There are nearly 140,000 accounting firms across the US. Like most businesses, accounting firms offer specific services to businesses and often focus on serving specific industries. Some firms specify the size of clients they work for, and the largest accounting firms have thousands of employees. They may focus on larger clients, small businesses, or specific accounting tasks.
Accounting companies are invaluable assets to businesses. They provide a lot more than just accurate taxes, although that is an essential service. The best accounting companies help protect businesses from a variety of risks as well as help them plan ahead. But, a single accounting firm is not always the best fit for every company. Accountant companies provide different services and bring unique qualities to the table.
Here’s our list of the top accounting companies and who they are best suited to serve.
- Best for small businesses – NumberSquad
- Best for very large businesses – Crowe Horwath
- Best for governmental agencies – Grant Thornton LLP
- Best for large financial institutions – KPMG
- Best for large, expanding companies – PricewaterhouseCoopers
- Best for large, complex businesses – Ernst & Young LLP
- Best for non-profits – BDO
- Best for private listed companies – McGladrey
- Best for private equity firms – MHM
- Best for multi-billion dollar corporations – Deloitte
- Best for large enterprises – CLA
NumberSquad is located in Fairfax, Virginia. They provide custom payroll and bookkeeping services at affordable prices. Accountants at NumberSquad work closely with entrepreneurs, freelancers, startups, and tech companies. Bookkeeping, payroll, and taxes are all streamlined, so business owners can focus on what they do best – grow their business.
Services offered by NumberSquad:
- Small business tax preparation
- Startup taxes
- Non-profit taxes
- Entrepreneur tax help
NumberSquad provides accounting services for small businesses, most of which generate less than $5 million in revenue. Accountant professionals help small organizations by providing tax and accounting services that are easy, convenient, and affordable. NumberSquad automates finances for business owners so that they can focus on managing and growing their business.
Advantages: NumberSquad has years of accounting, bookkeeping, and tax prep experience. All their services are organized and streamlined, leaving no room for confusion. They work with new businesses to help organize bookkeeping and other accounting tasks, set up financials, and help with tax prep. Accountants are efficient, knowledgeable, and helpful.
Disadvantages: They don’t work with larger companies or organizations.
Pricing: Reasonable and affordable.
Best Suited For Small businesses, startups, entrepreneurs, non-profits, freelancers
Crowe Horwath is headquartered in Oak Brook Terrace, Illinois, but has offices around the world. They provide a range of accounting services to larger companies in a variety of sectors, including education, food and ag, and health care, and more. Services offered at Crowe Horwath include:
- Financial advice
- Risk consulting
- Tax services
- Performance Software
Crowe has offices around the world and over 4,000 staff members dedicated to delivering accounting services for clientele. Accounting services offered by Crow Horwath include auditing, taxes, advisory, and consulting. Industries that choose to work with Crowe Horwath include banking, food, cannabis, insurance, and other large, multi-faceted corporations.
Advantages: They offer a wide range of accounting, advisory, and financial assistance for businesses. The accounting firm has many employees and has been in business for over 80 years.
Disadvantages: The company is expensive and large.
Pricing: High-End Pricing
Best Suited for substantially large companies, corporations, and dynamic businesses
Grant Thornton LLP is a highly respected and prestigious accounting firm with a headquarters located in Chicago, Illinois. They opened as Alexander Grant & Co. in 1924. The company formed a network including over 150 international accounting firms in 1980. Services offered at Grant Thornton include:
- Financial auditing
- Tax preparation and consultation
- Financial advisory and solutions
Grant Thornton provides accounting services for large international businesses and organizations. A large part of Grant Thornton’s offerings to enterprises and businesses includes automating complex tax transactions on a global scale. Accounting professionals provide comprehensive solutions.
Advantages: Grant Thornton focuses on collaborating with their clients and they pay attention to detail.
Disadvantages: The accounting services are suitable for large organizations and governmental entities but not for everyday business owners, startups, or entrepreneurs.
Pricing: Very high
Best Suited for governmental agencies and international organizations
KPMG is considered part of the Big 4 accounting firms. They are an independent member of the Swiss entity KPMG International Cooperative. It employs over 174,000 people and works with 9,000 partners. The accounting company works with specific companies and provides industry-specific services, including:
- Tax services
- Industry-specific financial advice
KPMG operates accounting firms in almost 150 territories and countries around the world. Accounting services are geared toward meeting financial needs for banking and financial markets, the energy sector, asset management, and insurers. Accountants at KPMG create reliable data for investors, advise businesses, and help entrepreneurs pursue growth.
