Merger mania - several accounting firms announce merger plans

Maybe there's something in the water – many accounting firms are joining forces as the year comes to a close. Here are the latest entries on the merger roster:

In Indiana, Kemper CPA Group, with 27 offices in Illinois, Indiana, California, Florida, and Kentucky, has announced a merger with Evansville, Indiana-based Wright Consultants. Wright Consultants' 12 employees will move its offices to the Kemper location in Evansville, IN.

Kemper CPA Group, ranked among the top 100 CPA firms in the country, has 58 partners and more than 250 members on its professional staff.

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In the northeast, New Hampshire-based Lortie & Carignan, P.A. will merge with Cummings, Lamont & McNamee, P.A., with locations in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and Kennebunk and Sanford, Maine.

The Lortie & Carignan offices will remain in the same locations, and the combined firms will operate under the name Cummings, Lamont & McNamee.

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In Texas, San Antonio-based Padgett, Stratemann & Co. LLP will merge with Austin-based Sprouse & Andersen LLP. The newly combined firms will operate under the PS&Co. name.

After the merger, Sprouse & Andersen's managing partner, Lester Sprouse, will become managing partner of PS&Co.'s Austin office. All 25 of his employees will remain with the firm, bringing the total headcount to 150 in Texas,

Recognized by the San Antonio Business Journal as one of the "Best Places to Work" in San Antonio, PS&Co. serves a range of businesses sectors including construction, oil and gas, manufacturing, retail, distribution and non-profit organizations. With the merger, PS&Co. will expand its capabilities and industry expertise in technology, insurance, and public company accounting.

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In New York, The Phoenix Consulting Group, originally a spin off from Amherst, NY-based Tronconi Segarra & Associates LLP, has merged back to the firm from whence it came. Phoenix, under the direction of forensic accountant Darren Graff, CPA, CVA, provides business valuation services, mergers and acquisitions, litigation support, and forensic accounting, among other services.

Since the original separation, the two firms have continued to work closely with one another, often outsourcing work back and forth.

Tronconi Segarra & Associates has 35 CPAs and more than 60 associates and provides accounting, tax, business assurance and advisory services.

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In Pennsylvania, CPA Associates has announced a merger with Robert J. Moyer, CPA. CPA Associates is one of the largest firms in central Pennsylvania, with offices in Huntingdon, Altoona, and Belleville.

Moyer is based in Altoona and will move his practice to the CPA Associates offices there.

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In the Carolinas, the shareholders of Elliott Davis, PLLC announced that Greenville, SC-based Elliott Davis, one of the Southeast's largest accounting firms, and Charlotte, NC-based Elliot & Warren, PLLC have combined their operations.

"Given Charlotte's market opportunities with emerging and middle-market clients and the availability of top accounting talent, it's quite simply a requirement to have a presence in the Charlotte area," said Regional Managing Shareholder Rick Davis.

According to Davis, the accounting firm plans to substantially grow its Charlotte office by adding approximately seven top-level professionals immediately – bringing the total number of employees to 32 – and doubling the number of employees over the next three years. Elliott Davis has been ranked as number 81 of the Top 100 Accounting Firms by Accounting Today magazine.

"By joining forces with Elliott Davis, we are in a position to deliver broader and deeper expertise to existing, new and prospective clients," said Dan Warren, who will be managing partner of the Charlotte office, which specializes in serving emerging and middle markets in the construction, real estate, medical, dental, distribution, manufacturing and banking disciplines.

Elliott Davis will operate from Elliot & Warren's existing facilities, which are located in the historic Industrial & Textile Supply building in the SouthEnd district. "Dan and I have been proud to serve the Charlotte area together for more than 10 years, and this announcement brings a great opportunity to provide exceptional and expanded client service to the market," said Robert W. "Bo" Elliot Jr. "The timing is perfect for us to make this move."

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