Below are statements from clients (and some former clients) about their experiences working with GRF CPAs & Advisors. To learn more about groups that have worked with a particular partner, visit the partners’ bio pages in the Leadership Team section.
I would absolutely recommend GRF to others. Every person I’ve interacted with at GRF is a consummate professional and the depth of their expertise is clear from the very start of the conversation. We have worked with a number of GRF staff (on-site accounting teams, management) and what sets them apart is not only their deep knowledge but also their care in working with a small organization. A large firm could choose to bump us down on their list of priorities but the GRF team that works with me is incredibly responsive and knowledgeable about the ups and downs of our little non-profit over the years.
When I began working at MCS and started planning for my first year’s audit, I had a few firms in mind that I hoped to review and was pleasantly surprised to discover that MCS had been using GRF for a number of years. They were my top choice and I had no reservations about continuing to work with them. GRF has helped us shore up a number of critical issues. We had significant leadership turnover (org management, board members) and I wanted to ensure the financial stability of MCS. GRF made a number of valuable recommendations of best practices to help us through and make sure everything stayed airtight.
Jim Larson has been my go-to for all kinds of questions around financial management, best practices, and compliance. The team has answered all of my questions no matter how small, and their recommendations have informed a number of my decisions for the organization. They make the process and our workflow smooth and easy. I certainly plan on utilizing GRF for audit services in the future.
Adrienne F. Schreiber, Executive Director, Multicultural Community Service
Multicultural Community Service (MCS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that believes that diverse and vibrant communities are the key to making Washington, DC and its residents thrive.
The News Literacy Project (NLP) has worked with Walt Derengowski and his auditing team for three fiscal years now including two audits conducted concurrently due to a change in our organization’s fiscal year start date.
Aside from GRF’s longstanding experience in working with nonprofit organizations, the exceptionally superior value to our organization in partnering with Walt and his team has been the outstanding professional, constructive and always helpful procedural guidance to our small, but growing nonprofit. It’s easy enough to hand off a list of items to the client detailing what needs to be improved at the conclusion of the audit process but the working partnership NLP has had with Walt and his team goes a step further in helping us identify and codify specific goals to improve our financial processes.
Walt, in particular, recognized the inflection point our organization had reached in our growth and the need for more formalized processes and procedures. The working relationship I have enjoyed with Walt and his team has been a positive and respectful partnership further enhanced by my team’s willingness to receive their guidance in the collegial spirit it is always offered. GRF’s auditing process from initial document submissions though follow up requests and final adjustments was very organized and user friendly.
Growing from an organization with an annual budget of under 1 million to an over 4 million annual budget in less than 5 years has been an occasionally challenging trajectory to navigate and there was no better auditing team to have by our side than Walt Derengowski and GRF. I would highly recommend GRF to other nonprofit organizations and plan to contract with them for auditing services again at the conclusion of our current fiscal year.
Mary Lynn Hickey, Vice President of Administration, News Literacy Project
The News Literacy Project, a nonpartisan national education nonprofit, empowers educators to teach students the skills they need to become smart, active consumers of news and information and engaged, informed participants in our democracy.
Walt Derengowski and his team are very professional, thorough, proficient, and knowledgeable. They take time to explain matters that may be unclear and they were very flexible in scheduling. Also noteworthy is the fact that they very quickly grasped the nature of the work that we do. We’re a nonprofit membership organization, however, in many ways we are unique. Walt’s team demonstrated an ability to grasp our unique qualities and tailor their approach to the audit accordingly. I absolutely would recommend them and definitely intend to continue using GRF!
Belinda F. Miller, Deputy Executive Director of Finance, National Disability Rights Network
The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) is the nonprofit membership organization for the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) Systems and the Client Assistance Programs (CAP) for individuals with disabilities. P&As and CAPs work to improve the lives of people with disabilities by guarding against abuse; advocating for basic rights; and ensuring accountability in health care, education, employment, housing, transportation, and within the juvenile and criminal justice systems. Collectively, the Network is the largest provider of legally based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States.
