We have put together a table of the top 100 accounting firms in the US below. You can view rankings by revenue and number of employees. It includes the big 4 accounting firms ranking which Deloitte topped in the US.
Just by virtue of being the largest accounting firms in the United States this also makes these companies some of the largest accounting firms in the world. The ranking includes the revenue and employee count for the 2016. It lists the 100 largest CPA firms in the United States.
Even thought the list covers the top 100 accounting firms in the US, we discuss the top 10 accounting firms in the US in detail below. The top ten accounting firms in the US as of 2016 are:
- Grant Thornton
- Crowe Horwath
We also discuss some of the fastest growing accounting firms in detail.
Deloitte is one of the largest big four accounting firms in the world and is obviously the largest in the US. Their revenues topped $17 billion in the US with employees over 65,000. Deloitte’s able to pass up PwC in the United States because they have a much lower share of big four audit work for US companies. Because they have less audit work, they are able to target more consulting work at the nation’s largest companies.
Deloitte just implemented a new sick leave policy as well which they hope will entice more recruits in the US. The more recruits that Deloitte is able to obtain the higher their revenue will be.
PwC came in second this year with just over 12 billion. There 2016 global revenues will most likely top Deloitte’s but in the US they came in second to Deloitte.
PwC had a lot happen this past year. They had the Taylor bean case which threatened their reputation. They also had a shake up of PwC US leadership with Bob Moritz ascending to the Global Chairman role and Tim Ryan heading up the US PwC operations.
They also implemented the new PwC Dress Code which will hopefully convince millennials that PwC is the place for them to work.
3. Ernst & Young
Ernst & Young came in 3rd this year with just over $11 billion in revenue and over 30,000 employees. Ernst & Young is marketing to millenials to by deploying their better working world campaign.
You can probably see a pattern developing with the big 4 accounting firms. They are all implementing some marketing strategy to get millenials. If they don’t recruit for millennials now, there is a strong chance they could be missing out on revenues in the future.
EY millennial recruits will be hopefully getting the better working world they were promised.
KPMG came in fourth again this year with revenues of almost $8 billion and employees of about 23,000.
KPMG started a program this where they are going to pay for some student’s masters degrees if they take certain data analytics classes. The KPMG masters degree is another tactic used to increase recruits to the firm. If they increase recruits due to this new program it means increased revenues and a potential increase in their position in the top 100 accounting firms.
After the top 4 accounting firms, there is a significant drop off in the size of the largest accounting firms in the US. The next accounting firms are often referred to as mid tier accounting firms.
The next firm is RSM McGladrey. RSM announced in October that it changed its name from McGladrey to RSM in a global branding initiative. It looks like it helped because RSM’s revenues increased from about $1.4 billion to $1.6 billion. That makes RSM the largest accounting firm in Chicago.
Unrelated to their US business RSM added a record number of employees in the UK. They added 350 employees which will help bolster their global revenues and may help them compete against the top four accounting firms one day.
Ok, that wraps up the top five accounting firms. Let’s move on to the rest of the top ten accounting firms.
6. Grant Thornton
Next up on the list of top US accounting firms is RSM’s rival in Chicago, Grant Thornton. Grant Thornton had a pretty good year with about a 10% increase in revenue. The biggest move for Grant Thornton was their move up vault’s accounting 50 to number 4 passing up KPMG. They did all this while increasing their workforce significantly. It looks like they added well over 1,000 employees in the past year. They still have a lot of ground to make up before catching the big 4 in other areas though. Even though they aren’t number one in Chicago they are still one of the largest accounting firms in Chicago.
7. BDO USA
BDO accounting firm had just over a billion dollars in revenue in the United States this year. That’s a significant milestone for them. They are gaining on Grant thornton and RSM pretty quickly. They have been able to make this move by their recent acquisition of UHY’s Texas practice.
I wouldn’t be surprised if they pass one of them in the next few years. They have been enjoying growth well over 20% over the past couple of years.
8. Crowe Horwath
Crowe Horwath surpassed $700 million in revenue this year on the biggest accounting firms in the US list this year. They did that without increasing headcount significantly. They are also one of the largest accounting firms in Chicago similar to RSM and BDO accounting firm.
In 2016, Crowe Horwath expanded out to London, so we’ll have to see how that affects their global revenue and employees on a go forward basis. In order to compete with the big four accounting firms, these mid tier accounting firms are going to need to grow internationally, so this is a great sign for Crowe Horwath.
They also unveiled a new brand in 2016 – Smart decisions today. Lasting value tomorrow.
CliftonLarsonAllen moved up a bit in the largest accounting firms in the US this year. They went from just under $600 million in revenue last year to $650 million this year. It looks like they did this by adding about 200 employees to their headcount.
