2021 Vault Rankings
At a Glance
"Strong commitment to client service"
"Very caring culture"
"Expanded and tailored career opportunities"
"Less personal than smaller firm"
"Stressful at times"
"Always having to be at the top of your game"
About CLA (CliftonLarsonAllen)
CLA (CliftonLarsonAllen) is the 8th-largest CPA and consulting firm in the country according to Accounting Today's 2020 Top 100 rankings. The firm is the result of the 2012 merger of Clifton Gunderson and LarsonAllen. Clifton Gunderson was based in Milwaukee; LarsonAllen was based in Minneapolis. The combined firm, which is dually headquartered in both of those cities, employs more than 6,000 people, and offers clients a wide range of assurance, tax, risk management, advisory, valuation, transacgtion support, and consulting services. Its industry divisions include agribusiness, cooperatives, dealerships, employee benefit plans, government entities, health care, higher education, manufacturing and distribution, nonprofit, and trucking and transportation. The firm is led by Dennyn Schleper, its CEO.
Clifton Gunderson, whose inception can be traced to 1960, made history in 2008 by naming Krista McMasters its CEO. McMasters was the first and only woman to ever serve as chief executive of a top-25 accounting firm. At the time she was appointed chief, McMasters had been with Clifton Gunderson for more than 30 years. She was made partner in 1985 and had served in a variety of positions, including director of assurance services and chief practice officer. The decision to appoint a woman the top post of such a large CPA was universally lauded as a step forward for the industry. “Clifton Gunderson is the largest accounting firm to appoint a woman to its top leadership position,” said Barry Melancon, president and CEO of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. “Krista’s achievement is an important signal that old barriers are falling. Today, women make up more than half of new accounting graduates and account for 20 percent of firm partners nationwide.”
With roots that go back to 1953, LarsonAllen took its name from John Allen and Rholan Larson who met in 1946 during their junior years at the University of Minnesota. When it merged with Clifton Gunderson, LarsonAllen had risen from a small, one-office firm to the 18th largest accounting company in the nation by revenue, according to Accounting Today’s 2011 list of the top 100 accounting firms. Billing itself as “noticeably different” from the competition, LarsonAllen was organized along industry and service lines, providing services through something the firm calls “the primary advisor relationship.” In other words, LarsonAllen strived to be a one-stop shop for assurance and accounting; tax, financial services, and benefits; and consulting and advisory services. The firm had approximately 1,000 professionals and 19 offices when it merged with Clifton Gunderson.
10700 West Research Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53226
Phone: (414) 476-1880
Employer Type: Private Partnership
CEO: Dennyn Schleper
2020 Employees (All Locations): 6,071