Operating under the theory that bigger is better, regional CPA firms Reinsel & Co. LLP and Kuntz Lesher LLP have joined forces to strengthen their presence in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

The combined firm, which has revenue of about $18 million, three offices, and a staff of 175, including 29 partners, will operate as Reinsel Kuntz Lesher LLP.

In addition to their similarities in size, clients and specialties -- both primarily serve closely held businesses and have clients in the construction, manufacturing, retail, wholesale, real estate, governmental and not-for-profit industries -- the two firms, which became acquainted through their membership in the RSM McGladrey Network, found that they had something else in common.

"We were having a lot of the same frustrations. As a lot of the large national firms were deciding that they would not provide some services for certain clients or they were conflicted out, we didn't feel that we were getting a fair shake at those opportunities because we were a little too small," said J. Andrew Weidman, former managing partner of Wyomissing-based Reinsel & Co., who serves as chairman and chief executive officer of the new firm.

By combining, the new firm has a better market position in Southeastern Pennsylvania and can offer its clients expanded services. In addition to the services they both offer, Reinsel, a $10 million, 18-partner firm with two offices, has a sizeable credit union practice. Kuntz Lesher, an $8 million, 10-partner firm based in Lancaster, has niches in leadership consulting and tax outsourcing for public companies.

Weidman said that the merger will also help the firm recruit new talent. "Recruiting has gotten a lot more competitive in the last two years," said Weidman. "Some of the offers we were making were getting rejected because the candidates went with larger firms. There's a perception that a bigger firm has the ability to give better experience and more opportunity." The firm has hired five new employees since merging on Jan. 1.

As members of the RSM McGladrey Network, Weidman said that the firms also had many operational similarities that made merging easier. For example, they used the same audit methodologies and workpapers, and the same tax software. Kuntz Lesher managing partner Robert W. Simons serves as managing partner of the Lancaster office, and Charles M. Fabian, chief operating officer of Reinsel & Co., will serve as the managing partner of the Wyomissing office, which includes the Harrisburg operations.

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