How to Grow a Firm with Focused Mergers and Acquisitions

At the beginning of his career as a CPA, John Bly expected to be a “lifer” at PWC. But soon it became evident that this was not the path he was meant to take. On discovering that it was possible to buy and sell firms, everything was about to change. In this episode, John shares his unusual journey, which took him from being part of a two-person firm with his wife to becoming one of the fastest-growing companies in North Carolina. 

After starting his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers, John left to found Bly & Bly CPA with his wife, Darci, which quickly became one of the fastest-growing privately held companies in North Carolina. John engineered the firm’s growth both organically and through M&A, merging with 14 firms since 2004 and ultimately leading to the combination with Aprio. As Regional Managing Partner for the Carolinas, he applies his experience analyzing financial information to advise buyers or sellers in M&A transactions. Considered a thought leader on a wide range of business topics, including taxation, business valuation and mergers and acquisitions, John is a frequently requested presenter and speaks globally sharing business ideas and growth strategies.

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About the Guest

Meet the Host

Randy Crabtree, CPA

Randy Crabtree

Randy Crabtree, co-founder and partner of Tri-Merit Specialty Tax Professionals, is a widely followed author, lecturer and podcast host for the accounting profession.

Since 2019, he has hosted the “The Unique CPA,” podcast, which ranks among the world’s 5% most popular programs (Source: Listen Score). You can find articles from Randy in Accounting Today’s Voices column, the AICPA Tax Adviser (Tax-saving opportunities for the housing and construction industries) and he is a regular presenter at conferences and virtual training events hosted by CPAmerica, Prime Global, Leading Edge Alliance (LEA), Allinial Global and several state CPA societies. Crabtree also provides continuing professional education to top 100 CPA firms across the country.

Schaumburg, Illinois-based Tri-Merit is a niche professional services firm that specializes in helping CPAs and their clients benefit from R&D tax credits, cost segregation, the energy efficient commercial buildings deduction (179D), the energy efficient home credit (45L) and the employee retention credit (ERC).

Prior to joining Tri-Merit, Crabtree was managing partner of a CPA firm in the greater Chicago area. He has more than 30 years of public accounting and tax consulting experience in a wide variety of industries, and has worked closely with top executives to help them optimize their tax planning strategies.