The Platt Group, publisher of INSIDE Public Accounting (IPA), is proud to present its19th annual report on the nation’s Top 100 accounting firms. “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,” said 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 December 31, 2009, brace yourself. Compensation for this group will reflect the full brunt of the economic downturn, and partners will feel it directly,” Platt said.
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
You can see the complete list of the INSIDE Public Accounting (IPA) Top 100 firms.
For copies of the IPA Top 100 Firm issue of INSIDE Public Accounting, reprint information, and pricing information, please contact (317) 733-1920; [email protected]. You can also receive information on the INSIDE Public Accounting National Benchmarking Report.