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CliftonLarsonAllen LLP
Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)
IndustryProfessional services
Founded2012; merger of Clifton Gunderson (1960) and LarsonAllen (1953)
Key people
Denny Schleper, CEO
RevenueIncrease US$749 million (2017)
Number of employees
5,400 (2018)

CliftonLarsonAllen LLP (known as CliftonLarsonAllen or CLA) is a professional services network and the eighth largest[1] accountancy firm in the United States. It was established in 2012 when two top 20 U.S. firms merged: Clifton Gunderson LLP (based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin) and LarsonAllen LLP (based in Minneapolis, Minnesota).[2] It is a member of the Nexia International accounting network.[3]



It was the 14th largest accounting firm in the US in 2010,[4] and the largest member firm of HLB International until it left that network in 2012 after the merger with LarsonAllen.[3]


In 2009, LarsonAllen was named a Best Place to Work in Charlotte,[5] Minneapolis, Philadelphia,[6] Phoenix[7] and St. Louis [8] by local business journals, and the firm’s learning and development team was honored by the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD).[9]


Merger discussions between Clifton Gunderson and LarsonAllen commenced in the spring of 2011 and progressed rapidly, so that in the fall of that year they announced plans to merge the two firms. The merger occurred January 2, 2012. The decision to affiliate to Nexia rather than HLB International was taken after the merger.[3]

CLA emphasizes industry-specific services, as well as a focus on privately held companies and their owners, nonprofits, and governmental entities.[10]

Kris McMasters and Gordy Viere became the first co-CEOs of CLA,[11] with Viere also serving as the CEO of CLA Holdings.[12] McMasters retired April 1, 2013, leaving Viere as sole CEO.[11] Denny Schleper became the CEO of CLA in January 2015 after Viere retired. [13]

In September 2013, CLA agreed to pay a $35,100,000 settlement on the audit of the City of Dixon. CLA had performed the audit for many years but failed to recognize a fraud of nearly $54 million.[14] In addition, the firm was fined by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.[15]

Offices and personnel[edit]

CLA employs more than 5,400 people, including more than 700 principals and 2,300 CPAs, in more than 110 locations across the United States.[16]


  1. ^ Accounting Today Top 100 Firms 2018, Accounting Today, 2018. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
  2. ^ Clifton Gunderson, LarsonAllen to Merge, Create Top 10 Firm, Journal of Accountancy, November 2, 2011. Retrieved July 11, 2012.
  3. ^ a b c "Nexia secures CliftonLarsonAllen". International Accounting Bulletin. February 23, 2012. Retrieved July 11, 2012.
  4. ^ "Accounting Today's Top 100 Firms 2011".
  5. ^ Charlotte Business Journal
  6. ^ Philadelphia Best Places to Work
  7. ^ Phoenix Business Journal
  8. ^ St. Louis Best Places to Work
  9. ^ LarsonAllen awards page
  10. ^ "Entering an era of mergers: Clifton Gunderson example of national trend". Milwaukee Business Journal. December 23, 2011. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
  11. ^ a b Krista McMasters, CliftonLarsonAllen Co-CEO, Announces Retirement, AccountingWeb, March 19, 2013. Retrieved 2013-04-04.
  12. ^ "Clifton Gunderson, LarsonAllen Complete Merger". Clifton Gunderson. January 3, 2012. Archived from the original on February 2, 2012. Retrieved July 11, 2012.
  13. ^ CLA’s Viere Passes the Leadership Torch to Schleper Accounting Today, January 2, 2015.
  14. ^ Jenco, Melissa (September 25, 2013), "Dixon to get $40 million in settlement of embezzlement case", Chicago Tribune, retrieved 24 August 2016
  15. ^ Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation News, page 2. February 2015.
  16. ^ "CliftonLarsonAllen (CLA) Office Locations: CPAs, Tax, Financial Advisors".