RKL Expands Research & Development Tax Credit Practice with New Leadership, Experienced Hire

RKL LLP today introduced Benjamin J. Fortner, J.D., as leader of the firm’s expanded Research & Development (R&D) Tax Credit Practice within its Tax Services Group. Joining Fortner on RKL’s existing R&D team is Kerrie A. Wesley, J.D., who serves as R&D Credit Practice Manager.

“At RKL, we’re constantly inspired by the innovation of our clients, and we’re committed to helping them reap tax benefits from product and process development,” RKL CEO Edward W. Monborne said. “Now that Research & Development tax credits are more widely available to even more industries, we’re proud to welcome highly regarded professionals like Ben Fortner and Kerrie Wesley to grow RKL’s R&D Tax Credit Practice and help businesses across the nation take full advantage of this economic incentive.”

Thanks to recent regulatory changes that removed limitations and expanded eligibility for these tax credits, more companies of various sizes and industries can reliably plan to use the credit dollar-for-dollar against their tax liability.

RKL’s R&D Tax Credit Practice, under Fortner’s leadership, is composed of professionals who specialize in partnering with all sizes of companies to capture tax benefits from development and improvement activities. Beyond the assessment and analysis to uncover current opportunities, the RKL R&D Tax Credit team also develops and implements internal procedures to position companies to track expenses and activities eligible for future credits.

“Most companies are underserved by the standard approach to R&D tax credit applications,” Fortner explained. “The RKL team employs a custom approach and crafts a tailored analysis around the development process specific to each clients’ eligible research activities. This model translates into real dollars for our clients.”

Throughout his career, Fortner has overseen hundreds of R&D tax credit studies in a wide variety of industries including architecture, engineering, construction, large-scale manufacturing, material production and mining, agriculture and precision metal machining. Thanks to his successful track record and background in business transactional law, Fortner is recognized within the field as a respected technical expert for his industry knowledge and experience.

Fortner holds a Bachelors of Business Administration in Finance with a focus in Real Estate & Risk Management from the University of Texas at Austin and earned his Juris Doctor from SMU Dedman School of Law.

Wesley brings deep expertise with management and the tax consulting industry to her role at RKL. She has a successful history of creating tangible value for businesses in a number of industries, including manufacturing, tool and die, construction, architecture, mechanical contractors and agriculture.

Wesley holds a B.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology and an M.B.A. from Texas Tech University. She earned her Juris Doctorate from the University of Houston Law Center.

For more information on RKL’s tax services, including its specialized R&D Tax Credit Practice, visit rklcpa.com.


RKL LLP is a leading professional services firm with offices located in Pennsylvania and beyond. More than 450 team members strong, RKL taps into a wide range of services – tax, accounting, data analytics, performance improvement, risk mitigation, human capital management, cybersecurity and more – to deliver solutions that prepare businesses and organizations for real, sustained growth. RKL is ranked 64th on Accounting Today’s “2018 Top 100 Firms” and 5th among large companies on the 2018 Best Places to Work in PA. Learn more at rklcpa.com.