Trade Publication Names Top 50 Construction Accounting Firms

Construction Executive, a trade publication covering the business of construction, has ranked its top 50 construction accounting firms.

Construction accounting, the magazine says, is one of the most complicated forms of business accounting. “All top CPAs are well versed in accounting, bookkeeping and tax advice. The best bring balance and stability to thousands of construction companies as highly trusted business advisors.”

In the magazine’s first ranking of construction accounting firms, which was included in the July/August issue, the top five firms are listed as CLA (FY18 net revenue of $954.6 million), Chicago-based RSM (FY19 net revenue of $2.43 billion), Chicago-based Crowe (FY19 net revenue of $951.9 million) Seattle-based Moss Adams (FY18 net revenue of $691 million), and Milwaukee-based Wipfli (FY19 net revenue of $362.5million). Find the full listing here.

To determine the ranking, according to Skoda Minotti (FY18 net revenue of $59.4 million), which ranked 33rd, Construction Executive asked hundreds of U.S. accounting firms with a construction practice to complete a survey. Data collected included:

  • Revenues from the construction practice in 2018
  • The number of CPAs in the construction practice
  • The percentage of the firm’s total revenues from the construction practice
  • The number of construction clients in 2018
  • The number of office locations with a construction accounting practice
  • The number of employees with CCIFP certification
  • The year the construction accounting practice was established

The final ranking was determined by an algorithm that weighted these factors in descending order of importance.

The magazine also surveyed accounting professionals on top issues within the industry and quotes professionals from 11 CPA firms on the biggest concerns expressed by their clients.

They report that the No. 1 issue is the labor deficit, and other big worries are business succession, cybersecurity, the impacts of climate change on the bottom line and the possibility of an impending recession.

The results are similar to that of a separate, three-month-long survey of New York contractors and construction industry leaders, conducted by an independent research firm for New York-based Grassi & Co. (FY18 net revenue of $63.6 million). The top concern was the shortage of skilled labor. Other concerns are regulatory compliance, such as minority/women-owned business rules and New York labor laws. Cybersecurity was also raised as a worry, with 76% of respondents saying that the number of people with access to worksite data was a significant security concern. (To receive a copy of the Grassi survey, contact Jennifer Maizel or call (516) 918-5927.)

Overall, however, the outlook among construction industry leaders is positive, according to Joseph Natarelli, national construction services industry leader at New York-based Marcum LLP (FY18 net revenue of $549.7 million). He told Construction Executive: “We have seen a major increase in the number of commercial construction backlogs and improvement in the general business environment. Infrastructure, hospitality and office construction, in particular, have been standouts.”

The magazine advises, “To ensure a healthy business lifespan, treat your relationship with your experienced construction CPA as you would a trusted doctor. Check in regularly, show them everything, heed their advice and get a second opinion if needed.”