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Bonadio Group stays focused on expansion, expects more mergers

By Journal Staff

Date:

SYRACUSE — Growth in Central New York continues to be a priority for accounting firm The Bonadio Group, even after it acquired the Syracuse operations of Philadelphia–based ParenteBeard last year.

The deal added all 25 people from ParenteBeard’s Syracuse office, including four partners, to bring Bonadio’s total work force in Syracuse to 55. The Bonadio Group, based in Rochester, has 350 employees statewide with additional offices in Buffalo, Albany, Geneva, Perry, and New York City.

Managing Partner and CEO Thomas Bonadio doesn’t expect the firm’s Syracuse growth to stop. The market remains a priority for more expansion, along with the Hudson Valley or northern New Jersey and Buffalo.

Bonadio says he expects another two mergers in the next two years and it’s likely at least one will be in Central New York. The firm is in active discussions in nearly all its markets on potential acquisitions, he adds.

The ParenteBeard deal added about $3 million in revenue to the firm, which is projecting $46.4 million in revenue for 2011. The firm’s fiscal year ends in April.

That’s an increase of about 10 percent, but even without the Syracuse acquisition revenue rose about 8 percent, Bonadio notes.

Consolidation is ongoing throughout the accounting industry, he adds. The Bonadio Group itself has completed 11 mergers since 1994. All the partners involved in those mergers are still with the firm, Bonadio says, unless they retired as part of the deals.

In upstate New York, the deals are being driven partially by the number of accounting firms in the region. There are simply too many for the level of economic activity here, Bonadio says.

Plus, many firms in the area have aging populations of partners. Often, they don’t have good succession plans in place, Bonadio says.

Size also helps when competing for new business, he adds.

“You need to have a breadth of talent,” he says. “You need to have a wide variety of products. You need to be able to solve complex problems.”

The ParenteBeard deal brought the Bonadio Group a new practice area in financial institutions. Although Bonadio did some work in the space before, the new Syracuse group had extensive connections with banks, credit unions, and other institutions, says Stanley Konopko, managing partner for the Syracuse office.

“This was a significant addition,” he says.

The new resources have helped Bonadio win new business in the space throughout the state and even outside New York, he adds.

The Syracuse market itself offers plenty of opportunity for more growth, Konopko notes. The Bonadio Group has strong practices in nonprofits, health care, government, labor, and higher education.

“If you look at the Central New York footprint, there’s a lot of entities and organizations that fit that description,” Konopko says. “We believe there’s a lot of upside potential in all those areas.”

New York City continues to offer strong growth potential for the firm as well, Bonadio says. The firm opened a satellite office on Wall Street last year.

The Bonadio Group has a small physical presence in the market, but has staff there nearly every day working on projects, Bonadio says.

“We believe we’re very competitive there value-wise and price-wise and talent-wise,” he adds.

The Bonadio Group first entered the Syracuse market in 2007 with the acquisition of Loguidice & Kamide, CPAs PLLC.

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