Bearden & Smith PC has merged with regional accounting firm Carr, Riggs & Ingram LLC. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"The attractiveness of the Atlanta market as a whole, and the reputation and abilities of Bearden & Smith, were major factors in our decision," said CRI chairman and managing partner William H. Carr, in a statement. "The merger ... is a huge step in CRI's strategic plan to move into major metropolitan cities."

Based in Enterprise, Ala., CRI now employs over 340 professionals and has 13 offices in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi. Bearden & Smith's former Web site listed the firm as having six directors of service sections and a senior tax manager, in addition to managing director and audit and consulting partner James Bearden and managing tax director Stanley Smith.

Bearden said that the opportunity to deepen the firm's resources and provide added services to clients and achieve stronger growth in the Atlanta market and Southeast region was too attractive to pass up. "Talent is the lifeblood of business today and CRI has a tremendous talent pipeline that we can tap into on behalf of our clients," he said. "Their growing regional presence will allow us more visibility in recruiting."

CRI ranked No. 43 on Accounting Today's 2006 list of Top 100 Firms, with revenues of $47.5 million.

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