Grant Thornton has appointed Dennis Morrone as the new national managing partner of its Not-for-Profit and Higher Education practices.
Morrone is a veteran of the company, having joined the accounting and consulting firm 18 years ago from Arthur Andersen, where he was a member of its Not-for-Profit practice.
Most recently, Morrone served as Grant Thornton’s national partner-in-charge of Audit Services in the Not-for-Profit and Higher Education practices. He now ascends to the top role for the industry verticals, leading business development, account management, client delivery and internal practice development.
His predecessor Mark Oster will retire at the end of this fiscal year in accordance with Grant Thornton’s mandatory age-based retirement policy, following a more than 25-year career at the professional services firm.
Brad Preber, the CEO of Grant Thornton in the US, said: “Dennis’s excellent leadership and client-service skills will help our clients overcome today’s exigent challenges, while also managing the long-standing trends that require shrewd decision making.”The appointment comes at a time of major disruption hitting both sectors. The Covid-19 outbreak and related social distancing measures have forced higher education institutions to rapidly shift their curriculum and offerings online, while the abrupt drop in international students has meant that institutions are facing financial challenges.
In Massachusetts for example, a study by EY-Parthenon found that state community colleges could see their net cash flow in fiscal year 2021 plummet to -$118 million, while state universities could see their shortfall reach nearly -$248 million.
Meanwhile, the not-for-profit sector has been hit by the fact that one of its main sources of revenues – the physical collection of funds – has been wiped off the agenda due to Covid-19. While many have transitioned rapidly to online collecting, total volumes of funds raised remain down considerably.
“This year’s historic disruptions have dramatically impacted both sectors,” said Morrone, who is one of Grant Thornton’s main thought leaders in the space, having written for the firm’s not-for-profit industry letters and many other industry publications (including the ‘State of the Not-for-Profit Sector in 2020’ report, as well as developed and taught numerous courses.
Outside of Grant Thornton, Morrone is a sitting member of the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s Not-for-Profit Advisory Committee.
Last month, Grant Thornton promoted Lisa Walkush and Carlos Ferreira to national leadership roles.