse mix of corporations, partnerships, individuals and non-profit agencies providing.  Additionally, Mr. Jones leads the firm’s small business solutions division where he works directly with entrepreneurs and small business owners to provide financial solutions that promote long-term business success.Supporting business in the communities where we live, Mr. Jones has a long history of civic involvement. Mr. Jones is the immediate past Chairman of the Board of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau. Additionally, he serves on Board of Florida A&M University Foundation and the Spirit of Texas Bank, where he is a founding board member.

“Thomas and Tene are the people I turn to for advice and to bounce ideas off of,” adds Wayne McConnell, Managing Partner. “Their expertise in the finance and accounting fields will benefit business and individuals alike. Their heart for community will offer a temperate touch that includes the human equation in balancing business, finances and life.”

McConnell & Jones LLP is a certified public accounting firm and registered with the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy. The organization specializes in solving problems, reducing risk, and improving performance for public, private and government clients in a variety of industries including individuals, private companies and non-profit agencies. McConnell & Jones is an affiliate of McConnell Jones Lanier & Murphy LLP, a full-service professional services firm providing accounting, financial planning, management consulting, engineering and technical services. According to a recent survey by the Houston Business Journal, McConnell & Jones is the 17th largest CPA firm in Houston.

Learn more about McConnell & Jones Small Business Solutions.


McConnell & Jones LLP Principal Selected as Treasurer of the National Kidney Foundation of Southeast Texas Board of Directors

Tene' Thomas(HOUSTON, TEXAS —July 14, 2009)
McConnell & Jones, LLP (M&J) is proud to announce the recent appointment of Tene' Thomas, as treasurer of the board of directors for the National Kidney Foundation of Southeast Texas. As treasurer, Thomas, a licensed CPA with more than 14 years of technical experience, will be responsible for the management and reporting of finances to the Foundation’s Board of Directors as well as keeping the group regularly informed of key financial events and trends.

A graduate of California Polytechnic University, Pomona, Thomas holds a bachelor of business administration. In addition to her involvement with the National Kidney Foundation, Thomas also is a board member of the Robert Horry Foundation and is an active member of the Texas Society of CPAs.


McConnell Jones Lanier & Murphy, LLP Managing Partner Selected for Board of Directors of the United Way of Greater Houston

Wayne McConnell(HOUSTON, TEXAS —July 8, 2009)
McConnell Jones Lanier & Murphy, LLP (MJLM) is proud to announce the recent appointment of Wayne McConnell to the 2009-2010 Board of Directors for the United Way of Greater Houston. As a member of the Board, McConnell will also serve on the Audit Committee where his knowledge, background and industry experience will be instrumental upholding the Board’s high standard of governance.

McConnell, Managing Partner of MJLM, is a licensed CPA with more than 33 years of technical experience in assurance and accounting services. McConnell holds an MBA from Louisiana Tech University and Bachelor of Science from Grambling State University.

McConnell is actively involved in the community, and in addition to his current role with the United Way of Greater Houston he also volunteers his time to the American Heart Association, the Greater Houston Partnership, the Houston City Club, and his alma mater, Grambling State University.

“Wayne’s commitment to the United Way of Greater Houston is not just inspiring, but it also embodies our firm’s culture of giving back to the community.” said MJLM Partner, Thomas Jones, “We’re proud of his dedication to improving the lives of others and support his endeavors to educate and raise the public’s awareness on key social issues that impact the Houston area.”

“The United Way of Greater Houston is fortunate to have someone of Wayne McConnell's stature and expertise dedicated to our mission,” said Anna M. Babin, president and CEO, United Way of Greater Houston. “Wayne is passionate about community service and because of his influence in the community he is able to get others involved on a significant level. Wayne is a wonderful volunteer leader and we look forward to his insight on the Board."


McConnell & Jones, LLP Appoints John Redd as Tax Director

(HOUSTON, TEXAS —April 27, 2009)
McConnell & Jones, LLP (M&J) is proud to announce the recent appointment of John Redd as Tax Director. In his new position, Redd will manage the firm’s tax services group which works with public and private companies as well as individuals to manage to provide tax compliance and planning services.

With more than 15 years experience in federal, state, and local tax matters, Redd’s background includes working with Fortune 500 firms to perform federal and multi-state income tax return, state and local excise tax returns, and tax minimization planning projects.
Redd holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Houston and is a member of the Texas Society of CPAs.
“I am delighted to have John join our team,” said MJLM Tax Services Partner Thomas Jones. “John’s experience and well-rounded tax background will be invaluable as we continue to grow our practice”



McConnell & Jones , LLP Partner Thomas Jones Jr. Selected to Chair of the Greater Houston Partnership Minority Task Force 

Thomas Jones(HOUSTON, TEXAS —February 28, 2009)
McConnell & Jones, LLP (M&J)  is pleased to announce that Thomas Jones, Partner, has been selected to lead the Greater Houston Partnership’s Minority Task Force.

