Two Boston-Area Firms Combine

Kenneth Freed & Company of Boston acquired the practice of Philip R. Dardeno CPA of Reading, Mass. Dardeno will become a principal in the combined firm.

“He [Dardeno] is a well-known expert in the Boston area and beyond,” says Charles Hulbert Jr. owner and partner of Kenneth Freed & Company. “Joining forces is an excellent opportunity, and is mutually beneficial toward succession planning for both parties involved.”

Kenneth Freed & Company, founded in 1979, has practice specialties in individual business and trust taxation, advisory services, and third-party attestation, while Philip R. Dardeno’s firm brings a wide variety of clients, as well as niche specialties in tax audits, appeals, planning, and state and local tax issues.

The firms were introduced by consultant Ron Loberfeld who specializes in mergers and acquisitions for small and medium sized firms.

Brown Edwards Acquires Gibbons & Kawash

Roanoke, Va.-based Brown Edwards (FY17 net revenue of $37.5 million) acquired Gibbons & Kawash of Charleston, W.Va., effective Jan. 1, 2018.

“We have known the professionals of Gibbons & Kawash for a very long time,” says Jason Hartman, MP of Brown Edwards. “In fact, we were both part of the same national alliance and realized early on we had a lot of similar philosophies in our approach to client service and a shared emphasis on professional development. This is a great opportunity to bring together some of the best multi‐disciplinary professionals in our field and leverage their talents to its advantage of our clients.”

“While we are very proud of the history of Gibbons & Kawash, we also recognized that the next step for our team and clients was to merge with a firm of comparable quality that would enable us to expand services to our clients. We look forward to staying on the cutting edge of the changes so prevalent in today’s financial and accounting services markets, ” says managing director Valerie Ellis. “Brown Edwards shares our commitment to helping our clients grow and succeed, and the merger will broaden and deepen our existing industry specializations, allowing us to offer more comprehensive business advice tailored to our clients, while enabling us to focus more on our specialized niche areas as well.”

Barfield Murphy Shank & Smith Acquires Hindsman

Birmingham, Ala.-based Barfield Murphy Shank & Smith (FY16 net revenue of $18.7 million) acquired Hindsman PC of Gadsden, Ala., effective Jan. 1, 2018.

Currently, Hindsman provides a broad range of accounting, tax, audit and advisory services to both businesses and individuals throughout northeast Alabama. These services also include an outsourced bookkeeping practice as well as payroll services. The firm works with clients in a variety of industries such as medical practices, manufacturing and construction.

“For many years, we have witnessed, admired and respected how BMSS has taken care of its people and its clients throughout the state,” says Scott Hindsman. “Their culture and primary mission closely mirror ours. The skill sets of both firms are complementary to one another. It just seemed to make sense to bring the two firms together.”

“This merger is significant for all of us,” says BMSS founding partner Don Murphy. “In Hindsman PC, we found people who, like us, could add real value at every stage of an organization’s life cycle with strengths that complement and extend our own. Beyond that, we feel that they’re a great fit with our people, our culture and our mission of delivering an exceptional client experience.”

CliftonLarsonAllen Acquires NSBN LLP

Minneapolis-based CliftonLarsonAllen (FY16 net revenue of $755.9 million) will acquire NSBN LLP (FY17 net revenue of $18.3 million) of Los Angeles, effective Jan. 1, 2018.

“A personal touch is what this business is all about,” says Ken Miles, NSBN MP. “Our clients trust us to guide significant and, often, personal decisions that affect their futures. CLA shares our belief that, in order to help someone, you have to first know them. That may sound simple, but, in practice, it shifts every interaction you have and uncovers meaningful opportunities to help.”

“My biggest reward is when I am able to give my clients information they didn’t have before,” says Dennis Ayers, NSBN partner. “Expanding our resources allows us to do more for our clients as they advance toward their unique goals.”

“For more than 60 years, clients have trusted NSBN to listen and act in their best interests,” says Larry Taylor, CLA chief practice officer, Southwest region. “We are committed to continue advancing that trust by listening closely to clients, in order to bring forward ideas that contribute to their success.”

Allan Koltin, CEO, Koltin Consulting Group, Inc., who advised both firms on the combination, comments, “NSBN saw the CLA platform as a great way to provide additional value added services to their clients and create a great growth opportunity for their people. NSBN is one of the most respected firms in Los Angeles with a wonderful tradition and culture and that is in large part what attracted CLA to them. CLA’s great leadership, innovation, and commitment to investing in talent, technology, and training have made them one of the firms that everyone wants to emulate.”

SEK&Co. Acquires Flurie Slick & Kinnett

Hagerstown, Md.-based Smith Elliott Kearns & Company (FY16 net revenue of $18.1 million) acquired Flurie Slick & Kinnett also of Hagerstown. Michael Flurie and Jack Slick will join as partners, bring four professionals.

FS&K specializes in accounting and income tax consulting for closely-held businesses and individuals. Both firms have deep roots in the Hagerstown area and the addition strengthens SEK&Co.’s position to provide leadership in tax, audit, accounting and consulting.

