Top-ranked firm Crowe Chizek & Co. plans to expand its public sector services group with the addition Oak Brook, Ill.-based accounting and consulting firm PTW to its fold.

PTW, a five-partner, $6 million firm, specializes in serving governmental and not-for-profit clients, including state agencies and authorities, colleges, counties, municipalities, school districts, special districts, and social service agencies.

The transaction will give Crowe's public sector practice, which has been focused primarily in Indiana with smaller practices in Illinois, Kentucky and Ohio, a strong presence in Illinois. Crowe's public sector services group provides assurance, operations consulting, financial advisory, utility rate consulting, and systems and technology services to state and local governmental entities, colleges and universities, membership organizations, and not-for-profits.

PTW's five partners and 50 staff members will remain in their existing locations for the time being, according to PTW founding partner Jim Pandolfi. PTW has offices in Springfield, Chicago and Oak Brook, Ill. All five partners will become partners in Crowe Chizek.

"This is great for our clients because Crowe has other services they can offer that we couldn't because of our size," Pandolfi told WebCPA. "This move brings attestation, consulting and financial advisory all into one practice. It also gives our staff the opportunity to move vertically, horizontally or geographically."

According to the two firms, the deal, which will take effect Jan. 1, will create the largest integrated practice group in Illinois offering governmental consulting, governmental attestation and governmental financial services.

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