Our Mission

Our mission is to provide exceptional accounting and financial services to our clients, enabling them to achieve their financial goals and thrive in their respective industries. We work to help clients cultivate their financial viability in the present while adopting a proactive approach to their long-term goals. Through open communication, independent research and sound analysis, we strive to gain a deep understanding of the unique needs of each of our clients. Our dedication to maintaining the highest level of professionalism and integrity drives us to deliver personalized and reliable solutions that are tailored to our clients’ specific requirements.

Our team of experienced and knowledgeable CPAs are dedicated to exceeding our clients’ expectations and building longlasting relationships based on trust and mutual respect. We are committed to staying up to date on the latest industry trends and technologies, and to continuously improving our services to better serve our clients. At Zacks and Associates, we firmly believe that our clients’ success is our success, and we are fully committed to providing outstanding service.

Our Values

Our History

Zacks and Associates, LLC. is a branch of Zacks Investment Management, an independent, boutique firm established in 1992. Zacks Investment Management is a wholly owned subsidiary of one of the largest and most influential independent research firms in the U.S., Zacks Investment Research, founded in 1978.

As part of Zacks, we share in a decades-long history of independent, data-driven insight and innovations dedicated to serving each client's personal needs. It's from this unique culture that Zacks and Associates was launched, with an experienced team of professionals committed to continuing and strengthening the Zacks legacy.

Our Team

Matthew D Shell

Matthew D Shell, CPA, JD, LLM, MST

Managing Director – Tax and Estate Planning

Matthew Shell has more than 15 years of experience in tax advisory services as a CPA and tax attorney. He has also worked in the private industry as U.S. Tax Counsel for a foreign-owned multinational manufacturing and technology company.

Matt specializes in serving business founders, entrepreneurs and high-net-worth individuals to maximize their wealth, minimize taxes and plan for philanthropic goals and generational transfers. He is experienced in estate planning, probate and trust administration, sophisticated tax strategies, business successions, family offices and mergers and acquisitions.

Matt has extensive experience advising tax-exempt organizations, including both public charities and private foundations, and, as such, is experienced with donor advised funds, supporting organizations, charitable trusts and other complex charitable structures. He has also served as outside general counsel for small businesses and advised on entity formation and legal administration matters.

Education & Certifications

  • B.S., Accounting, Western Michigan University, 2005
  • M.S., Taxation, Walsh College, 2008
  • JD, Law, Michigan State University College of Law, 2011
  • LLM, Taxation, Georgetown University, 2011
  • Licensed Certified Public Accountant, Michigan, 2007
  • Licensed Attorney, State Bar of Michigan, 2011

Professional & Civic Organizations & Awards

  • Director and Treasurer of Lake Orion Michigan Downtown Development Authority
  • Director and Treasurer of Love INC of North Oakland County
  • Oakland County Executive’s 40 Under 40
  • Super Lawyers Rising Star
Ann M Behrens

Ann M Behrens, CPA, CVA

Consultant Tax Partner

Ann Behrens has 26 years of experience in tax advisory services and has also worked in the private industry with foreign-owned entities. She has extensive experience providing custom tax solutions to business entities and their owners. In addition to providing corporate and individual tax services, she has assisted clients with complex tax planning involving corporate and partnership entity structures, cost segregation studies, state and local tax, and gift and estate tax planning.

Ann also specializes in serving business founders, entrepreneurs and high-net-worth individuals by helping them navigate the unique and often sophisticated challenges of wealth management. She works closely with clients and financial advisors in identifying tax minimization strategies during tax planning, estate planning and succession planning development.

Ann has considerable experience performing business valuations and cost segregation services to a variety of clients in multiple industries. In her previous position at a national firm, she was instrumental in the creation and implementation of their national cost segregation group. She passed the business valuation training exam given by the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts (NACVA) for Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA) in November 2005, and she was awarded the designation of CVA in 2006.

