INSIDE Public Accounting Reveals The Nation’s Top 100 Accounting Firms 2009

Carmel, Ind. (Aug. 12, 2009) The Platt Group, the publishers of INSIDE Public Accounting (IPA) are proud to present its 19th annual report on the nation’s Top 100 accounting firms – one of the most comprehensive of its kind.

“For the IPA Top 100 firms, the four-year run of double-digit growth has ended, but the Top 100 firms in the country still report a respectable 7.13% revenue growth rate on average,” says Michael Platt, consultant and publisher of IPA. “Net income growth, however, is flat as we moved from an almost 15% growth rate last year to not quite maintaining that level,” he adds.

Firms that participated in the survey had fiscal year-ends ranging from September 2008 to June 2009. The effect of the economic downturn is felt sharply for firms with a later year-end. In fact, average net income growth for firms with a 2008 year-end was +7%, while net income growth for firms with 2009 year end is a –7%. “If you are a partner in a firm with a year-end of Dec. 31, 2009, brace yourself. Compensation for this group will reflect the full brunt of the economic downturn, and partners will feel it directly,” Platt says.

On average, firms in the Great Plains and the Great Lakes saw net income grow slightly this year. But firms in the Northeast, Atlantic, Southeast and the West – where there had been substantial growth in the past few years –saw a decline in average net income in each region.

Profit margins for the Top 100 as a group dipped below 30% for the first time during this decade, with average net income for the Top 100 at 29% of net fees.

Has the “gold rush” come to an end? Average partner compensation across the country is down 7% this year. But again, that depends on your location. Partners in firms in the West saw a 14% drop in compensation since last year. Conversely, Top 100 firms in the midsection of the country actually saw partner compensation increase about 4%.

Some key metrics to consider among the INSIDE Public Accounting Top 100:

7.1% – Average revenue growth (excluding mergers)
14.8% – Average staff turnover
$79,866 – Average pay for professional staff
$369 – Average partner billing rate
$452,744 – Average partner compensation

For complete list of the INSIDE Public Accounting (IPA) Top 100 firms, go to: http://insidepublicaccounting.com/PDF/top100_2009.pdf

INSIDE Public Accounting, founded in 1987, is published by The Platt Group. It reports and analyzes the news, trends, strategies and politics that affect the nation’s public accounting firms, providing them with the information and resources they need to compete and operate more profitably. Michael Platt and Kelly Platt are the principals of The Platt Group and the publishers of INSIDE Public Accounting. Subscriptions: (317) 733-1920.

For copies of the IPA Top 100 Firm issue, reprint information and pricing information, please contact (317) 733-1920; info@plattgroupllc.com. For more information on the INSIDE Public Accounting National Benchmarking Report, visit: http://insidepublicaccounting.com/pages/benchmarking-survey.php