“As a seasoned CFO, I know the difference in proficient audit, tax and financial compliance service providers and those that are not. I am pleased to say that my relationship with Gelman, Rosenburg and Freedman has been filled with incredibly proficient support as they partner with us to make the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation stronger. In particular, Ms. Amy Boland has morphed from more than just an audit partner to a friend and colleague who supports our operation in ways too numerous to name. From sounding board to wise counsel on our annual audit and expert in all financial matters surrounding nonprofits, I have benefited from and appreciate having such wisdom on our account. This applies not just to Ms. Boland but the entire team. Each member of our team has proven to be an invaluable asset and one for which I am grateful to have at my finger tips and/or just a phone call away. No matter the issue or what I thought was a challenge, Ms. Boland and her team address it with ease and have been responsive beyond my expectations… This partnership has been my “secret weapon” to achieve organizational success and great audit outcomes.”
Velma R. Hart, Chief Financial Officer, National Marine Sanctuary Foundation
The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation is the national non-profit partner for the National Marine Sanctuary System. The Foundation promotes citizen science, research, conservation, education and community engagement to protect coral reefs and marine habitats, preserve places of cultural significance, and conserve our maritime history and heritage.Whether it’s saving whales, cleaning up marine debris, or inspiring the next generation of ocean stewards, our work starts with great ideas and affects change.
“We chose Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman from a pool of applicants because they impressed us with their knowledge and awareness of issues facing our organization. In working with them over the past few years, they have shown that they appreciate our particular mission and our time schedules. ICNL couldn’t be happier with the value and efficiency brought to us by GRF and we look forward to working with them in the future.”
Darla Mecham, Vice President (Finance), International Center for Not-for-Profit Law
The International Center for Not-for-Profit Law is an international not-for-profit organization that facilitates and supports the development of civil society and the freedom of association. ICNL assists in creating and improving laws and regulatory systems that permit, encourage and sustain voluntary, independent not-for-profit organizations in countries around the world.
“The accounting firm of Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman has consistently provided the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) with superior services. The Gelman, Rosenberg and Freedman team, led by partner Terri McKnight, is knowledgeable about the nuances of the nonprofit industry, as well as attentive and thorough in their responses to any questions and concerns. The continuity of staff during audit engagements contributes to an effective and timely process, and ensures that the best internal controls, policies and procedures are firmly in place. CBF would recommend Gelman, Rosenberg and Freedman to anyone in need of a high-quality accounting firm.”
Fay Nance, Former Chief Financial Officer, Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Chesapeake Bay Foundation is the largest independent conservation organization dedicated solely to saving the Chesapeake Bay
“John Pace has been an instrumental partner in our $40M start-up venture. He has developed a streamlined financial approach that allows Global Reconnaissance Technologies to meet our strategic goals while ensuring compliance with best accounting practices and the Federal Acquisition Regulations. Additionally his advice on staffing and accounting systems have been invaluable.”
Vincent P. DiFronzo, Vice President for Operations, Global Reconnaissance Technologies
Global Reconnaissance Technologies is focused on bringing together the capabilities and teams that are needed for responding to today’s ISR and Aviation requirements.
“AUVSI has had a relationship with the firm of Gelman, Rosenberg and Freedman, and specifically Jim Larson, for (several) years. GRF was selected to perform auditing services after reviewing proposals from several other accounting firms. We have never regretted that decision. Jim’s technical expertise, responsiveness and sound judgment have proven invaluable to AUVSI staff, the Board of Trustees and the entire Association. He has guided our organization through periods of phenomenal growth with outstanding advice and a consistently high level of service.”
Daryl Davidson, Executive Director, Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI)
The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, founded in 1972, is the world’s largest nonprofit organization devoted exclusively to advancing the unmanned industry. AUVSI, with members from government organizations, industry and academia, is committed to fostering, developing and promoting unmanned systems and related technologies.
“When I joined as COO, WomenHeart was experiencing some issues with their accounting firm. I immediately knew who to turn to because prior to that, I had the pleasure of working with Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman when I was Executive Director of another mid-size nonprofit. WomenHeart has now been a client of GRF for (several) and we could not be any happier with the financial support that we are receiving. Incredible service, understanding of our needs and straight-forward guidance is what GRF offers us on an ongoing basis. Whether it’s the audit, a board presentation or a simple question, the assistance received is invaluable. We benefit from their vast understanding and wealth of information received from working with hundreds of nonprofits every time we engage with GRF. We are grateful for their partnership and recognize the true value and strength they bring to our growing organization.”
