Archives for October 2014

Two IPA 100 Firms Announce Merger

Greenville, S.C.-based Elliott Davis LLC (FY14 net revenue of $70.2 million) and Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Joseph Decosimo & Co. (FY13 net revenue of $37.2 million) announced plans to merge effective Jan. 1. The combined firm will be known as Elliott Davis Decosimo.

Rick Davis, MP of Elliott Davis, will lead the combined firm. Decosimo MP Nick Decosimo will serve on the executive committee, which will be comprised of representatives from both firms. Decosimo and Elliott Davis bring distinct markets and complementary areas of specialization to the merger. The combined firm will maintain all current office locations while making strategic investments in key practice areas and expanding its professional staff over the coming years.

“Our firms share common cultures and a commitment to providing superior service and expertise to our clients,” says Decosimo. “We look forward to building upon our individual successes to create a firm with a more powerful regional focus and an even broader array of capabilities and expertise to better serve our clients.”

“This combination positions us to serve our clients with an even broader range of expertise across a wider geographic footprint,” says Davis. “We are excited about the growth opportunities this will bring to not only our clients, but also to our people.”

“This has been part of our ongoing strategy,” Davis. “We looked at the big picture five years ago of where we were and where we wanted to be, and have been pursuing growth opportunities inside that geographic area.” Davis confirms that conversations with Decosimo picked up 16-18 months ago,  and adds, “Decosimo, from a geographic perspective, was in synch with where we have been looking. But more than that, the culture is a good fit.”

Regarding the name change to Elliott, Davis, Decosimo, Davis tells IPA that “we’ve had a tremendous brand in Elliott, Davis in our marketplace, and Decosimo has had a tremendous brand in theirs. It only makes sense to combine the names and take advantage of the successes of both firms.”

Davis and Decosimo MP Nick Decosimo made announcements together on Oct. 29 – first to the Decosimo staff and then to the Elliott, Davis & Co. staff. “There was a lot of positive energy and excitement from both firms. This gives us a lot of momentum going forward.”

Two Accounting Firms Announce Merger

Libman, Goldstine, Kopperman & Wolf of Cleveland, will merge with Akron, Ohio-based Bober, Markey, Fedorovich on Nov. 1, according to Crain’s Cleveland Business. Richard Fedorovich, MP and CEO at Bober Markey, said the merger aligns with the firm’s ongoing plans for expansion into Greater Cleveland. The merger is an effort to spur expansion efforts faster than organic growth alone can provide, Fedorovich said. The converged firm will comprise more than 100 employees and 47 CPAs.

“Cleveland is going through an economic recovery and a renaissance in very many ways,” says Keith Libman, a partner at Libman Goldstine. “This combination for both Bober Markey and Libman Goldstine will create a platform to be part of that very exciting growth going on in Greater Cleveland.”

Allan Koltin, CEO of Koltin Consulting Group Inc., who advises CPA firms on mergers and acquisitions, said he believes the merger is a “perfect” move for Bober Markey because of its desire for growth and mutually beneficial for Libman Goldstine because of the instant expansion of its potential customer reach. “This will give (Libman Goldstine), overnight, a lot of the resources to provide expanded services to existing clients,” says Koltin. “It will also provide them opportunities to target potential clients that they may not have had an opportunity to reach with the size that they were at.”

Peterson Sullivan Promotes Two to Partner

Scott Jaeger

Scott Jaeger

Seattle-based Peterson Sullivan LLP (FY14 net revenue of $26.3 million) announced two partner promotions, Scott Jaeger and Mark Mitchell.

Jaeger was admitted to partner in the tax practice. He brings more than 17 years of experience in tax planning and compliance for individuals, small businesses, estates and trusts. As a certified financial planner, he offers distinctive advice and solutions to high-net-worth individuals, small business owners, startup companies, law firms and consulting firms.

