Spoor Bunch Franz (SBF), one of the Tampa Bay area’s largest and most respected accounting firms, announced today that it has merged with Westbay CPAs, one of the state’s top firms specializing in forensic accounting and business valuation.
The merger with Clearwater-based Westbay CPAs (Westbay), which took effect January 1, broadens SBF’s capabilities while bringing together two firms that already had a number of clients in common. The move will also add a Clearwater office for SBF, which already has its headquarters in St. Petersburg and an office in Tampa.
Westbay, founded in 2013, has specialized in offering a variety of forensic accounting and business valuation services that will now be part of SBF’s offerings, including:
– Forensic accounting: Accounting in divorce cases, shareholder disputes and other civil and criminal cases.
– Business valuation: Assisting business owners with such initiatives as capturing the current value of a business and offering advice on building value.
– M&A/business transaction services: Helping business owners to sell their business and convert business value into cash.
With the merger, SBF now has over 100 employees, and since the start of the pandemic in 2020, SBF has increased its staff over 20 percent. SBF has been named Tampa Bay Business Journal Best Place to Work for the past four years and Tampa Bay Times Top Workplace for the past three years.
SBF has been growing steadily since its founding, the result of a 2016 merger of two large longtime Tampa Bay firms. In addition to its organic growth since 2016, SBF added employees and clients through mergers with the Strawn, Marshall, Cunningham, Condon & Sweat accounting firm in 2018 and the Dwight Darby accounting firm in 2021.
“Adding Westbay to the SBF lineup of services strengthens the breadth of our offerings, continuing the ability for our clients to have a one-stop shop,” said Rich Franz, SBF’s managing partner. “Not only does the merger enhance our ability to serve our clients, it gives SBF employees the opportunity to consider advisory services as a potential career path.”
Westbay’s owner, David Harper, will become an equity partner at SBF, which will continue to operate its headquarters facility in the Baypoint Commerce Center in north St. Petersburg. The firm also has two other offices, in Clearwater and Tampa. SBF/Westbay will be co-branded initially, and will work on a long-term joint branding strategy in 2023.
At SBF, we have been providing full-service accounting solutions since 1971. As CPAs, we pride ourselves on our objectivity, integrity, and special understanding of how financial decisions affect your lifestyle choices. We believe strongly in providing superior service, and offer a state-of-the-art technology platform to deliver convenient, 24-hour access to your financial data. Our St. Petersburg, Florida-based company works with clients around the country, offering assistance in such areas as business consulting, accounting, tax planning and returns, estate and trust planning, audit and review engagements, and now business valuation and forensic accounting services. More information is available at sbfcpa.com.