Which country do the most progressive accounting firms come from?

Theories and assumptions are often thrown around regarding the progressiveness and varying abilities of accounting firms from different countries. Which country or region is really leading the way?

Which country do the most progressive accounting firms come from?

According to Karbon research, if you run an accounting firm based in Canada, there is a good chance that you are more proficient in critical business competencies than average, while if you are a United States-based firm you have a greater chance at lagging behind.

This discovery is one of nine key insights identified in Karbon’s recent report, The Business Ability of Accounting Firms, which reveals the core weaknesses and progress of 250 accounting firms across the globe that were assessed through our Practice Excellence Scorecard.


As Ian Vacin, VP of Education at Karbon outlines in his video, comparing the business ability of accounting firms based on where they are headquartered showed one clear leader and one clear lagger.

Canadian firms excel across Strategy, Efficiency, Growth and Management compared to firms based in Australia, United Kingdom and the United States (these are the four regions where the majority of participants to date are located). Unfortunately for those in the US, on average, firms located there are struggling most in all pillars except for Strategy and Growth—in which they rank third for both.


One likely contributor to Canada leading the charge is the unique challenges they are forced to overcome. Canadian firms often deal with both US and Canadian legislation. They have to operate in a situation of both GAAP and IFRS accounting standards, and in order to handle that, they have no choice but to be more resourceful.

When comparing the mix of the pillars, it highlights that the US and United Kingdom are similar while Canada and Australia are also similar.

Canadians have a strong entrepreneurial spirit and relentless obsession for making the world a better place for others. What we lack in digital banking services and financial system infrastructure innovation, we more than make up for with our healthy attitudes towards knowledge sharing and having respect for one another.

Chad Davis, Live CA