Miller Kaplan originated in Los Angeles, California as two separate firms in 1941 – later merging together to become one of the nation’s top 100 accounting firms. Explore some of the stories of who we are and how we came to be in the timeline below.

  • 1941 San Fernando Valley
    In 1941, two new Los Angeles accounting firms were established – one was run by John William Sunderman, the other by Harry C. Fischer.
  • Fun Fact:

    Sunderman was serving as a guest/summer lecturer at UCLA where he taught various accounting courses.

  • Stanley Lyle Miller joined Sunderman’s firm.

    Soon thereafter, Sunderman’s firm merged with William T. Wheeling and became Sunderman, Wheeling, and Co.

    Meanwhile, Paul Arase joined Fischer’s firm.

    (Arase had quite the backstory. Born in Los Angeles, 1921, to Japanese parents, he was sent to the Heart Mountain relocation center in Wyoming in 1942, and released later that same year. Arase enlisted in 1944 and served as Military Intelligence until the end of the war, after which, he graduated from college and eventually made his way back to Los Angeles.)

    Fun Fact:

    We retained a client around this time (in the 50s) that we still serve today.

  • 1961 Santa Monica Bay

    Fresh out of The City College of New York, Baruch College, Mannon “Manny” Kaplan flew to Los Angeles to meet with fellow graduate of Baruch, Harry C. Fischer.

    Fischer offered Kaplan a position as a Junior Accountant.

     

    Fun Fact:

    Fischer first offered Kaplan work as a 1-day temp (for $25). It wasn’t until after Kaplan had returned home to New York that Fischer called Kaplan and offered him the Junior Accountant position.

  • When two became one. 

    Sunderman’s firm, specializing in commercial business accounts, merged with Fischer’s firm which specialized in tax exempts such as Labor Unions. Sunderman was named as Managing Partner and the newly combined firm was named:

    Sunderman, Miller, Fischer, & Company

    At the time of the merger, there were 7 partners – four from Sunderman’s firm and three from Fischer’s.

  • With the founding partners retiring, Miller was elected Managing Partner and the firm was renamed:

    Miller, Kaplan, Arase, Sheets & Co.

    The firm’s office on Cahuenga Blvd. in North Hollywood – where it had been since 1965 – flooded. The firm, practicing resilience, renovated; however, the firm was growing rapidly at the time, so the office moved to a new building nearby, on Riverside Drive.

  • 1977 Partner Trio: Slomiak, Cahn, Kaplan
    Miller stepped down as Managing Partner and Manny Kaplan acquired the role.
  • 1982 George Rivin
    George Nadel Rivin joined the firm – bringing his Radio industry specialization and establishing Miller Kaplan’s Media practice.

     

    Fun Fact:

    At the time, the Media practice analyzed stats by hand, but later upgraded the process with the development of a web platform.

  • MKA logo

    Bob Sheets left the practice and the firm was renamed to:

    Miller, Kaplan, Arase & Co., LLP

    Misfortune struck once again with a burglary and fire – destroying the office on Riverside Drive. Undeterred, the firm rebuilt in the same location.

  • Stanley Lyle Miller & Paul Arase retired.
  • Catherine Gardner helped the firm expand into a new city – opening the firm’s first San Francisco office.

     

    Fun Fact:

    Manny Kaplan helped write the AICPA guide to employee benefit plans; Miller Kaplan was one of the first certified public accounting firms to have experience with employee benefit plan audits.

  • 1997 Charles Schnaid
    Charles Schnaid launched the firm’s Licensing & Royalties division, adding another area of expertise to Miller Kaplan’s service offerings.

    The firm’s LA office, which had outgrown its home on Riverside Drive, moved to a new a space on Lankershim Blvd.

  • 2002 Michael Kaplan
    Michael Kaplan (Manny Kaplan’s son) became a partner and established the Business Management practice.
  • With the assistance of partner Jeff Goss, the firm expanded again – this time opening an office in Seattle.
  • Fun Fact:

    The firm was named as a Top 100 U.S. Accounting Firm by Accounting Today – and has remained on that list ever since.

  • Miller Kaplan Arase LLP 2012
    The firm refreshed the logo for the first time in nearly 30 years.
    Fun Fact:

    Michael Kaplan was named as a top business manager in Variety’s “Business Managers Elite” list.

  • Managing Partners: Manny, Doug
    After dedicating more than half a century to the firm, Manny Kaplan retired; Doug Waite was elected the next Managing Partner.
  • Damasco Partners: Julia, Jude
    Damasco & Associates LLP joined Miller Kaplan.

    This added and expanded services such as complex individual taxation, partnership taxation, real estate taxation, and estates and trusts, and substantially grew the firm’s San Francisco tax practice. This partnership also established the firm’s broad support for the legal services industry with law firms, receivers, courts, and distribution firms, among others.

    Additionally, the firm gained an office in Idaho and added Julia and Jude Damasco to the partnership.

    Fun Fact:

    We celebrated our 75th year.

  • Miller Kaplan new Logo
    This year, the firm debuted a fresh new look.

    With this branding refresh, we not only modernize our image, but also acknowledge our rich history of experience, reiterate our commitment to our clients, and highlight our mission of moving the firm – and more importantly, our clients – forward. At Miller Kaplan, we believe:

    It’s more than just numbers.