Wipfli merges with Sattell, Johnson, Appel & Co.

Posted by Molly Dill from BizTimes on Dec 6, 2017

Wauwatosa-based Wipfli LLP has merged with Menomonee Falls-based Sattell, Johnson, Appel & Co. The non-cash merger of professional firms closed Dec. 1.

All 33 of SJA’s employees will be retained in the transaction, said Barry Sattell, one of SJA’s three shareholders. Sattell and the other shareholders, Bill Heilbronner and Leanne Buttke, will become partners at Wipfli.

“That was the most important thing to us is that all our team would have the opportunity to continue in the profession,” Sattell said.

His father, Mickey Sattell, founded SJA in 1954. Barry joined the company in 1975.

SJA will remain in its current office in Menomonee Falls for seven months, until the buildout of additional space is complete at Wipfli’s Wauwatosa headquarters at 10000 W. Innovation Drive, where Wipfli added 15,635 square feet of space in early 2015. The SJA employees will move in this summer, Sattell said.

The SJA office will be rebranded to Wipfli soon. By joining a much larger organization, SJA will be able to offer its clients more services, including more formalized cost segregation studies, business valuations, forensic accounting and big data analysis, Sattell said.

“As we continue to grow during 2017, we didn’t have enough talent to do some of the consulting work that our clients were requesting and needed,” Sattell said. “A CPA firm in the 21st century isn’t going to get by just doing tax returns and audits, so we wanted the opportunity to have a deeper bench and more service offerings to our clients.”

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