Circle of Excellence

PSMJ’s Circle of Excellence has set the standard for high-performing A/E/C organizations for more than a decade

PSMJ’s exclusive Circle of Excellence is designed to recognize firms that are successfully managed, based on 11 key performance metrics that demonstrate outstanding achievements in profitability, staff growth, cash flow, productivity, business development, overhead management, and turnover. The Circle of Excellence represents the top 20% of participants (on these key metrics) in PSMJ’s annual A/E Financial Performance Benchmark Survey.

In today’s competitive business climate, this is a distinction that can give your firm an edge in areas such M&A, recruiting, and more. Think about it. If you are considering selling your firm or courting prospective sellers, the A/E/C Circle of Excellence badge is a recognized indicator of proven success and management. On the recruiting front, touting that your firm has made it into the A/E/C Circle of Excellence is hard evidence that firm “walks the walk” when it comes to being a well-managed organization.

Firms of All types and Sizes Are Eligible…and Entry is Absolutely FREE!
Since the award’s creation in 2006, A/E/C Circle of Excellence members have consistently represented all facets of the industry. The key differentiator between PSMJ’s Circle of Excellence and other industry awards is that all firms in the A/E industry are eligible, and firms are not excluded based on firm type, size, gross revenue, net revenue, practice area or location. Here are the 11 key performance metrics that we use to determine Circle of Excellence members:

  • Net Direct Labor Multiplier (Achieved)
  • Operating Profit (As a % of Net Revenue)
  • Operating Profit (Per Total Staff)
  • Staff Size Change
  • Return on Overhead
  • Labor Utilization Rate (Payroll Dollars)
  • Accounts Receivable Collection Rate (Days of Gross Revenue)
  • Net Revenue Backlog (As a % of Net Revenue)
  • Net Revenue Growth Rate
  • Staff Turnover Rate
  • Net Revenue (Per Total Staff)

This award recognizes those firms that are not only good at their practice but also at running their practice as a business.

How can your firm be eligible for the Circle of Excellence?
Winning an award for rapid growth is easy.  Just sell more work than you are able to deliver.  Or make a big acquisition (successful or not).  The PSMJ Circle of Excellence is different.  We use a balanced scorecard of 11 different metrics that measure growth, profitability, the ability to attract and retain talent, cash flow management and efficiency of overhead investments. PSMJ Circle of Excellence winners are truly the best performing firms.  Applying for the Circle of Excellence Award is easy and, unlike other awards, costs nothing to enter.

See all the 2023 winners here.
All you need to do to enter is participate in our
2024 A/E Financial Performance Benchmark Survey!
What are the benefits you get as a Circle of Excellence inductee? 
In addition to all of the valuable benefits that you get as an A/E Financial Performance Benchmark Survey participant (including big savings on the published survey!), you also get:

  • Exclusive and powerful exposure when we announce the inductees through a wide range of marketing channels to the entire architecture and engineering industry!
  • A comprehensive media kit that includes the award logo, tips for how to get the most use of your firm’s new status in marketing and recruiting, and much more!
  • A complimentary copy of our Circle of Excellence: Best Practices Benchmark Summary Report (a $97 value).  This 22-page report includes data comparisons from the 10th to 90th percentiles for each of the 11 metrics used to determine the Circle of Excellence members!
  • PLUS we recognize and celebrate your achievements at our annual A/E/C THRIVE conference!