CliftonLarsonAllen had a string of M&A deals this year. The latest of which is there acquisition of CPWR LLP and Bray & COmpany. CPWR will help CliftonLarsonAllen’s impact in the US because CPWR had a strong presence in Texas with 130 employees. Bray & Company will increase CliftonLarsonAllen’s reach in the Midwest as Bray had 280 individuals in Wisconsin.
CBIZ rounds out the top 10 accounting firms. CBIZ only had about a 4% increase in revenues this year to arrive at $617 million in revenues. Their headcount was flat year over year which might show why their revenues were flat.
Just outside the top ten accounting firms in the US:
CohnReznik is a US based firm and they made about $600 million in revenue in 2016. That represents about a 5% increase in revenue for them. They also had about 1,900 employees an increase of about 50 employees year over year. They are slowly moving up the biggest accounting firms in the US list.
I also wanted to go over the fastest growing accounting companies this year other than just the largest cpa firms in the US.
BDO was lucky enough to grow by 26% this year. They did this by acquiring:
- UHY Texas which had 450 staff including 36 partners
- GSK in Florida which has about 100 staff and 14 partners.
- Charles A Barragato & Company in New York with 38 staff and 6 partners.
WipFli grew by 25% through various acquisitions of companies like Steinberg Advisors, Elko & associates and Higgins & Galusha.
Armanino grew by 27%. They were able to enjoy such rapid growth by offering IP solutions and other consulting solutions such as business management and integrated specialty practices.
K-Coe enjoyed growth of 60% which no doubt had to do with their integration after the initial merger of Kennedy and Coe and Matson and Isom. Each firm was ranked in the Top 200 accounting firms before they merged. The firm specializes in serving the food and agriculture industry.
This accounting firm was formed in 2013. Their growth could be due to their recent merger with Mayer CPAs which was another well respected accounting firm in the same region. They also acquired an accounting practice in LA in the past year that serviced the entertainment industry.
I like this firm. Their tag line is “The best firm you haven’t heard of.” The reason they enjoyed such great growth (over 100% this year) is because they just formed in the fall of 2015. They were formed by the merger of Bergan Paulsen and Networking Solutions and KDV.
UHY had a notable decline of above 40% in revenue 2016 which was most likely due to the sale of their Texas practice to BDO.
The SC&H had a decline of about 27% in revenue 2016 due to the sale of their state and local practice to Atlus Group.
You can review the complete list of the top 100 accounting firms in the US in the table below.
|Largest Accounting Firms in the US|
|2016 Ranking||Name of Firm||Revenue in millions||People in the US|
|3||Ernst & Young||11,190||30,600|
|5||RSM (formerly McGladery)||1,636||5,622|
|10||CBIZ/Mayer Hoffman McCann||617||1,827|
|13||Baker Tilly Virchow Krause||478||2,110|
|17||Dixon Hughes Goodman||371||1,329|
|21||Carr, Riggs & Ingram||195||747|
|22||Citrin Cooperman & Co.||195||450|
|26||PKF O’Connor Davies||126||426|
|28||Novogradac & Co.||117||370|
|29||Elliott Davis Decosimo||117||546|
|35||Holthouse Carlin & Van Trigt||111||318|
|36||Kearney & Co.||109||496|
|38||The Bonadio Group||102||400|
|48||Burr Pilger Mayer||78||294|
|50||Frank, Rimerman + Co.||75||312|
|51||Kaufman Rossin Group||74||274|
|52||Habif, Arogeti & Wynne||74||288|
|55||Blue & Co.||71||245|
|56||Frazier & Deeter||67||195|
|58||Katz, Sapper & Miller||66||256|
|59||Nigro Karlin Segal Feldstein & Bolno||65||256|
|60||Clark, Schaefer, Hackett & Co.||64||277|
|63||Hill, Barth & King||60||217|
|65||Honkamp Krueger & Co.||58||222|
|67||Reinsel Kuntz Lesher||57||306|
|68||Berkowitz Pollack Brant||56||141|
|69||Hein & Associates||54||204|
|70||Postlethwaite & Netterville||53||290|
|73||Montgomery Coscia Greilich||51||258|
|77||Grassi & Co.||49||167|
|78||Cohen & Co.||48||200|
|82||Raich Ende Malter & Co.||46||136|
|85||Mauldin & Jenkins||45||187|
|89||Margolin, Winer & Evens||41||165|
|90||Kemper CPA Group||40||225|
|91||Brown Smith Wallace||40||227|
|93||Miller Kaplan Arase||40||120|
|94||Mountjoy Chilton Medley||39||182|
|96||Baker Newman & Noyes||38||172|
|97||Macias Gini & O’Connell||38||179|
|98||Wolf & Co.||38||143|
|100||Vavrinek, Trine, Day & Co.||36||185|