Focusing on the End Game for Women

Bertha Minnihan is a recognized figure in the national public accounting marketplace, a sought after thought leader on employee benefit plans, and a champion of mentoring women in the workplace.

As a partner and national practice leader with the audit services firm Moss Adams LLP, Minnihan says she always knew auditing was a team sport. But says she has learned how to build, train, and respect not only her work team, but personal teams that can make a difference on one’s outlook in life.

She has been named by the Silicon Valley Business Journal as a Women of Influence in the Silicon Valley, the San Francisco Business Times’ Most Influential Women in Bay Area Business, and a CalCPA Woman to Watch. “Focusing on the end game for women is imperative as there are lots of opportunities to give up or listen to noise,” she said.

She serves on the AICPA Employee Benefit Plans Expert Panel, and served on the AICPA Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center’s Executive Committee and its Technical Standards Subcommittee, which assists with the Department of Labor’s review of ERISA audits and auditors.

At the firm, she is a mentor who serves on the Women’s Initiative Advisory Board. “Women in accounting are somewhat late to the party, so paving our own path has been tough and having the support of other women has been scarce,” she said. Her appointment to the Forum W Advisory board is a clear reflection of commitment to providing guidance and strategic support to women leaders in the region.

Minnihan fell in love with public accounting and auditing when she interned in college at a professor’s firm. “It was fun for me to go into an organization, re-do the financial puzzle and see how the reporting pieces fall in to place,” she said. She has practiced public accounting since 1995 and has extensive experience directing all phases of audits for a variety of benefit plans, including 401(k), 403(b), pension, employee stock ownership, health, and welfare benefit plans. Her ERISA expertise includes the specialized knowledge required for audits, Form 5500s, and related filings. She provides various consulting services related to the ERISA industry nationwide.

She is frequently called upon to speak at local and national organization events dedicated to the BenefitPlan Audit specialty. Her expertise is also widely recognized by many third-party administrators, trustees, and investment custodians utilized by companies in Silicon Valley and beyond.