San Francisco-based CPA firm Novogradac & Co. LLP has expanded its East Coast presence with a new office in Boston.

The expansion marks Novogradac's third new office in the past 12 months, and brings the firm's total number of offices to nine. Novogradac opened offices in Long Beach, Calif., and in metro Philadelphia during the past year. The firm's other offices are in Atlanta; Washington; Austin, Texas; Overland Park, Kan.; and Dover, Ohio.

The office, located in Boston's Back Bay, will offer consulting on affordable housing and community development, as well as traditional audit and tax services.

Managing partner Michael J. Novogradac said that the location of the three offices is "fundamentally about having offices where the talented professionals are."

"We are adding talented professionals as and where we can find them. We have been fortunate in the last 12 months to have found several talented professionals in different cities to add to our team. We will locate additional offices in any city where we find professionals we want to join our team," Novogradac said. "Boston is the residence of the professionals we wanted to join the firm. It was also a natural choice, as several significant clients are based in Boston."

Asked about future expansion plans, Novogradac said that Portland, Ore., is a possible market. "But we are open to any locations with talented professionals who want to join the firm," he added.

Novogradac & Co. specializes in providing services such as financial statement audits, tax prep, and consulting to the affordable housing and community development industries. The firm provides audit, tax, valuation, litigation support and consulting services to public and private companies, with a focus on the real estate and the nonprofit and service sectors.

The firm ranked No. 87 on Accounting Today's 2004 Top 100 Firms list, with $19.65 million in fiscal 2003 revenue and 148 employees, including 11 partners. Today, Novogradac said that the firm has about 170 employees, and expects to have about 200 by the end of the year.

Charles A. Rhuda III has been appointed to lead the firm's operations in New England and the mid-Atlantic states. Rhuda, who joined Novogradac & Co. in September as a principal, has 15 years of experience in the real estate industry, predominantly in affordable housing and historic rehabilitation.

Rhuda will consult with tax credit investors, syndicators and developers on the structuring, financing and syndication of low-income housing and historic rehabilitation tax credit properties, and will advise clients on changes in tax and regulatory environment.

Joining Rhuda in the Boston office will be Tony Grappone. Prior to joining Novogradac as a manager in September, Grappone spent more than five years with Ernst & Young, where he specialized in partnership taxation.

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