(The Accounting Today Top 100 Firms, 2011 edition)
So, when’s the rebound?
The revenue decline is the second in a row for the profession’s largest firms, prompting Accounting Today managing editor Daniel Hood to liken the conditions to a “deep freeze.”
Although the top-line shrinkage is slowing, firms continue to cut back partners and staff. Forty-four firms report flat or declining revenue in the 2011 Top 100, up from 34 in the 2010 Top 100; and 62 report flat or declining staff numbers, against 53 the previous year.
“Staring down the often lethal combination of a rough economy and increased competition, many in the 2011 class of the T100 struggled to at least maintain flat revenues over the prior year — with mixed success,” editor-in-chief Bill Carlino says in his introduction to the 32-page special report.
The bigger the firm, the tougher the year:
- Only Deloitte, No. 1 in the rankings with $10.9 billion in revenue, could boast of revenue gains — up 2%.
- You need to go to the 14th spot on the list to find the next firm with positive results — Marcum, up 7% to $251 million. And then skip a few rungs to LarsonAllen at 18th, Reznick at 21st, and Eide Bailly at 24th.
- In all, 43 of the the top 100 suffered revenue declines; 19 of them were among the top 25.
- 37 firms cut partners; 16 of them were among the top 25 firms.
- 54 firms cut professionals; 19 in the top 25.
The biggest losers:
- UHY Advisors, down 13%, to $205 million.
- Mohler, Nixon & Williams, -10%, $33 million.
- Anchin, Block & Anchin, -8%, $89 million.
- Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, -8%, $238 million.
- Ernst & Young, -7%, $7.1 billion
- Aronson, -7%, $57 million.
- SVA, -7%, $45 million.
- Holtz Rubinstein & Reminick, -7%, $33 million.
- Joseph Decosimo & Co., -6%, $38 million.
- Kaufman Rossin & Co., -6%, $44 million.
Overall, the top 100 firms garnered $42.6 billion in revenue, down 2% from the year before; and total employment sank about 1%, to 184,429 partners and professionals.