Albany CPA Firm Expands with Acquisition, New Office

Wojeski & Co. of Albany, N.Y., has a new office and new employees following its acquisition of DeChants Fuglein & Johnson LLP of Latham, N.Y.

The acquisition added eight CPAs to Wojeski & Co.’s team, bringing the firm to 22 CPAs and 40 employees. Diane Fuglein and David Johnson have joined Wojeski as principals.

Additionally, Wojeski moved to a larger, newly renovated office at 159 Wolf Road that is designed to give the firm more space to grow, according to the Albany Business Review. The firm can add 10 to 15 more employees before it needs more space.

“We’re pleased to be partnering with DeChants Fuglein & Johnson,” says founding partner David Wojeski. “I’ve known the current partners for many years. They are true professionals who share our firm’s values of client service, technical expertise and integrity. This partnership will strengthen both firms and add value to all of our clients without impacting our unique culture.”

Principals in both firms sought out the alliance because “a larger organization will allow us to provide a wider array of services to our clients…and will also allow our associates to benefit from stronger career opportunities,” according to a statement.

Wojeski’s practice focuses on technology companies, credit unions, construction contractors and other businesses. DeChants Fuglein & Johnson’s practice focused on smaller businesses, including professionals and physicians, nonprofits and construction.

CBIZ Acquires Forensic Accounting Firm in San Diego

Cleveland-based CBIZ (FY18 net revenue of $785 million) has acquired Brinig Taylor Zimmer of San Diego.

Brinig Taylor Zimmer provides litigation consulting and expert witness services for a range of business and personal litigation, forensic accounting and business valuation services. The firm brings 17 employees and about $4 million in revenue to the union.

“Our forensic and financial services national practice has known and worked with the BTZ team for years. In addition to being one of the largest forensic accounting providers of its kind, BTZ is also one of the most experienced and respected firms in San Diego,” said CBIZ CEO Jerry Grisko in a statement. “This acquisition will add significant depth to our existing forensic accounting practice.”

“After 36 years of building a team-based forensic accounting and business valuation firm, the entire staff of Brinig Taylor Zimmer Inc. is thrilled to join CBIZ, a national leader in professional advisory services. We firmly believe that there is a synergistic benefit to the relationship with CBIZ and we look forward to serving our existing clients with the strength and support of CBIZ behind us,” principal Brian Brinig said in a statement.

This is CBIZ’s fourth deal of 2019. Others are The Wenner Group, a Denver accounting firm; Paytime, a payroll processor in Solon, Ohio; and Gavion, investment consultants in Memphis, Tenn.

According to Crain’s Cleveland Business, CBIZ reported after the second quarter that it has about $229.2 million available for additional deals, and that similar smaller acquisitions were likely. CFO Ware Grove told investors at the time the plan is to spend $18.1 million on deals throughout the rest of the year, $11.5 million in 2020 and $5.1 million in 2021 and $2.7 million in 2022, Cleveland Business reported.

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Thomas Howell Ferguson Acquires Dowdy & Whittaker

Tallahassee, Fla.-based Thomas Howell Ferguson (FY18 net revenue of $19 million) has acquired Dowdy & Whittaker CPAs of Brainbridge, Ga.

Dowdy & Whittaker CPAs, owned by John Dowdy and Charles Whittaker, for more than 30 years has been providing tax and accounting services, primarily tax preparation, accounting and consulting services. By joining with THF, the firm will be able to offer tax services, audit and assurance services, business consulting, merger and acquisition expertise, and disaster and emergency management services to the Bainbridge community and southwest Georgia, the firms announced.

Dowdy and Whittaker will stay involved with the firm while Dennis Gallant from the THF Tallahassee office will take on the role of the Bainbridge market leader. All Dowdy & Whittaker team members will remain with THF, continuing to serve clients from the Bainbridge office.

RSM Joins Forces with Gregory Sharer & Stuart

Chicago-based RSM USA LLP (FY19 net revenue of $2.4 billion) is acquiring Gregory Sharer & Stuart of St. Petersburg, Fla., on Oct. 1.

RSM announced that the firms have signed an agreement for RSM to acquire substantially all the assets of GSS, subject to certain terms and conditions.

This transaction expands RSM’s presence in the area, where RSM has a Tampa Bay office. The acquisition adds 60 professionals and an office in downtown St. Petersburg. It also improves the RSM’s growing audit, tax and consulting practices through the deep knowledge and experience of GSS, especially in real estate and construction, insurance, not-for-profit, manufacturing and health care.

