In a merger effective Sept. 1, Larson, Allen, Weishair & Co. LLP acquired the 30-person firm Hopkins Parker & Co. PLC located in Phoenix.

Hopkins Parker, one of the top 25 firms in the Phoenix market, according to local publications, was founded in 1982. The firm's service offerings have included accounting and auditing; tax planning, preparation and compliance; employee benefit planning, administration and compliance; and accounting system consulting.

Anita Baker, principal-in-charge of benefit services at LarsonAllen, will be relocating to Phoenix to take on the role of office principal-in-charge.

"This acquisition is a significant step in our firm's overall strategy to develop industry specialization nationwide," said LarsonAllen chief executive Gordon Viere. In the last year alone, LarsonAllen has added trucking and transportation, hospitality, and professional organizations to its list of industry specialization groups.

In a statement on the Hopkins Parker Web site, the company said that members of the firm will remain with the combined firm, adding that with the merger, larger clients will see more specialized talent and experience and, "For some prospective engagements where our small size or lack of industry expertise may have been a concern, our technical and geographic resources will expand exponentially."

Ranked No. 19 on Accounting Today's 2005 list of Top 100 Firms, LarsonAllen was founded in 1953 and has 800 employees and $115 million in annual revenues, with a handful of offices located in the upper Midwest and other locations in St. Louis, Philadelphia and Charlotte, N.C. In August, LarsonAllen acquired a 25-member accounting firm in southwestern Florida.

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