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February 7, 2023

Accounting Firm List Mania: INSIDE Public Accounting’s Top 100 for 2019

This year’s list from IPA features only one change among the top 10 accounting firms in the U.S.: CliftonLarsonAllen (or CLA, as the cool kids call them) leapfrogged over Crowe into the eighth spot. But there was quite a bit of jockeying in spots 11 through 16, with Baker Tilly now knocking on the door of the top 10.

Here’s the top 25 for 2019. Previous year’s ranking is in parenthesis:

  1. Deloitte (1)
  2. PwC (2)
  3. EY (3)
  4. KPMG (4)
  5. RSM US (5)
  6. Grant Thornton (6)
  7. BDO USA (7)
  8. CLA (9)
  9. Crowe (8)
  10. CBIZ & MHM (10)
  11. Baker Tilly (13)
  12. Moss Adams (14)
  13. BKD (12)
  14. CohnReznick (11)
  15. Marcum (16)
  16. Plante Moran (15)
  17. Dixon Hughes Goodman (17)
  18. EisnerAmper (18)
  19. Wipfli (19)
  20. Eide Bailly (20)
  21. Carr Riggs & Ingram (21)
  22. Andersen Tax (22)
  23. Citrin Cooperman (23)
  24. Armanino (24)
  25. WithumSmith+Brown (25)

You can check out the rest of the top 100 here.

The Powers That Be won’t buy us IPA’s 2019 National Benchmarking Report, which comes out in September, but IPA provided some highlights of its analysis free of charge:

  • Organic growth (excluding mergers) grew this year to 6.7%, up from 6.3% in 2018.
  • More than 110 acquisitions (both traditional CPA firms as well as other non-CPA firms) were reported, pushing the overall growth rate to 9.9%, also up slightly from the 2018 all-growth rate of 9.4%.
  • Organic growth in net income grew to 9.9% this year, an increase from 6.4% in 2018. Factoring in acquisitions, net income growth is up to 12.2%.
  • Average equity partner billing rates now top $450 per hour for the IPA 100.
  • Professional staff turnover (CPAs and other client-serving staff) averaged 16.2% for the IPA 100; with one in five IPA 100 firms averaging more than 20% professional staff turnover.
  • Eight female managing partners are now at the helm of the IPA 100 firms for the first time since IPA began tracking this data.
  • Average annual equity partner compensation at the IPA 100 is now $660,000.
  • One out of 11 equity partners/owners in a CPA firm are not licensed CPAs.

Just so you know, IPA excludes metrics of the Big 4 in its analysis due to their size. Collectively, the Big 4 makes up nearly 75% of the total U.S. revenue of this year’s IPA 100. The remaining 96 firms represent $22.2 billion in total revenues and employ more than 100,000 staff. Excluding the Big 4, 45 firms had annual revenues exceeding $100 million.

Carry on.

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