Innovative Practitioner Winners

Innovative Practitioner Award 2017

The Innovative Practitioner Award shines a light on exemplary practitioners who are embracing new strategies and technology throughout their practice.  

The 2017 winners were nominated and voted on by you, the Digital CPA Community.  These practitioners are making an impact on the profession, and we are thrilled to be able to celebrate their contributions.  


2017 Innovative Practitioner Results

Kelly Johnson, CPA, CFP
National Leader, Business Services & Outsourcing

Kelly is passionate about technology and is always looking for ways to implement it to improve accounting and financial management. That was the idea behind the creation of BDODrive, a combination of technology and resources that streamlines core accounting functions and offers mobile, real-time access to information. As the driving force behind BDODrive, Kelly is a true revolutionary, pushing the boundaries of firm operations and client services. The platform relies on technologies like Microsoft, Intuit and to offer customizable dashboards, greater insight into business performance, continuous collaboration and access to world-class BDO advisers. Its many convenient features include online payments, auto bank feeds and reconciliation, secure document management and customized reporting. BDODrive helps companies run more effectively and make better strategic decisions, all while standardizing processes and enhancing efficiencies.

With more than 25 years of experience in accounting, Kelly oversees a team of professionals who provide clients with the customized solutions and infrastructure to achieve operational success. She began her career at PwC LLP as an audit manager, then expanded her accounting skills by working in the corporate accounting division of a global financial services firm and provided advisory services for private wealth clients. Kelly, a CPA in the commonwealth of Virginia, is a member of the AICPA and the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Michael Lynch

With more than 16 years of experience, Mike specializes in managing strategic and financial leadership tasks, allowing client finance departments to focus on growth, cost cutting, project completion and other strategic tasks. He has grown SC&H’s outsourced account practice from the ground up, starting with the business model, servicing clients firsthand, leading business development efforts and managing a team to support clients’ needs. Mike saw the accounting need for emerging companies in the life sciences and software-as-a-service (SAAS) space and developed a repeatable model that can service multiple clients. The backbone of the model focuses on using technology to automate workflow and transactional processing.

Mike partners with startups and middle-market companies to develop clear financial strategies and lift the finance and technical accounting duties off the shoulders of founders and CEOs. To find these clients and establish this niche, he partnered with various technology incubator programs such as Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures and referrals from his clients.

Jonathan Kraftchick
Managing Director
Cherry Bekaert LLP

Jonathan has developed an overall strategic plan to prepare people today for the future changes coming in artificial intelligence and machine learning. His actions have led to the development of training programs to educate auditors on what is coming and how to change behaviors and skills through assisting the managing partner of A&A to build a vision of what the firm will look like in the future. He invited a machine learning expert to the CB audit all-hands meeting this past June and is in constant contact with several companies, including Thomson Reuters, MindBridge and Tanjo, to influence the innovation around integration of AI and machine learning with the knowledge worker and how it will affect today’s auditor. He is passionate about ensuring CB stays at the front end of the changes.

Jonathan is currently running two beta testing projects at CB. They are working with MindBridge directly, as well as Thomson Reuters, on improving their data analytics and machine learning to help set the pace for the future of general ledger analysis and how that will fit into the audit plan. This involves also understanding the current auditing standards and how they might need to change in response. The other project involves working with Tanjo in the development of a robot prototype using Natural Language Processing (NLP) to learn several recent accounting standards. The goal is to then apply those standards to contracts to assist in determining the appropriate accounting treatment.