Deborah Walker CPA, MBA

National Director, Compensation and Benefits, Cherry Bekaert LLP

Based in the Firm's Washington, D.C. office, Deborah is National Director of the Firm's Compensation & Benefits Solutions group. She provides executives and employers guidance on short- and long-term incentive compensation arrangements, both domestically and internationally; tax controversy issues related to employment taxes and compensation items; qualified retirement plans; health benefits including healthcare reform; and other fringe benefits such as expense reimbursement arrangements concentrating on federal tax consequences and achieving strategic business goals. Recognized as a trusted advisor with more than 35 years of experience, Deborah also advises clients on compensation deductions in mergers and acquisitions; accounting methods for compensation items; financial statement reporting of compensation; and ESOPs. During COVID, Deborah was her firm's leading technical resource for PPP loans and employment tax credits including the Employee Retention Credit and the emergency paid COVID sick leave and FMLA credits Prior to her arrival at Cherry Bekaert, Deborah served as a partner at two Big Four firms and Deputy to the Benefits Tax Counsel in the Office of Tax Policy at the U.S. Treasury Department, developing a broad understanding in the creation of legislation and regulations. She is also a published writer, authoring numerous articles regarding compensation and benefits matters. She was editor-in-chief of the Journal of Taxation of Employee Benefits and a member of the Tax Advisor Editorial Board. Deborah served as Chair of the IRS Commissioner's Advisory Committee. Deborah is a past Chair of the AICPA Annual Employee Benefits Conference and in 2017 was awarded the Arthur J. Dixon Memorial Award, the highest honor bestowed by the accounting profession in the area of taxation.