Joining RSM as partners are GSS Office Managing Shareholder Jim Newman, the firm’s executive leadership committee and other shareholders, and their team will transition to RSM upon closing. Together, the firms will offer RSM’s full line of services.

“We have worked with the outstanding team at RSM over the past five years as a member of the RSM US Alliance, and we are excited to take this important step forward by joining RSM,” says Newman. “Our firms share a client-centric approach to doing business, and the same values, culture and people-focused philosophy. We especially look forward to continuing to provide the same outstanding service to our GSS clients, while offering a broader array of solutions – new consulting solutions in particular – to meet their ever-changing business needs. This transaction will also provide our professionals with expanded growth and development opportunities.”

“We are pleased to grow our presence in the vibrant Tampa Bay market with the addition of an outstanding firm and team,” says Joe Adams, MP and CEO of RSM US.

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Sax LLP Adds James D. Miller & Co. LLP to Strengthen Foothold in NYC

Clifton, N.J.-based Sax LLP (FY18 net revenue of $40 million), expanded its New York presence by merging with James D. Miller & Co. LLP of New York.

James D. Miller & Co. specializes in serving businesses, individuals, trusts and estates, and not-for-profit entities. Over its 115-year history, the firm has worked with families spanning multiple generations.

The newly combined firm under the Sax banner will continue to lend this expertise to its clients, in addition to specific industry guidance.

“Our aim has always been to provide the highest level of expertise and service offerings to our clients. Merging with Sax provides a great opportunity to bring additional knowledge and resources to those we serve,” says Erik A. Hanson, partner with James D. Miller & Co. “We feel confident that this alliance with Sax will thrive thanks to our similar service philosophies, expertise and commitment to our clients’ lifelong business and personal financial goals.”

Sax is now a 34-partner firm with 185 total employees, and four offices: two in New York, on Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue, and two in New Jersey in Clifton and Pennington.

“The James D. Miller & Co. team brings exceptional skill, expertise and experience to businesses and families and we believe having them join Sax will benefit our entire client base and team greatly,” says Sax MP Joseph A. Damiano.

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LBA Haynes Strand Acquires A Cherry Bekaert Office in N.C.

Matthews, N.C.-based LBA Haynes Strand (FY18 net revenue of $9.3 million) announced the acquisition of the Asheboro, N.C., office of Richmond, Va.-based Cherry Bekaert (FY19 net revenue of $219.3 million).

CEO John Bly says the acquisition is part of the firm’s growth plan to expand the firm’s footprint while adding high-quality team members to the Asheboro market. The firm employs nearly 80 professionals across five offices in North Carolina.

Cherry Bekaert partner Brad Crumpler has announced his retirement and will assist the firm through the transition period. Elizabeth Scott, senior associate, and Donna Smith, administrative assistant, will be joining the LBA Haynes Strand team.

LBA Haynes Strand principal Chris Bunting will continue to lead the firm’s assurance department while principals Dave Recchion and Courtney Ageon from the Greensboro office will maintain local relationships in the Asheboro community. The Greensboro office team will also be supporting clients in Asheboro.

LBA Haynes Strand plans to continue growing across North Carolina and the Southeast.

Marcum LLP Acquires OGH CPAs & Advisors

Jeffrey Weiner

New York-based Marcum LLP (FY18 net revenue of $549.7 million) announced that it has acquired OGH Certified Public Accountants & Advisors of Coral Gables, Fla., adding two partners, 17 associates and a second office in the Miami area.

OGH was a full-service CPA firm offering assurance, tax and accounting, consulting and property management services to clients in 10 industry sectors. The firm focused primarily on real estate developers, construction companies and real estate investors; export and wholesale distributors; and domestic and international tax services.

OMP Hiram D. Ocariz says joining Marcum means the team will be able to access national resources for its clients, “while having the opportunity to deepen the bench of talent in Marcum’s South Florida region.”

Jeffrey Weiner, Marcum CEO and chairman, says, “OGH’s strong position in a gateway city to the global economy, industry specialization, and culture based on integrity, excellence, strong client relationships and measurable results make OGH a perfect fit for Marcum.”

Michael Balter, MP for Marcum’s Southeast region, says, “OGH’s focused expertise is an additional asset in several of Marcum’s core industry groups, while also bringing experience in several new industries to our South Florida region.”

In addition to the two Miami offices, Marcum also has Florida offices in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.

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Two Tennessee Accounting Firms Join Forces

Whitlock & Company and Ingram Overholt & Bean, both located in Alcoa, Tenn., have announced they will join forces to create the largest accounting firm in Blount County.

