CRI merges in Brown Nelms


Carr, Riggs & Ingram, a Top 25 Firm based in Enterprise, Alabama, has expanded its presence in the Atlanta area by adding Brown, Nelms & Co., a firm based in Peachtree City, Georgia, for an undisclosed sum.

Brown Nelms earned $3.7 million in annual revenue and will add 18 staff members to CRI. The firm dates back to 1983 and has been led by partners Ted Brown and David Nelms. It specializes in construction industry clients, offering services including tax, accounting, auditing, financial reporting, strategic planning, M&A advisory, ownership transitions, employee stock option plans and retirement plan audits.

CRI ranked No. 22 on Accounting Today‘s 2022 list of the Top 100 Firms and earned over $380 million in yearly revenue and over 2,000 staff members, including more than 350 partners. It has been expanding at a rapid clip over the years, including in Georgia, where it already has offices in Atlanta, Tifton and Valdosta.

Carr Riggs & Ingram wall logo

Courtesy of CRI

“Brown Nelms and CRI share a strong commitment to serving the greater Atlanta area, extensive histories of exceptional client service, employee-focused cultures, and a dedication to forging growth in our profession,” said CRI managing partner and chairman Bill Carr in a statement Friday. “This joining is a natural fit for both firms, and we look forward to our shared futures and the possibilities ahead for our clients, partners, employees, and the Atlanta area.”

CRI operates in more than 30 markets across 10 states, providing accounting, auditing, tax, advisory, and client accounting services. 

“With Brown Nelms joining CRI, we can utilize our combined strengths to offer our clients and the greater Atlanta area highly specialized expertise with greater performance and accessibility,” said Kelly Bollinger, partner-in-charge of CRI’s Atlanta practice, in a statement. “Growing our presence opens new opportunities for us all, and we are excited about the future possibilities.”

Koltin Consulting Group CEO Allan Koltin advised both firms on the deal. “There is a reason why CRI is now the largest regional CPA and advisory firm based exclusively in the Southeast — and that reason is their culture of caring about their people and their clients,” he said in a statement. “Combine that with their great leadership, talent and innovation, and you quickly see why they have become a destination for great talent. And Brown Nelms is known throughout the Atlanta region for their specialization in the construction industry. They were sought after by many acquirers but chose CRI for all of the above reasons.”

CRI does frequent M&A deals; most recently it added Miami firm Alonso & Garcia in July. In January, it expanded in Florida by adding Travani & Richter in Jupiter, and in Texas by adding Pharr Bounds LLP in Austin. Last November, the firm expanded in Georgia by adding Brooks, McGinnis & Co., a firm in Atlanta, and last September, it expanded in North Carolina by adding Sharrard, McGee & Co.

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