bio-bensonCPA, PFS – Partner

Karen is a Partner at McGill, Power, Bell & Associates, LLP. After 16 years of working for Arthur Andersen & Company, F.S. Fejes Company and in private practice in the Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Erie markets, Karen merged her practice into the firm in 1994. Although she provides services to clients in various industries, she particularly enjoys the unique challenges of the manufacturing sector. Karen is a key team member of MPBs Research & Experimentation Tax Credit Service Group that has been very successful in assisting custom manufacturers in obtaining very significant tax credits. With increasing numbers of companies transferring ownership between generations or through mergers and acquisitions, MPB has been in the forefront of assisting parties through this M&A process, working hand-in-hand with legal counsel and brokers. Although quite challenging, Karen thrives on analyzing the tax and financial aspects of the deals and excels in the due diligence process.

Karen is a past Chair of the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) Federal Tax Committee, and a respected leader and national speaker in the employee benefit plans practice area, a very unique and specialized area of practice that not only requires auditing expertise, but an understanding of the complex regulations of both the IRS and the Department of Labor.

Karen is a Financial Advisor in the practice of Collaborative Dispute Resolution helping clients through the difficult journey through a divorce. She is a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals and the Collaborative Professionals of NW Pennsylvania.

Specialties

  • Business Consulting
  • Employee Benefit Plans
  • Tax Accounting and Planning
  • Personal Financial Planning
  • Estate and Succession Planning
  • Financial Advisor in Collaborative Law Cases

Education

  • Grove City College, Grove City, PA
    Bachelor of Arts, Accounting and Business Administration,
    Magna Cum Laude

Certifications

  • Certified Public Accountant, CPA
  • Personal Financial Specialist, PFS

Professional & Civic Organizations

  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)
  • AICPA Council – Past
  • AICPA Employee Benefits Conference Committee – Past
  • Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA)
  • PICPA Council & Executive Committee – Past
  • Federal Tax Committee – Past
  • Employee Benefit Plan Committees
  • Working Together Committee, IRS (PA Dept. of Revenue & Practitioner Forum)
  • Allinial North America Employee Benefit Task Force (Past)
  • International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP) *
  • Collaborative Professionals of Northwest PA (Board)
  • International Academy of Collaborative Professionals

National Presenter on Employee Benefit Plan Issues (2006 through the Present)

  • Pittsburgh, PA – “Final 403(b) Regulations” – Co-presented with Bob Architect, IRS
  • Santa Fe, NM – “Implementing RAS in Employee Benefit Plans”
  • Chicago, IL – ” Employee Benefit Plan Training”
  • National Webinar – “SAS 70 Reports used in Employee Benefit Plan Audits”
  • Park City, UT – “Down & Dirty Concerning Employee Benefit Plan Audits”
  • Baltimore, MD – “Practical Planning of Employee Benefit Plan Audits”