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US accountancy firm acquires Engine B

Author: ICAEW Insights

Published: 09 May 2024

UK-based technology firm, Engine B, which creates generative AI solutions for professional services and has been championed by ICAEW, has been bought by CLA.

ICAEW has welcomed the acquisition of Engine B by US accounting and professional services firm CLA (CliftonLarsonAllen LLP) announced today (9 May).

Alan Vallance, ICAEW Chief Executive, said: “It is a fitting reward for the hard work of the management team, which in a short period has turned a technology start-up into a successful business.”

Engine B was founded in 2019 by Shamus Rae and Donne Burrows, both with long-standing careers at KPMG, with the aim of driving innovation in the sector particularly using technology to improve access and quality of data.

ICAEW identified the potential of Engine B at an early stage and invested in the company, expanding that stake to 10% in 2020. Vallance explains that the acquisition is the right time for ICAEW to divest its minority shareholding in the technology firm.

“We invested in Engine B to give it the time and space to develop a platform which could accelerate the adoption of data integration and artificial intelligence across the accountancy profession,” he said.

“We are delighted that our investment has paid off: Engine B’s customers now include accountancy firms of all sizes, and with the backing of CLA, we are confident it has a great future.”

He continued: “We look forward to maintaining a strong working relationship with CLA and exploring further areas for collaboration which address the evolving needs of the profession.”

CLA is the eighth largest accountancy firm in the US and in 2023 launched a $500m investment in digital technology and AI. The acquisition of Engine B represents the largest investment in the programme so far.

Jen Leary, CEO of CLA, said: “With the addition of Engine B, CLA is becoming a force for positively disrupting the profession, creating a path for our professionals to spend more time directly with clients, leaning into our promise to know and help them.

“Engine B’s generative AI-powered technology aligns closely with our vision of leveraging digital solutions to drive operational excellence and deliver greater value to our clients.” 

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