Aprio, New Name for HA&W, Signals Growth for Georgia’s Largest CPA-Led Business Advisory Firm

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Firm’s culture and client longevity drive expansion of advisory services

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Habif, Arogeti & Wynne LLP (HA&W) has rebranded to “Aprio” in a move that more strongly communicates the firm’s services, culture and approach towards serving clients. In its 65 years, HA&W has grown to become Georgia’s largest full-service CPA-led business advisory firm, largely differentiated by its employees’ passion for their work and how that passion fuels client success.

“The business of accounting has shifted dramatically. Our growth strategy centers on the organic growth of our practices and the acquisition of other businesses that either complement or can expand our service mix. Aprio better reflects who we are and what we offer as a firm,” said Richard Kopelman, managing partner and chief executive officer. “Clients are more productive because of our fresh perspective, passion and experience across our advisory, assurance, tax and private client services. Through our offerings, as well as our network of well-connected, knowledgeable business partners, we can create a clear vision of each client’s success and implement the most efficient path toward it.”

Aprio marks a sharp break from convention as many firms in the accounting space are named after founders or have names that contain the initials of founders. There is no other firm among the top 100 accounting firms that has a name that was created like Aprio, which is derived from root words for head and heart. The name symbolizes the firm’s emphasis on bringing technical expertise, deep engagement and genuine care to client work. It was also chosen to resonate with millennials, both clients and associates.

“Our name defines what it means to be a CPA-led business advisory firm today,” said Danielle Berg, chief marketing officer. “Serving clients in today’s complex marketplace requires us to bring the very best of our head and our heart to work every day – precise, clear advice coupled with genuine care for our clients’ best interest. Combined, these create exceptional experiences and lasting relationships that benefit our clients.”

Though the core of Aprio is rooted in tax and assurance, Aprio’s future growth will be equally focused in advisory services. For example, Aprio’s Information Assurance practice provides a wide array of cyber risk assessment, international business and information risk management advisory services. Aprio also has the rare distinction among CPA firms of being a Certification Body for ISO 27001, the international gold standard for information security management and certification reporting, as well as being a PCI QSA serving leading fintech and data services companies.

International Services is among the firm’s fastest growing practices. While based in Atlanta, clients span more than 40 countries around the world, and Aprio professional staff are fluent in nearly 30 languages. Aprio is a member of Morison KSi, a global association of 164 leading professional services firms spanning 88 countries, giving the firm unmatched international capability. “A quarter of the associates at our firm are foreign-born, which is highly unique among firms of our size in the United States,” said Yelena Epova, partner-in-charge of International Services. “We walk the walk with our clients. We know the languages, cultures and business landscapes of the countries where our clients do business. Understanding the nuances is critical to providing the best counsel and insights.”

Aprio has a culture that helps it deliver on the firm’s brand promise of head and heart. The firm engages all associates in the innovation process. In fact, Aprio’s new charitable foundation was imagined by an associate and will be run by the firm’s employees. Aprio is a DiSC workplace, and associates leverage DiSC to improve their communication with one another and clients. The firm has a Women’s Initiative Committee devoted to special programming for helping the development of female employees and has made significant investments in its learning and development programs for associates at all levels. Among the programs that the firm recently implemented is Growth Champions, focused on advancing the advisory skills of up-and-coming associates. The firm also offers a sponsorship program, which pairs senior executives with rising associates. The firm’s culture has been so powerful in engaging associates that in 2016, Aprio lost 33% fewer employees due to turnover than the average comparable industry firm.* Employee satisfaction was 81%.

“Having excellent technical skills is critical to serve our clients and a minimum expectation of our clients today,” said Kopelman. “Clients want business advice and counsel from advisors who are passionate about and deeply invested in their success. We work with our clients from an advisory mindset and have a culture where associates are in the game to help clients get to their “next” – whatever that next may be for them. It doesn’t just happen magically.” Aprio is launching with the tagline, “Passionate for what’s next,” to reflect associates’ forward-thinking mindsets.

“With a broader view of the value we add to client relationships, our associates see Aprio as the best place to build their careers while doing meaningful work for our clients,” said Kopelman. “We’re reinforcing our culture of deep engagement, attentive service, true partnership and expert advice,” he said. “We’re seeing below average staff turnover, a testament to our reputation as a place the best talent can come and grow.”

*According to INSIDE PUBLIC Accounting’s 2016 National Benchmarking Report, professional staff turnover rates in the largest firms (above $75 million) averaged 17.2%. Aprio’s turnover rate was 11.6%.

About Aprio
As a premier full-service CPA-led business advisory, Aprio’s associates work as integrated teams across advisory, assurance, tax and private client services, bringing our best thinking and personal commitment to each client. At Aprio, we advise clients and associates to achieve what’s next.

Across our practices, we bring our proven expertise, deep understanding and strategic foresight for industries including Manufacturing and Distribution; Non-Profit and Tax-Exempt Organizations; Professional Services; Real Estate and Construction; Retail, Franchise and Hospitality; and Technology and Biosciences. In our 65 years, we have grown to 400 employees. To serve our clients wherever life or business may take them, our teams speak more than 25 languages and work with clients in over 40 countries. We have grown a premier firm where thriving employees serve thriving clients. We invest in our clients’ success by investing in our own. In addition to its Atlanta headquarters, Aprio also operates in New York and Sarasota, Fla. For more, visit http://www.aprio.com.

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Kayla Harris
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