Chicago area firms announce merger

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BIK & Co, LLP, a member of the Russell Bedford International network, announces a series of mergers with other Chicago-area CPA firms.

Following the completion of mergers with three other local CPA firms, Russell Bedford's Chicago member, BIK & Co, LLP, has grown into a 10-partner practice.

The firm now has more than 50 personnel at its offices in Libertyville and Palatine, Illinois.

In February 2008, Folisi, Samz & Company of Schaumburg, IL and Soprano & Associates Ltd. of Arlington Heights, IL joined BIK. Then in June, BIK merged with Bayer, Kolof & Lev of Northbrook, IL. These firms have moved to BIK's Palatine office.

Commenting on the mergers, Larry Schmitt, managing partner of BIK & Co, LLP, explained: "The people at all three firms have a long history of serving the needs of privately-held, owner-managed businesses and individuals. Combining the accounting, audit, tax, and consulting services of the various practices accelerates our strategy of building a leading local firm serving this market. In addition, all firms share the same values as BIK, including the tradition of excellent service, deep expertise and commitment to the community."

Douglas Samz, Partner of Folisi, Samz & Company stated: "Our audit team has always been one of our firm's strengths. When we decided to merge, we knew the firm would need to be committed to the same excellence of audit work as we are; BIK meets that criteria. We are excited about the synergy our two combined audit teams will provide."

"We decided to seek an affiliation with another CPA firm because we believe that a larger organization will allow us to provide a wider array of services and more depth to our clients," said Frank Soprano, president of Soprano & Associates Ltd.

And Sheldon Lev, managing partner of Bayer, Kolof & Lev added: "We are excited about our merger with BIK. We have been looking for such a firm for a while. The merger allows both firms to expand and enhance the variety of professional services we offer to our clients, in addition to allowing us to meet our clients' expanding needs. We look forward to continuing our long tradition of providing high quality services in our new environment."

Russell Bedford International was established in 1983 by a group of medium-sized independent accounting practices aiming to counter the market dominance of the major multi-national accounting firms.

Russell Bedford is now a closely-connected global network of independent accounting and business consultancy firms in key locations around the world, and is represented by some 200 offices in more than 70 countries in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia-Pacific.

All Russell Bedford affiliates are well-established firms offering international business advice and services to local and multinational clients. Most provide a full range of services comprising accounting, auditing, tax advice, general business guidance, and financial consulting. In addition, many have special expertise in particular fields, such as international taxation or information technology.

In January 2008 Russell Bedford International was been named one of the first 17 full members of the IFAC Forum of Firms after reporting it has implemented a globally coordinated quality assurance programme, committed to the use of International Standards on Auditing (ISAs), and met other specific ethics requirements.

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