Mark Mitchell

Mark Mitchell

Mitchell was admitted to partner, director of valuation services. He has more than 20 years of experience in the valuation of business assets for gift and estate tax purposes, acquisition, divestiture, strategic planning, stockholder disputes, employee stock ownership plans and fairness and solvency opinions. He frequently values debt instruments and other specialized securities, including convertible bonds, preferred stock, options and warrants.

“Our two new partners bring decades of experience providing exemplary service to clients across industries,” says Chris Russell, MP of Peterson Sullivan. “Their addition to our partnership highlights our commitment to growing each of our lines of services, including tax, audit and consulting.”

Grant Thornton Names Loretto International Business Center Director

Chicago-based Grant Thornton LLP (FY13 net revenue of $1.3 billion) named Joseph Loretto, audit partner, international business center (IBC) director for the Americas and Central region, based in the firm’s Houston office.

Grant Thornton’s IBC directors are a point of connection for professionals throughout the firm, handling international-related inquiries and opportunities and serving as a liaison for Grant Thornton International Ltd., (GTIL) member firms. The firm has four IBCs in the United States, each strategically aligned with a national and international region. Lou Centanni leads the Europe, India, Middle East and Africa IBC and the firm’s East region, based in New York; Scott Farber leads the Asia Pacific IBC and the West region, based in Los Angeles; and Jason Ramey serves as the head of U.S. IBCs as national MP of international client services, based in Chicago.

“Joseph brings to this role proven leadership experience as well as a deep familiarity with many of the complex challenges facing our clients doing business in North and South America,” says Ramey. “He will be integral in continuing to strengthen our Americas IBC and GTIL member firm relationships.”

Barie Elected to Serve as Chair of AICPA

Tommye Barie

Tommye Barie

Tommye Barie was elected the new chair of the board of directors of the AICPA. In her acceptance speech, Barie compared the nimbleness and strength required in kite-boarding –one of her favorite sports – with the skills CPAs must wield in an increasingly competitive global economy.

“You can’t control the wind, but you can ride it,” says Barie, a partner with Atlanta-based Mauldin & Jenkins LLC (FY14 net revenue of $46.3 million). “This is a good analogy for what we continually face in our profession. External forces change the landscape seemingly overnight, and we ride that constantly changing wind.”

Barie was elected to the one-year volunteer post by the AICPA Governing Council at its fall meeting. Timothy Christen, chairman and CEO of Baker Tilly, was voted in as vice chair.

Grassi & Co. Teams Up With St. Francis Food Pantries and Shelters

New York-based Grassi & Co. (FY14 net revenue of $40.9 million) is giving back to the community as the holiday season approaches.

The firm nearly shut down its entire business Oct. 24 for its annual Firm Day event. MP Lou Grassi brought almost 200 of his employees to the Skyline Hotel for a day of service with St. Francis Food Pantries and Shelters to prepare thousands of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for hungry New Yorkers.

“St. Francis Food Pantries and Shelters is a fantastic organization here in New York City that provides clothing, food, school supplies and more to so many people in need. My team and are I excited to have the opportunity to contribute,” says Grassi.

Hoosier CPAs Paint Positive Picture of the Economy

Indiana CPAs are optimistic about the potential for economic growth in the next six to 12 months, according to a recent poll conducted by the Indiana CPA Society.

The poll asked nearly 100 Indiana CPAs who serve in roles of either MP in CPA firms of all sizes or CFO in public or private companies were asked about prospects for economic growth. Specific segments surveyed included these five economies: the U.S. economy, Indiana’s economy, their local economy (city or county), their industry and their firm or company.

A majority of respondents were either “very optimistic” or “moderately optimistic” about economic growth in all five segments. The most optimism was indicated for their own firm or company with 69%. Indiana’s economy also received a high degree of optimism with 60%. The CPA’s local economy came in at 52% optimistic, while the U.S. economy and the industry that the CPA’s firm or company serves were both at 51%.

Perhaps even more telling was that the level of pessimism (a combination of “moderately pessimistic” and “very pessimistic”) was relatively low in all segments. The CPA’s firm or company was just 15%, Indiana’s economy 18%, the CPA’s industry 20%, the U.S. economy 21%, and the CPA’s local economy 22%.

