Sikich founder dies

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James Sikich, founder of Top 100 Firm Sikich & Co., died last Tuesday, Aug. 28.

According to reports, Sikich died from injuries sustained while helping with flood relief efforts near his home in Central Wisconsin.

He had retired at the end of 2017 after 35 years at his namesake firm. Founded as Sikich, Gardner & Co., the Illinois-based firm flourished under his leadership, in part thanks to a decade-long strategy of aggressive M&A. He left it the third-largest Great Lakes area-based accounting firm, ranking No. 28 on Accounting Today’s list of the Top 100 Firms and reporting $151.9 million in revenue in 2017, along with 19 offices, 52 partners and over 750 employees.

An entrepreneurial accountant, Sikich was highly regarded as a pioneer of a new type of firm — one with a broader range of services in non-traditional areas, such as investment banking and technology. Among many accolades, he was named to Accounting Today's Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting list, and was named Innovative Firm Leader of the Year by the Leading Edge Alliance in 2009.

A native of Naperville, Illinois, Sikich was an award-winning football player in high school, and graduated from the University of Illinois with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. He started his career with Filbey, Summers, Abolt, Good and Kiddoo in Champaign, Illinois, becoming a partner there before launching his own firm in 1982.

He is survived by four children and four grandchildren. A private memorial service is planned.

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