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Happy 100th Birthday to Plante Moran

man in business suit in front of a birthday cake with number 100 candles

Looks like our invitation to the big party got lost in the mail.

On Saturday, January 20, Plante Moran celebrated 100 years in business, a milestone few organizations reach. Since its founding in 1924, the firm has grown from a sole accounting practitioner in a Detroit office to a billion-dollar audit, tax, consulting and wealth management firm with more than 3,800 professionals serving clients around the globe.

When the firm was founded a hundred years ago, the average income was $2,196, a new car would run you $265, and a house $7,720.

So how does a little one-man operation in Detroit grow to hit the coveted one billion revenue mark and a milestone such as this?

Managing Partner Jim Proppe said:

“Plante Moran’s unique culture is rooted in what Elorion Plante and Frank Moran called their ‘grand experiment,’” Proppe explained. “They envisioned an accounting firm where the best practitioners couldn’t wait to get in the door and clients were lining up to receive unsurpassed service. To achieve this, they built our firm on a solid foundation of principles and values like following the Golden Rule, doing the right thing for the right reasons and putting people and a long-term view before profits. A century later, our firm still operates under these same philosophies. It’s been the key to our success for 100 years, and I have no doubt it’s what will help us succeed for 100-plus more.

“We’re a people firm,” he added.

Look, we love ragging on accounting firms and their ridiculous press releases full of phony culture brags. It’s a hobby of ours really. But it does seem that Plante is doing something right, for a firm their size you’d expect to see way more complaints coming out of their shop and into our complaint box. Over the years, we just haven’t heard much griping. Some. Not a lot.

More quotes:

“When asked about the firm’s success, Frank Moran once said, ‘Elorion Plante and I made a little snowball and got a lot of wonderful people to help roll it. Today, that snowball looks pretty good.’” Proppe shared. “I can’t help but think Elorion and Frank would be excited about what that snowball looks like today and the incredible impact their grand experiment has had on so many people.”

Fun story. Plante Moran probably wouldn’t exist today if Elorion Plante’s daughter Jeanne didn’t have a crush on a young Frank Moran. It would at least be sans Moran.

Jeanne Plante was very taken with Frank Moran — a charismatic philosophy student and friend’s older brother. In the early 1940s, Frank tutored high school students for extra money — including Jeanne, who introduced him to her father. Elorion was so impressed with Frank that he offered him a job at his small accounting firm in downtown Detroit. And the rest, as they say, is history.

It doesn’t appear things worked out for Jeanne and Frank but hey, we got an accounting firm out of it.

Detroit Free Press article on Frank Moran’s passing in 1997

We leave you with this banger from 1924.

Plante Moran celebrates 100th anniversary [Plante Moran]

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