The newly formed alliance will operate under the Whitlock & Company banner and will house a staff of over 33 accounting professionals.

“We believe that a larger organization will allow us to provide more depth and a wider array of services to our clients,” says Michael L. Whitlock, founding partner at Whitlock & Company. “We have worked with Ingram Overholt & Bean on behalf of several clients over the years, so our firms are already a natural fit. In addition, by developing a larger organization, our associates will benefit from more career opportunities.”

Both firms, which work on behalf of individuals and businesses in Blount, Knox and Sevier counties, began their professional practices in 1996. For each firm, growth over the years has been predominantly internal, stemming from the referrals. Each practice has experienced sustainable growth over the years, thanks in large part to the region’s balanced and growing economy, the firms announced.

Lonas D. Overholt, MP at Ingram Overholt and Bean, says, “Whitlock & Company shares the same values that we do. In addition, many of us at each firm began our careers together, so we are already like family. That is why this announcement has exceeded our hopes for a firm we can combine with and continue the tradition we each have for excellent service, deep expertise and an environment our clients and associates want to be a part of.”

All staff and leaders will be retained in their current roles. Ingram Overholt & Bean will move to the Whitlock & Company office in Alcoa after a renovation.

blumshapiro Merges In Cowan Bolduc Doherty

West Hartford, Conn.-based blumshapiro (FY18 net revenue of $83.4 million) has announced a merger with Cowan Bolduc Doherty (CBD) of North Andover, Mass.

The combination with CBD will expand the firm’s presence in Massachusetts to five locations, adding 20 professionals, including three partners.

“CBD’s strong and well-respected team of auditing, accounting and tax experts – and their reputation for providing exceptional client service – greatly complements blumshapiro and further supports our commitment to provide our clients the personal level of service that has contributed to our firm’s success,” says blumshapiro CEO Joseph A. Kask.

Stephen J. Doherty, partner at CBD, says, “Since our founding in 1988, CBD has fostered strong relationships with our clients in northeastern Massachusetts. For more than 30 years we have embraced growth and change, and this merger with blumshapiro is a natural next step in providing our clients with more resources while maintaining the personalized commitment they have come to expect from CBD.”

“This combination helps extend blumshapiro’s reach and leadership serving entrepreneurial clients in the Boston market,” says Gary Adamson, CEO of Adamson Advisory LLC, the advisor to both firms on this merger. “Cowan Bolduc Doherty has been a leader serving the Boston market for many years and was attracted to blumshapiro because of their outstanding talent pool and extensive range of services focused on the middle market.”

The merged firm will adopt the blumshapiro name. The North Andover office will join blum locations in Boston, Newton, Quincy and Worcester, Mass. The firm also has offices in West Hartford, Shelton and Marlborough, Conn., and Cranston, R.I.

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Massachusetts-Based Firm RBF Joins Withum

Rucci Bardaro & Falzone (RBF) of Woburn, Mass., has joined Princeton, N.J.-based WithumSmith+Brown (FY19 net revenue of $223.3 million), bringing five partners and about 30 team members to the firm. The RBF team will remain in Woburn.

MP Bill Rucci says, “Since its inception in 1985, RBF has been committed to providing clients with insightful, custom solutions while encouraging our own people toward superior achievement on behalf of our clients, our profession and themselves. Withum exemplifies the same ‘Withum Way’ philosophy of client-centric, personalized attention and a commitment to excellence which is tremendously important to us.”

Withum MP and CEO Bill Hagaman says the firm has been seeking the right fit in the area. “Finding the right strategic partner located in the Greater Boston business community is an important part of our vision for growth in the Northeast,” he says. “The RBF offices will further enhance our current Boston team, located in the Seaport district, in terms of expertise, geographic location and culture. Their expertise in servicing privately held businesses, not-for-profit organizations and high-net-worth individuals perfectly complements Withum’s current practice areas.”

Rucci says clients will benefit from a wider range of services. “We can now offer enhanced technology and advisory services such as digital workplace solutions and cyber and information security services, as well as robust tax and international services.”

Allan D. Koltin, CEO of Koltin Consulting Group who advised both firms, says, “The ‘Withum Way’ has proven to be a very attractive platform for entrepreneurial firms looking for greater depth and resources. RBF is a well-respected firm in the Greater Boston market that had numerous [larger] firms approach them about combining forces.” Withum plans to expand further into Florida and ultimately open an office in California, he says.

Combined, Withum and RBF serve industries that include construction, technology, financial and investment, health care, law and professional, labor organization, hospitality, life sciences, employee benefits, not-for-profit, manufacturing, consumer products and real estate.

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