Brown Smith Wallace opens marketing advisory practice

10 October 2019 3 min. read
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St. Louis–based accounting and consulting firm Brown Smith Wallace has opened a new marketing advisory practice.

Founded in 1972, Brown Smith Wallace delivers audit, tax, and advisory services to middle market and Fortune 500 companies. The firm’s advisory offering has steadily expanded, with a full suite of services across transactions and litigation (bankruptcy, M&A, fraud, valuation), business performance (process improvement, sourcing, cash flow optimization), risk advisory (cyber, data privacy, IT advisory), and business advisory.

Brown Smith Wallace’s business advisory unit offers strategy, process improvement, software evaluation, data analysis, health care reform, and insurance consulting services.

As a whole, the advisory services group at Brown Smith Wallace has seen solid growth since its introduction in 2002, when the company had $11 million in revenues and 100 employees. The advisory services group itself makes $11 million in annual billings today, having doubled in size in the past five years, while the wider firm books $55 million in annual revenues. The company has more than 300 employees across offices in St. Louis, St. Charles, MO, and Edwardsville, IL.

Brown Smith Wallace opens marketing advisory practice

Brown Smith Wallace announced the further expansion of its advisory services with the addition of a marketing practice led by seasoned business executive and marketer Tom Etling. The practice will deliver consulting services in marketing analysis and insights, engagement and planning, brand identity and digital experience, social innovation and impact, and reputation management.

“Our core accounting and tax work and deep relationships with our clients’ C-Suite personnel put us in a unique position to spot trends and opportunities,” Tony Caleca, managing partner of Brown Smith Wallace, said. “Launching the advisory practice was a bold move for the size firm we were in 2002, but it positions us well today as we help our clients grow and transform their businesses in the ever-changing world we live in.”

Tom Etling joins Brown Smith Wallace from brand communications agency Dovetail, where he was partner and CEO. At Dovetail, he led brand strategy and stakeholder engagements for clients across a range of industries. Before Dovetail, Etling was CEO of St. Patrick Center, a homelessness-focused charity in St. Louis. Prior to that he was VP of marketing at Bi-State Development, covering core businesses such as the St. Louis Downtown Airport, Metro Transit, and Gateway Arch.

“At Brown Smith Wallace, we take great pride in our ability to drive growth for clients by helping them manage their challenges and harness opportunities,” said Ted Flom, head of advisory services. “With the addition of the Marketing Advisory practice and Tom’s deep expertise in brand marketing, customer engagement, issues management, corporate social responsibility, and digital strategy, we have even greater capabilities to help our clients grow.”

Brown Smith Wallace is the 87th largest accounting firm in the US, according to Accounting Today’s rankings. The firm was the top-ranked St. Louis firm in the 2020 Vault Accounting Firm ranking.