Mary McGowan, Chief Operating Officer, WomenHeart
WomenHeart was founded by three women who had heart attacks while in their 40s. In addition to being faced with many obstacles, including misdiagnosis and social isolation, they were each amazed how little information about or services for women with heart disease were available and how the issue seemed invisible within the women’s health community. But in March 1999 everything changed.
“Walt Derengowski is exactly what I would expect from a partner at Gelman. He manages a great team and is helpful to our staff and board throughout the year. Walt is thorough and efficient in his review of our operations and finances, and makes thoughtful recommendations for our organizations continued success. Walt’s process is very interactive and he is always available to answer questions and to help us to stay on top of new regulations and best practices. We at Young Survival Coalition would happily recommend Walt for your audit and tax needs.”
Jennifer Merschdorf, CEO, Young Survival Coalition
Young Survival Coalition (YSC) is the premier organization dedicated to the critical issues unique to young women who are diagnosed with breast cancer. YSC offers resources, connections and outreach so women feel supported, empowered and hopeful.
“The Berman Academy has been working with Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman for two decades because they give us peace of mind that the work will get done efficiently, and they go the extra mile when we need help. We know the firm’s staff care about what we do and I would recommend the firm to others based on their knowledge, professionalism and responsiveness.”
Faina Stepensky, Finance Director, Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy
Berman Hebrew Academy, founded in 1944, provides a comprehensive Jewish and general education in an atmosphere of reverence, good citizenship, and love of the Jewish people and Israel. In partnership with the community, Berman strives to continue this journey, shaping a future for our students that is filled with purpose, accomplishment, caring and commitment to Jewish life and Jewish values.
Back in 2016, our Board and the Executive Team members decided to change external auditors. From a pool of CPA firms, we choose Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman (GRF) and since then we are impressed with their professionalism. Not only I am pleased working with GRF’s staff, but fascinated with Ricardo Trujillo’s professionalism. Ricardo is a top notch professional who manages four of our audits. Ricardo’s willingness to offer help, his immediate response to our requests, and his attention to detail is very impressive. I would highly recommend GRF and Ricardo to any nonprofit seeking audit services.
Pilar M. Martinez, Chief Financial Officer, Media Matters
Media Matters for America is a Web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.
“The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) selected Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman in 1996 because we knew that the firm is well-versed in the business of nonprofits that work internationally. We have continued to work with them because of the personalized, efficient approach they take to ICFJ. Since the beginning, we have worked exclusively with Bob Albrecht. Bob clearly understands our mission and believes in it. He is always accessible and quick to respond, which is indispensable. As ICFJ has grown, Bob’s financial expertise and leadership have been invaluable in our work with many sub-grantees and other organizations that we deal with throughout the world. His responsiveness is exemplary, and if he does not have an answer at hand, Bob always is able to refer us to a colleague who can help us quickly and efficiently. ICFJ is pleased to refer other potential clients to Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman and Bob Albrecht.”
Nancy P. Frye – Vice President, Finance & Administration, International Center for Journalists
The International Center for Journalists advances quality journalism worldwide. Our hands-on programs combine the best professional practices with new technologies. We believe that responsible journalism empowers citizens and holds governments accountable.
“Jenn Arminger and her team at Gelman, Rosenberg, & Freedman are experts in the nonprofit accounting field. Jenn in particular is an invaluable resource; her knowledge of the nonprofit world is an essential resource for us. She responds quickly and with great thoughtfulness to questions, offering concise and valuable recommendations. Jenn’s teams are always well prepared for their audit engagements. They are efficient and knowledgeable. I would recommend Jenn and the Gelman team without hesitation to anyone seeking an auditor.”
