June 21, 2018

Vault’s New Accounting 50 Ranking Has Plenty of Surprises

This year our friends and Vault took a different approach to this year’s ranking for accounting firms. Rather than focus primarily on prestige of a given firm, many working in the industry voiced other aspects of their firms that were more important.

Vault Finance Editor Derek Loosvelt said in a press release, “In the past, our primary accounting ranking was based solely on prestige, but when we asked accounting professionals what the most important determining factor was when choosing an employer, they told us, overwhelmingly, that firm culture was most important.” How important??

“In fact, 36 percent of all accounting professionals we surveyed told us that firm culture was most important, while only 11 percent cited prestige as most important. Vault created its new ranking with this feedback in mind.”

But don’t fret, prestige whores – Vault’s prestige rankings will be out next week and we’ll bring those rankings to you, as well as their Quality of Life rankings. But for now, let’s get to the pecking order for the inaugural Best Firms to Work For ranking. We’ll bring you the top 25 for now and present the next 25 in a separate post. Plus, we’ll dig into the gory details in future posts. But that’s enough talk for now:

1. Deloitte – New York, NY
2. PricewaterhouseCoopers – New York, NY
3. Rothstein Kass – Roseland, NJ

4. Marcum – Melville, NY
5. Dixon Hughes – High Point, NC
6. Moss Adams – Seattle, WA
7. Elliott Davis – Greenville, SC
8. Friedman – New York, NY
9. Kaufman, Rossin & Company – Miami, FL
10. Cherry, Bekaert & Holland – Richmond, VA
11. WithumSmith+Brown, PC – Princeton, NJ
12. Berdon LLP – New York, NY
13. Reznick Group, P.C. – Bethesda, DC
14. Eide Bailly LLP – Fargo, ND
15. Goodman & Company, LLP – Virginia Beach, VA
16. CBIZ & Mayer Hoffman McCann P.C. – Cleveland, OH
17. Armanino McKenna – San Ramon, CA
18. SS&G Financial Services, Inc. – Cleveland, OH
19. ParenteBeard LLC – Philadelphia, PA
20. Schenck Business Solutions – Appleton, WI
21. Ernst & Young LLP – New York, NY
22. KPMG LLP – New York, NY
23. Grant Thornton LLP – Chicago, IL
24. BDO Seidman LLP – Chicago, IL
25. McGladrey & Pullen LLP/RSM McGladrey Inc. – Bloomington, MN

So the biggest surprise, from where we stand is Rothstein Kass lofty position in the top three. Not because we don’t suspect that they are a fine firm but it was simply unexpected. In fact, the top ten is full of surprises. Of the top ten in the list above, only Deloitte and PwC appear in the top ten in Inside Public Accounting’s Top 100. The obvious message here is – Bigger is not necessarily better.

And that particular premise is most obvious as we see two Big 4 firms – E&Y and KPMG – and three other mega firms – GT, BDO and McGladrey – rounding out the top twenty-five.

There are lots of familiar names in the top twenty-five so feel free to comment on any of them and where they fall on the pecking order.

Accounting Firms Rankings 2011: Vault Accounting 50 [Vault]
The New Vault Accounting 50 [In The Black/Vault]

This year our friends and Vault took a different approach to this year’s ranking for accounting firms. Rather than focus primarily on prestige of a given firm, many working in the industry voiced other aspects of their firms that were more important.

Vault Finance Editor Derek Loosvelt said in a press release, “In the past, our primary accounting ranking was based solely on prestige, but when we asked accounting professionals what the most important determining factor was when choosing an employer, they told us, overwhelmingly, that firm culture was most important.” How important??

“In fact, 36 percent of all accounting professionals we surveyed told us that firm culture was most important, while only 11 percent cited prestige as most important. Vault created its new ranking with this feedback in mind.”

But don’t fret, prestige whores – Vault’s prestige rankings will be out next week and we’ll bring those rankings to you, as well as their Quality of Life rankings. But for now, let’s get to the pecking order for the inaugural Best Firms to Work For ranking. We’ll bring you the top 25 for now and present the next 25 in a separate post. Plus, we’ll dig into the gory details in future posts. But that’s enough talk for now:

