Over the past few years, much has been written about tax and accounting firms becoming one-stop shops. In theory, clients would be able to get their taxes prepared, their life insurance checked, their wills written, their mortgages refinanced, their software installed and their portfolios diversified in one convenient location, overseen by a trusted advisor – like their accountant.

On a larger scale, this strategy is less than a stunning success. The conglomeration of accounting firms pioneered by American Express, Century Business Services and H&R Block, rocked the industry in the late 1990s and many assumed independent firms were in danger of becoming extinct.

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