Advantages: KPMG works with 16 industry sectors around the world. They have a broad spectrum of experience to share with clients.
Disadvantages: They only provide services to specific industries. If a business is in another sector, they will not provide financial or accounting services.
Pricing: $2400 to $4800 per day for consulting
Best Suited for large banking & finance, investment, real estate, healthcare, and governmental entities.
PwC or PricewaterhouseCoopers was founded in 1998. Their headquarters is located in London, England. Most consider them to be among the big4 firms in the world. They focus on creating value for their clients and offer a wide array of tax, advisory, and assurance services. Recently, they have expanded their tax division. Their primary offerings include:
- Assurance service
- Advisory (Tax, Financial)
- Strategy consulting
- Legal services
- Management consulting
PwC accounting services help create solutions for today’s businesses. Their 295,000-plus financial professionals serve the financial, energy, health, industrial, and technology sectors. Capabilities include tax services, risk management, and providing governance oversight.
Advantages: Their service offerings are broad and include legal services.
Disadvantages: Not as well suited for smaller business entities or startups.
Pricing: $90 to $160 per hour
Best Suited for larger companies that need a wide range of services. Entities that want to expand and create value and those that need help with long-range financial goals as well as legal advice.
Ernst & Young
Ernst & Young LLP or EY is among the largest and most prestigious accounting firms in the world. The firm’s focus is on serving the public interest and growing its presence on a global level. The firm works with clients who deal with a variety of consumer products, real estate, media and entertainment, metals, and more. Their offerings include:
- Advisory services
- Tax assistance
- Transaction advisory services
The focus at Ernst & Young is creating long-term value for clients in the health and wellness, advanced manufacturing, private equity, energy resources, real estate, and technology sectors. Diverse teams in over 150 countries help clients with efficient operations and growth.
Advantages: The firm is able to deliver high-level customer data.
Disadvantages: Service is less personable, and they can take a long time to deliver.
Best suited for very large companies that need to expand and capitalize on multiple business opportunities.
BDO is one of the top advisory and accounting firms in the US. It was founded in Belgium in 1964. The accounting firm’s structure is multi-tiered, and in 2019, it reached $9.6 billion in revenue. It is one of the most rapidly expanding firms in the world and operates in over 150 countries. Services offered at BDO include:
- Advisory services
- Audit & Assurance
- Digital solutions and strategies
- Tax services
BDO accounting services focus on publicly traded companies and non-profits. Accountants provide advisory, auditing, reporting, and tax services. Industries served to include asset management, specialty finance, gaming, hospitality, government contracting, manufacturing, and life sciences.
Advantages: BDO offers advisory services that help businesses make wiser choices toward growth in particular.
Disadvantages: Digitized services reduce actual human interaction, especially via phone contact.
Best suited for businesses in the public sector, governmental agencies, education, large non-profits, and those in the technology niche.
McGladrey is commonly known as RSM. The network of tax, audit and consulting experts takes a client-centered approach to help empower businesses to move forward in continued growth. The firm offers multiple services as well as a few specialty services. Their services to public sector organizations, owner-managed businesses, and private listed companies include:
- Audit and Assurance
- Digital services
- Risk advisory
- Specialist services
- Transaction advisory
McGladrey provides accounting services to private-listed companies and entrepreneurs in a wide range of industries. Financial services include auditing, business tax, cybersecurity, mergers, and acquisitions. Industries served to include automotive, insurance, energy, private equity, energy, technology, and more.
Advantages: In addition to some of the most common accounting services, RSM also offers a variety of specialist services such as IT consulting, legal advisory, and wealth management.
Disadvantages: The firm has been in the news on numerous occasions for alleged poor practices and deficiencies and errors have been uncovered during audits.
Best suited for entrepreneurs and private-listed companies.
CBIZ/Mayer Hoffman McCann
MHM is the US part of Kreston International. It is headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, but has offices across the United States.CBIZ and MHM work together seamlessly to provide outsourced accounting and tax services for businesses along with many other offerings. Their offerings and services include:
- Accounting and Tax
- Insurance & HR
- Capital management
- Retirement and Investment solutions
Mayer Hoffman McCann or CBIZ provides accounting, advisory, and tax services. The accounting firm has more than 100 offices and employs over 6,000 across the US. CBIZ is a leading financial and accounting provider for large entities. Accounting professionals assist companies with tax services, risk consultation, investment solutions, and more.
Advantages: The firm focuses on personal engagement and offers a personable approach to clients of all sizes.