Education & Certifications

  • B.S., Accounting, DePaul University, Chicago, 1987
  • Licensed Certified Public Accountant, Illinois, 1988
  • Certified Valuation Analyst, National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts, 2006

Professional & Civic Organizations

  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)
  • Illinois CPA Society (ICPAS)
  • National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts
  • American Woman’s Society of Certified Public Accountants (AWSCPA)
  • Holiday Heroes Foundation, Board Member
  • Chicago Finance Exchange, Member
  • Prairie Center for the Arts Foundation, Member of the Board of Directors and President, 1996 to 2001
  • N.E.W. 200 Foundation, Past Board Member
  • Gates 200 Foundation, Past Board Member
Timothy Owens

Timothy Owens, CPA

Consultant Tax Director

Tim Owens has over 26 years of public accounting experience. He focuses on assisting businesses and individuals with their tax compliance and tax planning needs. He specializes in IRS and state examinations and responses to notices, individual tax preparation and planning, and training on software programs including QuickBooks® and Creative Solutions.

Tim has worked with self-employed individuals, businesses, multigenerational closely held family businesses, as well as high-net-worth individuals. His experience includes assisting his clients in navigating complex tax regulations, optimizing tax planning strategies and minimizing tax liabilities.

Education & Certifications

  • B.A. Accounting, Illinois State University
  • B.A. Business Administration, Illinois State University
  • DePaul University, MST coursework
  • Licensed Certified Public Accountant, Illinois

Professional & Civic Organizations

  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)
  • Illinois CPA Society (ICPAS)
Audra M Conforti

Audra M Conforti, CPA

Consultant Tax Director

Audra Conforti has over 30 years of experience providing specialized tax services in both private industry and public accounting, including the Big Four. She has been a trusted advisor to clients in a variety of industries. Her focus has been on tax consulting and financial planning, as well as tax compliance for individuals, trusts, businesses, and exempt organizations.

Audra gained extensive experience and understanding of wealth management and the familyowned office in her role providing concierge and family office services to a privately held venture capital firm, their owners, and businesses. She utilizes that experience, as well as her excellent analytical and communication skills, to serve clients with wealth management tax planning. Working closely with their financial advisors, she provides personalized strategic tax advice with the goal of minimizing tax liabilities and wealth preservation.

Audra has additional experience developing tax training materials and presentations; providing instruction on computer technology and software; recruiting, hiring, and training new staff; and providing strong team management, mentoring and leadership.

Education & Certifications

  • B.S. Accounting, Elmhurst College
  • Licensed Certified Public Accountant, Illinois

Professional & Civic Organizations

  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)
  • Illinois CPA Society (ICPAS)
Kathleen Parzynski

Kathleen Parzynski, CPA, MST

Consultant Tax Director

For over 25 years, Kathleen Parzynski has worked in the private and public accounting sectors for both private and publicly held firms. She has provided tax services to clients in various industries, including manufacturing, wholesale, distribution, service, retail, private equity, nonprofit, telecommunications and franchises.

Additionally, Kathleen focuses on serving multigenerational entrepreneurial families and highwealth individuals, offering strategic tax advice to help maximize tax savings. Her areas of expertise include technical tax consulting for corporate, flow-through, and individuals; state and local tax planning and compliance; and client representations with federal and state examinations.

Kathleen is recognized as a Tangible Asset & Repair Regulations specialist and a franchise specialist and is often sought as a professional speaker on these topics. She has presented to the ILCPAPeoria, the Northern Illinois Franchise Association and, on multiple occasions, for accounting firms.

Kathleen is an accomplished leader with excellent analytical and communication skills, which she uses to train, develop, mentor, and provide career advisement to other staff members.

Education & Certifications

  • B.B.A, Accountancy, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 1985
  • M.S., Taxation, DePaul University, Chicago, IL, 1992
  • Licensed Certified Public Accountant, Illinois and Michigan

Professional & Civic Organizations & Awards

  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)
  • Illinois CPA Society (ICPAS)

Take the next step.

Submit the form below and a member of our team will reach out to answer any questions you have.

Which describes you?

*By clicking the button below, I agree to the Privacy Policy & Terms of Service and consent for Zacks and its affiliates/agents to call or text me for any purpose at any number provided, including via automatic telephone dialing system, and such consent is not required to purchase goods or services as I may always call directly at (888) 775-8351.



I'm a Private Client I'm a Financial Professional