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Local accounting firm Stewart, Beauvais & Whipple acquired by Chicago company

Karen Shafik, a SBW principal, presenting her audit findings to the Marysville City Council for the first time as a ULY employee.
Karen Shafik, a SBW principal, presenting her audit findings to the Marysville City Council for the first time as a ULY employee.

By Jim Bloch

The Port Huron-based accounting firm of Stewart, Beauvais & Whipple has been acquired by UHY LLP, a Top 100 accounting firm, based in Chicago.

One of SBW’s principals, certified public accountant Karen Shafik, informed the Marysville City Council of the acquisition ahead of delivering the city’s audit results.

“We have joined forces with a larger firm,” Shafik said. “However, we are still a local firm. Same employees. Same office here in the county.”

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The SBW office is in Port Huron at 1979 Holland Avenue.

Shafik handed out an announcement of the acquisition to council members.

“We are pleased to announce that effective Jan. 1, 2020, Stewart, Beauvais & Whipple PC will begin operations under the banner of UHY LLP, Certified Public Accountants,” said the letter. “Our entire professional staff and administrative staff will become part of the UHY team and will continue in their current roles.”

SBW has been in business for 75 years, starting out in 1945. UHY has been in business for 50 years; its name is an acronym for Urbach, Hacker and Young.

The acquisition will enable the SBW staff to offer clients “a broader array of resources, talent and support” for the same price, the firm said.

Accounting Today confirmed the acquisition on its website.

“UHY Advisors, a Top 100 Firm based in Chicago, expanded in the Great Lakes region with an acquisition in the Blue Water Area,” Accounting Today said. “The accounting firm Stewart, Beauvais & Whipple joined UHY, making Port Huron the firm‚Äôs fifth location in Michigan.”

UHY’s other locations in the state include Ann Arbor, where it doubled its staff last year, Farmington Hills, Detroit and Sterling Heights.

“SBW is located in St. Clair County and specializes in nonprofit, municipal and government auditing,” said Accounting Today. “UHY ranked 33rd on Accounting Today‚Äôs 2019 list of the Top 100 Firms, with $141.74 million in annual revenue.”

UHY maintains 19 offices nationally with 850 employees and has member firms in 100+ countries.

Paul Bailey, seen here in 2018, is also a SBW principal.
Paul Bailey, seen here in 2018, is also a SBW principal.

In addition to Shafik, SBW’s principals include Paul Bailey, Mike Turnbull and Scott Hoskins.

UHY LLP had yet to list its new Port Huron outpost on its website. Neither UHY nor SBW had any mention of the acquisition on their websites.

Last year, UHY reported that it had “nearly 400 employees in Macomb, Oakland, Wayne and Washtenaw counties.”

As a side note, Shafik reported that Marysville received an “unmodified” or “clean” opinion on its audit, the best type of opinion an audited entity can receive.

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