Carr Riggs & Ingram Expands in Atlanta

Enterprise, Ala.-based Carr Riggs & Ingram LLC (CRI) (FY16 net revenue of $235.8 million) has acquired AGH LLC of Atlanta, a $14 million firm.

“There’s no doubt that Atlanta has been booming non-stop for several decades,” says Bill Carr, chairman and MP of CRI. “Add to that a consistently growing economy, a healthy real estate and job market and easy global access via the world’s busiest airport, and it is a winning combination full of opportunities for a rapidly growing, innovative firm like CRI. We intend to continue building upon our position as a top player in this market and are pleased that AGH has joined us.”

“AGH has an exceptional client base and great depth of talent but felt CRI could provide additional resources to its clients and accelerated growth opportunities for their associates,” says Allan Koltin, CEO of Koltin Consulting Group, who advised both firms on the merger. “They also felt CRI’s commitment to strategic investments in technology, innovation, and training provided the perfect platform to grow their clients and people.”

Squar Milner Acquires Los Angeles Firm

Newport Beach, Calif.-based Squar Milner LLP (FY16 net revenue of $64.9 million) acquired three partners and all of the associates of Sobelman Cohen Moss & Associates (SCM) of Woodland Hills, Calif.  The effective date of the combination will be Nov. 1. SCM is a full-service accounting firm, which offers a broad range of services for business owners, executives and independent professionals.

“The combination will not only bolster our presence in L.A., but further our commitment to become the top full-service firm in the San Fernando Valley. They are truly a sophisticated firm which will fit perfectly with our Los Angeles-San Fernando Valley practice,” says Steve Milner, MP, Squar Milner.

The partners who will be joining Squar Milner include Mike Sobelman, Helaine Cohen and Liana Tovmasyan.

Baer & Co. Joins K·Coe Isom

Salina, Kan.-based K·Coe Isom (FY16 net revenue of $61 million) has acquired Baer & Co., which offices in Jackson and Columbia, Mo.

Jeff Baer and Dana Steffens are principals of K·Coe Isom, and all 23 employees are now K·Coe Isom employees. Jackson and Columbia became K·Coe Isom’s first Missouri offices, bridging the nearest locations in Lenexa, Kan., (a Kansas City suburb) and Oxford, Miss.

“Baer & Co. people instantly felt like a natural fit within our team, and we saw and felt this even more when we were all together two weeks ago. We have a shared passion for helping people, especially ag producers, beverage distributors and contractors,” says Jeff Wald, K·Coe Isom’s CEO. “Jeff Baer is a dynamic leader proven to think out of the box and committed to growth.”

Baer & Co was originally founded in 1995 by Baer and three employees. Through mostly organic growth and eventually an acquisition of a Columbia, Mo., firm in 2009, Baer & Co has become the firm it is today.

“I’ve always been growth focused,” says Baer. “About a year ago, I started appreciating how integrating with like-minded K·Coe Isom permitted us to be so much better together. It’s a pleasure to now be able to bring rich specialty service offerings to our clients such as estate, succession, sustainability and farm program services. I’m also eager to meet and work with many more businesses in Missouri and surrounding states having our larger K·Coe team helping to fulfill business-owners’ financial needs and growth dreams.”

BerganKDV Acquires Beltz Kies Darling & Associates

Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based BerganKDV announced it has acquired Beltz Kies Darling & Associates, an accounting firm in Farmington, Minn., that has a strong niche in serving charter schools.

The acquisition, effective July 1, furthers BerganKDV’s vision of providing business, financial and technology solutions under one roof, the firm said in a release. “We’re looking forward to learning from the BKDA team on how they’ve built such a strong niche in charter schools,” BerganKDV President Loren Viere says. The firm has five offices in Iowa.

Two Hawaii Firms Combine

HiAccounting has acquired the CPA firm WR Financial, expanding its presence in Hawaii.

WR Financial, also known as WR Consulting, is based in Oahu and provides accounting, bookkeeping, financial consulting, and tax planning and preparation services to businesses and nonprofit clients.

WR was founded in 2000 and had 251 clients last year. Approximately three-quarters of its business is devoted to tax services, while the remainder is accounting and other services. HiAccounting currently services 50 clients and has served 112 unique clients since it was founded in 2009.

“It is a wonderful fit, as WR Financial is primarily a tax firm with some accounting services, and HiAccounting has been to date primarily focused on accounting and advisory services, with some tax work,” says Matthew Delaney, president of both HiAccounting and The Hawaii Group, in a statement. “When we merge the two businesses together, the result will be approximately two-thirds accounting and advisory services and one-third tax services.”

Fresno Firms Announce Merger

Two Fresno, Calif., accounting firms joined forces July 1 – Moore Grider & Co., with nine partners and 23 staff, and Lozano Lozano & Co.

Joining Moore Grider & Co. as partners are Phil Lozano, Ginger Lozano and Aaron Studt.

“This merger will allow us to continue to offer the same quality tax, accounting and consulting services without disruption to all our existing clients,” Phil Lozano said in a statement, according to the Fresno Business Journal.

Effective July 5, Lozano Lozano & Co. will move from its current office to Moore Grider & Co.’s location at 325 E. Sierra Ave. in Fresno.

LublinSussman Group to Join Clark Schaefer Hackett

Toledo, Ohio, accounting firm LublinSussman Group will be merged with Cincinnati-based Clark Schaefer Hackett (FY16 net revenue of $64.6 million), the firms announced.

“Combining our offices in Toledo increases our capacity to deliver excellent service to clients – both existing and new,” said CSH President Kerry Roe.

