Buffalo, N.Y. (March 24, 2004) -- Regional accounting firm Gaines Metzler Kriner & Co. has joined forces with nearby J.D. Elliott & Co. in Williamsville to expand its local presence.

The firm, which primarily serves privately held companies, will change its name later this month to Gaines Kriner Elliott LLP. The name reflects the addition of the J.D. Elliott practice, but also drops the Metzler moniker from the name. Former name partner James Metzler, who now serves as vice president of small CPA firm interests at the American Institute of CPAs, left the CPA firm in 2000 to form Convergence Consulting.

The move adds two partners, Peter Bartz and Paul Dayer, along with 14 employees, to the firm, bringing the number of partners to seven and the total staff to 67, including 31 CPAs. Kenneth Gaines continues as managing partner. The firm, which has offices in Buffalo and East Aurora, will maintain J.D. Elliot's Williamsville office.

"This expands our presence locally. We weren’t represented in the north towns, and J.D. Elliott wasn't represented in the south towns," firm spokeswoman Kathy Kirst said. "It also expands our audit capabilities."

She added, "Because we both have privately held companies as clients, the culture was similar in the ways we service those clients. It seemed natural for two firms to get together."

The combined firm has a large base of manufacturing and distribution clients, as well as construction clients.

-- Melissa Klein Aguilar

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