MNP Merges in White + Abbott, Winsor Coombs

Calgary, Alberta-based MNP has acquired White + Abbott and Winsor Coombs, both located in the area of St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. The merger is effective June 1.

MNP, formerly known as Meyers Norris Penny, offers tax, accounting and advisory services from more than 80 locations in Canada, and is looking to add to its growing presence in the eastern part of the country. MNP is the largest accounting firm in Canada after the Big 4.

“We’ve been delighted to help MNP grow as a part of the Nova Scotia community over the last few years and are excited to do the same here in Newfoundland and Labrador by welcoming not just one, but two well-established accounting firms that share our values and client-centric approach,” says Kirk Higgins, MNP’s regional MP for Atlantic Canada.

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Abacus Worldwide to Merge in JHI

Two associations plan to merge on Sept. 1: Miami-based Abacus Worldwide, which represents both law and accounting firms, and JHI of Hillside, N.J.

The combined global business association – to be known as Abacus Worldwide ­– will focus on the key initiatives of business referrals, knowledge exchange and practice management tools going forward.

JHI plans to finalize its vote to merge into Abacus Worldwide following its general meeting in Lisbon, Portugal, in July. Brian Pashen, JHI International chairman, says merging will increase geographic coverage and global connections to both accounting and law firms.

When both associations join, the organization will have 125 legal and accounting firm members, with 5,600 total staff in 236 offices in 56 countries.

“Going forward, our strategy will focus on regional efforts and further supporting member needs. We are confident that we will have a great future together,” says Abacus Worldwide president and CEO Julio Gabay.

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Carr Riggs & Ingram Merges In Barraclough & Associates

Enterprise, Ala.-based Carr Riggs & Ingram (FY18 net revenue of $306 million) has acquired Barraclough & Associates of Santa Fe, N.M.

Barraclough & Associates provides accounting, bookkeeping and tax services to individuals and businesses, including financial statements, budgets, cash flow management, audits, tax planning and new business consulting.

CRI has expertise ranging from basic accounting services, to tax review, compilation, preparation and general business consulting. They also offer tax services to corporate entities, individuals, and trusts with particular industry expertise delivered to health care, legal services, and the oil and gas industries. More than 1,800 CRI professionals serve clients across the South.

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H&CO Merges in EFA CPAs & Business Advisors

Emilio F. Alvarez

H&CO (FY18 net revenue of $14.5 million), with three offices in South Florida, has merged in EFA CPAs & Business Advisors of Miami.

The merger is expected to strengthen H&CO’s newly formed audit division and will allow the company to provide specialized audit and consulting services as well as grow EFA’s existing construction accounting niche, the firms announced. H&Co operates from Coral Gables, Brickell and Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Armando Hernandez

“We welcome Emilio F. Alvarez and his team to our family,” says Armando Hernandez, H&CO CEO and president. “The cultures of our two firms are a perfect match. EFA takes the same level of pride in the services that they provide to their clients as we do.”

By combining the specialized international tax expertise of H&CO and the construction accounting experience of EFA, this merger creates a larger and more comprehensive offering of international construction accounting. “By combining our talented professionals, there are no limits to what we can accomplish,” says Hernandez.

Alvarez, EFA founder and MP, will join H&CO as MP of the audit division and will be responsible for the overall strategic function and objectives of the audit team.

“H&CO and EFA are two firms with very similar cultures, identical views of the future and practices that complement each other. It was only logical to get together. Our strength together is bigger than the sum of the parts,” Alvarez says. “With a stronger tax and auditing platform and a well-trained staff we will continue to provide excellent service to many industries as well as to domestic and foreign high net worth individuals.”

Baker Tilly Acquires Talavant to Bolster Data Analytics Services

Chicago-based Baker Tilly (FY19 net revenue of $754.8 million) has acquired a data analytics consulting firm to expand Baker Tilly Digital services.

Madison, Wis.-based Talavant is a business intelligence consulting firm founded in 2015 that has quadrupled in size since then. The team has worked to leverage data to save their clients time and money. The combination is expected to be complete on April 1.

“Teaming Talavant’s deep analytics capabilities with Baker Tilly’s advanced technology solutions and industry specialization creates a unique combination of skills, knowledge and bench strength to help our clients anticipate market conditions and make strategic decisions,” principal and Baker Tilly digital leader John Runte says.

Baker Tilly Digital, launched in November 2019, offers data analytics and technology solutions to help companies with digital transformation challenges.

Dave DuVarney

“Joining forces with Baker Tilly broadens our capabilities to serve the growing needs of our clients and provide exciting opportunities for our team members,” says Dave DuVarney, Talavant president.

Baker Tilly Digital offers the firm’s most technical services, from analytics and cloud strategies to its own Digital | Labs, a development incubator of next-generation tools and services. The team includes technologists, data scientists, intelligent automation practitioners and emerging technology leaders.

Other recent acquisitions include the addition of Plano, Texas-based Montgomery Coscia Greilich and a three-way combination with municipal advisory firms H.J. Umbaugh and Associates and Springsted Incorporated. Both deals were announced in January of 2019.

In 2018, Baker Tilly added global financial investigations firm RGL Forensics and expanded to Houston with the addition of MiddletonRaines+Zapata.

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Eide Bailly Merges in HMWC

Fargo, N.D.-based Eide Bailly (FY19 net revenue of $341.7 million) has merged in Tustin, Calif.-based HMWC CPAs & Business Advisors (FY19 net revenue of $17.9 million).

