Top 100 Firms Gallop Out of Recession

Revenue Trends at the 2012 Top 100 Firms, via AccountingToday
Revenue Trends at the 2012 Top 100 Firms, via AccountingToday

Bold growth tactics, big partner cuts.

The nation’s 100 largest tax and accounting firms have reversed revenue losses and are accelerating growth in a highly competitive market by relying on a mix of merger, acquisition and selling strategies, according to a new survey and analysis.

In a year marked by “blockbuster mergers,” Accounting Today reports top-line revenue advanced 7.9% for the 100 largest firms operating in the U.S., clocking in total fees of $45.8 billion. Among the Big Four, revenue grew 8.2% to $436.2 billion.

This year’s advances mark a turnaround from back-to-back retreats.

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NEW SURVEY FINDINGS: Tech Investments, Better Economy, More Complex Returns Buoy Busy Season Outlook

Four in five expect the same or better  than last year’s busy season.

by Rick Telberg

As Busy Season 2012 gets into full gear, tax and accounting professionals are holding steadfast to their confidence that this year’s results could show a marked improvement over last year’s, according to current readings of the profession by CPA Trendlines.

With January 2012 just beginning, 55% of accountants expect 2012 to be overall  “somewhat” or “much” better than 2011, which is relatively unchanged from readings in November and December. To be sure, 26% expect no change from last year, and 19% are bracing for “worse.”

In other findings from the CPA Trendlines busy season barometer and related reports:

Complete findings are published in The CPA Trendlines Practitioner’s Tax Season Performance Review and Outlook Report. (Learn more here)

 

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Charles Postal, SP&Co.: Investing in People and Mergers

Strategy 2012: Battling for Market Share

What are your critical challenges for 2012, and what can do you about them? A number of the profession’s leading lights have been sharing their thoughts with Accounting Today. Here’s one:

Charles Postal
Santos Postal & Co.

We see a shrinking market share of small and medium-sized businesses with the need for premium accounting services caused by increased competition from larger firms with greater resources.

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Accounting Sector Adds 2,000 New Jobs

Even as CPA firms shrink by 1,100.

The nation’s accounting and bookkeeping sector accounted for 2,000 of the 80,000 new jobs created in October, according to new preliminary and seasonally-adjusted data from the U.S. Labor Department.

For the nation, the jobs gain pushed the unemployment rate down to 9.0% from 9.1%.

For the accounting and bookkeeping sector, October’s performance represents a third straight month of gains and a year-to-year gain of 60,800 jobs, bringing the industry’s payroll to 932,200 employees.

All Employees, October 2011
All Employees, October 2011

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Accountants Outpace CPAs in Job Listings

Simplyhired 2011 010 08
Help Wanted trends for "accountant" and "CPA" (by SimplyHired via CPA Trendlines)

Millions of “help wanted” ads surveyed and indexed.

Indexed to February 2010, the number of open “accountant” jobs has increased 64% and the number of open “CPA” jobs has declined 11%, according to data from Simply Hired, a job search engine affiliated with CPA Trendlines. The graph displays the percentage of jobs with the search terms anywhere in the job listing.

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