Picture of Charles M. Allen, CPA

Chuck Allen has 40 plus years of experience in public accounting including serving as Crowe Horwath LLP’s (Crowe) Chief Executive Officer for from 2007 to 2015. Starting with the firm in 1975 in South Bend, Indiana when the firm was comprised of approximately 80 people, he retired from the partnership in 2016 after serving as Vice Chairman in his final year. Since 2015 he has served in the role of Co-Chairman of Crowe Horwath International alongside the principle partner of the Chinese member firm. Both Crowe and Crowe Horwath International currently rank 8th in their respective US and Global markets.

Prior to serving as CEO, Chuck was the international liaison partner for the firm to Horwath International and leader of the commercial services practice.

During his leadership tenure Chuck put forth a vision and strategy to move the firm (Crowe Chizek) from a Midwest regional firm to a globally branded national firm. This included developing a global co-branding strategy to bring together the Crowe Chizek and Horwath International brands into Crowe Horwath.

The strategy led to an expansion of the firm’s footprint through both acquisitions and green field start up operations in Nashville/Knoxville, Fort Lauderdale/Miami, Tampa, New York City, Los Angeles/ Orange County, Dallas, Atlanta, San Francisco/Sacramento, St. Louis, New Delhi and Hartford. This included the firm’s investment in numerous joint ventures for consulting service offerings in London, Paris, Toronto, Tokyo, and Beijing.

During his tenure as CEO the firm initiated a focus on wellness, started Crowe Horwath University and appointed the new role of Chief Innovation officer.

In the final year of his tenure the firm divested of it’s subsidiary, Creative Financial Staffing (CFS), via an ESOP, creating significant value for the employees of CFS.

The firm enjoyed strong growth and partner wealth accumulation during Chuck’s leadership as CEO.

During his career Chuck has worked on over 100 transactions. Through representation of these respective clients and their related transactions he became known for providing strategic assistance in financial accounting and reporting issues involved in acquiring and financing targeted companies. These services include managing the due diligence effort, structuring of debt and capital investments and development of incentives for and structuring of participation by management. His experience also includes advising companies on risk and regulatory compliance and governance as they enter public markets.


Ball State University
Bachelor of Science in Accounting

Professional Affiliations

Chuck is a trustee for the Financial Accounting Foundation, the independent, private sector organization with the responsibility of the oversight, administration and finances of the FASB and GASB.

Chuck is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and a member of the Illinois CPA Society. He is a past governing board member for the Center for Audit Quality, recent past member of Council of the AICPA, a past board member of Junior Achievement of Chicago and is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago. He currently is Treasurer for the Cliffs Communities Outreach organization.

He was recognized for 5 straight years by the National Association of Corporate Directors as one of the 100 most influential people in corporate governance and in the board room and was consistently listed in the Crain’s Chicago Business Who’s Who in Chicago Business. He has been named as one of the top 100 most influential people in Accounting Today.

Allen received an outstanding alumni award from Ball State University and annually sponsors, along with Crowe, a leadership speaking series at the University.


Chuck and his wife Cathy have been married for 42 years and currently maintain residences in both Chicago and Upstate South Carolina. They have three adult children.