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Accountants and Accounting Firms

SIC 8721  |  NAICS 541210

The following guide to industry research and analysis provides sources for industry statistics, trends, and forecasts, financial ratios, salary surveys, and more.

See the following sections listed below to view available resources by category:

For guides to other industries, see our index of over 400 industries.

Industry Analysis, Statistics, Trends, and Forecasts

Accounting, Tax & Auditing Services  (view report)
Payroll & Bookkeeping Services  (view report)
Comprehensive industry research reports provide in-depth industry analysis and five-year forecasts, with special focus on the underlying structure and external forces and relationships that affect industries and their performance. Topics addressed in the reports include:
Sample industry research reports and selected industry statistics including market size, five-year average growth rate, number of businesses, and total employment are available free online.

SourceMedia, Inc.
Accounting Today

Monthly trade magazine features news and information for the accounting profession, with topics covered including practice management, marketing and practice development, regulatory and legislative updates, technology, and mergers and acquisitions. Selected articles from current and prior issues can be viewed free online with registration, with free print or digital edition subscriptions available for qualified parties.

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
Management of an Accounting Practice eHandbook
Comprehensive guide provides in-depth information on managing an accounting practice, with content section topics including developing a practice, practice administration, personnel, owner issues, and management data (including benchmarking and statistical information from the annual National MAP Survey and the AICPA Practitioners Symposium survey). Table of contents can be viewed free online.

Market Analysis

Market analysis report provides industry statistics for a user-defined area on a national, state, county, metro area, or zip code level, with data provided including number of companies, market volume and sales trends, average company sales, sales per employee, staffing and employment trends, average employee wage, and business start up activity and failure rates. Sample report can be viewed online.

Financial Statements and Financial Ratios

Industry Financial Ratios
Accounting, Auditing, and Bookkeeping Services  Search for "5412"
Five-year financial statement analysis includes income statements, balance sheets, and key financial ratios, with data available by sales size range on a national, state, and metro area level including:
Sample customizable reports that allow users to compare their company to industry financial ratios on a national and metro area basis are available free online.

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
PCPS / TSCPA National MAP Survey

Annual benchmarking study provides information on practice income and expenses, billing rates, total and chargeable hours, staffing levels, compensation and benefits, and more, with survey contents broken out in individual reports by state, geographic region (e.g., Northeast, South, Midwest, and West), and practice size based on revenues (e.g., small - less than $500K, medium - $500K to $1.5M, and large - $1.5M to $10M+).

Rosenberg Associates
National Survey of CPA Firm Statistics

Annual survey of over 400 CPA firms provides information on net fees, billing rates, total and chargeable hours, utilization, income per partner, and more, with survey results broken out by practice size (e.g., sole practitioners, less than $2M, $2M to $10M, $10M to $20M, more than $20M), metropolitan area market population, and geographic location. Detailed description of survey can be viewed free online.

Compensation and Salary Surveys

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Occupational Outlook Handbook - Accountants and Auditors
Information provided for this occupational category includes a description of the nature of the work and the work environment, number and types of jobs, education and training requirements, wages and earnings, employment outlook, and sources for additional information. All information is available free online.

Robert Half
Accounting and Finance Salary Guide

Annual salary guide provides average starting salary ranges for personnel employed by public accounting firms, with salary data broken out by firm size based on annual revenues. Online salary calculator can be used to estimate the average starting salary range for specific job positions in a local market, with selection criteria including zip code, job category, position level, and firm size. All information is available free online.

ERI Economic Research Institute
Accounting Services Salary Survey

Annual salary survey provides compensation data for executive, salaried, and hourly personnel employed in this service sector on a national and regional level, with services categories covered in the survey including auditing, accounting, bookkeeping, tax return preparation, and payroll processing services. Complete listing of all job positions included in the survey and sample pages for selected job positions are accessible online.

Business Valuation Resources

Valuing Professional Practices and Licenses:
A Guide for the Matrimonial Practitioner

Part D: Accounting Practices
Ronald L. Brown (Editor), Wolters Kluwer, supplemented annually

Valuation guide contains over 45 chapters focused on valuing professional practices, degrees, and licenses for divorce purposes, with professions covered including attorneys, accountants, physicians, and dentists. Detailed table of contents and searchable text can be viewed online using "Google Preview" feature.

Private company sales transaction data for over 800 industries.

Related Industries:
Financial Planners and Investment Advisors
Management Consulting Services
Payroll Services
Tax Preparation Services


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