The Cincinnati firm has had a Toledo office, but the acquisition will expand its local presence and move its operations to the LublinSussman office. Clark Schaefer, which is a 79-year-old accounting and advisory firm, entered the Toledo market in 2012 when it acquired Brell Holt & Co.

Three LublinSussman managers will become Clark Schaefer partners: Lee Wunschel, Thomas Jaffee and Eric Golus.

Two Pennsylvania Firms Merge to Form Barsz Gowie Amon & Fultz

Two well-respected CPA firms based in Delaware and Chester counties in Pennsylvania have merged.

Steger Gowie & Co. merged with Merves Amon & Barsz on July 1, and the new firm, with 35 employees, is known as Barsz Gowie Amon & Fultz.

Both firms have deep roots and connections in Delaware County, with offices in Media and Chadds Ford. The newly merged firm will stretch from Delaware County well into Chester County, Lancaster County, Philadelphia, Harrisburg and south to Delaware and Washington, D.C., and beyond.

Ira Rosenbloom of Optimum Strategies was the strategic advisor to both parties.

“The leadership from both firms has long respected the work of the other,” says Bill Gowie, MP of the new firm. “We are bringing together two well-respected firms, each complementing the work of the other, and providing the community with strong, competent leadership in tax, auditing, accounting and business planning services.”

Steger Gowie built its reputation through its expert business planning services. The principals work with clients throughout the lifecycle of a business – from start-up through growth and even to a sale or a leadership transition.

Merves Amon & Barsz is known for its expertise in audit, accounting, tax and management consulting services. The firm’s leadership has developed considerable knowledge in Pennsylvania and federal campaign finance laws and compliance. The partners consider themselves “general practitioners” and clients include governments, municipal entities, businesses (both for profit and not-for-profit), individuals, and political campaigns and committees.

Barsz Gowie Amon & Fultz will continue to provide a full complement of auditing and accounting and tax services to its clients.

“We see this merger as one which will enhance opportunities for Delaware County and beyond as we more firmly plant our roots and establish ourselves as a leader in our industry, serving the businesses, families, and organizations we’ve served for so long throughout the region,” says partner Peter Barsz.

Dempsey and Team Join CLA in Idaho

Bill and Amy Dempsey, formerly of Riche Dempsey & Associates of Boise, Idaho, joined Minneapolis-based CliftonLarsonAllen (FY15 net revenue of $650.7 million) on June 26.

“Retaining the personal service approach we bring to our clients today is critical,” says Bill Dempsey. “Joining CLA allows us to do that, while broadening the capabilities and resources available to meet their personal needs.”

CLA, one of the largest firms in the country, offers an ever-widening range of wealth advisory, outsourcing and public accounting services.

“Bill and Amy help business owners run at peak performance, protect personal assets and create effective tax strategies,” says Ann Swindell, CLA’s PIC in Boise. “They can do this because they take time to both know and understand their clients.”

The Dempseys, along with Desiree Berg, Kellie Flory and Anna Rydman, join CLA’s team in the CLA Boise location.

Canada’s MNP Announces Two Mergers

Calgary, Alberta-based MNP, one of Canada’s largest accounting firms, has announced two mergers: Calliou Group, an Aboriginal-owned consulting firm in Calgary, and McDonald Thorne and Associates of Brockville, Ontario, an accounting and consulting firm.

Calliou Group joined MNP June 1. While Calgary-based Calliou Group was looking for an opportunity to offer more specialty services to its Aboriginal clients, MNP was looking to add more resources and capabilities to serve Aboriginal communities; a growing and key client group, the firm announced.

“Over the next 25 years, there will be many major development projects in Canada that will impact indigenous communities,” says Clayton Norris, vice president, Aboriginal services. With the addition of Calliou Group, we have a greater ability to develop and implement innovative strategies and solutions for the benefit of indigenous communities and all Canadians.”

Founded in 2008, Calliou Group has grown to become a strategic Aboriginal consultation specialist group for Aboriginal communities, government regulators and natural resource developers.

“What specifically drew us to MNP, was the fact that for more than two decades, MNP has partnered with over 200 Aboriginal communities across Canada and recognizes the needs of Aboriginal communities both in their unique planning and decision-making processes,” says Tracy Campbell, founder and owner, Calliou Group. “As the marketplace evolves, we believe becoming part of a national firm with an emphasis on local client-service delivery resources will serve our clients well and position us for continued success and growth.”

The Calliou Group team of five will move into the MNP Calgary office in early summer of 2017.

In addition, MNP announced that McDonald Thorne and Associates (MTA) will merge on July 1. While MTA was looking to deliver more specialty services to clients, MNP was looking to add resources and expand its presence in the Brockville area with a well-respected and client-focused firm that shares the same values.

“Long a manufacturing base for eastern Ontario, Brockville is successfully adapting to disruption and new economic realities by refocusing on other industries. This proactive approach and willingness to embrace change is what makes Brockville one of Canada’s fastest-growing economic hubs,” says Mike Dimitriou, MP for the Ottawa region.

MTA is an established firm of chartered professional accountants and consists of one partner, Hugh Thorne, and six team members, including Carl DeJong, who will also join MNP as a partner. MTA serves diverse industries, including clients in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors. Founded in 2002, the firm provides a wide range of accounting, tax and business advisory services in areas such as process improvement, valuations, succession services and more.

“As the marketplace evolves and business needs become more complex, we believe returning to the fold of a national firm with a local client service philosophy and greater breadth and depth of services and resources will serve our clients well,” says Thorne. “MNP serves a diverse group of clients – including businesses in the fields of agriculture, technology and media, professionals, real estate and construction, and more – and truly understands both the region and our clients’ needs.”

The MTA team will remain in their current location initially, before moving into MNP’s Brockville office once renovations have been completed.