Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce
Feature Stories

Local Ties: Brady Martz

It began during a game of golf.

And when it ended, a Sioux Falls CPA firm learned it didn’t have to go far to find the perfect partner to serve its clients and its community.

On Oct. 1, 2023, the two-location Woltman Group merged with Brady Martz & Associates, P.C., and its offices in North Dakota and Minnesota. The move means additional services and opportunities in terms of specialization and quality, said Eric DeHaan, CPA, PFS.

“We were really excited about the merger in terms of the additional services and the quality of our services,” said DeHaan, currently the Brady Martz market segment lead for Sioux Falls. As of July 1, he has transitioned that role to Eric Maas so DeHaan can devote more time and energy to his responsibilities in client service and on the Brady Martz board of directors.

Also of importance: The merger with Brady Martz would serve the Woltman Group staff well, creating new opportunities while allowing the company’s value of serving others to continue to shine.

“When considering a merger, we would only say yes if it was a win for our staff and a win for our clients,” DeHaan said. “We saw that merging with Brady Martz would be a win for our staff. It would create new opportunities that the Woltman Group as a standalone could not provide.”

Before the merger, DeHaan was managing partner with the Woltman Group. Randy Woltman founded the Woltman Group in 1988; it operated under several different names until 2015 when it rebranded.

Brady Martz’s roots extend back to 1927 when an accounting firm in Grand Forks, North Dakota, opened. In 1981, it merged with a Minot, North Dakota, firm. Since then, it has acquired or opened offices in Thief River Falls and Crookston, Minnesota; Bismarck, Dickinson and Fargo, North Dakota, and now Sioux Falls and Marion.

Brady Martz currently employs about 400 people with 90 of its staff located in South Dakota. The CPA firm offers traditional compliance services such as tax and financial reporting along with advisory services that will meet the needs of all small to medium-sized businesses, DeHaan said. The Woltman Group also offered advisory services, but the merger expanded those resources.

“For example, the Woltman Group offered the traditional tax services and also succession planning and valuation services, but we only had a few individuals that did it, and we couldn’t always meet the needs and demands,” DeHaan said. “Brady Martz has built out a significant department that can provide the turn-around time that clients and attorneys appreciate.”

Its clients include a vast array of industries such as agriculture, hospitality, construction, manufacturing, dealerships, nonprofits, financial institutions and professional services companies.

The possibility of a merger started several years ago when a Brady Martz shareholder and a Woltman Group shareholder found themselves on a golf course. As they shared information about their professional lives, they realized that their firms had the same passions and priorities.

“They saw the synergies,” DeHaan said. “They said, ‘we should have our managing partners talk.’”

A firm based in the country’s heartland with locations in essential communities needs to make giving back a priority.

Two years later, a connection was made. The pandemic delayed conversation about a possible merger, but before then both firms’ managing partners had also seen and appreciated the similarities.

“They had strengths that we didn’t have, we had strengths that they didn’t have, and we felt we complemented each other really well. That got me excited about what a merger could offer,” DeHaan said.

One of those synergies was and is for community involvement. “A firm based in the country’s heartland with locations in essential communities needs to make giving back a priority,” DeHaan said. “For the Woltman Group, it means a building on our 10-year membership in the Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce, serving meals at The Banquet and supporting our local schools and nonprofits like the Sioux Empire United Way, among other things.”

His firm looks for ways to initiate a community impact and to support ongoing activities, DeHaan said. A recent Chamber of Commerce Community Appeals campaign that has made a profound impression is the tiny-homes project that built small dwellings for homeless veterans.

“It gave us the opportunity to give to those who gave so much to their country, and we’re all beneficiaries of that,” DeHaan said. “We didn’t have to sacrifice—those veterans did, and this gives us the opportunity to give back in a small but tangible way.”

Businesses becoming bigger while maintaining local connections