Cheri Walker joined ARB in 1987. She was the first female to become a principal with the firm and has served as its Managing Principal since 2006. Cheri’s public accounting career focus is in providing financial accounting, income tax planning, and business advisory services to automotive dealerships, credit unions, employee benefit plans, and closely held businesses, including those with family dynamics.
Education and Designations
- Bachelor of Science in Accountancy, Bentley College
- Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Cheri resides in Falmouth, Maine. She has a son attending college in Maine and a daughter attending college in Massachusetts. She enjoys golfing, skiing, traveling with her kids, and is passionate about anything chocolate.
In serving some of northern New England’s largest auto dealership groups, Cheri routinely provides financial statement, tax preparation, and advisory services, including guidance on dealership systems, acquisitions and dispositions of dealerships, as well as succession planning. Cheri has significant experience assisting auto dealerships in navigating manufacturer compliance issues, owner transitions, and other industry-specific challenges.
Cheri is actively involved in the credit union industry and specializes in helping credit unions meet rigorous regulatory and auditing requirements. Cheri’s industry expertise includes comprehensive services from financial statement audits, supervisory committee audits, and internal audits, to Bank Secrecy Act independent testing, fraud investigations, and other agreed upon procedures.
Employee Benefit Plans
As the Employee Benefits Practice Leader for ARB, Cheri serves as principal-in-charge for all employee benefit plan engagements. She holds the responsibility for planning and the overall direction of audits and professional services for employee benefit plans, including 401(k), 403(b), Defined Benefit, Health and Welfare benefit plans, and ESOPs, as well as tax planning and consulting for ownership prior to ESOP formation. Additionally, Cheri is the firm’s designated AICPA Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center Director and has performed peer reviews on employee benefit plan audits of other firms for the New England Peer Review.
Closely Held Businesses
In working with closely held businesses, Cheri has developed a true understanding of the intricacies of navigating accounting and tax services for businesses with family dynamics. Her expertise allows her to provide services of the highest degree that are beneficial for businesses and their shareholders, partners, members, and related ventures, trusts, and estates, alike.
As the Managing Principal, Cheri oversees firm operations, promotes firm initiatives, and upholds the ARB mission, core principles, and values. She is a proven leader, active community member, and a winner of the 2016 MECPA Women to Watch Award. Cheri places high value on staff development and is committed to coaching staff on setting and achieving career advancement goals. In addition, she regularly mentors high school students interested in pursuing a career in public accounting.
Under Cheri’s leadership, the firm has achieved continuous growth and improved profitability. She strives for the firm to attain industry accepted best practices and continually looks for ways to improve the firm’s performance, its client service, and its commitment to its employees. During her tenure as Managing Principal, the firm has implemented technologies that support improved workflow and document management, formed the Wellness Committee and Community Committee, installed ergonomically adaptable work stations, and supported flexible work schedules with the ability to work remotely. ARB has achieved recognition as one of Maine’s Best Places to Work for seven consecutive years.