If you use the 100 largest firms in the nation as a barometer of how the profession fared in 2003, you get some interesting results. As they grappled with the profession’s changing landscape and the impact of Sarbanes-Oxley and the stalled economy in 2003 (the two factors the Top 100 cited most often as having the greatest impact on their businesses during the year), the profession’s top-ranked firms produced some pretty impressive results.

While I can’t reveal which firms the Top 100 Firms are (for that, you’ll have to check out the March 15 issue of Accounting Today), I can tell you this: Overall, the 100 largest firms in the U.S. ranked by revenue registered impressive overall growth of 9.47 percent, raking in combined revenues in 2003 of about $30.64 billion. Of that, the Big Four accounted for $20.41 billion, a whopping 10 percent gain over last year. Add in the fifth largest firm, and those figures jump to $24.11 billion and 10.26 percent growth.

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