The principal objective of the Greater Houston Partnership, which traces its roots back to Houston's original Chamber of Commerce founded in 1840, is to build regional economic prosperity. The Partnership facilitates relocations and expansions in the Houston area; international outreach initiatives such as business development missions outside the U.S. and receiving foreign trade delegations; and strategic planning.

“I look forward to working through the Partnership to help Houston’s minority businesses develop and thrive,” says Jones. “As important as Houston has become to the world’s economy, it makes sense to increase the opportunities available to disadvantaged business enterprises in our community.  This will increase competition in the marketplace and ultimately keep our local economy growing.”

Jones, a founding partner in Texas’ largest African-American owned accounting and consulting practices, has first hand experience in growing a minority-owned business in Houston.  As the leader of this special task force, Jones plans to apply his experience in spearheading several major initiatives, including increasing the visibility of Houston’s diversity to international businesses.

Known as a world-class city with a pro-business culture, Houston’s global possibilities are significant to the growth of minority-owned businesses.  The many dynamic business opportunities available in this region will help to achieve Jones’ goals for the task force.

“I congratulate the Partnership on its choice of Thomas Jones as its next Chair of the Minority Task Force,” said MJLM Managing Partner, Wayne McConnell. “His leadership skills and business savvy will be a true asset as the Partnership continues to advance Houston’s image as a sophisticated international business center.” 



McConnell Jones Lanier & Murphy, LLP Managing Partner Recognized by Grambling State University

Wayne McConnell(HOUSTON, TEXAS —October 17, 2008)
McConnell Jones Lanier & Murphy, LLP (MJLM) is proud to announce the induction of Managing Partner, Wayne McConnell into the Grambling State University (GSU) Alumni Hall of Fame. This notable honor recognizes the accomplishments of exceptional GSU alumni that make substantial and unique contributions to society.

A licensed CPA with more than 33 years of experience in assurance and accounting services, McConnell received his bachelors in business administration from GSU in 1972 and remains actively involved with the University. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors for the Grambling Black and Gold Foundation, McConnell, who is an avid art collector, donated a portion of his West African Art collection to the University earlier this year.

McConnell is passionate about giving back to the community, and as a testament to this commitment, he donates much of his time to philanthropic causes. At the American Heart Association, McConnell currently serves as Chairman of the Audit Committee on the national level, is a board member and Nominating Committee Chair of the Houston Division, and is Chairman of the Board of Directors of the South Central Affiliate. Wayne is also a member of the Minority Partnership Task Force of the Greater Houston Partnership and serves on the United Way Audit Committee. Additionally, Wayne serves on the Board of Directors of the Houston Museum of African American Culture, where he is Chairman of the Finance Committee. In addition to receiving his undergraduate degree from GSU, McConnell holds an MBA from Louisiana Tech University.

“The entire firm is proud of Wayne and his accomplishments” said MJLM Partner, Sharon Murphy. “Grambling’s recognition only solidifies what we’ve known all these years; that Wayne is an exceptional leader and has positioned himself as a true role model for future generations.”

About Grambling State University and The Alumni Hall of Fame
Grambling State University was founded in 1901 and offers degrees in seventy-two (72) disciplines, graduate and undergraduate, in four (4) colleges and three (3) schools. Grambling State University Alumni are recognized nationally and internationally as exceptional individuals performing or having performed, extraordinary feats within and beyond their areas of study and practice. These are the graduates that Grambling State University celebrates by bestowing them with the honor of induction in their "rightful place,” The Grambling State University Hall of Fame, Gallery of Distinction.

The Grambling State University Hall of Fame was initially started in 1980, under the administration of Dr. Joseph B. Johnson and has been dormant since 1996. Restoring the Hall of Fame is consistent with President Horace Judson’s mission of “Reclaiming Our Legacy and Claiming Our Place”.


McConnell & Jones LLP Begins Audit of Stolt-Nielsen S.A. Employee Benefit Plans

(HOUSTON, TEXAS —October 13, 2008)

Stolt-Nielsen S.A.Audits of Stolt-Nielsen S.A. employee benefit plans are underway. The CPA firm of McConnell & Jones, LLP (M&J) was selected to provide audit services for the company’s retirement plan and retirement savings plan. The Stolt-Nielsen S.A. benefit plans service more than 5,000 current and retired employees.

The Stolt-Nielsen engagement is a significant addition to McConnell & Jones’ employee benefit plan assurance practice. Currently the team services more than 30 clients, performs more than 120 plan audits and prepares approximately 65 IRS Form 5500s each year.

This specialized team is lead by Rance Buss, principal in charge of the Employee Benefit Plan Assurance Group. With more than 20 years experience, Buss is actively involved in the American Institute of Certified Public Accounting Employee Benefit Quality Center and ensures the firm’s professionals stay educated on the newest assurance regulations as they pertain to employee benefit plans.

“We are very excited about this auditing engagement,” said Managing Partner, Wayne McConnell. “Not only does this project further enhance the skills of our dedicated employee benefit plan audit professionals, it provides our firm with an opportunity to build new business relationships.


