Short and sweet
Squar, Milner, Peterson, Miranda & Williams (Squar Milner)
is one of the biggest accounting and advisory firms in Orange
County, Calif. It's also the 80th-largest accounting firm in
the U.S. by revenue according to Accounting Today's 2008
rankings. The firm's 175 professionals and 29 partners work
from domestic offices in Los Angeles, San Diego and Newport Beach;
a fourth location in the Cayman Islands provides financial services
to alternative investment funds and hedge funds.
Although Squar Milner is best known as a Southern California
firm, it provides accounting and financial services to clients in
all 50 states and in 51 countries. It's also an independent
member of BKR International, a global association of about 135
accounting firms in 60 countries.
No need to translate
That lengthy name reflects Squar Milner's heritage: the firm as
it exists today is the product of a 2006 merger between Orange
County CPAs Squar Milner (founded in 1981) and San Diego's Peterson
& Company LLP (which dated back to 1951).
Squar Milner's clients include closely-held businesses and
public companies, with an emphasis on the middle market, and
middle- to high-net-worth individuals. Multinational and
international business needs? No problem. According to
the firm, its people speak a dozen different languages.
Services are aimed at eight industries: technology and bio-science;
consumer products and retail; public companies; real estate,
construction and hospitality; financial services; entertainment;
services; and manufacturing and distribution.
Since 2003, Squar Milner has been registered with the Public
Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), making it one of the
few Southern California-based CPA firms that are qualified to
perform audits of publicly held companies.
The Squar Milner audit and accounting practice provides audit,
review, compilation, and other attestation services to a variety of
clients, some of whom have been coming back years. According
to the firm, its accounting clients do business in over 70
In July 2008, Squar Milner expanded, merging with Los
Angeles-based accounting and consulting firm Thomashow, Brown &
Paialii LLP. The deal made Squar Milner the No. 6 accounting
firm in Orange County, ranking close behind members of the Big
Four. It also became the largest accounting and advisory
business based in Southern California. "The combination of
the firms allows us to serve clients from Los Angeles through
Orange County to San Diego with a high degree of service but the
resources of a large firm," said Squar Milner Managing Partner
Since the Squar Milner/Peterson & Company combination in 2006,
the firm has been on a steady growth path, its Los Angeles office
opened in 2007, and the Cayman Islands location debuted in
2008. Post-merger, 15 Thomashow, Brown employees (including
two partners) joined Squar Milner.
Speaking about the merger, Steve Milner noted that even business
in Los Angeles had picked up since 2007, "and more importantly, we
have a number of opportunities in Los Angeles." He added,
"Sometimes, it is not always a natural fit for a Los Angeles firm
to consider an Orange County firm and vice versa. We wanted to make
sure we had the resources actually located in Los Angeles, and we
intend to expand those resources through transfers as well as
additional hires. The service being provided will be provided
by people who live in Los Angeles and are clearly part of the
Leading the way
Managing partner Steve Milner began his career as a Deloitte
& Touche tax consultant, later serving as vice president and
corporate controller for Birtcher Real Estate, one of the country's
largest developers and property managers.
Now, in addition to guiding the firm's overall business, Milner
is a partner in both the Squar Milner tax department and the
bankruptcy and litigation services department. He consults
clients on business and financial analysis, workouts, acquisitions
and divestitures and other management issues. He's also
involved in tax planning and compliance work.
Fast and best
Squar Milner has picked up its fair share of awards over the
years. In 2008, it was named one of INSIDE Public
Accounting's 25 Best of the Best CPA firms, a prestigious ranking
that surveys firms ranging in size from $6 million to $275 million
in annual revenue. Squar Milner was one of 10 best firms that
were based in California, earning recognition for "wise management
and superior operational performance in fiscal and management
Closer to home, in 2008, the Orange County Business Journal
dubbed Squar Milner one of the Top 50 Fastest-Growing Private
Companies in Orange County.