High Point and Asheville, N.C., (Nov. 13, 2003) -- In one of the largest mergers of the year top southeastern firms Dixon Odom and Crisp Hughes Evans have agreed to a union effective January 1.

The combined entity will be known as Dixon Hughes PLLC.

With aggregate revenues of nearly $95 million and a staff of more than 725, the new super-regional will be the largest CPA firm in the Southeast – surpassing Cherry Bekaert & Holland, of Richmond, Va., which posted 2002 revenues of $54.1 million, according to the 2003 Accounting Today Top 100 Firms report.

On that Top 100 Firms list, Dixon Odom ranked No. 34, while Crisp Hughes Evans was No. 42.

In terms of combined revenue, the merger is on par with the recent merger of New Jersey-based J.H. Cohn and The Videre Group. That deal, finalized in June, also created an approximately $95 million firm.

Dixon Hughes’ headquarters will remain in North Carolina with other offices and affiliated entities in Alabama, California (its dealership advisory services), Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia.

Eddie Sams, executive member of Dixon Odom, and Ken Hughes, managing partner of Crisp Hughes Evans, will share the leadership of the new organization as co-managing members.

“Our goal in combining the firms is to become even better, not just bigger,” Sams said in a statement.  “By combining resources and similar cultures we are creating even greater opportunities — for the firm, our staff, and our clients.”

Hughes commented on the similarities between the firms’ practice structures and stated there was “a striking resemblance between each firm’s goals, culture, infrastructures, and client service philosophies.”

Dixon Hughes will have substantial industry concentrations in healthcare, auto dealerships, financial institutions, insurance, manufacturing, distribution, real estate, construction, governmental, and not-for-profit. It will also offer corporate governance and risk assurance assistance.

Both firms’ registration applications were recently approved by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board to prepare and issue audit reports for publicly held companies.

-- WebCPA staff

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