The Global Alliance, an association of top-ranked CPA firms formed last month, has expanded its ranks with the addition of West Coast firm Armanino McKenna LLP to the group.

Armanino McKenna, a $24 million firm based in San Ramon, Calif., joins Wasau, Wis.-based Wipfli LLP, Norfolk, Va.-based Goodman & Co., New York-based Mahoney Cohen & Co., Los Angeles-based Holthouse Carlin & Van Trigt LLP, New Philadelphia, Ohio-based Rea & Associates Inc., and Dubuque, Iowa-based Honkamp Krueger & Co. The group has also received verbal commitments from three other Top 100 firms, located in the Northeast and the South.

The Bay Area accounting firm, which has a staff of 150, including 16 partners, offers clients tax, accounting and audit, business advisory, technology consulting, risk management, financial planning, business valuation and employee benefit services.

Its niche practices include waste management, manufacturing and distribution, nonprofits, real estate, construction and Securities and Exchange Commission-related work.

The new association aims to serve as a way for larger firms -typically those with annual fees of more than $15 million - to leverage resources, share best practices and offer clients access to international services. Its members focus on serving larger private and smaller public companies.

"We've been looking for ways to leverage our resources and give our clients ready access to international services. The Global Alliance affords us a great opportunity to work with other leading firms focused on serving companies the Big Four don't service well," says Armanino McKenna managing partner Andrew J. Armanino.

The association's formation is being facilitated by consultant Allan D. Koltin, president and chief executive officer of Chicago-based PDI Global Inc. In addition to recruiting members in target markets including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago and Texas, the group is looking for an international alliance partner and conducting a search for an executive director.

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