Moss Adams, a Top 100 Firm, acquired Transacction Partners, a firm that specializes in outsourced finance and accounting services, effective April 1.

The deal is expected to expand Moss Adams’ existing services in outsourced finance and accounting for clients.

“Moss Adams is over 100 years old, and for much of our history we have done outsourced accounting and bookkeeping for our clients,” said Moss Adams chief practice officer Rebecca Pomering. “When we were smaller and worked with smaller clients, that was a bigger part of our practice. As we’ve grown, it’s still something that we do in many of our offices. Our startup and emerging clients we find are actually wanting to outsource more and more of their work. Even some of our largest clients are looking to outsource increasingly parts or functions within not just their finance department, but within technology and other areas as well. It’s an area we’ve been in almost as long as we’ve been around, but it’s one we’ve been focused on in the last handful of years as our clients have been asking for more support in this area.”

Moss Adams' offices in Seattle
Moss Adams' offices in Seattle Courtesy: Moss Adams LLP

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. Moss Adams, based in Seattle, ranked 12th on Accounting Today’s 2018 list of the Top 100 Firms, with $577 million in annual revenue. Pomering expects the deal to add incrementally to the firm’s overall revenue.

“Moss Adams’ year-end revenue was $577 million in 2017, and Transacction Partners when we fold them in, that combined practice will be about $10 million,” she said. “It’s still a relatively small part of Moss Adams in total, but we see it as a tremendous growth opportunity for the firm.”

Last year, Moss Adams merged in Hein & Associates, which added roughly $61 million to its revenues (see Moss Adams merges in Hein & Associates).

Transacction Partners was founded in 2013. The firm provides cloud-based, outsourced financial, accounting and bookkeeping services to small and midsized organizations. Eleven professionals from Transacction Partners will be joining Moss Adams, including two directors.

“Two of the founders, Kris and Tom Bourne, will be joining Moss Adams as directors, and Tom will be leading that practice in Washington State and Oregon for us,” said Pomering.

“The Moss Adams brand is very well respected and will be a great asset for our future success,” said Transacction Partners CEO Tom Bourne in a statement. “We have developed and proven our business in the marketplace. By joining Moss Adams we have the opportunity to leverage their existing capabilities and resources, significantly accelerating our growth and helping us to better serve our clients.”

Transacction Partners is located in Washington State, but serves clients in multiple locations, Pomering noted. “We have hubs offering this service in California, in New Mexico and Oregon, so most of our locations are offering these services just to supplement our team in Washington,” she added.

The firm’s cloud technology services will supplement Moss Adams’ own expertise.

“They’ve been in business for a few years, and they’ve done a really great job of implementing cloud-based technology, which is something we’re in the midst of as well,” said Pomering. “Their technology platform is strong, and their internal processes are strong, and their client base is a good fit with Moss Adams as well. They bring great leadership. They bring good clients and they have a good process around this, so we see it as an opportunity to bring scale and continued leadership to the practice.”

She anticipates the deal will help clients in a variety of industries and sectors. “We’re a very industry-focused firm,” said Pomering. “We see strong application here in our nonprofit sector. Technology is our largest client segment, and we have an outsourced finance and accounting practice in Silicon Valley. That’s a large practice for us there. But we also have large hospital clients that are interested in outsourcing some of their finance and accounting functions to this practice, so we see opportunities across industry groups. It’s manufacturing, distribution, construction. We have some beverage companies that are quite interested, both on the brewery side and the winery side, businesses that really want to focus on their core function and have us take on that finance and accounting capacity. Those have been a great fit for us.”

The acquisition of Transacction Partners will also mesh with Moss Adams’ IT consulting practice. “We find that in today’s environment, the line between technology and finance and accounting needs is really blurred,” said Pomering. “One of our strategies around expanding our outsourced finance and accounting practice is because of that link for our clients in their IT strategy infrastructure. It allows us to serve our clients across that life cycle, from startup to growth, up until the time that they need implementation, or NetSuite platforms. We see this as part of that flow through their life cycle, as opposed to being a standalone independent practice. We like how that allows Moss Adams to serve the full life cycle of a client, which tells you a little bit more about the strategy behind the move.”

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Michael Cohn

Michael Cohn

Michael Cohn, editor-in-chief of AccountingToday.com, has been covering business and technology for a variety of publications since 1985.