Kelly D'Emilia, owner and President of Innovative Advocate Group, Inc. ("IA Group"), is an industry expert with more than 20 years of experience with abandoned and unclaimed property ("AUP"). Kelly established IA Group in 2014 with the goal of distinguishing the company from other providers. While most state auditors focus solely on either general ledger or equity audits, IA Group brings knowledge and experience to both areas. IA Group specializes in project management, data acquisition and validation skills, and possesses an in-depth understanding of dormancy rules, as well as industry specific issues and occurrences (e.g. decentralization of processes, mergers and acquisitions). Kelly’s extensive experience includes, but is not limited to, the oil and gas, entertainment, construction, food service, private equity, financial service and retail industries.
Kelly began her career at Sun Oil Company in the corporate accounting group. Afterwards, Kelly moved into the tax group at Arthur Andersen L.L.P. working in their federal, state, and local group specializing in sales and use tax. Kelly then joined Price Waterhouse Coopers, L.L.P where she led the state and local Abandoned and Unclaimed Property Practice as their Metro New York AUP Leader.
Throughout her career Kelly has been instrumental in assisting companies with various AUP issues such as voluntarily disclosing historical unclaimed liability and audit defense proceedings for various states, as well as developing companies' policies and procedures in response to Sarbanes/Oxley requirements (FAS 5 requirements). Kelly’s reputation has led her to be a valued speaker at regional Lorman Education seminars, COST seminars, UPPO (Unclaimed Property Professional Organization), and Tax Executive Institute, among others.
Kelly holds a Master's of Business Administration and a Master's in Taxation from Widener University.
Eric Burke serves as the Director of the IA Group management team for unclaimed property examinations. He holds a Bachelor of Science (Accounting) and an MBA from Monmouth University. Eric joined IA Group in 2014 and previously worked in the Assurance service line of Ernst & Young, where he analyzed reporting for both public and non-public companies. His project management skills and prior experience in unclaimed property make him a vital asset to the team.
Tory Manfre graduated from Monmouth University where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Accounting. Tory currently serves as IA Group’s Manager and participates in Unclaimed Property examinations. Tory continues to be an integral part in the development of our training programs for new associates and employees. Tory is a unique employee, as he began his career with IA Group and worked his way up through the ranks excelling at each position he has held. His experiences have helped him to develop an in depth knowledge of Unclaimed Property examinations making him an important member of the IA Group team.
Brian Lazar graduated from the University of Delaware with a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting. As IA Group's Controller, Brian is responsible for high-level accounting and managerial accounting with the company. Additionally, Brian oversees financial reporting and performs essential duties related to payroll. With over 15 years of private and public accounting experience, Brian is well equipped to run day-to-day accounting operations for the overall health of the company.
In-House Legal Counsel
Robert D’Emilia graduated from Villanova University, where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. As IA Group's in-house counsel, Robert is the key legal advisor for all company affairs. Robert is a crucial team member due to his ability to provide accurate and effective legal advice throughout the examination process. With over 30 years of counseling experience, Robert reviews the majority of the legal documentation between IA Group and their Client States and prepares and reviews administrative documents that are used during the examination process.
As members of the IA Group team, senior associates are involved in all stages of our audit procedures, including, but not limited to, the review of documentation provided by holders, the review of draft work papers and calculations, and participating in status calls with the holder. Additionally, senior associates share the responsibility of supervising staff and associates, ensuring the compliance of policies and procedures, interviewing and training new employees, and driving the audit schedule and compliance. Senior associates are also involved in all unclaimed property examinations and monitor audit statuses.
Associate II employees are heavily involved in many of the audit procedures here at IA Group. As an associate II, employees are responsible for analyzing and reviewing financial statements and documents provided by the Holders, preparing audit work papers for the States and Holders, and conducting background research about companies under audit. Additionally, associate II level employees create and analyze documents necessary to the audit process, including: Entity Revenue Matrices, Outstanding Account Balance reviews, VDAs, NDAs, Trial Balances, and Aging Reports.
University of Tampa
As an associate at IA Group, employees are responsible for monitoring audit statuses and contacting the Holder for outstanding documentation requests. Additionally, associate I employees are heavily involved in the audit procedures for unclaimed property examinations. IA Group’s associates are responsible for analyzing documentation and financial statements provided by the Holder, preparing audit workpapers for the State and Holder, researching, preparing, and submitting State RFPs for abandoned and unclaimed property contracts, and creating and analyzing the documents necessary to the audit process.
Penn State University
University of Tampa
New Jersey City University