Regional accounting firms Parente Randolph and Beard Miller Co. plan to merge later this year to create one of the largest firms in the Northeast, with a total $175 million in revenue.

The combined firms will include 172 partners and more than 1,200 team members in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware and Texas. The firms plan to announce their new name and logo when the merger closes in the fourth quarter after getting advice from a brand consultant.

Beard Miller chairman and CEO Lamar Stoltzfus will serve as chairman of the new firm, while Bob Ciaruffoli, chairman and CEO of Parente Randolph, will serve as CEO. The firms began talking about doing a merger last December, but already had ahistory of sometimes sharing work with one another while competing.

“Our respective strategic plans drove us to have the conversation with each other regarding the merger,” Ciaruffoli told WebCPA. “We have a lot of core practices that are complementary to each other.”

He noted that the two firms have geographies, industries and services that they each wanted to expand in which the other had a foothold.


“Our new firm will have even deeper resources and broader areas ofexpertise to serve our clients, including more industry-specificexpertise, specialized tax consulting and other business advisoryresources,” said Stoltzfus in a statement. “While we will be a largerorganization going forward, we are committed to staying true to whathas made us successful – our experience, our close personalrelationships, and our common commitment to exceptional client service.”

Ciaruffoli expects to consolidate some of the two firms’ offices, such as the offices in Pittsburgh, which are within walking distance of each other, and two offices in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley. However, he does not anticipate making staff cuts.

“There’s no reason to cut staff or partners,” he said. “If people are performing and doing what they are supposed to be doing, there is clerely room for them in this organization, and we expect to grow the organization and the talent we have working with us.” For now, Parente has no other mergers on the table, but Ciaruffoli said he is open to looking at other opportunities.

Parente Randolph has 14 offices in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Texas, while Beard Miller has 13 offices in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Maryland. Together the firms have 120 SEC clients. Beard Miller ranked 35th on Accounting Today’s 2009 list of the Top 100 Firms, while Parente Randolph ranked 36th.

“The merger gives incredible positioning to both firms in that it gives them a much more significant stake in the state of Pennsylvania, but it also allows them to jointly grow together in both New York and New Jersey, with a recent expansion of geographies for both firms,” said Allan Koltin, CEO of Chicago consultancy PDI Global. “Parente recently acquired a firm in New York, Lazar Levine & Felix, and a while later Beard Miller opened up in New Jersey. They’re historically two Pennsylvania firms that decided to grow in the New York and New Jersey corridor. Together they will be able to achieve their common growth strategy a lot quicker.”

One challenge for the combined firm, however, will be sorting out which offices to keep open and which to close or combine in the markets where they already both operate. In addition, the firms are part of two different accounting networks, with Parente Randolph in Baker Tilly International and Beard Miller in the BDO Seidman Alliance.

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