Our Firm

We combine the experience of a large firm with the personal attention that only a small firm can provide. Our clients come back to us year after year because they know they are in good hands. We work to develop long-term relationships; whether your needs are simple or complex, we can help.

If you have any questions or would like more detailed information about how we can help you, don't hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to serve you.

 

 

 

Our People

RICHARD J. MERCK, CPA, ABV, PFS

Richard J. Merck, CPA, ABV, PFS is the managing director and founder of Merck CPAs & Consultants having started his public accounting career in 1987. His passion for helping clients minimize tax and succeed in their business is obvious in all the services he provides.

 Mr. Merck specializes in personal and business consulting, including tax preparation and planning, business valuation consulting, IRS representation, financial statement preparation, etc. Richard J. Merck uses a personal, hands-on approach in handling clients under his care attempting to turn normally mundane tasks into exciting, humorous engagements. He is a member of the AICPA and NYSSCPA. Mr. Merck is also certified as an ABV (Accredited Business Valuation) and a PFS (Personal Financial Specialist), accreditations recognizing a specialty and expertise in business valuation and personal financial planning issues .

 Richard lives in the beautiful Hudson Valley with his family. He enjoys weightlifting, golf, softball, ping pong and traveling. Richard is a former judo player and has competed both statewide and nationally in the past. He is an avid photographer and enjoys photographing landscapes while traveling. The images on this site are some examples of Richard's photography.

 Richard was a charter member and treasurer of the Kingston Sunrise Rotary Club and a former Little League coach in the Olive Little League. Richard graduated summa cum laude from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts and went on to work with KPMG Peat Marwick in New York City early in his accounting career. Subsequently, he moved back to his roots in the Hudson Valley and became an owner in several different public accounting firms before starting Merck CPAs & Consultants in November 2002.

 

 

 

DONALD L. SHUMEN III, CPA

Donald L. Shumen III, CPA is the Director of Merck CPAs & Consultants.  He joined the firm in 2004, and became a shareholder in 2013.  While proficient in all aspects of accounting, Donald specializes in tax reporting, planning, and consulting for individuals, corporations, partnerships, and not-for-profit entities. He is also in charge of all audits performed by Merck CPAs & Consultants.

Donald lives his life by the mantra "If it's worth doing, it's worth doing right."  Graduating summa cum laude from Marist College, Don was ranked first in his graduating accounting class. He was the recipient of the "Outstanding Accounting Graduate" award from the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants. He is a member of the AICPA and the NYSSCPA.  Don is a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma business honor society, as well as the Alpha Chi national honor society.

Donald, along with his wife, daughter, and rescue pug (Duke), makes him home in picturesque Saugerties, NY.  He is an avid saxophone player, and is a member of a number of community bands including The Big Blue Big Band, and the Lions Club Band.  He has also performed on the professional stage with artists such as Irene Cara and Martha Wash.  He enjoys golf, softball, motorcycles, and restoring his vintage stingray corvette.  However, most of his spare time is spent with his beautiful daughter Layla.

 

 

 

LESLIE LOHRER

Leslie brings more than 20 years of bookkeeping experience to the team. Before joining Merck CPAs, she was self-employed helping local small businesses with their bookkeeping and government reporting tasks. Leslie is well-versed in computer software including QuickBooks, Microsoft Excel, Word, Access and Outlook. She is a preparer, supervisor and trainer for our bookkeeping, payroll, sales tax, 1099 and bill payment clients. She initiated the paperless bookkeeping initiative in our office to reduce our impact on the environment while ensuring proper recordkeeping for our clients. She is proficient with online bill paying and banking across many banking platforms and has trained many clients the online banking process to enhance efficiency. Leslie’s goal with each client is to solve the current trouble and devise a system for the future that will make running their company as simple as possible.

 Leslie enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She is very active with her grandkids and loves to travel with them. She also enjoys live music, cooking and shopping.

 

 

 

ARLEEN M. SCHENCK

Arleen M. Schenck is the firm’s Office Manager joining Richard Merck in December of 1995. She is responsible for the firm’s billing and accounts receivable as well as working directly with clients on payroll, incorporations and mediation between clients and Federal and State taxing entities. Arleen has continued taking various seminars and workshops during those years in an effort to further her education including IRS and NYS E-filing (electronic tax filing) workshops. She has been an IRS E-Services representative since 2004 allowing the firm to obtain transcripts from the IRS to help clients in handling any notices they have received. She continues to maintain her Notary Public license for over 30 years.

