Grant Thornton LLP

Grant Thornton LLP is the American member firm of Grant Thornton International, the seventh largest accounting network in the world by combined fee income.[1] Grant Thornton LLP is the sixth largest U.S. accounting and advisory organization.[2] The firm operates 59 offices across the US with approximately 7,000 employees, 550 partners, and produces annual revenue in excess of US$1.74 billion.[3][4]

Grant Thornton LLP
Limited Liability Partnership
Business Advisory Services
Founded1924; present name and components in 1986
HeadquartersChicago, Illinois, United States
Key people
Brad Preber, CEO; Billy Moore, CFO
ProductsProfessional services
RevenueIncrease$1.8 billion USD (2018)
Number of employees
ParentGrant Thornton International

Headquartered in Chicago, Grant Thornton LLP has three service lines: audit, tax, and advisory services. Specific advisory services and areas of expertise include: Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, mergers and acquisitions advice, tax, and business valuations. Target industries include construction, distribution, energy, financial services, food and beverage, health care, hospitality and restaurants, life sciences, manufacturing, not-for-profit organizations, private equity, public sector, real estate, retail, technology, and transportation.[5]


Early historyEdit

In 1924, Alexander Richardson Grant, a 26 year old senior accountant with Ernst & Ernst (later Ernst & Young) decided to leave the firm and start his own business with William O’Brien. Alexander Grant & Co. was built in Chicago and it provided services as a middle market firm. The firm was growing rapidly and nationally under the guidance of several new leaders during the next three decades.

In 1961, the company established its national office in Chicago and earned net revenue of more than $5 million. During this time, a competitive firm that was also committed to providing services to middle market established in Europe, and this firm later became known as Binder Dijker Otte & Co. (BDO).

During the mid-1960s, the firm decided to expand its business internationally. In 1969, Alexander Grant & Co. merged with companies from Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom to form an organization called Alexander Grant Tansley Witt.

By 1980, Alexander Grant & Co. had joined with 49 international accounting firms, including a UK firm named Thornton Baker, and formed a professional global network, Grant Thornton International.

In 1985, Alexander Grant & Co. merged with Fox & Co. and became the ninth largest accounting firm in the United States, just behind the nation's "Big Eight" firms. At that time, the company had 80 offices and more than 3,000 employees.[6]

In 1986, Alexander Grant & Co. changed its name to Grant Thornton, resulted from its affiliation with the United Kingdom firm Thornton Baker, which also changed its name to Grant Thornton.[7]

Recent historyEdit

In 2002, Grant Thornton acquired 7 offices, 43 partners and 396 employees from ex-Arthur Andersen.[6]

In June 2014, Grant Thornton announced J. Michael McGuire as the firm's new chief executive officer.[8] In August 2019, Brad Preber assumed CEO duties of the firm.

As of 2019, Grant Thornton is the sixth largest accounting firm in the United States[2] and has 59 offices nationwide with more than 550 partners and 7,000 employees. Its revenue for fiscal year 2018 is $1.7 billion.[3]


Grant Thornton offers three main service lines[9]

  • Audit/Assurance: Provides not only the financial statement audits, but also uses professional tools and processes to conduct integrated audits required by SEC and under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
  • Tax: Offers clients plenty of professional tax services including: federal, local and state, international tax advisory & compliance, compensation & benefits consulting, private wealth services, and tax accounting & risk advisory services.
  • Advisory: Helps clients to solve problems and manage risks by providing services in business strategy, governance, risk & compliance, performance improvement, and information technology.

Tax DeskEdit

Tax desks is developed by Grant Thornton US and it connects other member firms in different countries to help clients grow their business and solve their common problems in the global market. Grant Thornton US has established the desks between the United States and the UK, the United States and China, and the United States and Japan.[10]


  • In 2016, Grant Thornton ranked No. 8 in the Crain's Chicago Business list of "Best Places to Work 2016". Thirty-two employees currently take advantage of customized work schedules that differ from the traditional workweek.[11]
  • In 2014, Grant Thornton US was named one of the "2014 Working Mother 100 Best Companies". Those who want to add to their families may benefit from its Mentor Moms program, which offers advice on transitioning back to work after maternity leave.[12]
  • In 2013, Grant Thornton was the winner of Network of the Year by the International Accounting Bulletin.[13]


