BMSS merges in Hall Albright Garrison & Barnes

Barfield Murphy Shank & Smith, a Regional Leader firm based in Birmingham, Alabama, is adding Hall Albright Garrison & Barnes, based in Huntsville, effective Jan. 1, 2019.

As part of the deal, BMSS’s existing location in Huntsville will relocate to HAGB’s office there. Once the merger is complete, the combined firm will have 29 partners, 94 CPAs and approximately 225 employees under the BMSS, LLC name. BMSS has 25 partners and 180 staff members, while HAGB has four partners and 45 staff. BMSS has 74 CPAs and 5,700 clients, while HAGB has 20 CPAs and 1,500 clients.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The combined revenue will be approximately $32.5 million. Prior to the merger, BMSS ranked 12th on Accounting Today’s 2018 Regional Leaders list of the Top Firms on the Gulf Coast, with $25 million in annual revenue expected by the end of the year.

“We have spent a great deal of time with Hall Albright’s leadership over the past year,” said BMSS managing member Don Murphy in a statement. “Through our time together, we have come to see how we both reflect and complement our respective firm’s cultures and values. Our combined forces will take BMSS to a new level that will continue to grow and expand just as the Huntsville metro area is growing and expanding.”

Barfield, Murphy, Shank & Smith and Hall Albright Garrison & Barnes celebrated their merger with this image of the two firms' Christmas trees featured in the annual Tinsel Trail in Downtown Huntsville, Alabama.

In addition to the CPA firm, the BMSS family includes a wealth management company, BMSS Wesson Wealth Solutions, a payroll and benefits company called PBS, a professional employer organization known as PBS PEO, and an IT company, Abacus IT Solutions. BMSS has been an independent member since 1998 of the BDO Alliance USA, a nationwide association of independently owned accounting firms.

Keith Barfield, Don Murphy and John Shank created BMSS in 1991, envisioning a CPA firm that would provide an exceptional client experience while sustaining a healthy, happy work culture for its employees.

The shareholders of Hall Albright Garrison & Barnes recognized their firm’s shared vision in BMSS. “We share similar cultures, we share similar beliefs and we share similar core values.” said HAGB shareholder Scott Garrison in a statement. “Bringing our two firms together just makes sense.”

HAGB has a team of CPAs and consultants who have served the North Alabama area for over 30 years. The firm offers tax, audit, payroll and bookkeeping services and specializes in serving government contractor clients. The firm was formed in 2009 through a merger of House and Albright, P.C. and Hall and Garrison. With the addition of Greg Barnes in 2016, they became Hall Albright Garrison & Barnes, P.C.

“For many years, we have witnessed, admired and respected how BMSS has taken care of its people and its clients throughout the state,” stated HAGB shareholder Jon Hall. “Their culture and primary mission closely mirror ours. The skill sets of both firms are complementary to one another. It just seemed to make sense to bring the two firms together.”

BMSS has offices in Auburn, Birmingham, Gadsden, Huntsville and Opelika. It focuses on serving closely held businesses in industries such as construction, manufacturing, credit unions, nonprofits and technology. The firm provides accounting, auditing, and tax services along with value-added services including payroll administration, wealth management and IT support. In December, BMSS announced a deal to expand in Alabama by merging in Hindsman PC, a Gadsden-based CPA firm, effective Jan. 1, 2018.

“This merger is significant for all of us,” said BMSS founding partner Don Murphy in a statement. “In Hall Albright, we found people who, like us, could add real value at every stage of an organization’s life cycle with strengths that complement and extend our own. Beyond that, we feel that they’re a great fit with our people, our culture and our mission of delivering an exceptional client experience.”

The two firms have created a merger video that can be viewed here.

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