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Cruise & Associates, led by accountant Robert Cruise, will purchase Omaha-based AC Tax & Accounting as part of its ongoing expansion plans.

COLUMBUS — Robert Cruise didn’t have to go far to relieve the growing pains of his Columbus-based tax, accounting and financial services company in the Omaha marketplace.

He looked about a half-block from the Omaha office the 49-year-old accountant has maintained during the last 15-plus years.

Cruise & Associates, established in Columbus in 1991, recently announced plans to purchase Omaha-based AC Tax & Accounting owned by Cheryl Coulson, who will be retiring after three decades in the financial services industry.

The Omahan wanted to leave her customers in good hands, matching a business model Cruise has worked to foster the last 25 years on the strength of one-on-one interactions with business and tax clients.

“After Coulson’s decision to retire, she wanted to ensure her clients would continue to receive personalized and high-quality services along with additional services to help minimize client tax liability and maximize their income,” Cruise said.

Cruise & Associates plans to roll the new acquisition’s customers into its Omaha office’s existing clientele.

“A perk of this merger is the proximity of the (two) office locations,” said Cruise. “It’s very convenient.”

The new office is located at 4715 S. 80th St., Suite A.

Over the past 25 years, Cruise & Associates has grown into a regional accounting firm with its flagship Columbus office and other locations in Omaha, Lincoln and Albion. The offices’ personnel meet with individual, business and farm clients to handle tax, business and financial service needs.

The three offices provide services to more than 140 corporate and partnership clients, 170 sole proprietorship/farm clients, 100 landlords and 900 individuals.

This is the second acquisition for the local firm within the past year. Last August the company completed its acquisition of John R. Carmichael PC in Lincoln.

Cruise & Associates currently has 19 employees.

“We’re still looking to grow and expand,” Cruise said. “Acquisitions of existing businesses is one of our strategies for doing that.”

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Jim Osborn is a news reporter at The Columbus Telegram.

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