Moss Adams History and Milestones

Celebrating a Century of Service


It’s a pretty simple story, really: Young man arrives in Seattle. Opens his own accounting practice. It becomes one of the largest in the nation.

OK, so perhaps we’re leaving out a detail or two. Want the full story? We compress 100 years of history and look toward the future, all in a short video we’ve put together for you.


One Hundred Years of Moss Adams

1913: Congress enacts the first federal income tax law. John G. McIntosh opens an accounting firm in Seattle to support the Pacific Northwest’s forest products industry.

1918: McIntosh is joined by Charles S. Cowan. The firm’s name will change to McIntosh, Cowan & Co in 1924.

1919: Albert Moss emigrates from Canada and joins McIntosh, Cowan & Co.

1922: The firm establishes an office in Portland.

1929: McIntosh dies. The firm is renamed Charles S. Cowan & Company.

1938: Cowan dies. Edwin Adams joins the firm and, together with Moss and Paul Nielsen, another member of the staff, buys the firm from Cowan’s widow, changing its name to Moss Adams & Co. This will get shortened to Moss Adams LLP in 1995.

1941–1945: The firm’s staff shrinks as many of its employees are drafted to aid the war effort. The war also brings rapid growth to the lumber industry, the firm’s specialty.

1960s: The firm opens an office in San Francisco and Southern California as well as additional offices in Northern California, Oregon, and Washington State.

1970s: The firm continues to grow, adding four more offices in Washington State and one more in Southern California. Moss Adams also adds a consulting arm in 1972, offering clients value-added services that complement our core assurance and tax solutions.

1990s: Moss Adams becomes the 15th largest accounting and consulting firm in the nation, adding offices as well as personnel in Oregon and Washington.

1999: Moss Adams Capital LLC is born, offering investment banking and strategic advisory services and helping our clients create greater value in their business.

Early 2000s: The firm expands its presence in California, adding offices in Sacramento, Stockton, and San Diego and increasing staff in Los Angeles and Orange County. Moss Adams establishes a wealth management division offering financial planning, investment management, and insurance services.

2006: Moss Adams expands into New Mexico, opening an office in Albuquerque.

2007: Moss Adams expands into Arizona, opening an office in Phoenix. In addition, Moss Adams helps found Praxity, AISBL, a global alliance that today counts more than 100 independent accounting firms as members, providing our clients who do business internationally with trusted expertise in more than 80 countries and territories around the world.

2009–2012: Moss Adams grows its footprint, opening offices in Silicon Valley, Kansas City, and Napa.

2013: Moss Adams celebrates its 100th anniversary and releases its first corporate social responsibility report to measure the firm's progress toward its social and environmental goals.

2015: Moss Adams grows its national communications and media practice, acquiring a telecom regulatory compliance and financial consulting practice from Texas-based CHR Solutions Inc.