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CCH’s Public Accounting Report Finds Top 100 Firms Post Double-digit Growth for Three Years Running
(RIVERWOODS, ILL., September 25, 2008) – CCH’s Public Accounting Report (PAR) has released results of its annual Top 100 Firms survey of highest revenue accounting firms, showing that the majority on the 2008 list are realizing double-digit revenue growth rates. This marks the first time the Top 100 firms posted a three-year streak of double-digit revenue growth rates since 1999, 2000 and 2001. PAR is published by CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business and a leading provider of tax, accounting and audit information, software and services (CCHGroup.com).
The PAR 2008 Top 100 found an average revenue growth rate of 11.4 percent, up from a growth rate of 10.8 percent in 2007. As in previous years, firms outside the Big Four posted stronger overall results than their larger counterparts, with non-Big Four firms growing their revenue at an average rate of 14.4 percent compared to 10.6 percent for the Big Four. For 2008, the “Top 100” actually includes 102 firms, with a three-way tie in revenue for the last spot on the list.
In addition to revenue growth rates for overall firms, composite net revenue per partner also rose to more than $2.87 million, a 6.3 percent increase over the previous year, while net revenues per professional for firms in this year’s top 100 increased 4 percent to $320,194 compared to those firms’ previous performance, according to PAR 2008 Top 100 results.
Revenue Growth Rate on the Rise, But Underlying Data Shows Signs of Slump
While an increased double-digit revenue growth rate for the third straight year appears to be good news, there are signs that point to an economic slowdown.
Weakness in underlying data suggests the revenue growth rate may not make a return trip to double-digit growth territory next year. Drilling down beyond the surface of the numbers reveals that 2008’s revenue growth rate figure of 11.4 percent is actually weaker than the previous year’s rate of 10.8 percent when taking into account that this year’s growth rate is largely contributed by firms with fiscal year ends prior to March 2008. Further signs of slowdown are apparent when reviewing the data from firms with fiscal year ends from April to August 2008.
Historically, there has not been a great deal of fluctuation in the ranking among the top 10 in PAR’s Top 100. This year, the top 10 remained the same as in 2007 with PricewaterhouseCoopers maintaining the No. 2 spot that it won over Ernst & Young last year.
According to the 2008 PAR survey, the top 10 of the Top 100 ranked by revenue are:
1. Deloitte (New York, N.Y.)
2. PricewaterhouseCoopers (New York, N.Y.)
3. Ernst & Young (New York, N.Y.)
4. KPMG (New York, N.Y.)
5. RSM McGladrey (Minneapolis, Minn.)
6. Grant Thornton (Chicago, Ill.)
7. BDO Seidman (Chicago, Ill.)
8. CBIZ/Mayer Hoffman McCann (Cleveland, Ohio and Leawood, Kan.)
9. Crowe Group (Oak Brook, Ill.)
10. BKD (Springfield, Mo.)
Overall, across the Top 100, Burr, Pilger & Mayer (San Francisco) achieved the biggest ranking jump, climbing 21 spots from No. 78 on the 2007 list to No. 57 on the PAR 2008 Top 100.
About the Survey
CCH’s Public Accounting Report, published since 1978, is an independent, biweekly newsletter for accounting professionals. PAR’s annual Top 100 survey, which has been conducted since 1992, analyzes data from firms’ most recently completed fiscal year and ranks them by U.S. net revenue (except as otherwise noted). Net revenue is used rather than gross revenue, as gross revenue can be misleading because firms write off varying amounts of their fees.
For More Information
To order the August 31, 2008 issue and Special Extra Issue covering the PAR 2008 Top 100 survey, or to subscribe to CCH’s Public Accounting Report, contact CCH at 800-248-3248. A yearly subscription (includes 23 issues and Special Reports) is priced at $399 (internet subscription) or $419 (newsletter subscription); single issue price is $27.50.
About CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business
CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business (CCHGroup.com) is a leading provider of tax, accounting and audit information, software and services. It has served tax, accounting and business professionals since 1913. Among its market-leading products are The ProSystem fx® Office, CorpSystem®, CCH® Tax Research NetWork™, Accounting Research Manager® and the U.S. Master Tax Guide®. CCH is based in Riverwoods, Ill.
Wolters Kluwer is a leading global information services and publishing company. The company provides products and services globally for professionals in the health, tax, accounting, corporate, financial services, legal and regulatory sectors. Wolters Kluwer has annual revenues (2007) of €3.4 billion ($4.8 billion), maintains operations in over 33 countries across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific and employs approximately 19,500 people worldwide. Wolters Kluwer is headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. For more information, visit www.wolterskluwer.com.