National CPA firms have traditionally dwarfed the regional firms in size. But this is changing. Due to the frenetic pace of CPA firm mergers, the once humongous size gap is narrowing, resulting in a CPA firm landscape that is moving towards the way law firms are grouped.
The trend is that many large regionals now look more like national firms and are knocking at the door of the Big 4 and the 2ndtier nationals (i.e., Grant Thornton, BDO, McGladrey).
- The top 100 law firms’ annual revenues are $65 billion compared to CPA firms’ $43B. The top 4 CPA firms’ revenue is 5 times that of the largest 4 law firms. But the remaining 96 law firms’ revenue is 5 times that of the comparable CPA firm number. As one goes down the law firm top 100, there is only a minute difference from firm to firm.
- In 1993, the smallest international CPA firm was 8 times the largest second tier national firm. By 2011, this ratio is only 3.5.
- In 1993, the smallest 2nd tier national CPA firm was 3 times the largest regional firm. In 2011, the smallest 2nd tier national firm is only 20% higher than the largest regional firm.