Find your ‘market hole’
EOS Accounting turns a global need into its own niche
by gale crosley
For many mid-market accounting firms, the status and activities of the big Four are of passing interest, but not much
more. but eos accountants llP has charted an
innovative and successful growth strategy by
linking with the big Four and other firms.
POWERED BY RELATIONSHIPS
The approach worked, and over time
EOS was sought out by other Big Four
players to serve their U.S. clients
as well. The strategy became even
more valuable when Sarbanes-
According to founder and managing part-
ner Michio Ishii, collaborating with the Big
Four and other Japan-based accounting
firms helped his firm grow with Japanese
companies doing business in the United
States. He graciously shared his experience
The Big Four
smaller subs, with
needs that didn’t easily fit in their business model. As a result,
services were more expensive and often did
not meet the need. These were, however, the
specialty of mid-market CPA firms.
Oxley established regulations
that precluded audit firms from
providing many of the services
these clients needed.
Ishii and his partners identified their market hole (a need without an existing solution)
and energetically went about filling it. The
rest, as they say, is history. He and his partners amicably left the Big Four to start EOS.
Ishii and his partners nurtured
close ties with other large Japanese accounting firms, and became known in Japan
as the go-to firm for U.S. subs of Japanese parents. EOS grew as a result of close and trusting associations with individual partners in
these large Japanese firms.
Today, EOS Accountants has become a
solid mid-market international provider. The
firm has expanded well beyond its Teaneck,
N.J., headquarters, with offices in San Jose,
Calif., Los Angeles, Honolulu, San Mateo, Calif., Detroit and Chicago. More than half the
staff is bilingual in Japanese and English.
Successfully navigating the relationships
with the Big Four and other accounting firms
remains the key to the firm’s success. As the
large global players became less interested in
serving smaller U.S. subsidiaries, and as they
were regulated out of a number of service
lines, Michio Ishii and EOS were prepared
to meet the need.
Ishii says that his firm continues to grow its
formal and informal links with practitioners
in Japan. As younger partners are developed,
the next generation continues to focus on the
relationships that have been central to the
As we concluded the interview, I was
struck by the elegance and sophistication
of the EOS strategy: finding a market hole,
developing a unique distribution channel,
having a focused niche discipline, and navigating the complexities in relationships with
It beautifully illustrates the application of
key growth concepts implemented in a creative way. As a result, EOS has achieved an
enviable position — going where the competition is not and staking its rightful claim
in the international world! AT
MNP merges in Winnipeg firm
Details: MNP, one of Canada’s largest
chartered accounting firms, expanded its
presence in Manitoba by merging with
Hemenway Silver, effective February 1.
The team from 30-plus-year-old Hemenway Silver will relocate to MNP’s downtown Winnipeg location.
Ishii spent several formative years with
Tohmatsu Awoki, the predecessor firm of
Deloitte Tohmatsu. An original member of
the firm’s U.S. operation, he eventually left
to start his own firm. The practice he built in
the New York City area included a number
of Japan-headquartered clients who used
Ernst & Whinney (the predecessor to E&Y)
in Japan and relied on Ishii for their U.S. subsidiaries.
Ishii was growing so fast that he decided
to merge his practice with Ernst & Whinney
in the U.S., accessing more staff to meet the
demand. His mission was to develop their
Japanese practice, and he remained there for
11 years before founding EOS in 1996.
A primary motivation to launch his own
venture was Ishii’s growing recognition that
U.S. subsidiaries of Japanese firms needed
different solutions, which were often not part
of the Big Four’s evolving strategy.
Ishii observed that while a Big Four firm
was a good choice for the large, established
U.S. operations of a large Japanese parent
company, the smaller U.S. subsidiaries increasingly were dissatisfied. As smaller entities, they often needed more hands-on,
intimate service, including business, management and technology consulting.
Hayashi & Wayland acquires Snyder
Details: Hayashi & Wayland Accounting & Consulting has acquired Snyder
Accountancy, headquartered in Monterey, Calif., with a satellite office in
Salinas, effective January 1. Snyder’s five
staff members will join the 85 members
of Hayashi & Wayland. Financial terms of
the acquisition were not disclosed. David
Snyder founded his firm in 1981. Hayashi
& Wayland was established in 1976 and
currently has offices in Carmel, King City,
Monterey, Paso Robles and Salinas.
use EOS to
that the Big
Sensiba merges in W.H. Mayer
Details: Sensiba San Filippo has
merged in another California firm, W.H.
Mayer Accountancy Corp. The merger
took effect on January 3. W.H. Mayer
planned to move its offices in Pleasanton
to SSF’s existing Pleasanton office on
Jan. 5, 2012, and will continue serving its
existing clients. Terms of the transaction
were not disclosed. The merger is part of
a strategy to accelerate SSF’s staffing and
revenue growth over the next few years.
Gale Crosley, CPA, is founder and principal
of Crosley+Co. ( www.crosleycompany.com),
providing revenue growth consulting and
coaching to CPA firms. Reach her at
The Big Four firms acknowledged Ishii’s
premise: that certain U.S. subsidiaries of their
corporate clients were unhappy and could
use EOS to fulfill needs that the Big Four
couldn’t. And ensuring good service for them
was a priority.
Ishii and his partners were tightly focused
and attracted U.S. subsidiaries of Japanese
parent companies. Their prospects were
companies that lacked adequate accounting
professionals and infrastructure. This was a
timely development, as Japanese businesses
were actively in pursuit of U.S. acquisitions.
Anton Collins Mitchell merges in
Doty, Lyle and Jones
Details: Anton Collins Mitchell LLP has
combined practices with Doty, Lyle and
Jones LLC, expanding Denver-based
ACM’s footprint in Colorado to Boulder.
Rick Doty and Bill Jones joined ACM
as partners when the combination took
effect on January 1. Terms of the deal
were not disclosed. The staff in the Boulder office will remain the same and will
continue to be led by Doty and Jones,
who have been leading the firm for 20
years. They will be bringing over 1,500
clients to ACM, which has done previous