Tax season is a busy time of year for those in public accounting, but Charles Foley, managing partner of Battelle Rippe Kingston, wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Oh, we [at Battelle] love this time of year,” he says. “When people complain about being busy, I tell them there are worse things, like coming into work and having nothing to do. That’s a bad day.”

Lately, Battelle Rippe Kingston has been especially busy because in addition to its usual tax season work, the firm is completing the transition and integration process that created the firm.

“We’re off to a great start,” says Foley, a Cincinnati native who joined Battelle after graduating from the University of Cincinnati in 1977.

In December, Battelle & Battelle, a Dayton-based accounting firm, combined with Rippe & Kingston in Cincinnati. The renamed Battelle Rippe Kingston is one of the region’s largest accounting firms with a staff of 120, some 60 CPAs and offices in Mount Adams, Dayton and Troy.

As one of several recent accounting firm mergers in the region, Foley says the combination of Battelle & Battelle and Rippe & Kingston was a natural fit. Both firms have been members of the McGladrey Alliance, a national affiliation of independent accounting firms providing assurance, tax and consulting services, for a number of years.

“We were familiar with each other through that connection,” Foley says. “We knew we had similar cultures and a similar focus on personalized client services. We both have a commitment to our employees and our communities.”

Both firms, he says, wanted to expand and a merger was the quickest way to do that.

The firms have complementary strengths, Foley says.

Battelle has expertise in tax-saving opportunities for business, economic incentives and training grants as well as other tax credit opportunities, state and local taxes and international taxes. Rippe & Kingston has expertise in business valuation, business litigation and conflict resolution.

Ken Schoster, who is partner in charge of the Cincinnati office, says the combined expertise allows the firm to leverage service offerings, experience and industry knowledge.

Additionally, Foley says the merger will help attract new talent to the firm and create more opportunities for current employees.

Partners Joe Rippe Sr. and George Kingston formed Rippe & Kingston in 1976 to focus on closely held businesses.

Louis G. Batte founded Battelle, which marked its 100th anniversary last year, as the first CPA firm in Dayton. Louis, who wrote the historical book, The Story of Ohio Accountancy, was later joined by his sons, Gordon and Donald, who became partners in the firm, the largest independent accounting firm in Dayton.

Despite its long history, this is the first merger for Battelle, but it may not be the last.

“You never say never,” says Foley. “But for now, we’re focused on integration and getting the firms combined.”