Transaction Advisory Services

Transaction Advisory SERVICES

Services to cover all your M&A transaction risks from pre-close to post-close.

The Capabilities of Many, the Efficiency of One


Confidence from the start. Never again look at a deal post-close and wonder what happened in the due diligence phase.

technology & risk security

From your IT infrastructure to strategy and everything in between, our job is to make sure you never feel behind the technology curve all the while keeping your data secure at every angle.

human capital management & payroll consulting

You want a winning in-house team. How about you focus on the fun stuff: development & office parties and we develop and maintain the back-end functions of your payroll and HCM technology solutions.

audit & tax

Our audit & tax teams are a fun bunch, except when it comes to establishing trust and enhancing transparency, then they get serious. Financial statement audits and tax compliance strategies are critical: we’ve got you covered.

We bring together multiple disciplines to provide you cohesive recommendations and seamless service.

“Sikich’s responsiveness is topnotch, and the transaction advisory team’s work quality is exceptional. As a former Big 4 transaction professional for more than a decade, I have high standards, but this team always delivers.” – CFO at a private equity firm
“During our due diligence kick-off meeting, we learned that our financial due diligence workstream was the furthest along, which added a lot of value to the process and put us ahead of schedule. We know this is primarily due to Sikich’s transaction advisory team driving the pre-Letter of Intent phase of diligence with efficiency and thoroughness.” – Private equity firm vice president
“Sikich’s transaction advisory team is our preferred source when it comes to closing deals. They are experts in what they do – the knowledge they provide and their turnaround time are second to none." – Investment banking firm managing partner
"My clients use Sikich in sell side due diligence prior to going to market, and we’ve found this offers our clients an advantage in the process, driving more value at the end of the day. Not only does the Sikich transaction advisory team specialize in what they do; they are reputable and exceptionally qualified.” – Investment banking firm managing partner
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Our signature style and personal attention enable us to build long-term relationships with our clients. Here’s what they have to say:

Transaction Advisory Insights:
Tips for Dealmaking

Did someone say free insights? Our Tips for Dealmaking page is updated frequently with tangible dealmaking tips on everything from pre-close to post-close and beyond.

Sikich Transaction Advisory Services Podcast: Digging Into Deals

Tune into the Sikich Transaction Advisory Services podcast, Digging into Deals, a podcast dedicated to all things mergers and acquisitions related in the middle market. From private equity groups to investment bankers and business owners, all are welcome to dig into deals with our host, Cheryl Aschenbrener.

John Iwanski

With my 25+ years of experience in auditing, consulting and executive positions specializing in transaction advisory services, I serve as a dedicated resource to clients across multiple geographies and in countless industries. When I’m not helping with deals, you can find me spending time with my family enjoying e-sports or watching horror movies.

Kate Draper, CPA
Senior Associate  

I use my background in accounting and audit services to drive client’s success during deals. I have experience leading audits for for-profit businesses, employee benefit plans and agreed upon procedures. When not working, you can find me catching up on a great book, painting, crocheting or doing something to stay active.

Joshua Auskalnis

Joshua Auskalnis
Tax Senior

I’m a tax senior on the team providing tax due diligence and consulting services for both businesses and individuals. I’ve enjoyed working with clients in the real estate, manufacturing and healthcare industries. When I’m not helping out with transaction advisory, you can find me running, watching sports or spending time with family.

Brian Kelley

Brian Kelley

I have focused exclusively on state and local taxes (SALT) throughout my career. My expertise includes multi-state tax services, seller and buyer side multi-state tax due diligence, nexus studies, negotiating voluntary disclosures and audit defense.


Mitchell Yau

In my role, I work closely with middle market companies, particularly those in construction and real estate, performing audit and transaction due diligence services. In my free time, I enjoy playing basketball and building PCs.

Ramona Thornton
Senior Manager

I support clients with payroll services, tax planning guidance, various outsourced accounting services, and QuickBooks training and advice. I’ve worked in public accounting since 2007 in a variety of specialties, including tax, audit, payroll and general accounting services. When I’m not on the job, I love to practice yoga and get outside – traveling, gardening, biking and skiing.

Mary O'Connor

Mary O'Connor

I’ve worked exclusively in the field of valuations and financial forensics over my career and am currently the partner-in-charge of the forensic and valuations practice. My experience spans business valuations and the appraisal of tangible and intangible assets for litigation and financial statement reporting, with a specialized focus on intangible assets in property tax appeal, securities and transaction matters.

Jim Hickey

Jim Hickey

I’m a technology partner and leader on our technology business development team. My team works with M&A clients pre-close to make sure they have the appropriate ERP system, and we usually continue helping post-close to help merge groups under the same platform. Essentially, we’ve got your technology systems covered pre-close, post-close and beyond.

Ray Lampner

I’m an Advisory Partner at Sikich, and I’ll admit that one of my specialties is working on “ugly deals.” I’m not afraid to roll up my sleeves and dig into messy M&A transactions to get to the bottom of a company’s underlying business issues. The more challenging the transaction, the greater the reward and potential for success for the client! 

Scott Wegner

I’m the Partner-in-Charge of Sikich’s IT Solutions Practice Area. Through 20+ years of working with M&A clients, I bring a business-level knowledge of all things technology. My team evaluates businesses based on technology usage and assesses the technology itself to determine whether it’s supporting the company’s growth plans – because in today’s virtual world, technology really is everything.

