SYRACUSE — It started as a casual encounter at a Syracuse Chiefs game, but the end result is the merger of two established Central New York accounting firms — a move that expands the scope of expertise at both firms.
D’Arcangelo & Co., LLP, based in Utica, and Syracuse–based Kruth, Stein, Squadrito, Liberman & Silverman, LLP (KSSL&S) merged operations under the D’Arcangelo name effective Jan. 1. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“D’Arcangelo has been desirous of having a physical presence in Syracuse,” Practice Manager Diane Fowler says of the merger. The firm wasn’t necessarily actively seeking a merger, but when some partners from D’Arcangelo bumped into some partners from KSSL&S at a baseball game in the summer of 2011, the conversation started flowing.
The merger just made sense on several levels, Fowler says. D’Arcangelo already has a client base in Syracuse.
“Some of the largest clients we have are Syracuse–based,” she notes. Merging with KSSL&S now gives D’Arcangelo an office at 401 N. Salina St.
The second way the merger makes sense is through the complementary nature of the two accounting firms.
“Their clientele is more focused in the area of taxes and small business,” Fowler says of KSSL&S. D’Arcangelo has strength in audits, human-resources consulting, insurance services, and investment management. “We expect to complement their practice,” with those services, Fowler says.
Julius J. Kruth founded KSSL&S in 1950. “We found that because of the two firms’ similar cultures, our core values, and our shared emphasis on the role of the partner, the combination of partner and staff talent from all offices would provide benefits such as staff synergy, expanded use of technology, overhead reduction, niche practice creation, and expanded services,” Managing Partner Sheldon Kruth said in a news release.
D’Arcangelo, founded more than 60 years ago, has a strong niche-based practice in the areas of ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act) and with governmental auditing.
“D’Arcangelo and Co., LLP can offer any and every client the qualifications, service, and experience of a large firm, but at small firm rates,” Managing Partner Mark Semo said in a news release about the merger. “Our partners are hands-on, in the trenches daily on behalf of our clients, and we believe that it’s this level of service that sets us apart from other firms.”
“We have significant depth in tax already, but their focus in tax and small business will even add to that more,” Fowler notes of how KSSL&S will benefit D’Arcangelo.
“It’s a great partnership between the two firms,” she says. “”We’re very excited about our future in Syracuse.”
D’Arcangelo retained all 25 employees at KSSL&S and they joined D’Arcangelo’s more than 150 employees at locations in Utica, Rome, Oneida, Poughkeepsie, Millbrook, and Westchester.
To market the newly merged firms, Fowler says the company has done print advertising with numerous publications including The Mohawk Valley Business Journal and The Central New York Business Journal, the Syracuse Post-Standard, the Rome Sentinel, the Rome Dispatch, and the Utica Observer-Dispatch. The firm is also sponsoring the show “Financial Fitness,” airing Thursday nights on WCNY to further get its name out there.
“We’ve been reaching out to all of our clients,” Fowler adds. The firm is also sending letters to prospective clients.
Fowler declined to share client figures or growth projections for the firm.
“We just know that this is going to provide a big opportunity for us, and we’re excited to see where it goes,” she says.