The deal, effective May 18, will add 13 partners and 80 staff to Eide Bailly and a new office in Orange County, Calif., in addition to the 10 it already operates in the state.

“The addition of HMWC enhances our California team with a strong commitment to client service, talented staff and a culture that matches our own dedication to being a firm of choice for clients and staff,” says MP and CEO Dave Stende.

HMWC , founded 52 years ago, specializes in medical, dental, construction and real estate clients.

“Joining forces with Eide Bailly will help us serve our clients even better by allowing us to offer additional resources and services to our clients that will help them achieve their goals,” says MP Steve Williams. “We will be able to enhance our ability to serve our clients with additional expertise and talent in areas such as technology consulting, specialized tax services and more that will help them succeed in today’s business environment.”

He adds that staff will also benefit with opportunities for learning and professional growth “to pursue their passions, which in turn will enrich our clients’ experiences.”

Koltin Consulting Group and Gary Shamis of Winding River Consulting advised both two firms.

“HMWC had opportunities with many regional and national firms, but the culture match with Eide Bailly, as well as the leadership and growth opportunities for both clients and their people, made this a great match between two high-performing and well-respected firms,” says Allan Koltin, CEO of Koltin Consulting Group.

Eide Bailly will have more than 350 partners and 2,500 staff after the merger takes effect.

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Wipfli Acquires Punchkick Interactive to Expand its Digital Services

Punchkick Interactive of Chicago, a digital consulting firm, will join Milwaukee-based Wipfli (FY19 net revenue of $362.5 million) on March 1.

Since 2006, Punchkick has focused on designing and developing mobile apps and websites for some of the world’s noteworthy brands. Punchkick’s engineers and designers will become part of Wipfli Digital, which offers digital and technology services that include strategy, experience, process and security.

“We’ve been quite impressed with Punchkick’s track record and technical expertise in delivering custom software development services to businesses seeking creative ways to better connect to their customers,” says Wipfli MP Kurt Gresens.

Co-founder and CEO of Punchkick, Zak Dabbas, says, “As part of Wipfli Digital, we’ll be able to better serve and drive impactful results for our mid-market clients who often stand to benefit the most from digital innovation but are largely under-served. With this combination, we’ll also be able to offer our clients the flexibility and approachability of a boutique firm with the resources and expertise of a large consultancy.”

Wipfli Digital will now offer the following expanded services:

  • Mobile application and software development
  • Data analytics and customer insights
  • Platforms that enhance customer experience
  • eCommerce, sales and marketing

Following the effective date, the firm will have more than 2,600 associates in 50 offices.

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IPA INSIDER: February 2020 News

Listed below are the Top 10 most-read stories on the INSIDE Public Accounting blog for the month of February.

  1. CLA Announces Acquisition of Weil & Company
  2. Robert Marzan Joins Cullari Carrico as a Partner
  3. Modeling The Right Behavior When Deadlines Are Tight And Stress Is High
  4. Moss Adams Admits 28 New Partners
  5. Partners Can Be Complacent And Ego-Driven, But Their Success = Firm Success
  6. Frazier & Deeter Acquires Consulting Firm Arch + Tower
  7. Cherry Bekaert Expands Digital Advisory Services with Icimo Acquisition
  8. UHY LLP Welcomes COO, New Partner in Capital Region
  9. Schneider Downs Announces Plan for New Co-MP
  10. REDW Merges in HR Consulting and Legal Practice

Clark Schaefer Hackett Acquires Business Management Resources

Cincinnati-based Clark Schaefer Hackett (FY18 net revenue of $64.8 million) has acquired Business Management Resources (BMR), a managed accounting services provider to a global restaurant chain.

The firm says businesses have a growing need for back-office support so it is investing more in managed service solutions.

“This acquisition is a continued expansion of our capabilities beyond compliance work,” says Kerry Roe, president of CSH. “The BMR team brings a proven, process-driven system for serving franchises and we aim to grow their network and pursue opportunities with other franchise systems.”

BMR founder James Back is a franchise owner himself. “Jim brings great perspective to us as a franchise owner. He knows the business inside and out and he’s an expert at franchise financials,” continues Roe. “Likewise, CSH can bring added benefits to the table like data analytics, technology and infrastructure.”

“Joining CSH increases my team’s core accounting and financial advisory capabilities and our ability to add value to our client’s business,” Back says. “We are better positioned to serve our clients well into the future.”

Back and three employees will join CSH’s East Lansing, Mich., office.

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GBQ Partners Expands to Toledo Area

Columbus, Ohio-based GBQ Partners LLC (FY18 net revenue of $31.7 million) has announced that Weber Clark of Sylvania, Ohio, has joined the firm.

Weber Clark, founded in 1980, has a complementary culture and shares GBQ’s commitment to providing service of exceptional quality, integrity and objectivity, GBQ says.

“GBQ is growing in Ohio, responding to increasing demand for our services,” says Darci Congrove, managing director. “Joining with Weber Clark is an important step in our journey to build a regional firm with deep resources.”

Weber Clark founder Jim Weber and his team join GBQ to bring the total staff count to 219. Weber and his fellow partners will become partners at GBQ and will lead GBQ’s Toledo-area office.

“We have worked with GBQ team members on client matters for several years. The combination of the two firms will support our firm’s continued growth and ability to provide strategic ideas and solutions to our growing clients,” Weber says.

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