Kevin Barnhurst, Chief Financial Officer, American Retirement Association
Based in the Washington, D.C. area, the American Retirement Association is a non-profit professional organization with two major goals: to educate all retirement plan and benefits professionals, and to create a framework of policy that gives every working American the ability to have a comfortable retirement.
“The Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce has relied on the excellent audit services provided by Jackie Cardello of Gelman, Rosenberg and Freedman. Jackie assembled a great team of auditors who worked well with our Board of Directors, audit chairman, our CPA, our internal Director of Finance & Administration as well as our management team. As CEO, I appreciated Jackie’s attention to detail and her responsiveness to my requests for the most up-to-date information on best practices. I expect to have a great audit experience: accurate, on schedule, on budget and relevant. But I received more than that. I found Jackie to be an auditor who was willing to provide me with great guidance year round to support our mission.”
Gigi Godwin, President & Chief Executive Officer, Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce
The Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce (MCCC) provides an effective voice for a diverse, innovation-driven economy to ensure business success.
“Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman CPAs, and David Graling in particular, have been superb partners with the Marine Corps University Foundation, Inc. David is the consummate professional – knowledgeable, personable, confident, available and trustworthy. He consistently offers sound and honest assessments, opinions, suggestions, and recommendations; he is readily available to answer routine questions or questions requiring a bit of research – all done in a very timely fashion. He has provided solid and sound advice and counsel to our Audit Committee, and I have found him to be a valued sounding board for thoughts and ideas. I can count on David to react objectively, candidly, and he willingly offers comments to better represent the thought or idea being discussed. He is genuinely interested in making your organization better in all areas, not just from an audit perspective. He is a gentleman who can be counted on regardless of the challenge.”
Thomas V. Draude, Brigadier General, USMC (Ret), President and Chief Executive Officer, Marine Corps University Foundation, Inc.
For 30 years, the Marine Corps University Foundation has harnessed the power of the private sector in support of the Marine Corps’ most pressing educational needs.
“Amy (Boland) is more than an auditor for CFED. She is a valuable business advisor helping us navigate through complex regulations and opaque guidance.
CFED is intentional about leading through innovation, which from an accounting perspective often translates into transactions that require extraordinary analysis to account for properly. In the past two years, since my first week at CFED, we have reached out to Amy and her team more than a few times for guidance on such transactions as valuation of level 3 investments, lease modifications and complex revenue recognition issues. In each instance, Amy took the time to understand the situation and gathered GRF’s best talent to assist CFED as appropriate. We found Amy and her team to be thorough in their analysis, exhibiting deep understanding of our business and the not-for-profit industry, while offering practical solutions.
Having spent several years in public accounting, I certainly appreciate Amy’s approach to audits and her commitment to high standards and quality.”
Adnan Bokhari, Chief Financial Officer, Prosperity Now (formerly the Corporation for Enterprise Development)
Prosperity Now is a national nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, empowers low- and moderate-income households to build and preserve assets by advancing policies and programs that help them achieve the American Dream, including buying a home, pursuing higher education, starting a business and saving for the future.
“Under the professional leadership of partner Andreas Alexandrou, the GRF team brings a high level of technical expertise concerning the nonprofit industry and translates this knowledge to Doorways and its mission. Andreas encourages an interactive audit process, is consistently available to discuss financial and operational issues and is happy to get down to the transaction level to ensure the financial statements reflect the utmost of integrity in telling the mission of Doorways. Andreas fosters a partnership between Doorways’ management and Board and the GRF team. The audit process is productive and generates useful feedback that improves the financial practices and controls of Doorways. Andreas also ensures that the financial statements and 990 are delivered within our date parameters and within the predetermined budget. We are delighted to recommend Andreas and his team.”
Caroline Jones, President/CEO, Doorways for Women and Families
Doorways for Women and Families creates pathways out of homelessness, domestic violence and sexual assault leading to safe, stable and empowered lives.
“Gelman, Rosenberg and Freedman have performed the audit for Strathmore Hall Foundation, Inc. for the past three years, and each time our audits have been run smoothly, timely, and efficiently. Terri McKnight and her team are always friendly, thoughtful communicators and have been a pleasure to work with. We greatly appreciate the added value of constructive feedback and practical advice that they provide, especially as they take into account the size of our organization and all the different factors that make Strathmore unique. We have a tight audit timeline and a long list of requirements, and every time Terri’s team rises to the occasion and exceeds expectations. We would highly recommend Gelman and Terri to other nonprofits in need of auditing services.”
