Steve Biegler had more to toast on Jan. 1 than just the new year.
His namesake accounting firm, Biegler & Associates, finalized its merger with Alexandria-based Kositzka, Wicks & Co. as the clock struck 12:01 a.m. and the calendar turned over to 2017.
It brings Biegler’s 16-person company – which he founded in 1982 – into the fold of a larger firm that he hopes will help attract larger clients and the next generation of accounting employees.
“We started to realize that in order for us to really have an impact with larger clients in the Richmond market, we need to have a larger base of staff,” said Biegler. “Being a 16-person firm, there is some struggle to get younger folks to buy into that structure.”
KWC managing principal Steve Travis said Biegler’s staff joins KWC’s 75 employees to create a firm with expected combined revenue of around $15 million in 2017.
Travis said the deal was driven in part by KWC’s attempts to grow, while remaining independent in a rapidly consolidating industry.
“In the public accounting economy as a whole there’s been a great deal of consolidation and firms of our size are selling to larger firms,” Travis said.
“As a result there’s a good opportunity (for mergers and acquisitions) in our market. Small businesses want their accountant to also be a small business. Our goal is to remain independent and not have to merge into a large national or regional firm.”
Biegler said he talked to several firms about potentially joining forces. He said he liked KWC because it’s a larger firm that calls on the same types of clients as his firm. Both serve medium and small business professional services clients, with a focus in the nonprofit, construction and real estate sectors. Biegler does a lot of historic tax credit work, while KWC takes advantage of its location’s proximity to a hot bed of government contractors.
Travis said KWC, which was founded in 1983, was attracted to Biegler’s firm for its employees.
“This is a talent acquisition business,” Travis said. “The more talented people you have the better opportunity you have to succeed. This is a way to add 15 extremely talented people.”
Biegler & Associates and all its employees, including Biegler and partners Michelle Graves and Cathy Stemple will continue to operate at its current Richmond office at 5911 W. Broad St. Biegler is staying on as managing principal of the Richmond office.
Travis said KWC will continue to keep its eye out for similar deals in Richmond and beyond.