July 16, 2018

CliftonLarsonAllen

In the Interest of Security and Penny-Pinching, CliftonLarsenAllen Will No Longer Accept Credit Cards

Wait a minute, why the hell were clients sending their credit card numbers via email in the first place?! Our tipster shares a recent email from the higher ups: Hello All, Gordy Viere, Denny Schleper, John Shutkin and Chas McElroy have made a decision that we will no longer accept credit cards as a method […]

CliftonLarsonAllen Settles with Dixon for $36 Million Over Crundwell Fraud

In addition to CLA coughing up their share, Fifth Third Bank will pay $3 million, and the city's auditor Sam Card will pay $1 million for a nice round sum of $40 million total, according to Saukvalley.com.  CLA provided us with a statement from CEO Gordon Viere: The allegations of fraud committed by City of Dixon Comptroller […]

(UPDATE) If Krista McMasters, co-CEO of CliftonLarsonAllen, Is Retiring Then There Would Be No Major Public Accounting Firms Led By Women

UPDATEA couple of reports out of the Milwaukee press have confirmed our tips from yesterday. We've also received the text of two emails, one from Ms. McMasters and one from CLA's other CEO, Gordy Viere that communicate the decision to the firm's employees. They appear on the following pages.

A couple of tips came in earlier today that CliftonLarsonAllen's co-CEO Krista McMasters is retiring. If she were to step down then it stands to reason that Gordy Viere, the CEO of CLA Holdings would be the head of the firm. We're still trying to confirm that this is in fact the case but if true, that would mean all of the CEOs (managing partners, or whatever else they might be called) of the 25 largest firms would be led by men.

According to This Dude Who May Have Helped Screw It Up, CliftonLarsonAllen Totally Screwed Up on the Dixon Audit

Meanwhile, back at the horse ranch: Sam Card says that CliftonLarsonAllen continued to do an audit for the city, despite guidelines that said they should not. In an October deposition statement, Card said that he and his mother’s small Sterling accounting office, which became Dixon’s contracted auditor after 2005, did not do its own audit […]

It Looks Like Clifton Gunderson Knew About Rita Crundwell’s Secret Bank Account

Everyone remember Rita Crundwell? She's the horse lady that gave Dixon, Illinois a long face when it was discovered that she had been helping herself to the city's money. About $53 million or so over a couple of decades. That's not Madoff, Stanford, or Petters money, but it's not exactly a small sum. Last summer Dixon […]

Recruiting Season: Looking for a Firm with “Longevity”; The Big 4 Toss-up; Opportunities Missed

Welcome to Rock the Recruitment Season. We'll be winding up the 2012 series very soon so if you still have a question about recruiting season, email us at [email protected] with "Recruiting Season Questions" in the subject line. The recruitment season questions have slowed to a trickle, so you best get them in while you can, […]

City of Dixon Sues Auditors Over…Ya Know

That money isn't going to find itself now, is it? An attorney for the city of Dixon filed a civil complaint this morning against the accounting firms that conducted the city's audit for the past 5 years. The complaint says that Samuel S. Card, CPA, P.C., and Janis Card Company, LLC, both located at 501 E. […]

Future Associate Wants to Know What to Expect From His Firm (That We Can’t Say, Definitively, Is CliftonLarsonAllen) That Is Merging

Ed. note: Are you in the throes of holiday cheer but deep in the belly of career jeer? Email us at [email protected], we’ll lend you an ear.

Hey GC,

I’ll try to keep this short and to the point.

I’ll be starting my career soon with a firm that will be merging with another. Should I be wary of anything that could change on my end?

Thanks!

The first question to cross my mind was “what firms are merging?” Caleb suggested that our contributor could be from CliftonLarsonAllen, covered on Going Concern last month. Poor Gunderson. But yes, mergers (MERGERS!) can be fun/daunting/HR headaches/swag gold mines. Below are a few things to expect.


Client Coddling: Priority #1 in any merger is for the partners to assure their clients’ confidence in the new, stronger firm. Employee cross-over from one firm to the other’s engagements can be expected on the lower levels, but expect partners to remain active on their respective clients.

Crash Courses in Firm Lingo: Here come the HR tutorials. Acronyms – the lifeblood to any public accounting firm – will have to be efficiently combined. More so, understanding what “the other guys” do is very important from a sales perspective. Understanding the merger’s strengths will not only be beneficial in making current employees confident and comfortable with the merger, but they will be prepared to answer the inevitable client question of, “why did you merge with THEM?”

IT/HR headaches: “Who do I call for computer questions?” “Who is my HR contact?” “Are we UPS or FedEx now?” “How do we submit T&E?” There are bound to be efficiencies in the day-to-day operations of the newly merged. But, inefficiencies in the short term will hopefully lead to long-term improvements.

SWAG: Let’s end this dance on a good note. HR should be ordering up all kinds of stylish pens, travel sized 10 keys, and XXL hoodless sweatshirts. Most of the goodies will be slated to hit cover the desks of clients to keep them in the loop of Gunderson’s departure from the picture. However, look out for your office’s HR professional at the holiday party (i.e. – get them wasted) and see if they’ll hook you up with some of the leftovers.

It Appears That Non-Story of LarsonAllen and Clifton Gunderson Merging Is a Real Story Now

Last month we broke the news of LarsonAllen and Clifton Gunderson feeling each other out about a possible merger. At the time, Clifton Gunderson CEO Krista McMasters told Going Concern that the two firms were simply in “exploratory discussions” and it wasn’t a story. Sorta like when two celebrities are seen vacationing on a yacht together. Everyone just assumes they’re banging, will eventually be a couple and the new celeb couple name game begins instantly. However, it turns out that they are “just friends” who are “enjoying time together.” For this particular round, our sources told us that LA and CG were “50/50,” that LarsonAllen had approved the merger and that the new merged firm would be known as CliftonLarsonAllen. Again, at the time of our discussion, Ms. McMasters denied that anything had been decided.

Well, today, it appears that the “exploring” went pretty well and the name game was right on the money:

Clifton Gunderson and LarsonAllen have confirmed they plan to merge in the New Year into a combined firm known as CliftonLarsonAllen. The two firms said Tuesday they would combine, effective January 2, to create one of the top 10 accounting firms in the U.S., with combined revenues of between $550 million and $560 million.

Not to nitpick but by Accounting Today’s count, the combined revenues would be closer to $470 million. I haven’t punched a 10-key in a number of years but that’s the number I got. I guess sometimes you just gotta take their word, amiright? ANYWAY, since these two firms were simply in “exploratory discussions” it’s pretty impressive that they were able to slap this deal together so quickly isn’t it?

The two firms began discussions in the spring and made rapid progress. “As often happens in our profession, firms get together to talk about what it might look like if they ever were to come together and how they might help each other,” said LarsonAllen CEO Gordy Viere.

Gosh, I must have a warped idea of what “exploratory” means. And by “spring” I assume that’s the period between late March and late June? And by rapid progress, does that mean, in three months they were still in “exploratory discussions” and nowhere near a deal, only to fall into each other’s arms less than a month later? I need help with this.

Clifton Gunderson and LarsonAllen to Merge [AT]