INSIDE Public Accounting names the best managed accounting firms

INSIDE Public Accounting's Best of the Best honors 25 firms annually for their wise management and superior operational performance in fiscal and management metrics based on 35 criteria. Another 25 firms are recognized with designations as Best of the Best Honorable Mentions.

Each of the hundreds of firms participating in the IPA Annual Survey and Analysis of Firms is eligible for the IPA Best of Best honors. Thirty five management metrics are reviewed when selecting these firms, including: Net Income Per Partner; Revenue Growth; Income Growth; Profit Margin; Partner Compensation; Leverage; Net Fee Per Charge Hour; Staff Turnover, Management of Expenses, and much more.

"Best of the Best firms represent the top 25 in the nation who are pushing the right buttons and pulling the right levers to move the entire firm to a recognized level of excellence," says Michael Platt, publisher of INSIDE Public Accounting. "We salute these firms and recognize their overall management strategies as models that the profession can be quite proud of," he adds. You can view the full list of the IPA Best of the Best and Honorable Mentions.

As has been the case for the last few years, firms located in large metropolitan areas on the East Coast and West Coast continue to dominate the lists of IPA Best of the Best firms. Two-thirds of the 25 Best of the Best firms are located in just three areas: California is home to seven of these firms; the Washington, D.C. corridor is headquarters for five; New York can claim four IPA Best of the Best. Miami, Atlanta, and Boston collectively are home to five of the firms. Only three of 25 firms can lay claim to being the best of the "interior" states – representing Texas and Colorado.

IPA Best of the Best firms come in all sizes. Best of the Best firms represent the full spectrum of the profession. The $20 million to $50 million firms, however, dominate the list, with two-thirds of the firms falling into this sweet spot. This size firm typically has the management and marketing resources to focus strategically, yet is still nimble enough to move fast and take advantage of market opportunities. Aggressive billing rates, competitive salaries, significant increases over last year define success strategies for the IPA Best of the Best Firms.

Conventional wisdom would indicate that more established firms are better run than younger, more recently established firms, simply because of a level of maturity in the life-cycle of the firm and the ability to standardize the best practices and processes. In fact, 75 percent of the IPA Best of the Best firms are more than 20 years old. But six of the firms have caught up to their counterparts in under 20 years in business, and deserve special recognition. As a group, IPA Best of the Best firms grew an average of 23.1 percent compared with 14.7 percent for all non-national firms. They manage $2 million per partner, with fees per employee just over $209,000. Income growth for this group is no less stunning, with a solid 25 percent growth in net income from last year – 80 percente greater than other firms.

IPA also ranks the Top 100 CPA Firms in the nation. You can view the complete IPA Top 100 firms.

About IPA: INSIDE Public Accounting, founded in 1987, is published by The Platt Consulting Group. It reports and analyzes the news, trends, strategies and politics that affect the nation's public accounting firms, providing them with the information and resources they need to compete and operate more profitably. Michael Platt and Kelly Platt are the principals of The Platt Consulting Group and the publishers of INSIDE Public Accounting. Subscriptions: (317) 733-1920. Complete copies of the IPA Best of the Best, All-Stars or Top 100 Firm issues (20-pages), reprint information and pricing: (317) 733-1920; info@plattgroupllc.com

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