IPA Releases Annual Rankings and Metrics of the Nation’s Largest Public Accounting Firms

IPA Releases Annual Rankings and Metrics of the Nation’s Largest Public Accounting Firms

The publishers of INSIDE Public Accounting (IPA), the award-winning newsletter for the public accounting profession, has released its annual financial performance analysis and rankings of the nation’s 400 largest public accounting firms.

The annual IPA practice management survey draws participation from more of the largest 500 firms than any other practice management provider. The leader in data collection for the accounting profession since 1990, IPA boasts a 92% return rate of participating firms.

The Annual IPA Top 100 Firms: Now in its 30th year, the annual  list is made up of the Big 4, which collectively generated more than $64.3 billion in U.S. revenue last year, and 96 national, regional and local firms. These 96 firms range in size from Chicago-based RSM US ($2.7 billion) at No. 5, to No. 100, Florham Park, N.J.-based Wiss & Company LLP ($43.7 million). One firm debuted on the IPA Top 100 list this year: No. 74 St. Cloud, Minn.-based BerganKDV LTD.

The IPA 200, 300 and 400 Firms: IPA also publishes the IPA Top 400 firms, which ranks firms from No. 101 ($39.5 million) to No. 400 ($6.0 million). The annual rankings and accompanying analysis paint a comprehensive picture of the state of the public accounting profession.

Demographics of the Public Accounting Profession – 2020: The Big 4 – Deloitte, PwC, EY and KPMG – collectively make up nearly 72.7% of the total revenue of this year’s IPA Top 100. Due to their size, IPA excludes metrics of the Big 4 in its in-depth analysis of the profession to provide all other accounting firms with meaningful comparative practice management benchmarks. The next 96 firms represent $24.2 billion in total revenues and employ more than 100,000 staff. Excluding the Big 4, 51 firms are represented in the IPA $100 Million Club, all with annual revenues exceeding $100 million.

The IPA Top 100: Key Highlights of America’s 100 Largest Firms (Excluding the Big 4)

  • Organic growth (excluding mergers) grew to 7.4%, up from 6.7% in 2019.
  • Nearly 110 acquisitions (both traditional CPA firms as well as other non-CPA firms) were reported by the group, pushing the overall growth rate to 9.8%, down slightly from 9.9% in 2019.
  • Organic growth in net income was down this year to 7.7%, a decrease from 9.9% in 2019.
  • Average equity partner billing rates are now at $469 per hour for the IPA Top 100.
  • Professional staff turnover (CPAs and other client-serving staff) averaged 16.0% for the IPA Top 100, with 1 in 6 firms averaging more than 20% professional staff turnover.
  • Six female managing partners are at the helm of IPA Top 100 firms this year.
  • Annual equity partner compensation averages $682,000.
  • One out of every 11 equity partners / owners in a CPA firm are not licensed CPAs.

In-Depth Financial and Operational Benchmarking of the Public Accounting Profession: The full analysis of more than 540 public accounting firms will be published in September in IPA’s annual National Practice Management Benchmarking Report.

The full rankings can be accessed here.

Subscribe to the monthly IPA newsletter to receive 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 2020 National Practice Management Reports to stay ahead of the game with the gold standard data analysis for the accounting profession.

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

 About INSIDE Public Accounting: INSIDE Public Accounting (IPA) is a leader in practice management resources for the public accounting profession. IPA offers the monthly practice management newsletter, the annual national practice management benchmarking reports, firmwide culture assessment and corresponding reports, and training. IPA has assisted firms across North America grow and thrive since 1985.

For copies of the 2020 IPA firm rankings, customized reprints and pricing information, contact IPA.