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Let’s Speculate About: The Next Accounting Firm Merger

The word on the street is that the pace of accounting firm mergers will increase in the coming year. That's pretty fun for all of us because we occasionally like to spoil the surprise for everyone. Plus, the new name game is everyone's favorite.

In the past few years, there have been several notable mergers including Weiser and Mazars, Eisner and Amper Politziner, Dixon Hughes and Goodman & Co., Clifton Gunderson and LarsonAllen, and most recently, Reznick Group and J.H. Cohn.

There have also been a few notable mergers that didn't happen including Eide Bailly and Wipfli, WeiserMazars and Marks, Paneth & Shron, and of course there were Moss Adams/Grant Thornton rumors flying around for some time without anything materializing.

But forget about the past. We're moving on! And the best way to do that is to speculate about what's to come. For practical purposes, let's assume that the Big 4, second tier (i.e. McGladrey, Grant Thornton BDO, Mayer Hoffman McCann [yep!]) firms are not going to do any major. All these firms have over $500 million in U.S. revenues per Accounting Today's Top 100 Firms ranking and there are huge international implications for all of them, so it's not likely they'll be making a move. I realize that's not much fun, so unless there's a really great name combo that you're dying to share, leave these firms out.

But don't worry, there are still a number of larger firms that may be looking to do a deal including a few of the newly combined firms that are probably still on the hunt for their next dancing partner. Let's look at a (relative) short list:

  • Crowe Horwath
  • CliftonLarsonAllen
  • BKD
  • Moss Adams
  • Plante & Moran
  • EisnerAmper
  • Reznick Cohn (or whatever they decide on)
  • Marcum
  • Dixon Hughes Goodman
  • Baker Tilly (looking for a savior?)
  • UHY Advisors
  • Rothstein Kass
  • Eide Bailly
  • WeiserMazars
  • Wipfli
  • Citrin Cooperman & Co.

All these firms have at least $100 million in revenues per AT, with Crowe Horwath currently the largest at ~$481 million. Obviously there are several factors that have to be considered when two firms merge, so you can ponder those if you like, or you can simply smash two firms together for the sheer entertainment value. Creativity – while not your strong suit – is encouraged.

And of course, if you've heard about discussions of a merger, rumors of a merger, or any second-hand wild speculation of a merger, email us and we'll check it out.