“These seasoned accountants bring depth, experience and a culture fit to our already strong team of professionals in Maryland,” says managing member of SEK&Co., John Schnitzer.

SingerLewak Merges with Kakimoto & Nagashima

Los Angeles-based SingerLewak LLP (FY16 net revenue of $44.5 million) merged with Kakimoto & Nagashima of Torrance, Calif. Kakimoto & Nagashima will retain its name and will become a division of SingerLewak.

“As our practice and client profile continues to evolve locally and internationally, we continue to look for ways to deliver value. Combining with Kakimoto & Nagashima, LLP, was a logical next step in accomplishing our mission to be one of the best accounting and consulting firms in the middle market space. We will continue to build on our mission to be the firm of choice where family business owners, emerging companies, multi-nationals and public companies can turn to for innovative solutions for their growing businesses,” says Jim Pitrat, MP.

“Combining our operation with the resources and entrepreneurial spirit of SingerLewak allows our firm to scale our reach and range of services so that we may continue delivering superior value to our clients. For the past 38 years, Kakimoto & Nagashima, and its predecessors, have established valuable relationships with our clients and our community and we are proud to continue this legacy with SingerLewak. Together, we are certain our mutual commitment to excellence will bring value-added resources to our local and international clients on a much broader scale,” says Gerald Kakimoto.

Wipfli Acquires Sattell Johnson Appel & Co.

Milwaukee-based Wipfli (FY17 net revenue of $274.8 million) acquired Sattell Johnson Appel & Co. of Menomonee Falls, Wis. This is the fifth firm to join Wipfli this year and the second Milwaukee-based firm to join Wipfli in the last 12 months.

“This combination will benefit Wipfli by further strengthening our resources and market presence in southeastern Wisconsin, which has always been a key market for us. The combination presents Wipfli with opportunities to further add to our talented team of professionals and build on our already strong client base of privately held businesses, nonprofit organizations and high-net-worth individuals,” says Rick Dreher, Wipfli’s MP.

Founded in 1954, SJA provides accounting, audit, tax and financial planning services with a strong focus on serving privately held businesses, nonprofit organizations and high-net-worth individuals. As part of this combination, 33 SJA professionals, including three shareholders, have joined Wipfli.

Allan Koltin, CEO of Koltin Consulting Group, who advised both firms on the merger says, “SJA is recognized in the Milwaukee market for it’s great reputation and as one of the most prestigious CPA firms. They were approached by numerous regional and national firms but in the end selected Wipfli as they felt they had a similar culture, great depth of services for their clients, and tremendous growth opportunities for their people. Wipfli continues to be recognized nationally by their peers as one of the most innovative and successful firms in the country.”

DGC Acquires Sabelli & Company

Woburn, Mass.-based DiCicco Gulman & Company (FY16 net revenue of $23.5 million) has acquired Sabelli & Company of Peabody, Mass.

For 35 years, Sabelli has specialized in small business accounting, tax and part-time CFO services for businesses and their owners. Joining DGC will be Terri Sabelli, Joe Sabelli and their team of six client service professionals.

“As part of our strategy to add services that bring value to our existing and future clients, we are pleased to announce the formation of DGC’s accounting and business advisory services group,” says Laurie Austin, MP at DGC.

“Having worked extensively with both firms, I cannot imagine a better synergistic fit. Without Sabelli’s expertise and guidance for decades, our business would never have had an opportunity to work with DGC. Sabelli and DGC helped transform a successful small business into a high growth platform entity that was ultimately acquired by a large public firm. Adding these resources will provide tremendous value to both existing client bases, and additional growth opportunities,” says Michael Trigilio, president of Personal Care of Amedisys, Inc.

With the addition of Sabelli, DGC will now have over 140 professionals with offices in Boston and Woburn.

Two Nebraska Firms Merge

E&H CPA & Management Consultants of Scottsbluff, Neb., has acquired Robert Abramson of Kimball, Neb.

The firm will be managed by Bob Abramson and his current staff and will continue to offer professional services in accounting, tax and bookkeeping. In addition, the firm will have the resources to offer personal financial planning, business exit planning solutions, valuation, litigation support and expert witness services.

Gettry Marcus Acquires New York Firm

Woodbury, N.Y.-based Gettry Marcus (FY16 net revenue of $21.7 million) acquired JM CPA LLP of New York, effective Dec. 1.

Gettry Marcus welcomes three new partners from JM: Alan Willinger, Steven Eller and Steve Bibas, along with JM staff. They will also now serve clients internationally through membership in the MSI Global Alliance.

“Our staff will enjoy greater professional and personal development opportunities with a larger organization,” says Willinger. “The firm’s expansive service offerings will also allow us to add more value to our clients as their organizational needs continue to grow.”

“This merger allows us to leverage our combined expertise to provide a wider range of services as well as further increase our NYC presence,” says Steven Marcus, MP of Gettry Marcus. “We will work together as one firm to bring value to our clients, employees and community.”