Roanoke, Va.-based IPA 100 firm Brown Edwards & Company (FY22 net revenue of $67.6 million) announced a change in its leadership effective June 1, 2024.
CEO Jason Hartman will retire after 38 years, leaving behind a legacy of exceptional leadership and growth. Laura Sprouse, the firm’s COO, will become CEO.
Hartman, who has led Brown Edwards (BE) for seven years, has been instrumental in shaping the firm’s success. During his term as CEO, the firm grew significantly through acquisitions that not only expanded its market presence to Richmond, Colonial Heights and Newport News, Va., but also increased the firm’s service offerings. This growth helped the firm reach No. 72 on the IPA 100 list of the largest accounting firms.
The firm’s transformation was achieved with Sprouse serving alongside as COO. As Hartman noted, “Laura has proven herself as a talented and capable leader and has played an integral role in developing and implementing firm strategy. Laura has extensive knowledge of the accounting industry and a deep commitment to the values that define BE. She is well suited to be CEO, which will result in a seamless transition.”
Sprouse has been with the firm for 25 years and led the firm’s accounting information systems group before becoming the firm’s COO. Laura is active with the BDO USA Alliance, serving as a leader of a COO roundtable. She has frequently spoken to industry groups on accounting firm operations, paths to partnership, and mergers and acquisitions.
“I am committed to building upon Jason’s remarkable legacy and steering our firm toward a future of continued growth, innovation and client-focused excellence,” Sprouse said. “Along with our exceptional team, we will uphold our core values and remain a trusted partner for all our clients’ financial needs.”