Jennifer K. Smith, Chief Financial Officer, Strathmore Hall Foundation, Inc.
Strathmore presents and produces exemplary visual and performing arts programs for diverse audiences; creates dynamic arts education experiences; and nurtures creative ideas and conversations that advance the future of the arts.
“The team at GRF has been an invaluable resource as I’ve launched, grown and succeeded with my business. David Graling is a consummate professional who is quick to respond to questions with thoughtful and insightful answers. And when he doesn’t know, someone else at GRF does — and they’re ready to help. Accounting isn’t something I want to worry about; with GRF helping to prepare our taxes and advise on how to handle issues with the IRS, out-of-state entities, and the intricacies of tax law, I know we’re in good hands.”
Jason Unger, Founder, Digital Ink
“Digital Ink provides full-service design, animation and branding services. They partner with marketing and technology companies, mission-driven organizations, and government agencies to design, develop, and manage their WordPress websites.”
“Terri McKnight and Gelman, Rosenberg and Freedman are superlative providers of audit services to not-for-profit organizations. Having served in an audit capacity with Coopers & Lybrand early in my career, I have experience on ‘both sides of the fence’.
I have worked with Terri since 2005, when I hired GRF to audit a start-up think tank which grew rapidly in the subsequent years. Her knowledge and skill sets were extremely valuable to the organization during its expansion.
At the Phillips Collection, Terri has been our audit partner since 2008. We have been continuously pleased with the audit staff members she has assigned to us and with her management of them. She provides the proper level of oversight while enabling the staff to manage the engagement to ensure both a valuable learning experience and the opportunity for the audit staff and the client staff to develop successful working relationships. As you would expect, Terri is extremely knowledgeable in all not-for-profit accounting matters and has been an invaluable guide to us at the Phillips as new pronouncements, policies, and presentation issues arise. Our staff has also benefited from numerous GRF continuing education seminars and webinars.
Best of all, Terri is a real pleasure to work with. She has the ability to adapt to the client’s accounting capacities, and she provides information, counsel, and direction in a straightforward and diplomatic manner. She is very cognizant of the client’s frequent time constraints and ensures that the audit is conducted as efficiently as possible. She is willing to consider alternatives where appropriate and is reasonable when materiality issues arise. Most importantly, she has an excellent sense of humor and understands that not-for-profit audits rarely result in insurmountable repercussions.”
Susan J. Nichols, Chief Operating Officer, The Phillips Collection
The Phillips Collection is home to an extraordinary collection of more than 4,000 works ranging from masterpieces of French impressionism and American modernism to contemporary art. By displaying superb works in an intimate setting, founder Duncan Phillips hoped to encourage visitors to appreciate new, challenging forms of artistic expression.
“Elinor is Yachad’s long-time accountant. Last month she worked at breakneck speed to see that we had all the information needed to apply for emergency public funding. She did this while managing her four children and all her other clients.”
Audrey Lyon, Executive Director, Yachad
Yachad’s mission is to bring communities together by preserving affordable homes and revitalizing neighborhoods throughout the District of Columbia and the greater metropolitan area
“The Himalayan Cataract Project engaged GRF and Walt Derengowski as our auditors and tax preparers at a time when HCP was growing significantly. We sought out a firm that would not only provide a strong review of our business and accounting practices but one we could rely on to help us improve. Walt and his team were consummate professionals and continue to be exceptional resources as we expand globally with more robust systems. We would not hesitate to recommend Walt and GRF to other non-profit organizations like ours.”
Jackton Downard, Director of Finance, The Himalayan Cataract Project
The Himalayan Cataract Project works to cure needless blindness with the highest quality care at the lowest cost.