Disadvantages: The firm has been accused of numerous violations over the years and is perceived to have been negligent in handling funds and/or given poor financial advice to clients.
Best suited for private equity firms, transition-focused businesses, and human capital entities.
Deloitte brings in approximately $40 billion annually. They have over 80 offices across the nation and employ more than 94,000 individuals. They are headquartered in New York City. The firm focuses on business consulting. They sit among the prestigious Top 4 accounting firms in the US. Their services include:
- Audit and Assurance
- Risk and financial advisory
- Risk management
- Tax and other related services
- Mergers and Acquisitions
Deloitte supports clients by offering tax, consulting, audit and assurance, risk, and financial advisory accounting services. The global accounting firm advises mergers and acquisitions involving billions in revenue. Industries served include government, public services, life sciences, consumer, energy sector, financial services, health care, technology, and telecommunications.
Advantages: Deloitte serves over 20 industries and has extensive experience working with large companies like Boeing, Metlife, Microsoft, and GM.
Disadvantages: They are not set up to work with small businesses and entrepreneurs.
Pricing: $1000 to $1200 per hour for audits
Best suited for multi-billion dollar organizations and businesses.
CLA was formed by a merger between Clifton Gunderson and LarsonAllen in 2012. The firm is a member of the Nexia International Accounting network based in Wisconsin. They offer a wide range of accounting services to their diverse clientele. CLA works with various industries, including governmental entities, health care, trucking and transportation, and nonprofits. Their services include:
- Consulting and Outsourcing
- Wealth Advisory
CLA provides outsourcing, tax, auditing, consulting, and integrated wealth advisory services at over 120 global locations. Industries served by the large accounting firm include agribusiness, construction, education, government, retail, hospitality, health care, and manufacturing.
Advantages: The advantages of working with CLA include professionalism, seamless integrations, and deep industry insight.
Disadvantages: The firm lacks strong communication, particularly with smaller clients.
Best suited for large enterprises, startups, and governmental entities and contractors.
How to Choose A Good Accounting Company
Choosing an accounting company for your business can be a difficult decision. Each business has circumstances and needs unique to them. Factors like revenue, size of the business, growth, and other factors make finding the best accountant essential for a business. It also makes the search a bit more complex. However, there are five determining factors that any business should consider when choosing a good accounting company.
- Experience and Certification – The accounting professional you choose should be well-trained and pursue continuing education. They should be a certified public accountant (CPAs), which requires passing rigorous testing. But they also need to have experience, which is invaluable. Make sure the accountant you choose has practical experience with other clients in your field.
- Technology – An up-to-date accounting firm will have all the latest technology. Previously considered unnecessary, accounting software that adds automation and time-saving features are worth the extra effort. You should have access to real-time information no matter where you are, and you shouldn’t have to sacrifice security to do it. Cloud-based tools, tax return software, and e-signatures ensure efficient processes that save you time. As a business owner, you want to work with a tech-savvy accountant.
- Growth-Minded – An accounting company should have personnel who understand your business. Your business should receive the support it needs. A CPA helps with more than tax planning and prep, they are also your business advisor. You want to hire someone who wants to help you succeed, not just make a few bucks.
- Varied Services – Time is money, and when you choose the right CPA, they can save you more time so you can focus on your business. You may need to do a little research to discover what services an accounting firm offers its clients. You’ll want the core services, of course. But you may also need some services specific to your business. Make sure they understand your business and offer the services you need.
- Security – The use of technology is convenient for handling all types of information. However, the digital age has also introduced new threats and risks. Your CPA should provide a secure portal and perform regular backups to keep your documents safe and secure.
Do Small Companies Need an Accounting Company?
Every business, small or large, needs an accountant who can provide financial and tax assistance. Accountants can help small businesses with growth planning, tax preparation, and consulting. Small companies benefit from hiring an accounting company in many ways.
Accountants help eliminate many financial risks thus providing an extra layer of protection for the business. An accounting professional provides insights through reporting and develops plans to help the business save on costs and avoid losses in the future. With competent accounting working on bookkeeping, taxes, and other essentials, business owners can devote more of their time to focusing on the core and growth of the company.
What Should Small Companies Consider When Choosing an Accounting Firm?
When considering hiring an accounting firm for your small business, you need a professional who understands tax laws, business, management, and accounting software. Having help managing the finances of your business can be difficult if you do not understand debits, credits, and how to properly record transactions. An accountant provides the financial guidance necessary for you to be able to run your business effectively and efficiently.