A pair of Massachusetts accounting firms, Walter & Shuffain, P.C., and Cooper & Company, P.C., have merged, effective January 1.

The combined firm, which operates under Walter & Shuffain’s name, includes a total of seven shareholders and 50 employees. The shareholders and staff of Burlington-based Cooper & Company, P.C., which was established by Sanford Cooper in 1962, will join the Boston and Norwood offices of Walter & Shuffain.

The combination is expected to add expertise in several new industries to W&S. Walter & Shuffain offers traditional assurance and tax services, along with specialized services for clients in the real estate, health care, manufacturing, professional services, technology, and wholesale distribution industries.

“Cooper & Company has expertise in the industries that complement our clients,” said W&S managing shareholder Craig Shuffain in a statement. “They also bring expertise from other areas of industry, such as retail, recreation and fitness, and internet based businesses that will bring an added level of skill and resources to our current and new clients, creating a very powerful union.”

Walter & Shuffain, P.C. was named as one of the 2011 Best Accounting Firms to Work for on the list of “Best Accounting Firms,” created by Accounting Today and Best Companies Group.

“We’re looking forward to combining our resources with such a highly respected firm as Walter & Shuffain,” said Cooper & Company president David Cooper. “We know our clients will benefit from our combined expertise.”

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