Harper, Van Scoik & Co. is merging with Carr, Riggs & Ingram, the fourth largest accounting firm in the Southeast, expanding the combined firms' services in the Tampa Bay area.

The merger is scheduled to take effect Oct. 1. The combined firms will go under the Carr, Riggs & Ingram name, and plan to focus on companies in the financial services, health care, construction, nonprofit, real estate and other sectors in the Tampa Bay area.

"Our move into the Tampa Bay market was strategically planned to offer our current and new clients an unparalleled level of resources and services along Florida's West Coast," said CRI chairman and managing partner William H. Carr in a statement.

Harper, Van Scoik & Company's 50 employees will bring CRI's total employee roster to 480, including 85 partners. CRI manages the accounts of more than 20,000 clients in 16 offices across the Southeast.

The Enterprise, Ala.-based firm ranks as the fourth largest accounting firm in the Southeast and 35th largest in the country on Accounting Today's list of the Top 100 Firms. CRI's newest office in Clearwater joins seven other offices as the firm's eighth location in the Sunshine State. The firm also has offices in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee and plans to expand further into Texas, North Carolina and other states.

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