LOS ANGELES, CA – Oct. 7, 2020… GHJ (GHJ) Principal Dr. Frances Ellington awarded the The Accountant and International Accounting Bulletin’s 2020 Digital Accountancy Awards “Young Accountant of the Year” Award.
“Frances is a rising star and known leader at GHJ,” said GHJ Managing Partner Tom Barry. “Along with leading our State and Local Tax Practice, she is a leader within the Firm’s Women’s Empowerment Committee and a thought leader in accounting. She deserves this recognition, and we are proud of her and her leadership in both the industry and GHJ.”
Additionally announced at the Digital Accountancy Awards, the international accounting network GHJ is a member of, HLB, was recognized as the 2020 “Network of the Year.”
Now in its ninth year, The Accountant and International Accounting Bulletin Digital Accountancy Awards bring together prominent industry professionals to celebrate excellence in the accountancy profession. This year, the awards were presented at the virtual ceremony, which took place on Sept. 30.
Young Accountant of the Year
For “Young Accountant of the Year” Award, judges were looking for an accountant that has made a significant difference to his or her employer along with evidence of entrepreneurial flair, technical excellence and leadership potential.
“I am honored to be recognized for my leadership in accounting,” Ellington said. “This is a distinguished, international award recognizing my impact on the industry and my dedication to supporting my fellow accountants. I am proud of the work I have done at GHJ and the impact I am able to have as a leader not just at the Firm, but in the industry as a whole.”
In addition to strong technical skills in state and local taxes, Ellington is also able to think broadly as a tax professional and as a businessperson. She focuses on delivering value to clients and spends time mentoring her team members. Ellington leads GHJ’s State and Local Tax (SALT) Practice with a focus on multistate income and franchise tax, indirect tax, and credits and incentives.
Additionally, Ellington is an active contributor to various publications and a leader in state and local taxes. In addition to her work at the Firm, she is an accounting lecturer and has presented at several universities as well as at Strafford Publications and The Knowledge Group.
Ellington works alongside her co-chairs to lead the Firm’s Women’s Empowerment Committee, and their efforts inspire and motivate women within the Firm and in the community. GHJ’s Women’s Empowerment Speaker committee is designed to connect women in top roles in their field to discuss the path to leadership and offer insights into the journey’s challenges and opportunities. The events held by the Committee and the thoughtware produced by Ellington, as well as others under her guidance, has helped the women in the Firm grow and become strong leaders at GHJ.
“Frances’s leadership has helped us grow our Tax Practice and enables us to better serve clients on a consultative level,” said Partner and Tax Practice Leader Akash Sehgal. “She represents the best of our profession and continuously motivates and inspires other future leaders to #BeMore.”
Network of the Year
For HLB, the “Network of the Year” award is in recognition of a milestone year. To be considered for this award, nominees had to demonstrate the execution of profitable growth strategies, be recognized by the industry as a reputable brand and have excelled in a number of key strategic and operational areas. In 2019 HLB saw the network celebrate its 50th anniversary, achieve a 7-percent increase in revenue, taking GHJ’s global combined turnover to $2.93 billion. In fact, HLB reached its 2020 performance objectives set for itself a year early, which led the network to develop and launch HLB’s new holistic growth strategy, Shaping our Shared Future.
“I am immensely proud that HLB has been recognized as ‘Network of the Year,’” said Corney Versteden, HLB Global Chairman. “2019 was a monumental year for us and we looked forward to building on the fantastic achievements we had made. But we all know that 2020 has been an unprecedented year for everyone and I’ve been humbled to see how our network has come together to support not only each other but our clients during these extraordinary times. This award is truly a reflection of all the hard work and dedication of our people from all over the world and it shows the strength of our tagline ‘Together we make it happen.’”
