Two Southern California accounting firms have joined forces, with Newport Beach-based Squar, Milner, Peterson, Miranda & Williamson merging with Los Angeles-based Thomashow, Brown & Paialii.

The two firms will operate under the Squar Milner name. The combination with Thomashow Brown did not involve any financial payment, according to Squar Milner managing partner Steve Milner (pictured).

The merger will provide Squar Milner with a larger presence in Los Angeles. Fifteen employees, including two partners, will be joining Squar Milner as a result. The combined firm will have over 200 professionals, including 29 partners. Squar Milner is also part of the BKR International Network.

Squar Milner has been steadily expanding in recent years. In 2006, it merged with Peterson & Co. in San Diego. The firm opened a Los Angeles office in 2007 and another office in the Cayman Islands in 2008.

"We had a small office in Los Angeles, but we have a fair amount of business in Los Angeles, and more importantly we have a number of opportunities in Los Angeles," said Milner.

"In Southern California, as with other parts of the country, sometimes the areas are quite provincial," he added. "Sometimes it is not always a natural fit for a Los Angeles firm to consider an Orange County firm and vice versa. We wanted to make sure we had the resources actually located in Los Angeles, and we intend to expand those resources through transfers as well as additional hires. The service being provided will be provided by people who live in Los Angeles and are clearly part of the community."

Squar Milner ranked 80th on Accounting Today's list of the Top 100 Firms of 2008 with $37 million in revenue.

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