Sikich acquires Knutte & Associates

Top 100 Firm Sikich has acquired Knutte & Associates, a Darien, Illinois-based audit, accounting and tax firm, effective Jan. 1, 2019.

Knutte & Associates was founded in 1973 by J. Michael Knutte, and specializes in completing student financial assistance (Title IV) compliance audits for educational institutions. The firm also audits governmental entities and nonprofit organizations. Sikich also services the government, nonprofit and education sectors. The firm offers accounting, advisory and technology to colleges and universities, health care organizations, social service agencies, private foundations, welfare organizations, religious organizations, political action committees, civic and community organizations, and trade associations.

"The addition of the Knutte & Associates team adds strength to our audit, accounting and tax teams," Sikich CEO Chris Geier said in a statement. "Our clients will especially benefit from their specialized expertise on auditing issues in the government, education and not-for-profit sectors."

Sikich LLP's lobby in Naperville, Ill.
Sikich LLP's lobby in Naperville, Illinois

Financial terms were not disclosed. Knutte employees will work out of Sikich's Naperville and Chicago offices. Sikich, based in Naperville, ranked No. 28 on Accounting Today’s 2018 list of the Top 100 Firms, with $151.9 million in annual revenue in 2017 and more than 750 employees.

"Joining Sikich allows us to offer our clients access to an expanded team of talented audit, accounting and tax experts, as well as a comprehensive suite of professional services," said Knutte & Associates CEO Michael Knutte in a statement. "We're excited to add our expertise to this growing and innovative firm."

"Knutte & Associates is a nationally recognized specialist in Title IV audits and consulting, and will enhance our ability to help clients comply with this important requirement related to student financial assistance," said Richard Lynch, partner-in-charge of Sikich's not-for-profit and education practices. "Their talented professionals will extend our expertise and add increased depth to our work with governments, not-for-profit organizations and educational institutions."

Allan Koltin, CEO of Koltin Consulting Group, advised both firms on the deal. "In four decades of consulting to CPA firms, I have never seen a firm like Knutte," he said. "Dad starts a small CPA firm and one by one convinces his four sons to all join the firm. He passes the baton to them and they go out and build a Top 300 CPA firm nationally and become recognized as the industry expert in Title IV audits of educational institutions. To watch how the brothers (Mike, Dave, Joe, and Matt) worked together and respected and trusted each other would of made any parent or family business owner proud. I can't imagine we will see a success story like this again in the profession for a long time."

"In terms of Sikich, they continue on their magical journey as well and continue to expand as a national powerhouse," Koltin continued. "As one of the country's Top 30 firms they remain well ahead of the industry in terms of their consulting and technology platform, and that is proving to be a major attraction for other firms desirous of joining them. They were easily a decade ahead of the industry in terms of what a "future-ready" accounting and consulting firm should look like."

Last month, Sikich acquired, Executive Alliance, a human resources technology consulting firm in the Boston area.

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