1. Deloitte – New York, NY
2. PricewaterhouseCoopers – New York, NY
3. Rothstein Kass – Roseland, NJ

4. Marcum – Melville, NY
5. Dixon Hughes – High Point, NC
6. Moss Adams – Seattle, WA
7. Elliott Davis – Greenville, SC
8. Friedman – New York, NY
9. Kaufman, Rossin & Company – Miami, FL
10. Cherry, Bekaert & Holland – Richmond, VA
11. WithumSmith+Brown, PC – Princeton, NJ
12. Berdon LLP – New York, NY
13. Reznick Group, P.C. – Bethesda, DC
14. Eide Bailly LLP – Fargo, ND
15. Goodman & Company, LLP – Virginia Beach, VA
16. CBIZ & Mayer Hoffman McCann P.C. – Cleveland, OH
17. Armanino McKenna – San Ramon, CA
18. SS&G Financial Services, Inc. – Cleveland, OH
19. ParenteBeard LLC – Philadelphia, PA
20. Schenck Business Solutions – Appleton, WI
21. Ernst & Young LLP – New York, NY
22. KPMG LLP – New York, NY
23. Grant Thornton LLP – Chicago, IL
24. BDO Seidman LLP – Chicago, IL
25. McGladrey & Pullen LLP/RSM McGladrey Inc. – Bloomington, MN

So the biggest surprise, from where we stand is Rothstein Kass lofty position in the top three. Not because we don’t suspect that they are a fine firm but it was simply unexpected. In fact, the top ten is full of surprises. Of the top ten in the list above, only Deloitte and PwC appear in the top ten in Inside Public Accounting’s Top 100. The obvious message here is – Bigger is not necessarily better.

And that particular premise is most obvious as we see two Big 4 firms – E&Y and KPMG – and three other mega firms – GT, BDO and McGladrey – rounding out the top twenty-five.

There are lots of familiar names in the top twenty-five so feel free to comment on any of them and where they fall on the pecking order.

Accounting Firms Rankings 2011: Vault Accounting 50 [Vault]
The New Vault Accounting 50 [In The Black/Vault]

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Accounting Program Rankings: Open Thread

Thumbnail image for BelushiCollege_CPA.jpgA tipster pointed us to a link that went up on Tuesday over at the College of William & Mary’s Mason School of Business that announced the school as the “number one ranked small school for both their undergraduate and Master of Accounting programs.”
The website gives us the lowdown on the Public Accounting Report’s 2009 Annual Survey of Accounting Professors :

For the first time, the rankings have been split into three categories: small, medium and large schools, according to the number of teaching professors at the institution. The school rankings are based on professors’ ranking of accounting programs on a 1 to 10 scale in answering the question, “which programs consistently turn out students capable of some day attaining partner status?”


Judging by our partner thread poll over 60% of you aren’t interested in making partner and only a small percentage of you will actually become parters, so the question seems narrow to us.
We did some looking around and the only other school we’ve found that is making any noise about this so far is the University of Texas’ McCombs School of Business:

Following a venerable tradition in the PAR, McCombs continues to excel across all three rankings–undergraduate, graduate, and PhD.–each of which ranks the top 25 programs in the nation.

tu UT ranks #2, #1, #1, and #1 in undergrad, grad, doctoral (teaching), and doctoral (research). The #1 ranked school for the undergrad program was the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign but nothing appears on the website yet.
So if only two schools are making a fuss about this, the question is worth asking: do the rankings mean anything? The Big 4 recruit at many schools and it’s no secret that academic “prestige” does not guarantee professional success so are schools making a BFD out of something of marginal importance?
Our question is merely our own musing so opine it if you like but this is an open thread on accounting school rankings so discuss at nauseam whatever you like. If your school has sent out an announcement related to the “Public Accounting Report’s 2009 Annual Survey of Accounting Professors” toss it our way and we’ll update the post with other rankings.
UPDATE: Check out select placement stats for the College of William & Mary and UT Austin here.
McCombs Tops List of Accounting Programs in Latest Ranking [McCombs Today]

Grant Thornton to Close Greensboro, NC Office

We’ve received multiple tips informing us that Grant Thornton’s Greensboro, North Carolina office will be closing in the spring after busy season has ended.

Greensboro has approximately 35 professionals in all three service lines although our sources indicate that many tax professionals were laid off late last year in anticipation of the closure. Greensboro currently functions as a satellite of the Charlotte office which houses the support professionals.

What’s not known at this time is whether the office will become virtual, similar to the setup that Ernst & Young arranged for its Greensboro office other whether it will be an outright closure.

We contacted Grant Thornton for comment and had not heard back from them at the time of this posting.

If you’re familiar with the situation in Greensboro and have more information, get in touch with us. We’ll continue to keep you updated as we learn more.