Illinois Chapter

INSIDE Public Accounting Releases Annual Ranking and Performance Metrics

Published August 8, 2019 By INSIDE Public Accounting
The publishers of INSIDE Public Accounting (IPA), the award-winning newsletter for the public accounting profession, announce the release of IPA’s annual financial performance analysis and ranking of the nation’s 400 largest public accounting firms.

Rankings of The IPA 100 Firms

Now in its 29th year, the IPA 100 lists the 100 largest public accounting firms. 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. They ranged from Chicago-based RSM US ($2.4 billion) at No. 5, to No. 100, Livingston, N.J.-based Wiss & Company LLP ($39.2 million).

Newcomers To The IPA 100

Three firms debuted on the IPA 100 this year: No. 91 Tulsa, Okla.-based HoganTaylor LLP; No. 98 Houston-based Briggs & Veselka Co.; and No. 99 Clifton, N.J.-based Sax LLP.

The IPA 200, IPA 300 and IPA 400 Firms

IPA also publishes the IPA 200, which ranks firms from No. 101 ($39 million) to No. 200 ($19.2 million), the IPA 300, beginning with Nos. 201 to 300 – firms of $19.2 million to $11.4 million – as well as the IPA 400, from No. 301 ($11.3 million) to No. 400 ($5.5 million). The annual rankings and accompanying analysis paint a comprehensive picture of the state of the profession.

The full rankings can be accessed here.

Demographics of the Public Accounting Profession: 2019

The Big 4, Deloitte, PwC, EY and KPMG collectively make up nearly 75% of the total revenue of this year’s IPA 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 benchmarks. The next 96 firms represent $22.2 billion in total revenues and 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. The IPA 100:

Key Highlights Of America’s 100 Largest Firms – Excluding the Big 4

• 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) we rereported, 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 every 11 equity partners / owners in a CPA firm are not 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

The full financial analysis of 550 public accounting firms will be published in late September in the 2019 INSIDE Public Accounting National Benchmarking Report. The September issue of the subscription-based IPA newsletter will include the 2019 Best of the Best firms, high-performers that are at the top of their game, along with the Fastest-Growing Firms in the nation, and a full analysis of the next tier of accounting firms, the IPA 200.

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 the partners at INSIDE Public Accounting, please contact Chelsea Summers at (317) 733-1920 or

About INSIDE Public Accounting
The Platt Group publishes the award-winning IPA newsletter every month and the annual IPA National Benchmarking Report. The Platt Group also surveys and publishes annual reports for the accounting profession in Human Resources, Firm Administration and Information Technology. Grow your firm, become more profitable and improve operations with IPA. IPA provides resources, analyses and tools to transform your firm.
For copies of the 2019 IPA firm rankings, customized reprints and pricing information, please contact Chelsea Summers at (317) 733-1920;