Max, Max & David
Anchin, Block & Anchin is named for its three founders-Max
Anchin, Max Block and David Anchin-who formed the firm in 1923.
Today it's no longer just a local family business; it has three
offices in the state of New York, including headquarters in Midtown
Manhattan. Its 53 partners and 400-plus staffers are backed by
Anchin's affiliation with HLB International, a worldwide network of
independent accounting and advisory firms. HLB member firms can be
found in over 100 countries, and include 440 offices, 1,750
partners and 13,400 employees.
Anchin's clients are privately-held businesses and
high-net-worth individuals that call on the firm for financial
statement preparation, audits, tax planning and compliance
services, risk management, economic development and tax incentive
services, management and succession advisory services, merger and
acquisition services, wealth management, litigation support,
forensic accounting and valuation services. The firm's industry
specialty groups include apparel, textile, diamonds and jewelry;
architecture and engineering; law firms; construction; financial
services; food and beverage; manufacturing and distribution;
insurance; real estate; nonprofit organizations; technology
services; and trusts and estates.
According to analysis by Public Accounting Report, Anchin is one
of the fastest-growing accounting firms in the country. And Anchin
ranked No. 27 on INSIDE Public Accounting and Accounting Today's
2008 lists of America's largest CPA firms.
Behrman gets on board
In January 2008, Anchin announced its merger with H.J. Behrman,
a New York City-based firm with a history reaching back to 1910.
The deal added 26 accounting and tax professionals to Anchin's
Manhattan office; upon closing, the H.J. Behrman name ceased to
exist, and the combined firm rolled on under the Anchin moniker.
Howard Krams, Louis Levy and Neal Klinger (Behrman's managing
partners) agreed to join Anchin as partners. Frank Schettino,
Anchin's managing partner, lauded Behrman's "reputation in the New
York area" in a press release at the time of the deal, and noted
that its expertise in the real estate industry "reinforces our
position as the go-to real estate accounting and tax firm."
Another expansion came in April 2008 when Anchin formed a
strategic alliance with RFR International, bringing RFR founder
Jeremiah Schnee on board as managing partner of a new business
called ABA/RFR Business Advisory Services. Schnee's consulting
business served middle market and multinational corporations,
including Northrop Grumman, Pfizer, Allstate and Colgate
The ABA/RFR practice will work with privately held companies in the
New York-metro area, offering operational improvement plans;
strategic planning; new customer acquisition, brand, marketing and
sales planning; human resources and organizational assessments;
talent acquisition; and M&A advisory. Because clients who sign
on for ABA/RFR services may also benefit from Anchin's core
accounting and tax services, the new business has the potential to
boost revenues in other areas of the firm.
Order in the court!
Thomas K. Lee, a prominent litigation support expert, joined
Anchin's litigation support, forensics and valuation services group
as a director in July 2008. Lee came to the firm after 15 years at
Navigant Consulting, where he conducted financial investigations
and advised clients and attorneys on financial dispute issues.
Before that, Lee worked in Coopers & Lybrand's disputes and
The litigation, forensics and valuation services group is led by
partner Stephen Shulman, a CPA and qualified expert in the New York
Supreme Court and Federal Court.
You'll never get lost again
With all the growth that's been going on, Anchin's Manhattan
headquarters now occupies seven floors, up from six in 2007. In
addition to renting more space, the firm has been making some
in-house improvements. According to a 2008 WebCPA article, Anchin
has revamped its intranet in order to promote staff interaction and
to help keep the small-firm feeling alive. When employees log in,
they receive updates about firm developments, technical issues and
staff news. There's also a daily list of all firm members who are
celebrating their birthdays and a link to send birthday greetings
Anchin was one of just 60 firms to receive Accounting Today's
2008 Best Accounting Firms to Work For honor in October 2008. The
first annual award program was created by The Accountants Media
Group, which publishes Accounting Today, Practical Accountant,
WebCPA and other titles. Firms were ranked in three categories
(small, midsized and large), based on employee headcount; Anchin
was among the 15 companies in the large category. The rigorous
ranking process involved an evaluation of each firm's workplace
policies, practices and demographics, plus employee surveys.
