Home / Articles / Smart Growth, Strong Roots: An acquisition in Columbus and a merger in Miami Valley

Smart Growth, Strong Roots: An acquisition in Columbus and a merger in Miami Valley

July 26, 2012


We have recently joined with Columbus-based Fentress & Barnes (F&B), creating Columbus’s eighth largest public accounting firm. The union has moved CSH up ten spots in national rankings to become one of the top 60 public accounting firms in the United States, based on information from the 2012 Accounting Today Top 100 Firms list.

The acquisition has increased CSH’s Columbus employee presence from 28 to 70 and resulted in 13.5% growth across the firm. This has bumped the regional firm’s total staffing to 350, increased client ranks to approximately 23,000, and spurred annual firm revenue to a projected $50 million.

Clark Schaefer Hackett, a 74 year-old firm, has had a location in the Columbus market for more than 30 years. Fentress & Barnes was founded locally by Todd Fentress and Matt Barnes in 2009. The F&B office has earned the business of a nationwide clientele and generated $6 million in annual revenue. A concentration of their clients come from the Affordable Housing Industry.

Columbus Shareholder-in-Charge Ed Walshwill lead the larger CSH Columbus office, maintaining the role he has held since 2003. The firm is led by Cincinnati-based President Carl Coburn.

Todd Fentress and Aram Moore of Fentress & Barnes have become CSH shareholders. Fentress now serves as the Affordable Housing Industry Group Chair. The F&B staff joins CSH shareholders Devesh Kamal and Darrin Spitzer in spearheading Clark Schaefer Hackett’s well-established initiatives in this growing sector.

Clark Schaefer Hackett has demonstrated healthy firmwide growth in recent years. In 2011, the firm established a Cleveland office. Poised for steady expansion in Southwest Ohio, CSH also moved its downtown Cincinnati office to a location conducive to a larger staff, just a block from its previous address.

In January 2012, Clark Schaefer Hackett acquired Toledo’s Brell Holt & Co., increasing its Northwest Ohio presence. And the firm just opened a 76-person accounting center of excellence to serve the I-75 growth corridor, the region between the firm’s Cincinnati and Springfield, Ohio offices. This new Miami Valley office houses the Clark Schaefer Hackett associates formerly of the firm’s Middletown and Dayton locations.

Clark Schaefer Hackett now serves clients throughout the country from locations in six Ohio markets. Members of F&B leadership were drawn to this position of strength.

“Joining with Clark Schaefer Hackett is the right decision for our clients,” said Fentress. “We’re both proactive, service-oriented firms. Together we have the resources to offer deeper expertise and greater efficiency.”

These clients will find that Clark Schaefer Hackett offers exceptional industry-specific, targeted thought-leadership. Through educational seminars and webinars, roundtables, publications, regulatory updates, primary research, original content, traditional media and social media, the firm has earned a reputation for adding value to client organizations.

“Our tagline is ‘Strength in Numbers.’ Due to our size and strategic growth, our client work is robust enough for professionals to become dedicated to a specialization,” said Coburn. “We encourage associates to deeply focus on their craft.”

Clark Schaefer Hackett offers industry specialization in Affordable Housing, Construction & Real Estate, Financial Institutions, Government, Healthcare, Manufacturing & Distribution, Not-For-Profit, Post-Secondary Education, Private Equity, and Professional Service Providers.

The firm is also home to service teams who focus on Employee Benefit Plan Audits, Qualified Plan Administration and Consulting, Transaction Support, Business Valuations, Litigation Support, International Services, and Small Business Solutions, in addition to traditional Tax and Assurance services.


Clark Schaefer Hackett clients include privately held businesses, individuals, not-for-profit organizations and government entities who appreciate a tailored approach to assurance, tax and consulting services. Associates provide talent comparable to a national firm, with the service ethic of a regional firm, and the value-added pricing structure of a local firm.

All content provided in this article is for informational purposes only. Matters discussed in this article are subject to change. For up-to-date information on this subject please contact a Clark Schaefer Hackett professional. Clark Schaefer Hackett will not be held responsible for any claim, loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of any information within these pages or any information accessed through this site.


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