February 28, 2021

These Colleges Have Cranked Out the Most Public Accounting Firm CEOs and Managing Partners

Last Thursday I got an email from Renaissance Capital listing the colleges that have produced the most initial public offering CEOs in 2019. If you’re curious, the answer is Princeton University with four. So that got me wondering about which colleges have produced the most public accounting firm CEOs/chairmen/managing partners.

So I took a look at INSIDE Public Accounting’s ranking of the top 200 firms in 2019, which names the CEO, chairman, or managing partner for each firm. Then I creeped on their LinkedIn profiles (if you see that I recently viewed your page, you’ll know why) or looked on their bios online to find out where they graduated from college. I only looked at bachelor’s degrees, not master’s degrees.

In total, I got bachelor’s degree information for more than 210 public accounting firm leaders, as 11 firms have either co-CEOs, co-chairmen, or co-managing partners.

Of the top 12 undergraduate accounting programs ranked by U.S. News & World Report, nine have graduated leaders of top 200 firms (number in parenthesis):

  • University of Texas at Austin (2)
  • Brigham Young University (2)
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2)
  • Indiana University (4)
  • University of Michigan (1)
  • University of Pennsylvania (1)
  • University of Southern California (4)
  • New York University (3)
  • University of Florida (4)

The University of Notre Dame, Ohio State University, and Boston College aren’t represented in IPA’s top 200 firms list. Also shut out were the University of California-Berkeley, University of Texas at Dallas, University of Chicago, and the University of Iowa.

There are 28 colleges or universities that have graduated two public accounting firm leaders in the top 200. Besides the schools listed in the bullet points above, some others include Babson College, University of North Carolina, Virginia Tech, University of Wisconsin, University of Arizona, Arizona State University, University of Oregon, Auburn University, University of Alabama, and the University of Washington.

But according to my analysis and counting skills (I’m no mathlete, as you know), here are the schools that have produced the most leaders of top 200 public accounting firms (in descending order):

7. (tie): University of St. Thomas (3)

  • Steve Behrns, Boulay
  • Mark Gibbs, Redpath and Co.
  • Cory Parnell, Boeckermann Grafstrom & Mayer

7. (tie): UCLA (3)

  • Stephen Milner, Squar Milner
  • David Neste, Prager Metis CPAs
  • Michael Novogradac, Novogradac & Co.

7. (tie): New York University (3)

  • Steven Klein, Gerson Preston Klein Lips Eisenberg & Gelber
  • Stuart Kotler, Berdon
  • Harry Moehringer, Marks Paneth

7. (tie): Bentley University (3)

  • Laurie Austin, DiCicco Gulman & Co.
  • James DeLeo, Gray Gray & Gray
  • Carla McCall, AAFCPAs

2. (tie) University of Southern California (4)

  • Philip Holthouse, Holthouse Carlin & Van Trigt
  • Rick Parent, Gumbiner Savett
  • Joe Ucuzoglu, Deloitte
  • Stephan Wasserman, Gursey Schneider

2. (tie): University of Tennessee (4)

  • Jeff Drummonds, LBMC
  • James Hutcherson, Henderson Hutcherson & McCullough
  • Edward Pershing, PYA
  • Chris Schellman, Schellman & Co.

2. (tie): Indiana University (4)

  • Ted Dickman, BKD
  • Robert Minkler Jr., Anders CPAs + Advisors
  • David Resnick, Katz Sapper & Miller
  • Alan Whitman, Baker Tilly

2. (tie): University of Georgia (4)

  • V. Hanson Borders, Mauldin & Jenkins
  • Jeffrey Eischeid, Bennett Thrasher
  • Gregory Hayes, Moore Stephens Tiller
  • Sean Taylor, Smith & Howard

2. (tie): University of Florida (4)

  • Louis Cohen, Caler Donten Levine Cohen Porter & Veil
  • Timothy Devlin, Daszkal Bolton
  • Bert Mills, Moore Colson CPAs and Advisors
  • Carol Villemaire, James Moore & Co.

1. University of Maryland (6)

  • Jacqueline Cardello, Gelman Rosenberg & Freedman
  • Joel Chazen, Hertzbach & Co.
  • Larry Davis, Aronson
  • David Goldner, Gross Mendelsohn
  • James Kokolas, Calibre CPA
  • Walter Pennington, Dembo Jones

All you Terps, feel free to gloat in the comment section.

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