Top 100 Firm Eide Bailly has agreed to merge with the Salt Lake City-based firm Hansen, Barnett & Maxwell. The combination is expected to close on September 1.

The new addition makes Eide Bailly the first regional firm throughout the state of Utah.

Eide Bailly got a leg up when it merged with two other Utah firms in the course of eight months. Ogden-based Schmitt, Griffiths, Smith & Co. joined in November and Salt Lake City-based Lake, Hill & Myers joined July 1.

HBM brings 52 staff members to Eide Bailly, including nine partners: Bob Bowen, Mark Anderson, Mike Michelsen; Paul Skeen, Doug Hawkes, Ross Youngberg, Steve Avis, Matt Egnew and Cory Neilson. Eide Bailly’s total Utah staff has reached 125 and the new addition raised its total staff to 1,300, which includes 194 partners.

“Adding HBM continues our strategy to expand west of the Mississippi River and better serve mid-market clients,” Eide Bailly managing partner and CEO Dave Stende said in a statement.

“We’ve been courted by numerous regional firms the past five years, and nearly all these discussions never went past introductions for one reason—culture,” HBM’s managing partner Bob Bowen said in a statement. “We feel strongly that our culture is a large part of our success, and Eide Bailly shares our core values and principles. Joining Eide Bailly will allow us to continue our personalized and directed service for our clients, while achieving our vision of being a dominant player in the Utah market.”

Going forward, Stende said that the main goal is to strengthen the firm through continued growth. “We are looking for firms who share our culture, vision and approach to service. Many of these firms first become members of Practicewise, a group of CPA firms that we have formed to collaborate on service to clients and on practice management issues.”

According to Stende, the characteristics of Practicewise members are generally smaller firms that want to move upstream, but aren’t fully capable of funding specialty areas. Members are usually audit and tax firms with a single office and $3 million to $10 million in annual revenue. “We are growing, and we are constantly on the lookout for firms who are passionate about giving their clients trusted, insightful service and want to join Eide Bailly either as Practicewise members or as partners,” noted Stende.

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