The financial information company Sageworks has once again ranked accounting as the most profitable industry this year.

Sageworks found that privately held accounting-related companies (including accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping and payroll service companies) scored as the most profitable businesses, with net profits totaling 18.3 percent of sales, on average, based on an  analysis of financial statements for the 12 months ended June 30, according to Sageworks research specialist Mary Ellen Biery. They also scored at the top in 2014 and 2015 (see Accounting Tops List of Most Profitable Industries and Accounting Leads Most Profitable Industries).

In second place were legal services firms and real-estate leasing companies, which tied with average net profit margins of 17.4 percent. In fourth place were outpatient care centers, at 15.9 percent.

On average, net profit margins for privately held companies in all industries for the 12 months ending June 30 was 7.7 percent.

For the rest of the rankings, click here.

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