As part of the deal, over 30 employees from ECS Consulting will join HW&Co.’s approximately 120 professionals serving clients across Ohio and the United States. ECS’s Dublin, Ohio location will become HW&Co.’s sixth office, joining two offices in Cleveland, along with Columbus, Mansfield and Willoughby. HW&Co. has 24 principals.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. HW&Co. ranked No. 38 on Accounting Today‘s 2023 list of Regional Leaders for the Great Lakes region with $21 million in annual revenue. HW&Co. CEO Brandon Miller predicts the firm will have $23 million in revenue this year.
“Under our health care department, we have a specialty on revenue cycle billing,” Miller told Accounting Today. “That’s billing for senior living facilities. We have about eight or nine individuals in that revenue cycle billing consulting area, and we had some conversations with another company that does very similar services that has great name recognition in that same space. And that is ECS Solutions. They have 30-plus employees that do revenue cycle billing consulting. We were looking for expansion of that revenue cycle billing service that we had been providing to clients.”
ECS Solutions was founded in 1993 by ECS president Cindy Dunne’s mother, Elaine Hunt. “When thinking about what was next for ECS, we wanted to partner with a firm with similar values in how it treats its people and serves its clients,” Dunne said in a statement. “HW&Co. fits that bill for us. Having been in the industry together for over 25 years, we feel a great deal of comfort and confidence in teaming up with HW&Co, knowing that we can be stronger together. Combining our operations will allow us to continue to grow and provide the highest level of service and quality.”
Dunne approached HW&Co. about combining the firms. “She was looking at it more from an approach of how she’s growing and getting bigger,” said Miller. “As we all do, you need the infrastructure, and there’s a lot of complexities these days, whether it be IT, HR, and various operational type questions that need to be addressed and answered, as you become larger and larger. Our firm, with the size that we have, has significant infrastructure for growth. We specialize in that area as well. By combining, with ECS Solutions coming under the HW umbrella, both of us are going to be able to provide better client services, more depth of resources, and a significant bench of employees and staff. It’s really going to vault us into additional expansion into this revenue cycle billing service area, not only in Ohio, but they actually service clients in Michigan, Indiana, Florida and it’s going to allow us further expansion throughout the country to provide this revenue cycle billing service.”
“Our strategy with M&A is really relationship driven,” said Miller. “We’ve done three mergers since 2020. With this one, it was probably eight or nine months of conversation. We really go through a thorough due diligence process and conversations, and we really only want quality individuals coming into our firm. It’s really strategic who we bring in and make sure it’s the right fit.”