Updated 5 yearss ago
Tony Argiz is the sort of boss who encourages partners to e-mail assignments to staffers at 7 or 8 p.m. and expect them to have the work done the next morning. Not that he's the boss from hell. The managing partner of fast-growing accounting firm Morrison, Brown, Argiz & Farra is in Miami, and the employees in question are in the Gujarat province, hours outside Mumbai, India. Hiring some 14 people in India last year has been "extremely successful," says Argiz, who plans to grow the staff there. The move -- uncommon for regional accounting firms -- is just one way Argiz has helped Morrison Brown blossom. According to the Inside Public Accounting trade journal, Morrison Brown moved up this year to No. 1 in revenue among Florida-based accounting firms. It is now the 51st-largest accounting firm in the nation. For the fiscal year ended June 30, Morrison Brown posted revenue of nearly $37 million, compared with $8.5 million in 1997, when Argiz took the helm. At the heart of the firm's success, says Argiz, has been its ability to develop specialties and leverage that expertise. "Regional firms grow in niches," he says. Those niches include focusing on auto dealerships, community banks and computer information services, among others. Looking ahead, Argiz would like to expand to Palm Beach County and along Florida's west coast. Antonio L. "Tony" Argiz, 53 Managing partner: Morrison, Brown, Argiz & Farra. Kudos: 2006 Outstanding CPA in Public Service by the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Civic: Florida International University Foundation's board of trustees; treasurer of the board on the Orange Bowl Committee and boards of Miami-Dade United Way and the Barnyard in Coconut Grove. Miscount: Fired from his first accounting job, where his boss told him, "You'll never make it." Roots: Born in Havana, Cuba, came to Tampa at age 9 in 1962 with the Catholic Church's Pedro Pan program. Clients: John Elway; the Denver Broncos; Alex Rodriguez; South Motors; DryClean USA.