Innovative Accounting Firm Alliance Creates Global Network

The February launch of two organizations, LEA Europe and LEA Asia Pacific, mark the start of the Leading Edge Alliance’s (LEA) worldwide expansion initiatives. LEA is a U.S.-based association of premier independently-owned accounting and consulting firms with annual revenues of more than $1.1 billion.


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“Leading Edge consists of innovative accounting firms that recognize that the real benefit of association comes from the ability to interact with firms of similar size and market strength,” Michael Davis, CA, Managing Partner of London-based HW Fisher & Company, and a member of the LEA Board of Directors, said in announcing the launch of LEA Europe and LEA Asia Pacific. “Establishing LEA Europe and LEA Asia Pacific enables us to deliver a unique advantage – best-in-class strategies and processes, faster new service development cycles, improved recruiting and retention, and accelerated profitability – to accounting firms around the world.”

The Alliance’s primary focus, to this point, has been within the U.S. Approximately 40 percent of the Alliance’s members rank among the top 100 largest accounting firms in the U.S.. All member firms rank in the top tier of their state and local markets. Driven by market demand from local firms around the world seeking to to connect with the network’s market leaders and industry-best practices, the Alliance’s expansion has occurred quicker than expected. Internationally, Leading Edge has firms in 46 countries, with 280 offices, 915 partners and 5,000 professional staff. With a current growth rate of 46 percent, it is one of the fasted growing accounting associations in the world. LEA member revenues outside the U.S. already top $315 million.

“For successful accounting firms that are looking to grow and further enhance their market position both at home and internationally, the Leading Edge Alliance is an outstanding organization. Membership of LEA gives the means to member firms to both strengthen their international offering to clients and also to share best practice in practice management and innovation with some of the world’s leading accounting and business advisory firms,” Sandy Manson, CA, Managing Partner of Johnston Carmichael’s Aberdeen office in Scotland. Johnston Carmichael is the largest independent firm in Scotland and a member of the LEA.

The LEA’s purpose is to advance the skills and abilities of the world’s best accounting firms by providing member firms with:

  • Access to the world’s best and brightest teams of business advisors – a peer-to-peer connection that helps deliver real solutions to clients;
  • Innovative, practice-proven strategies for improving performance in management, business processes, finance, operations, information technology, and marketing;
  • A leading knowledge resource for multidisciplinary information and industry-specific expertise in response to clients’ unique needs;
  • The strength to attract the highest quality staff people; and
  • Access to leading firms in the world’s major economic markets

“No organization is more committed to developing and maintaining the finest quality accounting practices,” said Gary Shamis, Manging Partner of SS&G Financial Services in Cleveland, Ohio and Chair of the Leading Edge Alliance. “Our members are leaders in the profession. Our firms are the most innovative and successful practices on earth. LEA is a critical component to the growth and profitability of our practices because it works.”

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