Regional accounting firm Eide Bailly plans to merge in Utah-based Schmitt, Griffiths, Smith & Co. on Nov. 1.

The combination will increase Eide Bailly’s total staff to nearly 1,200, including 165 partners. Eide Bailly ranked 24th on Accounting Today’s 2012 of the Top 100 Firms. The firm’s total revenues for the fiscal year ended April 30, 2012, were $158 million, and SGS is expected to add another $6 million in revenue to the firm.

The merger is part of Eide Bailly’s growth strategy to connect contiguous geographies.  “SGS is a very successful organization with a strong practice in Utah,” said Eide Bailly managing partner Jerry Topp in a statement. “Bringing SGS into the Eide Bailly family will connect our Phoenix, Denver, Boise and Billings practice areas.”

The firm has also been expanding into new niches. Earlier this month, Eide Bailly said it had acquired the Minneapolis-based cost segregation firm Cost Seg Associates LLC (see Eide Bailly Picks Up Cost Seg Associates Team). However, the firm was forced to cancel its biggest planned merger this year, with Wipfli, after the two firms failed to agree on key terms (see Eide Bailly and Wipfli Cancel Merger Plans).

Schmitt, Griffiths, Smith & Co. has been previously affiliated with Eide Bailly through Practicewise, an association of small to midsize CPA firms across the nation, since 2005. “We have built a great relationship with SGS and feel they are an excellent fit with Eide Bailly,” Topp said. “We have found the SGS culture is very similar to ours. They focus on helping their people grow and succeed through new opportunities. Having similar values are key to a successful union.”

SGS president Stuart Tholen will serve as partner-in-charge of the Utah practice. Other SGS partners joining Eide Bailly include Dan Milne, Nikki Thon, Ken Jeppesen, Eric Johnson and  Brett Dagley.

The merger is expected to enable the two firms to provide extra benefits to clients through expanded service lines. “We are excited to have the industry expertise that Eide Bailly will provide to our clients, community and state,” Tholen said in a statement. “It will also provide increased opportunities for our team to grow professionally under Eide Bailly’s strong training, mentorship and leadership development programs.”

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