10 Years of the Top 100 Firms

Tracking trends at the biggest firms in the U.S.

Interested in seeing how the accounting profession has grown? Collected here for the first time is the annual data presented in our Top 100 Firms report. Some of the trends that emerge are surprising.
Note: Years given are the year of the report published; data are from the previous calendar year.

Note: Each year's Top 100 Firms is distinct from the other years, as firms enter and leave the list through mergers, growth or, occasionally, collapse. In this chart, each year's growth is measured in comparison with the same group one year before.

Note: Our three tiers change from year to year as firms move up and down the list. The cohort of firms with over $1 billion includes the Big Four and H&R Block until 2005; in 2006, it's the Big Four and RSM McGladrey/McGladrey & Pullen; and from 2007 on, it's the Big Four, RSM, and Grant Thornton.

While the firms over $1 billion have contributed the lion's share of revenue growth ...

... the two lower tiers' growth has been less volatile.

The absolute number of partners has not quite regained the peak it hit in our 2010 report (reflecting 2009 figures).

Of particular interest is the way the partner ratios at firms under and over $100 million switch directions around 2008.

Despite the occasional periods of retrenchment, the total staff figures for the T100 have grown almost 25 percent.

Most of that staff growth came from the Big Four and other firms with over $1 billion in revenue.

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