Brad Lutgen

Brad Lutgen

I’m a partner in Sikich’s Security and Compliance practice area. My team works with clients prior to the closing of a transaction to avoid situations where non-compliance in cybersecurity requirements could result in fines, cancelled contracts and even a breach of warranty post-close. Count on us to address “all things cyber” so the transaction runs smoothly. 

Melanie Barnes

I’m a partner with the firm with a background in accounting, mergers, acquisitions and divestitures. I work with clients in a pragmatic approach to provide accounting expertise, ensure compliance requirements are met and help position businesses for success. I’m a fairly talented pickleball player.

Angelina Jackson

I’m a director in the practice who enjoys working hands-on with clients to optimize tax savings opportunities and plan for the future. I leverage my experience in accounting, tax and consulting services to serve as a trusted advisor to clients. I spend my free time running and eating – it’s called balance.

Alek Michali

I’m passionate about assisting clients as they navigate complex financial matters, ranging from assessing risks and internal controls by identifying areas of noncompliance, to evaluating manual and automated financial processes and detecting inefficiencies within a corporate structure. Outside of work, I’m often hanging out with my Golden Retriever, Stryker.

Matt Evanoff

As a manager on the team specializing in due diligence services and with a diverse background in assurance services, I approach each assignment with precision and attention to detail. You can find me, outside the office, cheering for the Green Bay Packers and Manchester United. Despite the struggles both franchises have experienced, my dedication has never wavered.

Brad Kruse
Senior Associate 

I’m a senior associate on the team, performing intricate transaction due diligence services with an emphasis on conducting Quality of Earnings Reports and assisting with mergers and acquisitions. I have a sweet spot in the manufacturing, distribution and construction industries but enjoy working with any and all clients. My favorite teams are the Chicago Cubs and the Bears. 


Mary Griffin
Tax Director  

Mary performs tax due diligence and structure consulting for merger and acquisition transactions. She also works extensively on tax compliance and related consulting for corporations and partnerships for a variety of industries, including manufacturing and distribution and service businesses.

Jake Beesley

I provide M&A consulting and planning services for strategic buyers, private equity firms and family offices. Outside of work, you can find me cheering on North Central College, where I played football in college and won the D3 National Championship in 2019.

Roey Eyal
Senior Manager   

Roey has acquired expertise in the areas of business valuations, option pricing, feasibility studies and fairness opinions, in addition to purchase price allocations, due diligence, quality of earnings, assurance, tax and financial modeling.

Shane Lasher

I perform a number of transaction due diligence services with an emphasis on conducting Quality of Earnings Reports and assisting in mergers & acquisitions. When not at the office (or home office!), I am cheering on my Indianapolis Colts and Indiana Hoosiers. I also love movies, my favorite being The Godfather.

Dan Wilkerson

Dan Wilkerson, CPA, is an associate on Sikich’s transaction advisory services team with a rich background in audit and advisory services. Dan assists private equity firms and family offices through the intricate process of mergers and acquisitions. With an emphasis on financial due diligence, Dan supports clients through all of their transaction needs. When he’s not working, he enjoys hanging out with his golden retriever, Reggie, golfing with friends and attending Cubs’ games at Wrigley Field.

Adam Bruk
Senior Associate

While a psychology background for transaction advisory services is atypical, I use it to bring a unique perspective to mergers and acquisitions. My goal for every transaction I work on is to provide the same level of care advising on the transition of the business as was put into creating, growing, and operating it.

ken cranney headshot

Ken Cranney 
Senior Managing Director, Human Capital Management and Payroll Consulting   

Human Capital Management can sometimes be overlooked in M&A – that’s why I bring my 25 years of experience to transactions.  Our team is skilled in managing the human and cultural side of transactions, and we’re here to help whether you’re in the assessment or execution phase of a transaction.  

Ryan Overtoom 
Technology Partner, Hosting & Managed Services  

When working through the details of your M&A transactions, you’re probably most familiar with Quality of Earnings reports, but oftentimes IT and cybersecurity are overlooked in the due diligence process. If you’re in need of a CIO-level resource for your transaction, I’m here to help.  

Margaret Jordan, JD, MS 
Business Development Director  

My friends describe me as a “Swiss army knife” because I love to connect them with people or products that will improve their businesses or personal lives. I combine this passion with my expanding network and knowledge of our extensive service offerings to identify the right expert for anyone I meet. 

Dan Leffler, CPA 
Senior Manager   

My diverse background in international tax and outsourced accounting services for small businesses provides me with a deep understanding into the financial and tax impacts of M&A transactions. A characteristic of mine that my friends, clients, and colleagues value is my ability to remain cool during chaos. 

Kael Campbell, CPA 

With a strong background in financial due diligence and buy and sellside transaction consulting services, I stand ready to serve private equity and family office clients with the expertise of a seasoned professional. You can think of me as your go-to technical specialist for all things M&A.  

Cheryl Aschenbrener, CPA
National Leader and Partner

With my 20 years (and counting) of experience in strategic consulting, mergers and acquisitions and assurance services, you’ll receive the best during any transaction. When I’m not connecting professionals or helping clients in structuring, advising and conducting due diligence, you can find me with my Schnoodle, Charlie!