 Arleen has resided in Saugerties, New York for more than 45 years and has raised four children and now a grandmother and great-mother.  Prior to joining the firm, she was a legal secretary and a member of the former Ulster County Legal Secretaries Association holding the positions of Treasurer, Recording Secretary and several committees. She also had been recording secretary for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) and served as an area coordinator for the American Heart Association.

 

 

 

ALLYSON BARBARIA

Allyson Barbaria is Executive Assistant to Richard J. Merck, Managing Director of Merck CPAs & Consultants and Donald L. Shumen III, Director of Merck CPAs & Consultants. Since 2011, Allyson has been providing executive-level assistance to both partners and assists in the execution of administrative responsibilities throughout Merck CPAs. Allyson is responsible for collection, preparation and review of correspondence,action and signature items, and all tax calendars and data.  She has extensive knowledge of our operational procedures; she oversees cross functional work areas, and is the trusted liaison between our clients and their advisor. 

Allyson resides in Saugerties, NY with her husband and their three children. When not at the office, Allyson enjoys traveling and spending time with her friends. She is also known for her keen decorating eye and can often be found relocating things both at home and at the office.

 

 

 

EVAN P. HAPEMAN

Evan P. Hapeman is an accountant with Merck CPAs & Consultants and has been with the firm since 2014.  Evan works on a variety of tax returns including corporate returns, not-for-profit returns, personal returns. Evan also proficient in the areas of bookkeeping, sales & payroll tax returns, auditing.

Evan's accounting career began in high school when he took a job at a local CPA firm where he assisted in preparing personal tax returns among other tasks.  From here Evan decided to pursue a career in accounting and in 2013 he graduated with a bachelor’s degree from SUNY New Paltz in accounting.

 

 

 

NICOLE BENKERT

Nicole joined Merck CPAs & Consultants in September of 2015. She attended The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Marketing. Nicole works on various tasks for the firm including bookkeeping, payroll tax, and sales tax. She is also responsible for some billing, accounts receivable, and office support.

Nicole enjoys reading, painting, and spending time with family and friends. She hopes to learn to play the guitar in the future.

 

 

JOHN A. MOWER 

John Mower joined Merck CPAs in 2002. He’s been a member of the National Association of Tax Preparers since 1995. He enjoys helping people to navigate through the daunting task of tax compliance by breaking the process into manageable pieces.

John’s accounting career began with an Accounting degree from SUNY New Paltz in 1989. The knowledge gained from SUNY New Paltz was used extensively during his tenure as Woodstock Town Supervisor, as a staff accountant with a local firm, as Treasurer of the Saugerties School District, as a Financial Services Manager at the MHRIC, and as self employed accountant and tax preparer.

 John and Janine have been blessed with two lovely children and a new granddaughter.  He calls Woodstock his home with roots that go back to the 1880’s.  He enjoys spending time with family, outdoor activities, golf, crossword puzzles, time on the beach, socializing with friends, volunteering, and managing Mower’s Saturday Flea Market.

 

 

ROCKY BALBOA & DUKE

 

Introducing Rocky  & Duke, our tax therapy dogs.  They offer comfort and stress relief for our clients.  A priceless, yet free, service that can be available for your next appointment. 

 

 

 

“An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest”

- Benjamin Franklin

 

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Our History

Merck CPAs & Consultants was formed in November 2002 after Richard J. Merck separated his practice from his former firm where he autonomously ran both a Kingston and Saugerties office. Maintaining the quality team which was assembled while with his former firm Mr. Merck changed the letterhead and signage on the building and moved forward with the birth of Merck CPAs & Consultants. Shortly thereafter the Saugerties office was spun off, so that the full attention of the team could be focused on the Kingston business.  Donald Shumen joined Richard J. Merck as a shareholder in 2013, and together, they operate out of the historic Stockade District in Uptown Kingston, New York. 

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Our Credentials

Our firm participates in the Peer Review program prescribed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Oklahoma Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Texas Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Our firm was last reviewed in June 2013. The resulting report stated that all of our accounting practices and procedures complied with or exceeded the standards of the industry.

Members of:

  • AICPA
  • NYSSCPA

 

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Our Areas of Specialization

Our entire operation is rooted in a tradition of meeting the highest standards of accounting practices. From this foundation, we offer the following specialized services: strategic tax planning for individuals and businesses, financial planning services for individuals and estates, auditing services for businesses and individuals, consulting services for business development and management, and accounting and tax services for the Internet environment and e-commerce.

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Merck CPAs & Consultants

101 Green Street
Kingston, NY 12401

Phone: 845.331.9667

For more information click here