McConnell & Jones Partner Selected as Community Achievement Award Recipient

Thomas Jones(HOUSTON, TEXAS —May 27, 2008)
The Houston Metropolitan Chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) has selected McConnell & Jones LLP Partner, Thomas Jones, as the recipient of the 2008 Award for Community Achievement.

Each year the Houston Metropolitan Chapter of NABA recognizes local individuals and business for their great achievements and community service. Mr. Jones was honored at this year’s Annual Scholarship and Awards Gala for his commitment to the community and for embracing the organization’s motto of “lifting as we climb.”     

 The Houston Metropolitan Chapter of NABA is part of a nationwide professional association with the primary purpose of developing, encouraging and serving as a resource for greater participation by African-Americans and other minorities in the accounting and finance professions.

 “I am proud that Thomas has been honored by the Houston Metropolitan Chapter,” said McConnell & Jones Managing Partner, Wayne McConnell. “This recognition is a tribute to his outstanding community service and outreach within the accounting industry.”


McConnell & Jones, Tene' Thomas as Principals

HOUSTON, Texas (March 12, 2008)
McConnell & Jones, LLP (M&J) is proud to announce the recent promotions of Tene' Thomas to principal. As principals for the firm, Thomas is responsible for the organization’s strategic growth initiatives as well leadership and mentoring to the firm’s tax team.

Thomas is a licensed CPA with more than 14 years of technical experience in tax compliance and accounting Tene' Thomasservices and specializes in federal and multi-state income taxation. She has benefited a diverse range of clients, both privately and publicly held domestic and foreign owned companies, within the real estate, restaurant, manufacturing, financial services, healthcare, legal, oil and gas, and sports and entertainment. She is highly skilled at conducting technical research, providing high-level individual and small business accounting and tax solutions, and consultation on business entity formation and restructuring. Thomas is a graduate of California Polytechnic University, Pomona where she holds a bachelor of business administration and is an active member of the Texas Society of CPAs.


“I am delighted to announce the promotions of Tene,” said MJLM Managing Partner, Wayne McConnell, “she has a tremendous amount of experience as well as an incredible work ethic that adds value to our firm and our clients.”


Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau Taps Thomas Jones as Chairman

Thomas Jones, Jr.HOUSTON, Texas (August 14, 2007)
McConnell Jones Lanier & Murphy LLP (M&J) announced today that one of its founding partners, Thomas Jones, Jr., has been elected as Chairman of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Created in 1962 the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau (GHCVB) is the primary sales and marketing arm of the city of Houston and Harris County. The mission of the GHCVB is to improve the economy of Greater Houston by attracting conventions, tourist and international government officials to the area through sales and marketing effort.

“I look forward to helping Houston thrive,” says Jones. “As important as Houston has become to the nation’s economy, it does not get its fair share of visitors. I want to work on that.”

Jones plans to spearhead several major initiatives during his tenure, including increasing Houston’s hotel inventory.

“Imagine for a moment having a Hilton America's-like hotel with more than 1,000 rooms anchoring the north side of the George R Brown Convention Center. My goal is for the Bureau to act as a catalyst and assist with bringing the developers, hotel operators and other city officials necessary to make this a reality,” says Jones.

Several upcoming, high-profile events support Jones’ goal, such as the Meeting Professionals International convention in February 2008. And, in October 2008, the Society of American Travel Writers, The American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors, and the Association of Food Journalists will all descend upon Houston at the same time. These events are particularly significant as they bring to the city, people influential in attracting new travelers to Houston.

“I congratulate the Bureau on its choice of Thomas Jones as its next Chair,” said Mayor White. “I look forward to his leadership as the Bureau continues to grow Houston’s convention and tourism business.”


McConnell Jones Lanier & Murphy LLP selected as Protégé Firm by BWXT Y-12

HOUSTON, Texas (May 3, 2007)
B&W Technical ServicesMcConnell Jones Lanier & Murphy LLP (MJLM) has been selected to participate in BWXT Y-12's Mentor Protégé Program. BWXT Y-12 LLC, a limited liability enterprise of BWXT and Bechtel National Inc., manages and operates the Y-12 National Security Complex for the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Nuclear Security Administration. The Y-12 facility produces and refurbishes weapons components, stores nuclear material, and prevents the spread of weapons of mass destruction.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) Mentor Protégé Program is designed to encourage DoE prime contractors to assist small disadvantaged firms certified by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) under Section 8(a) of the Small Business Act, which includes women-owned small businesses. MJLM is an 8(a) certified Small Disadvantaged Business headquartered in Houston, Texas, with a satellite location in Huntsville, Alabama.

The Mentor Protégé Program will provide MJLM with business and technical capabilities intended to position the firm for long-term business relationships and business development opportunities with DoE prime contractors. The program also allows the mentor and protégé to seek joint business development opportunities. "We are elated about entering into a strategic partnership with BWXT Y-12 that will be mutually beneficial to both of our organizations," said Sharon Murphy, partner with MJLM.

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