Accounting Firm Merger Mania: LarsonAllen and Clifton Gunderson Feeling Each Other Out

It’s been quite awhile since we heard a good merger rumor and this past week we finally heard one that doesn’t involve Moss Adams or Grant Thornton.

Rumor has it Larson Allen and Clifton Gunderson are merging. Vote approved by Larsen Allen, vote pending by CG.


We checked with another source, someone familiar with dealings within the accounting industry, who confirmed that the two firms are talking. According to this person, the combination would make sense as both LA and CG are “sleepy” firms that don’t perform public company audits and have been making small acquisitions here and there. Also it would strengthen CG in areas like Virginia/Maryland where they are rumored to be lowballing engagements and Larson in places like Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin where CG has a big presence. This person also said that the deal was “probably 50/50 right now” with the rumored name of the new firm being “CliftonLarsonAllen”.

Clifton Gunderson CEO Krista McMasters told Going Concern that this is “not a story” right now because the firms are simply in “exploratory discussions” and there has not been a vote by the CG partners. Ms. McMasters also denied that there had been any decision on the name of the combined firm, reiterating that they are simply feeling each other out.

Even though it doesn’t sound like things are hot and heavy yet, we rammed a few details together from Accounting Today’s most recent Top 100 Firms list to see what the CliftonLarsonAllen firm would look like:

• A combined $470 million in revenues. That would be good enough to be the 10th largest firm in the U.S.

• 60 offices (probably some consolidation) in 24 states and The District of Columbia.

• Over 300 partners and 3,000 total employees.

A spokesman at LarsonAllen declined to comment but was trying to get someone in the know to call us back. So far, we haven’t heard anything. If you’re in the loop and have more details to share, email us.

It's been quite awhile since we heard a good merger rumor and this past week we finally heard one that doesn't involve Moss Adams or Grant Thornton.

Rumor has it Larson Allen and Clifton Gunderson are merging. Vote approved by Larsen Allen, vote pending by CG.

We checked with another source, someone familiar with dealings within the accounting industry, who confirmed that the two firms are talking. According to this person, the combination would make sense as both LA and CG are "sleepy" firms that don't perform public company audits and have been making small acquisitions here and there. Also it would strengthen CG in areas like Virginia/Maryland where they are rumored to be lowballing engagements and Larson in places like Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin where CG has a big presence. This person also said that the deal was "probably 50/50 right now" with the rumored name of the new firm being "CliftonLarsonAllen."

Clifton Gunderson CEO Krista McMasters told Going Concern that this is "not a story" right now because the firms are simply in "exploratory discussions" and there has not been a vote by the CG partners. Ms. McMasters also denied that there had been any decision on the name of the combined firm, reiterating that they are simply feeling each other out. Even though it doesn't sound like things are hot and heavy yet, we rammed a few details together from Accounting Today's most recent Top 100 Firms list to see what the CliftonLarsonAllen firm would look like:

• A combined $470 million in revenues. That would be good enough to be the 10th largest firm in the U.S.

• 60 offices (probably some consolidation) in 24 states and The District of Columbia.

• Over 300 partners and 3,000 total employees.

A spokesman at LarsonAllen declined to comment but was trying to get someone in the know to call us back. So far, we haven't heard anything. If you're in the loop and have more details to share, email us.

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