Also in 2008, the Society for Human Resources Management-the
world's largest professional association devoted to human resource
management issues-dubbed Anchin a Best Place to Work in New
The founding fathers
Each year the New York State Society of CPAs (NYSSCPA) presents
the Max Block Distinguished Article Award to three authors whose
work has appeared in The CPA Journal. Awards are given in three
categories: technical analysis, policy analysis and informed
comment. The late Block, a member of the NYSSCPA Hall of Fame,
served as managing editor of the NYSSCPA Journal (which was later
renamed The CPA Journal) from 1958 to 1972. The Max Block Award was
established in 1975 to honor his contributions to the profession
and the publication.
David Anchin, another firm co-founder, is remembered by the
David C. Anchin Center for the Advancement of Teaching at the
University of South Florida. (Anchin resided in Sarasota for many
years after retiring from his firm.) The center that bears his name
is dedicated to improving schools and promoting educational reform,
causes that were always close to Anchin's heart. Anchin, one of
five children in a Russian immigrant family, went to great lengths
to obtain his own education. He worked before and after classes
during high school in order to help support his family, and he
earned advanced degrees from Fordham, New York University, and the
City College of New York by working days and attending classes at
News and analysis
Anchin clients, and anyone with Internet access, can stay up to
date on the firm's research, analysis and insight thanks to its
many publications. The Anchin Advantage examines a range of general
accounting and business topics, including family business
management, fraud detection, energy efficiency and tax news.
Construction Digest and Food and Beverage News address
industry-specific issues. And The Long Island Advantage and The
Westchester Advantage are aimed at companies doing business in
Be the best
Insiders say Anchin is "very selective at each level, as we want
to provide the best people to those who are already working at the
firm." The firm recruits candidates at all levels and in a variety
of specialties (such as litigation support, FAS 109, etc.) on a
year-round basis. Those who join in audit will work with clients in
the accounting and audit areas, and develop a strong tax background
in corporate, partnerships and individuals' taxes. The firm says
the ideal candidate to join its tax department is a CPA or JD with
a master's in taxation either completed or in progress.
Though "it is not necessary to have an internship with our firm
to get hired," it certainly can't hurt. Anchin offers six to eight
paid internships a year to accounting majors.
According to the firm, the goal of the internship program is to
recruit individuals who will remain with the firm beyond
graduation. Each year, the firm hires several individuals on a
full-time basis who came in as interns. The hiring process, says a
source, involves "one informal interview followed by a formal
interview with two supervisors and a partner. It's more
discussion-based rather than the interviewer firing questions at
the interviewee." If you're recruited from campus, you can expect
to meet with "at least three more individuals" and will also be
"assigned a buddy for the day." Anchin recruits from a number of
schools, including Cornell, Fordham, SUNY Albany, SUNY Binghamton,
Pace, Rutgers, Lehigh, Syracuse, Maryland and Boston College.
OUR SURVEY SAYS
Celebrate good times
The atmosphere of the workplace is "all about work and fun," and
"the partners on down go out of their way to welcome you to the
firm." The firm also places an "emphasis on balance and quality of
life in the workplace." Thankfully, there are few egos reported.
Anchin has a "very friendly staff" with an "open-door policy" where
"any staff person can speak to a partner at any time."
Hours at the office are reasonable as well, averaging anywhere
between 40 and 60 per week. And weekend work isn't a frequent
occurrence, either. One insider admits weekend work "occurs during
the busy season and only rarely the rest of the year," but even
during the busy season it only "averages about once a month."
Another contact confirms the infrequency of weekend hours, adding
that "from January 15th through April 15th, I work only one weekend
Good vibes all around
Office space generally receives high marks from respondents. In
the New York offices, there is a "new lunch and lounge area" that's
"state-of-the-art." The dress code, "casual always except for
client contact," also receives a thumbs-up from workers, as do
Anchin's training programs. And as far as diversity in the
workplace goes, contacts favorably rate the firm's efforts toward
the equitable treatment of women, ethnic minorities, and gays and
The firm's training programs also receive high marks from
employees. "Anchin University is the best," enthuses one insider.
In addition, team-building activities get a collective thumbs-up
from workers, who laud the "annual ping pong tournament" and
"semi-annual Texas Hold 'Em tournament."