  • Several audit deficiencies in the firm's audit work at eight companies were found by Public Company Oversight Board when it was doing the inspection of Grant Thornton's 2005 audit. In the PCAOB's report, the Board concluded that the firm didn't have enough evidence to support its audit opinions. Grant Thornton responded to the PCAOB's criticism on June 4, 2007. In its response letter, the firm wrote "We strongly disagree with the use of overly broad comments such as ‘failed to identify’, ‘failed to perform,’".[14]
  • In April 2012, Grant Thornton was accused by its client Bill Yung and his family. The firm hid real information from its clients and sold a tax shelter to them. There was a 90% chance the IRS would reject the shelter. Kentucky State Court ordered Grant Thornton to pay $20 million in compensatory damages and $80 million in punitive damage.[15]


  • In December 2017, Grant Thornton signed a five-year marketing partnership deal with the PGA Tour and replaced Pricewaterhouse Coopers as the "Player's Partner".[16] During this time, Grant Thornton also entered into a separate deal with pro golfer Rickie Fowler.[17]
  • On March 2016, Grant Thornton signed a multi-year agreement with the National Center for the Middle Market (NCMM),a leading organization dedicated to providing critical data analysis, insights, and perspectives for companies, policymakers, and other key stakeholders, to help accelerate growth, increase competitiveness and create jobs in middle market.[18] Through the multi-year sponsorship, Grant Thornton will help NCMM continue its five-year track record of funding and publishing journal-quality research, and determine the strategic direction of the organization.[19]
  • In 2015, Grant Thornton has become a multi-year sponsor of the Charlotte Hornets basketball team. The Hornets and Grant Thornton will enter into a multi-year advertising arrangement that includes the renaming of the Crown Club as the "Grant Thornton Crown Club."[20]


  1. ^ Smith, Philip. "Top 20 International Networks 2018". Accountancy Age. Retrieved 2019-02-18.
  2. ^ a b "Accounting Firms in the US - Overview of Top US Accounting Firms". Corporate Finance Institute. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  3. ^ a b "About us | Grant Thornton". Retrieved 2019-02-18.
  4. ^ "Fact sheet | Grant Thornton". Archived from the original on 2016-04-10. Retrieved 2016-03-30.
  5. ^ "Construction | Grant Thornton". Retrieved 2016-03-30.
  6. ^ a b International Directory of Company Histories, Vol.57. St. James Press. 2004.
  7. ^ "History of Grant Thornton". Retrieved 2016-04-23.
  8. ^ Newquist, Caleb (2 June 2014). "Grant Thornton Names Mike McGuire CEO-elect". Going Concern. Retrieved 2016-04-23.
  9. ^ "Fast Fact" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-04-23.
  10. ^ "Helping dynamic organizations grow internationally". Grant Thornton. Retrieved 2016-04-23.
  11. ^ Ginsburg, Monica (4 April 2016). "Chicago's Best Places to Work 2016". Chicago Business. Crain's Chicago Business. Retrieved 2016-04-23.
  12. ^ "Grant Thornton". WorkingMother. 14 August 2014. Retrieved 2016-04-23.
  13. ^ "IAB 2013 Winners revealed". International Accounting Bullentin. 15 March 2013. Retrieved 2016-04-24.
  14. ^ Johnson, Sarah (29 June 2007). "Grant Thornton Fires Back at PCAOB Criticism". CFO. Retrieved 2016-04-24.
  15. ^ Wood, Robert (26 November 2013). "$100M Verdict Against Grant Thornton Shows Why Clients Sue Advisers". Forbes. Retrieved 2016-04-24.
  16. ^ "Grant Thornton Signs With PGA Tour, Rickie Fowler; Replaces PwC As Players Partner". Retrieved 2017-12-18.
  17. ^ "Grant Thornton Ups Golf Spend With PGA Tour, Rickie Fowler Deals". Retrieved 2017-12-18.
  18. ^ "The Leading Source for Middle Market Insights". National Center for The Middle Market. Retrieved 2016-04-24.
  19. ^ "Grant Thornton joins National Center for Middle Market; seeks to help medium-sized companies prosper". Grant Thornton. 23 March 2016. Retrieved 2016-04-24.
  20. ^ "Hornets Announce Grant Thornton LLP to Become Team's Official Accounting Firm". NBA. 14 December 2015. Retrieved 2016-04-24.

External linksEdit