A group of eight midsized CPA firms has banded together to offer cross-border tax services in an effort to compete with larger firms.

The firms will pool their expertise to help clients solve complex tax issues that cross both state and national borders. The group includes seven local CPA firms in the U.S. and one in Canada. They will operate as the Russell Bedford Tax Services Group. All eight firms are part of Russell Bedford International, a global accountancy network.

The group has affiliates in Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Boston; Chicago; Los Angeles; New York, San Francisco; and Toronto. In the Boston area, the group is represented by Rucci Bardaro & Barrett, a 35-person CPA firm providing tax, auditing, valuation and business consulting services. "As medium-sized independent firms acting locally in our own markets, we are as familiar as any of the big national firms with local tax and business-planning issues," said president Bill Rucci in a statement.

One of Rucci's manufacturing clients recently needed to move one of its warehouse operations from Virginia to Canada. With the help of Toronto affiliate Kestenberg-Rabinowicz Partners, Rucci's firm was able to bring its client up to speed on Canadian registration and tax-filing requirements, help expand the client's record-keeping systems to include the new cross-border entity, complete and file the required provincial tax returns, and prepare claims for tax refunds due.

In the case of a business colleague who came to Rucci with an auditing assignment for a mutual fund operation based in Seattle, Rucci referred the assignment to the group's San Francisco affiliate, PMB Helin Donovan, which has a satellite office in Seattle.

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