Firms in the News: March 26

Appelrouth, Farah & Co. Expands to Puerto Rico

Miami-based Appelrouth, Farah & Co. has announced its expansion with the opening of an office in Puerto Rico. The opening marks the fourth location for the firm.

“The opening of our Puerto Rico location allows us to better serve our clients in South and Central America and the Caribbean,” says Stewart Appelrouth, co-founder of Appelrouth, Farah & Co.

“Our international taxation division serves a growing number of clients who have business interests that span the globe. We help them navigate complicated international business transactions and international taxation by providing them with global resources and reach, whether they’re a foreign company expanding into the U.S. or an outbound expansion by a U.S. business,” says Carlos Farah, co-founder of Appelrouth, Farah & Co.

 

MNP Shakes Up Rankings in Canada

Calgary-based MNP LLP has moved into Canada’s top six firms, ahead of Toronto-based BDO LLP, according to The Bottom Line. The result of this shake-up may be good for the industry, according to observers.

“The Big 4 can certainly benefit from some more competition and society benefits from having a larger number of credible large firms in existence,” says Len Brooks, director of business ethics and accounting at the University of Toronto.

Dan Thornton, an accounting professor at Queen’s School of Business says, “The academic literature indicates that audit firm size is positively associated with audit quality because big firms have economies of scale in mobilizing auditing and accounting skills and are motivated to do better work as they grow because they have more and more to lose from audit failures.”

The two firms themselves don’t see this as much ado about anything. BDO CEO Keith Farlinger says, “Actually, we expected it — MNP had great growth last year, along with a lot of mergers.”

“This has never been about size,” says Daryl Ritchie, MNP CEO. “It’s about creating something unique. Moving up another spot in the rankings is really nice but that’s not our focus. This has happened as a result of who and what we are.”

In an era of consolidation in Canada’s accounting profession, with larger firms acquiring smaller accounting firms as well as specialty service boutiques, MNP is undoubtedly the merger king. Last year alone, MNP brought six firms into the fold, adding about 30 partners and 125 professional staff. The acquisitions also continued to broaden MNP’s footprint in Ontario, with four mergers taking place last year.