LarsonAllen is expanding its reach to the Pacific Northwest by merging with Spokane, Wash.-based LeMaster Daniels.

The merger is set to take effect on Nov. 1. “Joining with LeMaster Daniels is an ideal way to extend industry specialization to the Pacific Northwest,” said LarsonAllen CEO Gordy Viere in a statement. “We have long known and respected our counterparts at LeMaster Daniels, and we share common business and cultural practices. Like us, they have both metropolitan and rural presence and deliver a mix of talent, warmth and familiarity. It’s a perfect match that will help us serve this part of the country with depth.”

LarsonAllen has approximately 1,500 people and $230 million in annual revenues. The firm ranked 18th on Accounting Today’s 2010 list of the Top 100 Firms. The Minneapolis-based firm also has offices in Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Wisconsin, and Washington, D.C. LarsonAllen is a member of the Nexia International network of accounting and consulting firms.

LeMaster Daniels was founded in 1908 in Spokane. The firm expanded into rural Washington in the 1960s, gradually adding offices from Walla to Yakima. In 2005, it entered the Boise, Idaho, market and made its way into the Puget Sound area in 2007, both by acquisition. The firm now has 12 offices, 26 owners, and nearly 300 employees with annual revenues of approximately $40 million. LeMaster Daniels ranked 75th on Accounting Today’s Top 100 Firms list, with $41.73 million in annual revenues.

“We had actively been looking for Northwest firms to fold into the LeMaster Daniels brand as part of our overall growth strategy,” said LeMaster Daniels CEO Scott Dietzen in a statement. “An upward combination wasn’t initially on our minds, but LarsonAllen’s success in developing strong industry specialization was very attractive. Bringing that niche focus to our firm will benefit our clients and employees immensely, and that’s something that we would never say ‘no’ to. We pursued this emphatically for all the opportunities it presents.”

Both firms serve a wide range of businesses, from large corporations to small and midsized privately held companies and community-based nonprofits.

LarsonAllen provides services to clients in health care, nonprofit, government, banking, manufacturing, construction, real estate, dealerships, agriculture and other sectors.

While accounting firms across the country have been joining forces through mergers and acquisitions, Dietzen said the combination of LeMaster Daniels and LarsonAllen is not about growth for growth’s sake. “Our firms are compatible on many levels, from the types of clients we serve to the way we regard and care for our employees,” he said. “By coming together, we not only accomplish our goals for growth but will be able to capitalize on opportunities more naturally and comfortably. It makes good business sense, but it also just feels right.”

PDI Global Inc. CEO Allan D. Koltin, who has worked with LarsonAllen on previous mergers, commented, “This is an interesting one because up until today no ‘mega-regional’ has come to the Northwest, essentially allowing Moss Adams to be the only ‘big’ regional in the area. [LarsonAllen] does an excellent job on the merger integration side, so I think it will have some effect on the market, especially in specialized niches. Having said that, in addition to Moss Adams, Seattle has some strong local firms (Peterson Sullivan, Clark Nuber, etc.), so it will be interesting to watch how it unfolds.”

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