Alabama accounting firms merge

Birmingham, AL-based CPA firm, Lovoy Summerville & Shelton, has acquired Granberry & Associates based in the Auburn-Opelika area.

The combined firm will have 25 employees to serve more than 800 clients along U.S. 280 between the two cities, said Donald Howell, shareholder and partner of the firm.

"Now with two offices together, we can bring more specialized people in to offer more services," he said. "I think it will also allow us to truly capture the business expansion that is happening along the 280 corridor."

Analysts have suggested that many accounting firms will merge as more of the baby boomer generation reach retirement age.

Lovoy Summerville and Shelton has been in practice for 35 years and offers audit and tax services to individuals and privately held companies, along with financial consulting.

Howell, who is a graduate of Auburn University, bought the firm from fellow graduate Michelle Granberry after the two came up with the idea to join practices while attending a board meeting for the AU School of Accountancy. "We realized there may be an opportunity to join our practices together to better serve our clients," Howell said. "We are looking at all economic growth."

Granberry will now become a shareholder of the firm and manage the office in Auburn. She brings tax expertise in several areas, including dealing with real estate companies that build low-income and HUD homes, a new field of expertise the firm can add to its roster, Howell said. "It allows us to take that industry knowledge and further expand it in Birmingham."

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