Home List of Titles Partnership versus public ownership of accounting firms: exploring relative performance, performance measurement and measurement issues
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- Partnership versus public ownership of accounting firms: exploring relative performance, performance measurement and measurement issues
- Pickering, Mark E.
- Despite theoretical arguments that partnerships are the most efficient ownership form for professional service firms (PSFs), PSFs are increasingly moving to other ownership structures, such as publicly listed companies (PLCs). Research on the comparative performance of PSF, PLCs and partnerships is sparse with conflicting results suggesting that some segments of PSFs are moving to a less efficient form. This study explores the performance of two Australian accounting PLCs compared to a sample of similar sized mid tier accounting firms. The accounting PLCs achieved substantially higher revenue growth rates but lower productivity than the partnership sample. Measurement issues were identified in the use of closing resource numbers and different treatment of reporting merger and acquisition revenues which may partially explain the underperformance of publicly owned PSFs in prior studies. The need for research at a more detailed level exploring the market and service focus, organisational structures, resources utilised and resource costs across different PSF ownership forms is suggested.
- Publication type
- Journal article
- Research centre
- Swinburne University of Technology
- Australasian Accounting Business and Finance Journal, Vol. 5, no. 4 (2012), pp. 65-84
- Publication year
- FOR Code(s)
- 1501 Accounting, Auditing and Accountability; 1502 Banking, Finance and Investment
- Accounting firms; Firm performance; Industry studies; Partnership; Professional services; Public ownership; Publicly quoted
- University of Wollongong
- Publisher URL
- Copyright © 2012 Australasian Accounting Business and Finance Journal and Authors. The published version is reproduced with the kind permission of the publisher.
- Full text
- Peer reviewed