“We continue to have excellent audit engagements with Ricardo Trujillo, Alison Albrecht, and their team at GRF. Even in the midst of a global pandemic, they managed to make the audit process efficient and smooth. We had advance notice for all documents that were required, communication was timely, and their follow-up recommendations always strengthen our infrastructure. Ricardo and Alison are also lovely people to work with. They demonstrate a high level of professionalism and expertise, will remaining candid, approachable, and helpful. While meeting all expectations and regulations of audit engagements, Ricardo and Alison work as partners who seek to help us improve our practices, and we highly recommend them for your audit needs.”
Rachel Friedman, Deputy Director, Men Can Stop Rape
Men Can Stop Race’s mission is to mobilize men to use their strength for creating cultures free from violence, especially men’s violence against women.
“We came to GRF after being with another firm for quite some time. The organization had just gone through a leadership transition and were looking for the right fit. We not only needed a firm to perform our audit but also a firm that would be a true partner as we looked to move forward in a new direction. We knew that we had a lot of work ahead of us after having some prior reporting issues so it was very important to have a partner who would work with us and advise us on best practices and help us move forward. When we first met with Ricardo Trujillo we immediately knew we had made the right decision. Ricardo was very personable and listened intently on where we were as an organization and immediately put a two-year plan in place to get us to where we needed to be. He was thoughtful and did not rush us to start fieldwork, wanting us to get things right, even if that meant needing to miss a couple of filing dates and pushing things back. Looking back, that was the right decision. Additionally, the team that Ricardo put in place was both knowledgeable of the nonprofit sector and very professional. They also took pride in getting to know us and building a relationship while at the same time not blurring the lines of independence. They were very responsive to questions and typically got back to us within hours whether by email or phone. It was very important to us to be able to get a live voice to our questions when needed. The manager on our engagement also had an international client that required him to travel. Even when he had to leave the country, he still got up at 5 am to have our weekly status call, making sure we stayed on track and taking time to answer any questions we had in a timely manner. I would highly recommend GRF to anyone looking for not just an excellent accounting firm but also a true partner.”
Bryant Davis, CFO, Latin American Youth Center
LAYC’s mission is to empower a diverse population of youth to achieve a successful transition to adulthood through multi-cultural, comprehensive, and innovative programs that address youths’ social, academic, and career needs.
“Our organization’s yearly audit has been led by Ricardo Trujillo, a partner at GRF. Ricardo and his team have exceeded the expectations by properly communicating and guiding our staff through the audit process. Ricardo was always available to answers questions in a timely manner and advise us on new GAAP practices. Additionally, Ricardo and his team presented the audit results to the board in a very professional manner by appropriately addressing everyone’s questions. We highly recommend Ricardo for your audit needs.”
– Juan Barrachina, Finance, Hogar Hispano, Inc.
Hogar Hispano, Inc. is dedicated to helping families/individuals prevent foreclosure as well as creating new housing opportunities in the United States and Puerto Rico.
“We have worked with GRF for over a decade. Not only are they are a valuable resource during the year as questions come up, but they also do a great job of institutionalizing knowledge from engagement to engagement so we don’t get asked the same questions each year. We’ve had a seamless transition with them to remote audits and appreciate their focus on customer service and practical solutions.”
– Martha Van Dale, CPA, CGMA, Chief Financial and Strategy Officer, National Association of State Departments of Agriculture
The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture was founded in 1916. NASDA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit association which represents the elected and appointed commissioners, secretaries, and directors of the departments of agriculture in all fifty states and four U.S. territories.
“Refugees International is extremely satisfied with the service that GRF CPAs &Advisors provides our organization. We are particularly impressed with the team led by Walt Derengowski. They were very professional, thorough, and knowledgeable in the non-profit industry and their invaluable advice has helped us improve our internal control practices, policies, and procedures. They were most helpful when we had to pivot to a virtual audit last year. What we thought would be a challenging process turned out to be smooth and efficient. We also appreciate Walt’s responsiveness to our questions and concerns which helps us make informed decisions in a timely manner. We look forward to future engagements with his team.”
– Rowena Averia, Senior Accountant, Refugees International
Refugees International advocates for lifesaving assistance and protection for displaced people and promotes solutions to displacement crises. We do not accept any government or UN funding, ensuring the independence and credibility of our work.