RSM and SecureState see enhanced opportunity to serve Cleveland businesses

Written on Mar 01, 2018

By Molly Ryan Kowaleski, OSCPA content & community manager

RSM US LLP signed an agreement earlier this year to acquire the assets of SecureState, a Cleveland-based security and privacy consulting firm, to its portfolio. Firm leaders said the move gives the combined organizations greater resources and expanded potential for business growth.

“We’ve been in business since 2001 and have been looking to expand our market presence for a number of those years,” said Ken Stasiak, former CEO of SecureState. “We thought RSM was a good fit from a cultural and organizational perspective. It gave our people good grounds to grow their careers, while expanding our geographic presence.”

All staff will be retained in the acquisition, Stasiak said. For employees of SecureState whose positions were no longer needed, RSM found positions within their existing securities, privacy and risk department, where Stasiak will now serve as a consulting principal.

“We were really grateful to RSM for finding positions for our people,” said Stasiak. “When we had the opportunity to look at a number of companies, RSM was definitely the frontrunner, partially for that reason.”

The transaction will expand RSM’s consulting presence in the Ohio market, extending their cybersecurity capabilities and potential clients.

“Clients want that trusted advisor they can call,” Stasiak said, “and as we help their businesses thrive, we look at all risks; cybersecurity is a key component.”

The acquisition comes as many accounting firms are looking to expand their offerings to meet changing client needs in-house.

“I think you’re going to start seeing more accounting firms looking at how to continue to evolve their practice to help their clients,” Stasiak said. “There are obviously a lot of initiatives in the cybersecurity space right now and there’s a lot more work that needs to be done in the marketplace to get more companies more secure; hopefully CPAs can be a conduit for that.”

Stasiak advises accountants to learn more about cybersecurity and the options available.

“Really look at the clients you’re serving right now. How do you expand your horizons to really understand the risks out there?” he said. “The more informed you are about the services that are out there, the more that client is going to trust you. It doesn’t mean you have to have that service in-house, but just being aware of it and understanding what’s out there goes a long way.”

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