History

95 Years of Excellence

For more than nine decades, clients have relied on Windes for professional excellence, personalized client service, and valuable business solutions. Our present success, culture, and client service approach are shaped by the remarkable clients, leaders, and moments that color our past. As we look toward to a promising future, our history provides both a solid foundation and inspiration for continued growth and success.

 
Windes Firm Overview

Download our firm overview document to learn more about Windes.

A Leading Accounting Firm

We proactively advise our clients to help them make the right decisions.

Since 1926, we have been a trusted business partner to our clients and have earned our reputation as one of the most respected and socially responsible accounting firms in Southern California. Our professionals deliver high-value accounting and consulting services and are committed to you and your organization. The strength of our practice and comprehensive expertise, coupled with our global network, enables us to provide our clients with business solutions focused on their continued success at fees that represent outstanding value.

Growing and lasting relationships.

At Windes, we are proud that many of our client relationships have lasted for generations. The majority of our clients are acquired through referrals from existing clients, friends, or business associates of the firm. Our dedication to client satisfaction, together with our unique combination of national-firm technical expertise, local decision-making, and significant partner involvement allows us to deliver customized services to you at an exceptional value and meet your needs without using a one-size-fits-all approach.

We are Windes, a leading accounting firm in Southern California.

As we look to the future, we recognize that the business environment will continue to become more complex. Our clients’ needs are evolving and, increasingly, clients are turning to us not only for traditional audit, tax, and plan administration services but also for analysis and advice. Our approach is to proactively ensure that our clients are positioned to take advantage of developing markets and opportunities to maximize their financial potential. Our brand embraces our strong legacy, emphasizes progressive thinking, and a desire to continually improve while extending our reputation as trusted advisors.

Community Involvement

Windes believes in making an impact on the community that goes beyond the professional services we provide. Founded on a philosophy of giving back more to the community than the benefits received, we are committed to the causes that enrich the lives of others.

Windes contributes financially to numerous charitable and professional organizations throughout southern California that promote the health and welfare of the community. While we consider the financial effect we have on these organizations extremely important, we also encourage our people to share their time and unique talents to further contribute to the success of these causes.

Sharing our success with others is important to us. Our partners and professionals serve at various levels in numerous organizations throughout Los Angeles and Orange Counties. We are proud to donate time and resources to these organizations that truly make a difference in our communities.

Windes has been recognized as one of Orange County’s most community-minded companies in the third annual 2019 Civic 50 Orange County, which sets the standard for corporate civic engagement for companies seeking to best use their time, talent, and resources to improve the quality of life in communities where they do business.

1926-1940

In 1926, William Norment Windes established W.N. Windes, an accounting practice, on Pine Avenue in Long Beach. At the time Windes founded the firm, Long Beach was the fourth largest city in the state. A year after Windes established his tax practice, he was joined by Thomas B. Irvine, Attorney at Law. The firm flourished and survived the U.S. stock market crash of 1929, the Great Depression, and the Long Beach Earthquake of 1933 that devastated many businesses and individuals. Long Beach rebounded during the 1930s, largely due to the discovery of more oil and the expansion of the port. The firm’s clients mirrored the businesses active in the city and the region, including the oil business, construction companies, and auto dealers. In 1938, the firm became Windes & Irvine.

1941-1960

In 1941, Paul McClaughry joined the firm. That same year, the United States entered World War II after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. After World War II, both Long Beach and Windes & Irvine began to grow as the nation again turned its mind to business. Between 1940 and 1950, the population of Long Beach grew by 53%, a rate faster than Los Angeles County as a whole! During this time, Windes & Irvine was the largest of the local CPA firms. McClaughry became a partner in 1945. In 1951, Irvine withdrew to practice law and, in 1953, the firm changed its name to Windes & McClaughry.

Firm Makes Mark on Southern California

“From the 1940s to the mid-1960s, auditing and the accounting profession in the United States reached the height of its standing and reputation. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) set the guidelines for ‘generally accepted accounting principles.’ Nowhere else in the world did the organized accounting profession possess such a large degree of influence in setting the norms of the professional practice.” (from American Accounting Association history.) Accountants began to take a prominent place in government service. Windes & McClaughry was also showing its strength during this time. In 1951, Paul McClaughry established the Long Beach Chapter of the California Society of Certified Public Accountants (CSCPA) to serve the growing number of Long Beach Certified Public Accountants. He served as the first president and, throughout the next several decades, five other Windes & McClaughry partners followed his lead.

1961-1980

Windes & McClaughry continued to grow in the 1960s. The economy was booming and accounting was a sought-after profession. By 1962, the firm had doubled in size.

