BDO US and Cross, Fernandez & Riley merge in Florida

29 July 2015

Professional services firm BDO US has decided to merge with accounting firm Cross, Fernandez & Riley in Florida, which acted as the firm’s Orlando office between 1970 and 2000. The deal, which is expected to be completed on August 1, 2015, will add 95 employees to BDO’s headcount in Florida.

Cross, Fernandez & Riley (C/F/R) is US-based accounting firm that has its roots in the Central Florida business community since 1963. The firm offers traditional services including accounting, auditing, tax planning and compliance, and additional services in forensic accounting and litigation support, emerging business, international planning and specialised tax credits, deductions and incentives. The firm’s clients include technology & life sciences, non-profit, manufacturing & distribution, real estate & construction, hospitality, healthcare and other midsized companies. C/F/R has a staff of 95, including 9 partners, working from its offices in Orlando, Lakeland, Winter Haven and Tampa.

BDO and Cross, Fernandez & Riley merge

From 1970 to 2000, C/F/R served as BDO’s Orlando office and has since been a member of the firm’s BDO Alliance. Now, 15 years later, the two firms will once again combine their strengths. “In 2000, BDO was transitioning some of its smaller offices in what were then considered non-core markets to its Alliance program.  At that time, our Orlando practice, which would become C/F/R, was deemed to be a better fit for the Alliance program,” explains Wayne Berson, CEO of BDO US. “In the intervening years, Central Florida has become one of the fastest growing markets in the country and C/F/R has expanded to become one of the leading practices in the I-4 corridor.  With C/F/R, we aren't just entering a new market; we are gaining a leading accounting practice with a great reputation throughout the region.”  

As a result of the merger, a headcount of 95 professionals, including 9 partners, from C/F/R will be added to BDO’s headcount, totalling its Florida staff to more than 200. The new BDO Central Florida practice will be led by Melanie Fernandez, who takes on the role of Assurance Managing Partner, and Jennifer Spooner, who will act as Tax Managing Partner.

Wayne Berson | Jim Cross | Melanie Fernandez | Jennifer Spooner

Commenting on the deal, Jim Cross, Managing partner of C/F/R, says: “Over the past 15 years we have been very successful in growing our practice and expanding our footprint throughout Central Florida.  In re-joining BDO, we intend to amplify that growth even further.  As our clients have grown, they require the additional resources and services of a national firm.  In joining BDO, clients will continue to receive the close attention they have come to expect, while gaining access to a wider array of services, extensive industry experience and the resources of BDO’s extensive global network. As part of a national firm, our people will now have access to many more opportunities to pursue career growth. This will greatly enhance our ability to attract and retain the best and brightest talent in Central Florida.”