GRANT THORNTON REVENUES RISE 14.4 PERCENTChicago — Global accounting and business advisory firm Grant Thornton reported that its 2007 revenues increased 14.4 percent, to $1.075 billion.

In the past year, the firm has opened new offices in St. Louis, San Diego and San Antonio as well as an India Tax and Business Services Gateway.

“Our growth is the direct result of the quality of our people,” said Grant Thornton CEO Edward Nusbaum in a statement. “Our goals are to continue providing outstanding, independent service to clients, and speaking out on issues that are of importance to the profession, our people and investors.”

Grant Thornton has also unveiled a new brand, logo and Web site for Grant Thornton International and its member firms. Visitors can browse through service offerings in different countries on the site and get access to experts from various service lines and industries.

The new Grant Thornton logo is purple and is based on the Mobius strip, a continuous twisted band with a three-dimensional look.

The firm is in the process of adding the new branding and logo to its articles, marketing pieces, event materials and signage. Grant Thornton plans to launch the new branding with an advertising campaign aimed at print, radio and TV.

SAGE EXPANDS BUSINESS PARTNER ALLIANCE

Atlanta — Sage Software has extended its Business Partner Alliance program.

The Business Partner Alliance consists of Sage Business Partners who work on a referral basis with members of Sage’s Accountants’ Network. Under the new program guidelines, members of the Business Partner Alliance will provide eight complimentary hours of accounting technology consulting services within a 12-month period to members of the Accountants’ Network.

For more details, visit www.sageaccountantsnetwork.com and www.sagesoftware.com/partners.

OREGON FIRMS MERGE

Eugene, Ore. Two accounting firms, Mueller Yuva & Osterman and Larson and Associates, have merged to combine their strengths in auditing, estate planning and other services.

The combined firm will be known as Mueller Larson Osterman Yuva Whitted. The two firms had operated separately from the same address and will continue to work from their current offices.

The firm will include five partners, Charles Yuva, Jim Mueller, Marga Larson, Rhonda Osterman and Rick Whitted, along with 13 other employees.

The combined entity offers estate planning, auditing, tax, accounting and consulting services to individuals, nonprofits, and small and midsized businesses. Larson had specialized in estate planning, while Mueller Yuva had specialized in auditing and tax.

Mueller Yuva dates back to 1980 while Larson & Associates has been around for about five years, said Mueller. The two firms had combined revenues of about $2 million last year. They officially merged as of January 1.

TAX STIMULUS WILL BENEFIT COMPANIES

Washington, D.C. — The economic stimulus package that President Bush signed into law last week is drawing attention mostly to its tax rebates for individuals, but the bill also contains several provisions that should benefit small and midsized companies.

The bill gives companies a 50 percent bonus deduction on new equipment and increases the limit on expenses that small businesses can deduct from annual income to $250,000, raising it from $125,000.

“The Section 179 expensing will help small businesses,” said Mike Metz, executive vice president of tax services for RSM McGladrey. “Bonus depreciation will help midsized businesses significantly in terms of providing them with cash flow to expand their businesses.”

He pointed out that if companies are considering expanding a plant or making investments in equipment, the stimulus package gives them help “from a cash flow standpoint” in paying for it. For an asset that was going to be depreciated over five years, the previous rules allowed 20 percent of that to be depreciated in the first year.

“Now they can write off 60 percent in the first year with the bonus depreciation,” said Metz. “That makes it a much more attractive expenditure. I think companies are starting to make plans to do that. They are going to get some benefits with their estimated tax payments. They can build that into their financial plans for the year.”

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