Windes & McClaughry on the Cutting Edge of Technology

Windes & McClaughry was one of the first businesses to purchase an IBM 360 computer. In 1968, only a few large businesses, and no tax practices, in Long Beach had computers, putting Windes & McClaughry on the forefront of accounting firms in the city and region with these capabilities. Occupying an entire room measuring 2,200 square feet, the computer allowed Windes & McClaughry to become one of the first data processing centers in Long Beach. The firm also designed an accounting system for medical practices that made them more efficient and helped physicians allocate income and expenses, bolstering the strength of Windes & McClaughry’s professional services practice and expertise.

During this time, seven of the Big Eight accounting firms approached Windes & McClaughry to propose mergers. However, Windes & McClaughry wanted to control its own destiny and remain independent. In 1976, Windes & McClaughry incorporated as Windes & McClaughry Accountancy Corporation.

1981-2000

As the firm grew in size and stature, the partners recognized the need to be part of a larger network that would provide a wider presence both nationally and globally. In 1983, Windes & McClaughry became an affiliate of the British accounting firm Dearden Farrow International, known today as Baker Tilly International (BTI). One of the world’s top ten accountancy and business service networks, BTI helped establish Windes & McClaughry’s international presence and provided access to the resources of other accounting firms across the nation and abroad.

In 1987, Windes & McClaughry merged with a benefits consulting firm, allowing the firm to offer employee benefit services to its clients. The firm expanded in the 1980s and 1990s, adding partners and clients, and reaching out geographically. It added clients in Orange County, the South Bay, and the Inland Empire, where development dramatically increased.

2001-Present

The 21st century has brought unprecedented growth to Windes. The firm expanded its client base and supported the addition of partners, and several dozen new employees, since the year 2001. Adding to the Long Beach headquarters, offices were opened in Irvine (2005) and Los Angeles (2010).

In 2013, the firm launched a new brand identity. Windes & McClaughry Accountancy Corporation became Windes. Along with the name change, new logo and branding elements were created that better align with the organization’s future direction. The new look communicates a strong foundation that is straightforward, collaborative, and progressive. It embraces Windes’ strong legacy, emphasizes progressive thinking and a desire to continually improve, while extending the firm’s reputation as trusted advisors.

Staying true to its core value of “Serve Our Communities,” Windes was recognized in 2017 by the Orange County Business Journal and OneOC in their inaugural “Civic 50 Orange County” awards program showcasing superior corporate citizenship. Windes was honored again in 2018 and was the “Medium OC Workforce Award Winner” in 2019.

Windes merged with the Irvine-based firm of Allen, Haight & Monaghan in 2018, which brought unprecedented growth to the firm. Additionally, in 2020, Windes merged in the Newport Beach-based firm Smith, Linden & Basso. With an increase in organic growth along with the mergers, Windes is now one of the top 100 accounting firms in the country.

In early 2020, Windes moved its three Orange County offices to a single location at the Irvine Concourse business complex. In August 2020, Windes also relocated its downtown Long Beach office to Kilroy Airport Center, near the Long Beach Airport. Both offices are conveniently located close to the 405 freeway and have been completely renovated with state-of-the-art features. The new offices offer a modern and efficient environment, with an open floor plan for enhanced collaboration and increased employee satisfaction.

With an already robust line of services, including tax planning and consulting, audit and assurance, employee benefit services, estate and trust planning, executive recruiting, and human resources consulting, Windes responded to its clients’ needs for assistance meeting the mounting demands for new and advanced technology, compliance with ever-changing and complex tax regulations, competition for skilled talent, and the challenges an increasingly mobile and remote workforce presents.

In 2020, Windes launched its new suite of advisory practices offering cybersecurity, outsources accounting services, including fractional CFO, business value acceleration and exit planning, and merger and acquisition strategies. Adding additional services for Paycheck Protection Program loan and forgiveness services, along with Employee Retention Credit assistance to help struggling business as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

In 2021, Windes became a member of Allinial Global, an award-winning association of legally independent accounting and consulting firms whose members collaborate to bring their clients best-in-class solutions. As a member of Allinial Global, we have access to the expertise, resources, and advice of over 200 fellow firms in 88 countries throughout the world. This strategic affiliation allows us to offer clients broader services, deeper niche expertise, and more complete geographic coverage—all with the prompt, personal attention clients expect from Windes. Our goal is to be your best-in-class strategic partner, both locally and globally. Allinial Global helps us deliver.

Firmly standing on a strong, solid, and principled foundation, Windes will continue its legacy of exceeding expectations, while providing sound, expert advice that delivers successful results clients can rely on. Looking to the future, Windes will continue its commitment to provide outstanding quality work, timely delivery of services, and insightful business solutions to its clients.

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