ILLINOIS
Klein Hall joins Wipfli
Wipfli's offices in Wausau, Wisconsin
Details: Wipfli LLP, a Top 20 Firm based in Milwaukee, has added the partners and associates of Klein Hall, a firm based in Naperville, Illinois, effective Nov. 1.

The deal is Wipfli’s seventh deal in the Chicago area in the past five years and will add 25 Klein Hall employees, including five partners and 20 associates, to the firm. Wipfli has more than 2,400 employees, including over 260 partners, spread across 50 offices.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Wipfli’s net revenue for fiscal year 2019 was $361 million; it ranked No. 19 on Accounting Today’s 2019 list of the Top 100 Firms. Klein Hall’s revenue was unavailable.

Klein Hall was founded in 2002 and has been named as one of Accounting Today’s 100 Best Accounting Firms to Work For, and recently ranked No. 6 on Accounting Today’s Best Firms for Women.

“The addition will strengthen Wipfli’s resources in this key market where our firm currently has five locationsi,” said Wipfli managing partner Kurt Gresens in a statement. "This will add an office to our footprint in the western suburbs of Chicago, enhancing our physical presence in the market and helping Wipfli to become an even stronger leader in providing audit, tax and consulting services to Chicagoland’s organizations and businesses.”

Klein Hall offers accounting, tax and advisory services to privately held businesses in the Chicago area, mainly focusing on business advisory and consulting, serving as controllers and CFOs for midsized companies. The firm targets clients in the construction industry, along with professional services, manufacturing and distribution businesses and audits of local governments. After seeing 139 percent growth in a three-year period for the third consecutive year, Klein Hall was named one of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies, ranking No. 2,750 on Inc. Magazine’s 2019 Inc. 5000 list.

“We are proud of Klein Hall’s success over the years and our strong reputation for delivering quality solutions to our clients while also providing exceptional service,” stated Klein Hall managing partner Christina Klein Trapp. “Joining forces with Wipfli provides us with national resources and more extensive capabilities to continue to serve our clients’ evolving needs while also providing career and development opportunities to our employees, which will help us continue to retain and attract the best and brightest professionals in the industry.”

Koltin Consulting Group CEO Allan Koltin, who advised both firms on the deal, stated, “Wipfli continues with their strategic journey throughout Chicago by finding another very dynamic and entrepreneurial firm in Klein Hall. Wipfli’s rapid expansion and growth in the Chicago market has received national attention due to its successful integration and excellent results. Klein Hall has also been recognized nationally as one of the fastest-growing private companies in the United States and has received many national workplace awards. This is a great step for both firms.”

Wipfli has done a number of mergers and acquisitions in the past year, including a major one in October with Porter Keadle Moore in Atlanta. The firm also added Patke & Associates in Illinois in August, TopLine Strategies in Arizona in June, and Howe, Riley & Howe, in Bedford, New Hampshire, in January.
FLORIDA
CLA adds Forehand & Associates
CliftonLarsonAllen
Details: CliftonLarsonAllen, a Top 10 Firm, has merged in Orlando-based Forehand & Associates, effective Nov. 1.

Financial terms were not disclosed. CliftonLarsonAllen ranked No. 8 on Accounting Today’s 2019 list of the Top 100 Firms. CLA earned $1.1 billion in annual revenue, while Forehand had $1.5 million in revenue.

Forehand has focused since 1993 on providing financial statements, income tax strategy, merger and acquisition consultation, litigation support and general business advice to clients in the construction industry and related businesses.

“This year, CLA was recognized as the No. 1 ranked construction accounting firm in the United States by Construction Executive,” said Les Eiserman, managing principal of CLA Orlando. “Welcoming Whit and his team deepens and reinforces our commitment to creating opportunities for our clients in the construction industry.”

CLA has more than 700 principals and over 6,100 employees spread across 120 locations in the U.S. As part of the deal, Forehand’s one partner and seven team members will continue to work with clients in Orlando, alongside CLA’s Florida team of nearly 300 people.

“Joining the team at CLA allows us to continue to provide our construction clients with the same quality service we have provided for the past 26 years,” said Forehand managing partner Whit Forehand in a statement. “It also allows us to offer CLA’s deep experience in wealth advisory and outsourcing to our construction clients, and a wide range of quality audit, tax, and consulting services to industries not currently served by Forehand & Associates.”

In February, CLA expanded in Washington State by merging in Watson McDonnell in Seattle. CLA also completed a number of mergers last year.
NEW YORK
EFPR Group combines with Nowicki & Co.
Details: EFPR Group LLP, a firm based in Rochester, New York, is merging in Nowicki & Co. LLP, a full-service accounting firm located in West Seneca, into its Williamsville office, effective Nov. 1, as part of plan for growth and expansion in Upstate New York.

With the deal, Raymond Nowicki, Laura Geiger and Paul Kiel are joining EFPR as partners and will be responsible for client relations, new business development and growth of the commercial services practice. Along with the three partners, five other staff members will also join EFPR as part of the transition. EFPR Group has approximately 170 staff members, including 23 partners. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Our decision to unite with the West Seneca practice was based on the outstanding quality and service Ray Nowicki has provided to clients for over 30 years,” said EFPR Group managing partner James Marasco in a statement. “The Nowicki & Co. reputation for providing extraordinary tax planning, preparation and consulting is consistent with our mission to help clients make intelligent and informed financial decisions.”

He added that his firm is considering additional mergers and acquisitions in the Upstate New York market as well as other strategic target areas.

EFPR Group provides tax consulting and planning services, along with auditing, forensic accounting, business valuation, accounting, outsourcing automation services and other business management services to clients across the U.S. and abroad. The firm has been around for 60 years and now has more than 10,000 clients. EFPR is headquartered in Rochester and has offices in Albany, Buffalo, Corning and Newark, New York, along with Jupiter, Florida.
NEW HAMPSHIRE
Thomas Bates joins Nathan Wechsler
Details: Nathan Wechsler & Co. PA, a Regional Leader based in Concord, New Hampshire, recently merged in the firm of Thomas S. Bates CPA PC, in Keene, New Hampshire, effective Aug. 20.

Thomas S. Bates CPA is a full-service accounting firm in the Monadnock Region of Southwestern New Hampshire that specializes in providing forensic accounting and fraud examination services. As part of the deal, the Thomas S. Bates CPA office will move into Nathan Wechsler’s Keene location.

“We view this merger as the first step to continued success,” founder Tom Bates said in a statement. “Our main goal as a firm is to provide exceptional client service. Collectively, we believe this move enhances our ability to provide efficient, timely, and accurate services and guidance. Tom will continue to provide an integral role in the service to clients during the transition.”

Financial terms were not disclosed. Nathan Wechsler ranked No. 17 on Accounting Today’s 2019 Regional Leaders list of the Top Firms in New England, with $9.38 million in annual revenue. The firm has eight principals, a managing director and over 40 professionals.

“I have a great deal of respect for the practice that Tom built over the years,” said managing director Rusty Mosca in a statement. “The firm’s strong ethical foundation, quality work and loyal clients make them a fantastic fit for Nathan Wechsler. Our decision to merge was based on a variety of factors, not the least of which is our firms’ similar service philosophies. Combining our resources and knowledge base is a tremendous win for our clients and professionals alike.”

Nathan Wechsler provides traditional tax and accounting services, along with business valuation, management consulting and employee benefit plan audits. The firm specializes in servicing clients in the construction and real estate industries, nonprofit entities including independent schools, manufacturers, and wholesale and distribution companies.