SFLIST/jb/mike1st/mark2nd JOE BEL BRUNO Staff Reporter The one common thread connecting most of the San Fernando Valley’s top accounting firms is that they cater to the fast-growing entertainment industry. In this issue’s List, the five top-ranked firms cited entertainment among their industry specialties. At the top is Miller Kaplan & Co., with Grobstein Horwath & Co. in the No. 2 spot. “There is certainly a tie-in between the accounting and the Valley entertainment industry,” said George Nadel Rivin, a partner with Miller Kaplan. “You can’t help but be responsive to the industries located in your own backyard and no industry has had the tremendous growth in this region like the entertainment industry.” Miller Kaplan currently provides accounting services to 1,200 television and radio stations in more than 100 markets around the nation. The firm handles everything from full-service to monthly accounts. Rivin said the 55-year-old firm has now fully bounced back from the recession, and expects this growth to continue over the next three years. Miller Kaplan has hired several new associates during the past few months, with plans to recruit more from local colleges. “This firm has grown from a small local firm into the largest firm in the Valley by treating every client as if they are our only client,” Rivin said. “That’s how we plan to continue our growth.” Accounting firms are ranked on the List by the number of accounting professionals they employ in the San Fernando Valley. Miller Kaplan employs 88, while Grobstein has 86. The No. 3-ranked firm is Kellogg & Andelson Accounting. The Sherman Oaks-based firm also cited entertainment among its industry specialties, and employs 63 accounting professionals in the Valley. William Wall, Kellogg’s chief financial officer, said most of the firm’s new clients are in the entertainment industry. But, it has also experienced growth by adding clients from non-entertainment industries that have been riding on the entertainment industry’s coattails. During the past year, for example, Kellogg has picked up several new real estate clients. All of them have been busy leasing commercial space to entertainment companies moving into or expanding in the area. “It’s all interconnected,” Wall said. “The Burbank-Glendale area seems to be doing really well in both of those industries, and that’s good news for us.” He said Kellogg has also grown by representing privately owned nursing facilities throughout the state. Other firms making the List include No. 4-ranked American Express Tax and Business Services, a subsidiary of American Express Co.’s travel services corporation. That firm has added 15 accounting professionals to its Valley operation since last year, bringing its total to 60. In a recent interview, Les Shapiro, a managing director with American Express, attributed the firm’s growth to a large number of acquisitions in 1996. “The Woodland Hills office alone had five CPA firm acquisitions,” he said. The top four Valley firms are also among the 20 largest in Los Angeles County. Those four firms are the 10th, 11th, 13th and 14th largest accounting firms in L.A. County.