About Dr. Frances Ellington, Principal
Frances Ellington, DBA, CPA, is the State and Local Tax Practice Leader at GHJ with a focus on multistate income and franchise tax, indirect tax, and credits and incentives. Ellington assists her clients on state and local tax issues related to tax audit controversy, nexus and reporting requirements, and various state tax planning initiatives. She has more than 10 years of state and local tax experience with Big Four and multinational corporations in Los Angeles and Charlotte, NC.
Due to her significant contributions in the community and accounting industry, Ellington was a recipient of CalCPA’s 2019 “Women to Watch” award in the Emerging Leader category.
Ellington’ outside community involvement includes the “Principal for a Day” program of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce and serving as a career advocate for Fulfillment Fund Destination College. Previously, Ellington spent three years as a member of the Junior League of Los Angeles, where she served on the Public Affairs Committee and helped organize events such as “Day at City Hall” and “Community Leadership Forum.” She served a two-year appointment on the City of Santa Monica Audit Subcommittee through June of 2017 where she consulted with the City internal and external auditors on activities of the City and made recommendations to the City Council on audit report findings.
Prior to joining GHJ in 2016, Ellington worked for Fox Entertainment Group where she was part of the Leadership@Fox training program and founded a recognition program for Tax Department employees. During her tenure at Deloitte Tax, LLP from 2009 to 2015, she completed three international rotations in the Hyderabad and New Delhi offices of the firm providing training and development to team members in India. Ellington served on the Innovation Committee for the Los Angeles office of Deloitte Tax from 2014 to 2015 and attended the Career Windows Leadership Conference at Deloitte University for high-performing female employees in 2013.
Ellington has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a master’s in Accounting from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She graduated from the Doctorate of Business Administration program at Grenoble Ecole de Management based in Grenoble, France and Northridge, CA. Her research focuses on the volatility of state tax as it relates to income tax reporting methods. She is currently a lecturer for the University of North Carolina’s Master of Accounting program and has previously taught courses for UCLA Extension, Strafford Publications and The Knowledge Group.
In New York in 1969, partners from five different accounting companies – from five different countries – came together to discuss the possibility of working together across borders for the benefit of their clients. From these very humble beginnings, a shared business philosophy was central to the concept of providing consistent and personal service to their clients. Since that meeting, the network has grown to over 250 members firms, and HLB has become one of the world's leading accountancy networks. Today, HLB International provides consulting and professional services in over 158 countries through its over 700 offices worldwide.
Through GHJ’s affiliation with HLB, the Firm has access to other member firms and their resources in most major cities throughout the United States and the world. GHJ leverages the HLB network to serve multi-location clients in a timely and efficient manner and is the exclusive member firm of HLB in Los Angeles County. Additionally, GHJ’ Consulting Partner Leon Janks has been appointed HLB USA Chairman, and Partner Anant Patel is leader of HLB's Global Transaction Advisory Services.
Founded in 1953, GHJ is a Los Angeles-based accounting firm that specializes in nonprofit, food and beverage, entertainment and media and health and wellness companies. Previous recipient of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce Employee Champion For Life Work Harmony Award and named a “Best Places to Work” by the Los Angeles Business Journal eight times since 2008, GHJ is passionate about helping clients and its people #BeMore by focusing on building thriving businesses and creating a better future.
The Firm works as a business advocate for its clients — providing personalized service and building long-term relationships to help position our clients for growth. Through its affiliation with HLB International, a global network of independent professional accounting firms and business advisers, the Firm is able to partner with other top firms across major cities throughout the U.S. and the world. GHJ’ audit, tax and advisory teams leverage the HLB network to better serve its clients and give clients access to member firms in over 158 countries across the globe.
Also ranked as a top-20 largest accounting firm on the Los Angeles Business Journal’s Book of Lists, the firm has 15 partners and more than 160 staff members that serve over 3,000 clients. The firm is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the AICPA Governmental Audit Quality Center (GAQC), the California Society of CPAs and the California Association of Nonprofits (CalNonprofit).