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Carlin, Charron, & Rosen (CCR) is a small accounting firm operating out of the Northeast that provides assurance, tax and advisory services to privately held businesses, public companies, nonprofit organizations and individuals.  The firm’s rank on Accounting Today’s Top 100 Accounting Firms list took a dip to 96th in 2008, reflecting an 11 percent drop in revenue.  As a result, CCR scaled back its operations drastically in 2008, cutting one-fourth of its workforce and eliminating its New York office. 

Despite suffering some setbacks, CCR’s New England business is still going strong.  The company has offices in Glastonbury, Conn.; Providence, R.I.; Boston, Mass.; and Westborough, Mass.  The accounting firm works with clients in six industry sectors: insurance, nonprofit, government, automotive, dental/medical and financial services. 

Worcester first-er

Carlin, Charron & Rosen began in 1918 as Joseph B. Cohan & Associates, one of the first accounting firms in Worcester, Mass. In the 1960s, Joseph Cohan’s son Herbert took over the family business and expanded its reach to Boston and Florida.  He also forged a partnership with Robert H. Charron in 1973. By 1990, Charron had become president of Joseph Cohan & Associates; in 1995, he oversaw a merger with the firm of Goff, Carlin & Cagan.

Bruce M. Carlin became managing partner of the newly formed Carlin, Charron & Rosen (Rosen stands for Larry S. Rosen, another partner in the deal).  Carlin believed CCR should become more than a traditional accounting provider; he spearheaded the formation of the CCR Advisory Group, adding a mix of consulting, financial planning and professional services to the firm’s offerings. CCR grew by merger through the 1990s and 2000s, acquiring a number of smaller Massachusetts professional services and accounting firms.  In 2004, CCR consolidated its Worcester, Newton, Grafton and Norwood offices into one large facility in Westborough.

Sharing the wealth

CCR merged with Boston-based accounting firm VanceCronin in June 2008.  VanceCronin is a certified public accounting and business advisory firm which specializes in audits of commercial entities and not-for-profit organizations.  One crucial asset that VanceCronin brings to CCR is its connection with its many high-net worth clients.  The combined firm will operate out of CCR’s 60 State Street office in downtown Boston. 

Reorganizing the hours

Perhaps because of its subpar performance in 2007, CCR has done some reorganizing of its operations in 2008.  The first step was to designate one of its CPAs as “Director of Resource Management.”  The job involves keeping CCR’s employees on a tight schedule, overseeing billing and collections, and creating “optimum staff utilization.”  These efforts were already paying dividends as of the first quarter of 2008.  Audit staff utilization was up 78 percent during that period, creating 1,600 more billable hours but 700 less total hours in the audit department.  The reorganizing also had a measurable effect in the tax department, which logged 2,000 less total hours for the period but nearly the same amount of billable hours as the previous year.  Altogether, the tightening of resources and increase in partner’s billable hours has created a $530,000 revenue increase in the first quarter of 2008 alone. 

Club members only

In July 2008, Accounting Today released a report that showed that CCR in its “$100 Million Plus Club” when it comes to wealth management.  As of July 1, 2008, the firm’s assets under management were approximately $520 million.  The firm is working hard to keep these assets firm even in the midst of a major financial crisis.  David Borden, managing partner of CCR’s wealth management division, says “over the past 10 months we have taken proactive steps to contact our clients more often, adding monthly calls to our normal meeting schedule.  During these calls and meetings we are spending more time focusing on the long-term objectives and maintaining our focus based on the financial plan.”  These efforts coupled with the firm’s recent merger with VanceCronin bodes well for the firm’s wealth management business going forward.

Joining the alliance

CCR announced in June 2008 that it would be joining the BDO Seidman Alliance as an independent firm.  Joining the BDO Seidman Alliance gives CCR and its clients access to a much larger network of resources including “supplementary professional services, comprehensive management consulting services focused industry knowledge, customized state-of-the-art computer systems, and internal training programs.”  As a member of the alliance, CCR will also have access to BDO International, a network of resources composed of 321 member firms in 107 countries. 

CCR Managing Partner David Platt said that entry into the BDO Seidman Alliance will help with its SEC business.  “The majority of our clients, many of whom are SEC registrants, have subsidiaries and do business in other domestic markets and foreign countries.  With the depth of expertise that BDO Seidman has, especially in the SEC arena, we will be able to provide an even higher level of service to our clients, particularly as they expand nationally and globally.” 

CCR cares

Like many major accounting firms, CCR runs a charitable foundation.  The CCR Charitable foundation launched in 2004 in support of charitable, arts, and civic organizations in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.  The company held its first annual “Community Day of Caring” on June 20, 2008.  All of the firm’s four offices were closed while employees volunteered at local charities such as the Community Harvest Project, the Boys and Girls Club of Pawtucket, the Rhode Island Community Food Bank and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.  


1400 Computer Drive
Westborough, MA 01581
Phone: (508) 926-2200

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Private
Managing Partner: David Platt
2009 Employees (All Locations): 200