The industries of the survey respondents covers a cross section of Indiana’s businesses. In addition to public accounting firms, the list included industries such as automotive, banking, construction, distribution, health care, insurance, landscape services, legal, manufacturing, not for profit, printing, public education, real estate, restaurant, technology and transportation.

Arnett Foster Toothman and Carbis Walker Announce Merger

Charleston, W. Va.-based Arnett Foster Toothman PLLC (FY13 net revenue of $20.7 million) and New Castle, Pa.-based Carbis Walker LLP announced that they will be merging. The new firm, Arnett Carbis Toothman LLP, will become official Jan. 1.

“This is a welcome merger of two highly diverse and well-managed firms who share similar corporate cultures and philosophies,” says Steve Robey, CEO of the new firm. “It is a bold and an exciting move not only for our firms but for our region. Our combined expertise makes Arnett Carbis Toothman ideally positioned to provide clients even higher levels of service and counsel, and in broader areas.”

Arnett Carbis Toothman’s Pennsylvania offices will include locations in New Castle, Pittsburgh, and Meadville, complementing West Virginia offices in Charleston, Bridgeport, Buckhannon, Morgantown and Lewisburg, as well as Columbus, Ohio.

“The new firm immediately enhances our existing niche sectors and strengthens new business opportunities,” says James Hunt, formerly Carbis MP who will now be chairman of the firm’s executive committee. “Our combined expertise and experience in sectors such as health care, construction, financial institutions, oil and gas/natural resources, and manufacturing, among others, will certainly be an asset to clients requiring world-class service over a regional footprint.”

Allan Koltin, CEO of Koltin Consulting Group, who advised both firms on the merger commented, “this merger represents a new and emerging trend in our profession in that it involves two Top 200 firms coming together to create a Top 100 firm.”


CRI Merges With Boohaker, Schillaci and Company

Enterprise, Ala.-based Carr, Riggs & Ingram, LLC (CRI) (FY13 net revenue of $161.3 million) has expanded by merging with Birmingham, Ala.-based Boohaker, Schillaci and Company. The Boohaker, Schillaci and Company offices will retain their current personnel and seven partners but now operate as Carr, Riggs & Ingram.

“CRI’s Birmingham office experienced double-digit organic growth this year, and this expansion perfectly aligns with our increasing client service and market demands,” says William Carr, chairman and MP of CRI. “Additionally, the Boohaker, Schillaci and Company team enhances our firm-wide depth of expertise in key client industries including construction, manufacturing and distribution, and health care.”

Boohaker, Schillaci and Company has served the greater Alabama area for more than 40 years by providing a broad range of accounting and advisory services to clients throughout a spectrum of industries. Specifically, the firm delivers highly specialized tax expertise in the sectors of oil and gas, real estate and timber.

The Bonadio Group Merges with New York Firm

Bevilacqua & Co. of Orchard Park, N.Y., and Pittsford, N.Y.-based The Bonadio Group (FY14 net revenue of $68.3 million) have finalized an arrangement to become one firm, and will operate under the Bonadio name beginning Nov. 1.

The merger will add seven employees – including two partners – to The Bonadio Group, for a total of 135 Bonadio employees in western New York, and about 500 across the firm. The new Bonadio partners are John Bevilacqua and Susan Bevilacqua.

“We are very much looking forward to welcoming the people, clients and friends of Bevilacqua & Co. to our firm,” says Tom Bonadio, CEO and MP of The Bonadio Group. “John and Susan are superb additions to our partnership, and the team they’ve assembled is top-notch. The result of this merger will help both Bevilacqua’s people and clients realize greater potential.”

“Of all the growth choices for our firm, merging with Bonadio makes sense on so many levels,” says John Bevilacqua, principal of Bevilacqua & Co. “We look forward to opening the door to so many more value-added services for our clients and advancement opportunities for our people.”