INSIDE Public Accounting Releases Annual Ranking of the Top 400 Accounting Firms

The publishers of INSIDE Public Accounting (IPA), the award-winning newsletter for the public accounting profession, today released the annual ranking of the nation’s 400 largest public accounting firms.

Rankings of The IPA 100…Now in its 29th year, the IPA 100 lists the 100 largest public accounting firms in the U.S., by net revenue. The IPA 100 is made up of the Big 4, which collectively generated over $60 billion in U.S. revenue last year, and 96 national, regional and local firms. The annual rankings and accompanying analysis paint a comprehensive picture of the state of the profession.

Newcomers to The IPA 100…Three firms debuted on the IPA 100 in 2019: No. 91 Tulsa, Okla.-based HoganTaylor LLP; No. 98 Houston-based Briggs & Veselka Co.; and No. 99 Clifton, N.J.-based Sax LLP.

The 2019 IPA 400 Firms…IPA also ranks the next tier of accounting firms, Nos. 101-400.

The 2019 IPA 400 rankings can be accessed here.

Highlights of the 2019 IPA 100 Public Accounting Firms…The Big 4, Deloitte, PwC, EY and KPMG collectively make up nearly 75% of the total U.S. revenue of this year’s IPA 100. Due to their size, IPA excludes metrics of the Big 4 in its analysis. The remaining 96 firms represent $22.2 billion in total revenues and employ more than 100,000 staff. Excluding the Big 4, 45 firms are represented in the IPA $100 Million Club, all with annual revenues exceeding $100 million.

  • 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 1 in 5 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.

“As firms continue to expand service lines and seek to hire the most qualified staff to serve clients in many non-traditional services, we’re seeing more non-CPA professionals in the ranks of the IPA 100,” says Mike Platt, principal with INSIDE Public Accounting. “In fact, we discovered that 28% of all client-serving professionals at IPA 100 firms indicated they have no intentions of pursuing a CPA license.”

In-Depth Financial and Operational Benchmarking of the Accounting Profession…Financial and operational analysis of 550 public accounting firms will be published in late September in the 2019 INSIDE Public Accounting National Benchmarking Report.

Subscribe to the IPA newsletter to receive the upcoming benchmarking analyses and in-depth interviews with key leaders within the profession. IPA offers a complimentary news source, the IPA INSIDER E-News Update. Sign up online.

Purchase any of the 2019 IPA benchmarking products, including the IPA National Benchmarking Report, to gain insider strategies.

To interview or engage the partners at INSIDE Public Accounting, please contact Chelsea Summers at (317) 733-1920 or csummers@plattgroupllc.com.