Dixon Odom and Crisp Hughes Evans to Merge

Dixon Odom PLLC and Crisp Hughes Evans LLP have agreed to merge their firms and affiliated entities, effective January 1, 2004. The combined Firm will be known as Dixon Hughes PLLC. With total revenues of nearly $95 million and a staff of more than 725 in 24 cities in eight states, Dixon Hughes will be the largest certified public accounting firm headquartered in the Southeast region.

The Firm will be headquartered in North Carolina with other offices and affiliated entities in Alabama, California (dealership advisory services), Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia. Eddie Sams, Executive Member of Dixon Odom, and Ken Hughes, Managing Partner of Crisp Hughes Evans, will share the leadership of the new organization as Co-Managing Members.

"We recognized a striking resemblance between each firm's goals, culture, infrastructures, and client service philosophies," said Hughes. "Our practice structures complement each other remarkably well by strategically rounding out our geographic footprint and bringing more resources to our clients. It was very clear that by working together, we could bring more value to our client relationships."

"Our goal in combining the firms is to become even better, not just bigger." said Sams. "By combining resources and similar cultures we are creating even greater opportunities - for the Firm, our staff, and our clients."

With client bases and resources combined, Dixon Hughes will have substantial industry concentrations in healthcare, auto dealerships, financial institutions, insurance, manufacturing, distribution, real estate, construction, governmental, and not-for-profit.

In addition to providing traditional services in the areas of accounting, auditing, and tax, the Firm will offer a complete line of services designed to enhance operational efficiencies and improve bottom lines, including business valuation and litigation support, business succession and continuation, fraud and forensics, corporate finance, financial planning, employee benefits design and administration, and technology consulting.

To assist public companies in complying with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, Dixon Hughes will offer a complete line of corporate governance and risk assurance assistance. Both Dixon Odom and Crisp Hughes Evans were recently granted authorization by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) to prepare and issue audit reports for publicly held companies.

Dixon Hughes will be a member of Moores Rowland International (MRI), the world's 8th largest network of independent accounting firms with over $1.5 billion in annual revenue. Through its membership in this global network of 170 member firms located in 92 countries, Dixon Hughes will enhance its ability to serve its clients, both nationally and internationally. Eddie Sams currently serves as worldwide Chair of this organization.

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