The Rosenberg Survey: National Study of CPA Firm Statistics

The leading national compendium of CPA firm practice management benchmarks.





The CPA Industry’s Largest, Most Authoritative Annual Report


The Rosenberg MAP Survey is well-known and well-respected within the national CPA industry for its accuracy, thoroughness and high participation rate.

“THE  barometer for CPA firm practice management.”



  1. Large number of participants — almost 400 firms.
  2. Results are reviewed by three CPAs for accuracy and validity.
  3. A customized benchmarking sheet for your firm.
  4. Row-by-row data for each firm – no other national survey gives you this.
  5. Comprehensive analysis and an executive overview of key findings.
  6. Key metrics broken down by size range, population range and geographic location.
  7. Dozens of special analyses and correlations – never seen in any other MAP survey.


  • Firms, sorted by size:

— firms with annual fees >$20M
— firms with annual fees $10M-$20M
— firms with annual fees $2M - $10M
— firms with annual fees <$2M
— sole practitioners

  • 100 benchmarks in all
  • Four different city population ranges
  • Four-year trend analysis
  • Statistics seldom seen in other surveys
  • Research showing which statistics correlate the most with profitability
  • Partner compensation, partner buy-in and buy-out and partner retirement plans
  • Statistics for CPA-operated financial services practices
  • Executive summary written by Marc Rosenberg


Commentary, analysis, and forecasts by leading authorities, including:

  • Allen Koltin, Koltin Consulting

  • Jeff Pawlow, President, The Growth Partnership

  • Marc Rosenberg, The Rosenberg Associates

  • Jennifer Wilson, Convergence Coaching

  • Gary Adamson, Adamson Advisory

  • August Aquila, Aquila Global Advisors

  • Gale Crosley, Crosley Company

  • Chris Frederiksen, Panalitix

  • Angie Grissom, The Rainmaker Companies

  • Rita Keller, Keller Advisors

  • Roman Kepczyk, Xcentric

  • Art Kuesel, Kuesel Consulting

  • Tamera Loerzel, Convergence Coaching

  • Sarah Johnson Dobek, Inovautus

  • Terry Putney, Transition Advisors

  • Carl George, Carl George Advisory


  1. Age of the Partners
  2. Audit Practice Impact on Key Metrics
  3. Bigger Firms and Profitability
  4. Billing Rates of Partners within the Same Population Market
  5. Billing Rates: Do Firms With High Rates Have Lower Realization?
  6. Client Retention: Acquiring a Firm vs. Internal Retirements
  7. Dress Code
  8. Elite Firms Analysis
  9. Gender Mix and Percentage of Female Partners
  10. Financial Services
  11. Managing Partners’ Client Responsibilities
  12. New Partner Buy-In
  13. New Partner Compensation
  14. Non-Equity Partner Position: A Growing Trend
  15. Partner Agreements
  16. Partner Charge Hours and Income per Partner
  17. Partner Compensation Systems
  18. Partner Retirement/Buyout
  19. Partner Retirement Plans: Penalty if clients leave the firm
  20. Partner Retirement Plans: How many firms are making goodwill based payments?
  21. Partner Retirement: Mandatory retirement
  22. Profitability Measurement
  23. Small Cities and Profitability
  24. Staff Billable Hours
  25. Staff to Partner Ratio Correlated to Income Per Partner
  26. States: Profitability and Growth for Certain States
  27. Tax Season Impact on Staff Billable Hours
  28. The Statistics that Correlate Most with Firm Profitability

Demographics of Survey Participants*

There were 347 firms that participated in this year’s survey:

38 firms with annual net fees in excess of $20 million.

64 firms with annual net fees of $10–20 million.

207 firms with annual net fees of $2–10 million.

19 firms with annual net fees under $2 million.

19 firms were sole proprietors.

80% of the firms in the 2017 survey also participated in 2016.


In terms of size of market  (metropolitan population of the county in which the firm resides, plus all collar counties):*

181 firms were from very large cities with population in excess of two million such as Chicago, New York, Atlanta, etc.

51 firms were from other large cities with populations between one and two million.

74 firms were from markets ranging in population between 250,000 and one million.

41 firms were from markets of under 250,000.


In terms of geographic dispersion:*

105 firms were from Midwestern states (Great Lakes, Dakotas down to Kansas).

75 firms were from Northeastern states (New England down to Pennsylvania).

109 firms were from Southern states (Kentucky, Delaware, and Maryland down to Florida, as far west as Oklahoma and Texas).

58 firms were from Western states (Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, Montana and all states west).

Spiral bound, 180 pages.

The Rosenberg Survey: National Study of CPA Firm Statistics