What were once the Big Eight accounting firms have merged into what some call the "Final Four." Small and mid-level firms are following suit, and merging at an ever-increasing pace. As accounting firms seek to increase their client bases, broaden areas of expertise, and grow geographical presence, mergers afford many firms the opportunity to make these dreams a reality. Without proper preparation, however, the dreams promised by firm mergers can quickly turn into nightmares. Being aware of the potential pitfalls when two or more accounting firms join their operations can go a long way toward enabling all parties to anticipate and address problems before they arise. Issues to consider include: 1. What is each firm seeking? 2. Are the firm cultures compatible? 3. Has the quality of each practice been assessed? 4. Who covers subsequent malpractice liability claims? 5. How will all of the employees be incorporated into the new firm?
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