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INSIDE Public Accounting Reveals the IPA 100 Firms 2011

August 17, 2011 (SmartPros) The Platt Group, publishers of INSIDE Public Accounting (IPA), are proud to present the 21st annual report on the nation's largest 100 accounting firms - one of the most comprehensive of its kind.

The report is the most current snapshot available of the financial and operational health of the largest accounting firms in the nation, and reflects the ”state of the union” of the accounting profession as it emerges from the recession.
“Strong management, aggressive cost-cutting and economic flickers of hope have helped firms west of the Mississippi claim the dominant geographical “wins” this year as they regain their footing and set their collective future on a path for recovery. Income growth for this group is up over 6%, with positive revenue growth moving a little more comfortably away from the “flat line” growth of other firms,” says Kelly Platt, managing editor, and publisher of IPA.
Due to mergers among the IPA 100, and continued shrinking of the top line for many firms, the minimum IPA 100 net fees this year is $28.1 million, down $1.5 million from last year and down $2.7 million from the 2009 high of $30.8 million.
Collectively, IPA 100 firms saw a paltry 1.0% increase in net revenues over last year, with 41% reporting a decline in net revenues from the previous year. “But there are flickers of hope,” says Platt. “Firms with a year end prior to November 2010 reported an aggregate growth rate of -2.9%. For those with a 12/31/10 year end, the growth was 1.1%. For those with a year end of May or June 2011, growth came in at 3.5%. So there are signs that we’re turning the corner.” 
One half of all IPA 100 firms reported an increase in charge hours (organic, not related to mergers) last year. Eighty five percent of firms with the largest increase in charge hours are from major metro coastal areas: Boston, New York, Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Los Angeles, reflecting the fact that the coasts are bouncing back quicker from the recession.
Some key metrics to consider among the INSIDE Public Accounting 100:
1.0% - Average revenue growth (excluding mergers)
3.0% - Average net income growth (highest since 2008)
15.6% - Average staff turnover (about 13% higher than last year, showing signs that the job market is recovering for professionals)
29.8% - Average margin (net income as a percentage of net revenue) – the highest since 2008
$78,923 - Average pay for professional staff (down $200 from last year)
$368 - Average partner billing rate (no change from last year)
$521,619 - Average equity partner compensation (down $63,000 from the peak three years ago).
For complete list of the 2011 INSIDE Public Accounting 100 firms, go to:

2011 SmartPros Ltd. All rights reserved.

Source: INSIDE Public Accounting

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