from page 6
and create a $280 million giant.
With all that heat noted, it’s time for a little
cold water. Last year, when we introduced
our new Regional Leaders lists, they were
a bright spot. With the weight of the national firms removed, nine out of 10 of our
regions reported respectable growth in
2009. In 2010, only six of the 10 regions reported growth, and it was much more
modest than the year before, with the
leaders — the West and the Mid-Atlantic
— coming in just under 2 percent. Of the
four areas that declined, the Great Lakes
Region and the New England Region both
still in the
saw revenue drops that were slightly larger than that of the overall Top 100 Firms.
(See the Regional Leaders lists, pages 21-
26.) The numbers often reflect the economic performance of the part of the
country in question — though not always.
(See Regional Overview, page 19.)
Comparisons to last year’s report
aren’t quite exact, as we have added a
number of firms, and made some adjustments to how we break up the regions.
Among other things, we’ve created an entirely new one, the Capital Region centered
around Washington, D.C., and combined
two, the Mid-Atlantic and the New York
Metro. Both the expansion and the re-arrangement of the regions will, we hope,
better reflect the way that the Regional
Leaders are evolving in terms of their geographic practice areas.
That evolution, along with all the other changes brought about by firm mergers,
belt-tightening, new practice lines and
new technologies, show that the profession isn’t standing still in the deep freeze.
It’s adapting itself, preparing for the opportunities that are sure to come when the
The winter will pass and the thaw will
come — it’s just a matter of staying warm
until it does. AT
THE TOP TAX FIRMS
By and large, it was not a great year for tax firms: Two of the three biggest tax prep chains, H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt, reported noteworthy declines in revenue, citing problems with refund anticipation loans and sustained unemployment among their core client bases. (That said, the other
major chain, Liberty Tax, continued its relentless growth, and surpassed Jackson Hewitt for the first time to become the No. 2 chain in the country.)
For firms that provide a wider range of tax services, the results were mixed, a combination of mostly minor declines in revenue and the odd slight
uptick — with the notable exception of Texas-based tax services firm Ryan, which managed growth of over 10 percent, aided, in part, by its expertise
in international tax issues.
from tax from Total
Firm Headquarters Chief executive ($mn) tax revenue chg. Offices
H&R Block P 1 Kansas City, Mo. Russ Smyth 2,979.90 77 3,870.00 - 5. 23 11,000+
PwC § New York City Robert Moritz 2,410.20 30 8,034.00 - 2. 27 73
Deloitte § New York City Barry Salzberg 2,296.98 21 10,938.00 2.01 100
Ernst & Young § New York City James Turley 2,272.00 32 7,100.00 - 6.82 77
KPMG § New York City John Veihmeyer 1,271.14 26 4,889.00 - 3.68 87
RSM / McGladrey & Pullen 2 Bloomington, Minn. C.Andrews/D. Scudder 475.51 35 1,378.87 - 5.60 88
Grant Thornton Chicago Stephen Chipman 304.00 28 1,085.70 - 5.41 50
Liberty Tax Services ƒ Virginia Beach, Va. John Hewitt 291.69 100 291.69 20. 29 3,359
Ryan Dallas G. Brint Ryan 216.50 100 216.50 9.07 42
Jackson Hewitt Tax Services Pƒ Parsippany, N.J. Philip Sanford 213.80 100 213.80 - 13.90 6,407
CBIZ / Mayer Hoffman McCann † Cleveland D. Sibits/B. Hancock 155.33 27 575.30 - 4.00 150
BDO USA Chicago Jack Weisbaum 152.10 26 585.00 - 5.65 39
BKD Springfield, Mo. Neal Spencer 121.21 31 391.00 -0.51 29
WTAS San Francisco Mark Vorsatz 114.90 100 114.90 0.44 14
Crowe Horwath Oak Brook Terrace, Ill. Charles Allen 110.63 23 481.00 - 5. 31 26
Moss Adams Seattle Rick Anderson 104.28 33 316.00 - 2. 17 18
Notes: P Figures compiled from public company reports. ƒ Franchise. Figures may not include franchise operations.
Firm estimate † Accounting Today estimate for revenues NA Not available/applicable § Gross revenue
1 Total revenue includes revenue from RSM McGladrey. Tax fee split reported as a dollar amount. 2 Reported fee split as both percentage
and dollar amount.