Top 100 CPA firm Grassi & Co. has officially launched Grassi Technology Consultants, a new subsidiary that moves the firm further towards technology consulting and potentially larger clients, but away from reselling.
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The firm has been quietly staffing up the group over the past few months, which is now headed by Kevin Meyer, a seasoned technology consultant who also spent time consulting with larger businesses during his tenure at Andersen Consulting. He is joined by former CA Technologies executive Paul Engelbert, who will serve as director.
Technology consulting is not new to the firm, but it has been on a rebranding path in recent times and that has come more full circle with the launch of this new group.
Back in 2011, Grassi began the process of rebranding and integrating its technology unit which was once was known as GCM Systems as far back as the mid-1990s. It had acted as a systems implementer and software reseller, primarily for Sage Timberline, MAS 90, 200 and 500. Carrying Timberline made sense for the firm, as much of its business came from the construction sector, while the MAS line was utilized by non-construction clients.
While many Grassi entities existed, the perception in the market was that GCM Systems didn’t have a connection to the firm and as such underwent a series of renamings. Ultimately technology consulting was brought more in-house and evolved along with the growth of the firm.
Grassi Technology Consulting will officially function as a subsidiary of Grassi & Co., but Meyer’s plan is for the group to work as a natural extension of the firm.
“What clients are looking for is a partner, someone who understands from an enterprise-wide perspective how all departments can better communicate. With the Grassi name, we really bring that value to the table,” said Meyer. “Clients don’t want just one project at a time; they want to know how they can use IT to save money and who can help be build efficiencies. We’re going to focus on consulting and want to work with a variety of [ERP and CRM] systems, whatever works best for the client.”
Grassi Technology Consultants now has a team of 20 and Grassi is preparing to go to market as a full-service firm and potentially compete with larger firms to work with Fortune 1000 companies, both private and public.
“We had been looking to elevate our level of technology consulting services; historically we had just focused on reselling and consulting around construction [industry] products, and then started focusing on financial and accounting systems. That is changing now,” said Grassi & Co. marketing director Frank Vitale. “This is a true expansion of our services that we based on Kevin and his team coming over. [Grassi Technology Consultants] will serve as a compliment to the firm’s overall services. We are an integrated organization and will now do more enterprise-wide consulting services.”