Inherent Innovation

For years, Crowe Horwath has made forward-thinking technology a core focus in the accounting and professional-services sector, and it has resulted in a number of software solutions that general counsel Stephen Keeley helps protect

With more than 3,770 personnel in 42 offices around the world, Crowe Horwath LLP, an independent member of Crowe Horwath International, is the eighth-largest accounting and professional-services consulting firm in the US—and it continues to grow. In 2017, it opened new offices in Denver; Lexington, Kentucky; San Jose, California; and Los Angeles, and for the second year in a row it landed itself on a number of Fortune’s best workplaces lists, including Best Workplaces for Parents and Best Workplaces for Giving Back. What distinguishes the company and carries it forward on its path of expansion perhaps more than anything else, though, is its focus on innovation and new technologies, and general counsel Stephen Keeley is integral to the company’s work in this area.

A former litigator who clerked with US District Judge Harry D. Leinenweber before working for a number of law firms, Keeley joined Crowe Horwath around 2008. Since then, in addition to overseeing contract negotiations; handling risk, compliance, and litigation matters; and advising leadership on legal concerns, he has helped the firm push forward with and add to its suite of advanced software solutions, which assist businesses in a wide range of realms.

In the healthcare sector, for example, products such as the Crowe Credit Income Recovery Solution help organizations such as hospitals and clinics resolve patients’ credit balances and more efficiently navigate their industry’s incredibly complex billing procedures and protocols; other products such as Crowe Revenue Cycle Analytics help them with larger budgetary calculations and reports. More broadly, tools such as Crowe Caliber and K-1 Navigator help certain companies in other sectors streamline their approach to risk management and tax compliance.

Recently, the company also came out with a suite of seven new apps built to work with Microsoft Dynamics AX and Microsoft Dynamics 365, enterprise resource planning systems that assist businesses with various internal processes. The apps assist with all sorts of smaller, repetitive business concerns, from sales orders to inventory management, invoicing, production scheduling, financial reporting, and the tracking of credit and debit information.

“Recurring tasks can eat up a lot of time over the course of a year, so we’re using technology to automate different processes,” said Simon Riley, a manufacturing and distribution performance consulting principal at Crowe Horwath, in a press release. “We’re excited to continue bringing to market apps that work alongside the Dynamics 365 platform to help increase revenue, reduce costs, and improve asset utilization.”

As the company comes out with still more innovative new products, Keeley will continue to be there to help Crowe Horwath protect and maintain its patents, in addition to managing his other duties to keep the company compliant and steer it away from risk. And he can be sure the company will continue to conceptualize forward-thinking software solutions and technologies because doing so has been built into its brand for years.

“I had lots of ideas, I felt, at the prior firm I was at, but there was no vehicle to do anything about it,” said chief innovation officer Derek Bang in a video on Crowe Horwath’s website. “You were told to focus and go work x amount of hours and get these things done, and if you had an idea, that’s great, but there was no mechanism to really do that. There wasn’t a support structure, there wasn’t an investment mechanism to get these things off the ground. And that’s really what excited me to come to Crowe quite some time ago. This isn’t something we just started doing, this has been in Crowe’s DNA for quite some time—at least 15 years. This has been a formal program within the firm.”

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Mayer Brown:

“Stephen is highly knowledgeable in both legal and risk issues. We always appreciate the opportunity to partner with him and the Crowe Horwath team.”

—Stanley Parzen and Justin McCarty, Partners