CPA Firm Sold to Employees

Question: How do you get the employees of a CPA firm to treat the business as their own? Answer: Sell the business to them through an Employee Stock Ownership Program. That’s exactly what Minneapolis-based HLB Tautges Redpath Ltd. did earlier this month.

One hundred percent of the ownership of the firm will be redistributed from the partners to the 85 employees under the ESOP plan. Partners will continue in their role at the firm and will be paid an undisclosed amount of money over the next fifteen years for their stake in the business.

"We think its going to help us recruit people and help us retain people," said Jim Redpath, 46, vice president of tax operations at the 32-year-old business. "It helps create a pride of ownership."

One of the goals of the move is to position the firm to remain independent. The firm feels confident that remaining independent will allow them to capitalize on some of the business opportunities created by the aftermath of Enron, and feels that the ESOP move is a strategic one to assure the future independence and success of the firm.

Employee ownership is still a new phenomenon and relatively rare among public accounting firms. Just a handful of the largest 100 firms are employee owned, but the trend is growing.

You may like these other stories...

Here's a CPA who truly walks the walk. On March 15, Frank Ryan, CPA, departed San Diego, California, with plans to be in Ocean City, Maryland, by July 2 to teach a course at the Maryland Association of CPAs’ (MACPA...
When Theodore J. Flynn first joined the Massachusetts Society of CPAs (MSCPA) in 1970, it was a different world and a different profession.  The "Big Eight" were still headquartered in Boston. Vietnam War...
Accountant Rickey Charles Goodrich had it a little too good. Many bean counters would kill to serve as financial guru to the likes of Pearl Jam. Goodrich was hired in 2005, and the following year, he became the CFO of Curtis...

Already a member? log in here.

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Oct 30Many Excel users have a love-hate relationship with workbook links.
Nov 5Join CPA thought leader and peer reviewer Rob Cameron and learn ways to improve the outcome of your peer reviews while maximizing the value of your engagement workflow.
Nov 12This webcast presents basic principles of revenue recognition, including new ASU 2014-09 for the contract method. Also, CPAs in industries who want a refresher on revenue accounting standards will benefit.
Nov 18In this session Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA tackles what to do when bad things happen to good spreadsheets.