What Are the Big Four Accounting Firms? The Motley Fool

The third London-based firm of the Big Four, PwC is the second-largest by revenue and the third-largest by employees, with $50.3 billion and 328,000, respectively. They earned revenues of $4.87 billion for their fiscal year ended December 31, 2016. They earned revenues of $5.1 billion for their fiscal year ended December 31, 2017. For some of these firms, consulting revenue has surprisingly eclipsed accounting as the main revenue generator. Overall, consulting is either the first or second largest revenue stream for each Big 4 company. During the 2000s, the Big 4 also expanded their consulting businesses through further acquisitions.

  • If you are looking to prioritize staying at the same company for the long term with a healthy mix of personal and professional life, KPMG will make that easiest for you.
  • RSM US LLP, often referred to as RSM, is the U.S. member of RSM International, a global network of independent audit, tax, and consulting firms.
  • Their companies merged in 1989 to form Ernst & Young, long after the two had passed away.
  • PwC’s revenue growth lagged behind its Big Four rivals Deloitte and EY in its latest financial year, according to newly published figures.

The global brand has helped RSM reach the number sixth spot in the top 10 biggest accounting firms. Though the largest Big 4 accounting firm overall, Deloitte’s audit practice is 40% smaller than PwC’s. Deloitte focuses on its other services, most notably consulting and was the only Big 4 firm to retain its full consulting capability following the Enron crisis.

The licensee is expected to continue selling Ben & Jerry’s in those areas. According to the International Accounting Bulletin, the Big Four have a combined 74% share of the global accounting market. Ernst & Young is the most globally managed of the Big 4 and has a presence in over 150 countries with more than 700 offices. EY retains a strict structure with a global board overseeing policies and maintaining consistency across its services.

Understanding what public accounting is

The firm serves clients across a wide variety of sectors, including technology, consumer and industrial products and services, health industries, financial services, and more. Regulators are turning up the heat on the Big 4, the largest accounting firms in the U.S. — Deloitte, PwC, EY and KPMG. Increasingly, their size and the variety of services they offer, like tax consulting, are raising questions about the independence of their audits and landing the firms in hot water, writes The Times’s Jesse Drucker. Though the smallest of the Big 4 accounting firms, KPMG still enjoys revenues three times as much as revenue as BDO, the fifth largest accounting firm.

  • As the only Big 4 firm that can be called a true consulting firm, Deloitte has a proven history of being able to pivot effectively.
  • This stability is due to the international reach of each of the companies.
  • The regulator has requested files and communications related to its audits on some of the companies controlled by billionaire Gautam Adani going as far back as 2014, the people said.
  • They provide professional services through a vast network of independent member firms around the world.

The firm has been consistently voted as one of the best places to work by DiversityInc Magazine and currently holds the number 23 spot on the list. Which means it hosts a very culturally diverse work environment and works with companies that are not yet as successful. Like Deloitte, PwC has seminars and training programs for its current and prospective employees. Through industry consolidation that began in 1989, what used to be the Big Eight has become the Big Four today.

What do the big four accounting firms do?

Education does not guarantee outcomes including but not limited to employment or future earnings potential. The Big 4 firms also prefer recruiting professionals who have a few years of experience. This can be accomplished through real job experience or even internships.

Everything You Need to Know about Big 4 Accounting Firms

PwC ranked second in Diversity Inc. magazine’s best large companies to work for. Tax focuses on (you guessed it) tax matters and offer a much more specialized service than auditing. As a tax accountant, your job is to help your clients prepare, submit, and save money on taxes. You’ll spend a lot of time researching tax laws, procedures, and strategies to provide your client with the best advice. The last major change to the fortunes of the global accounting firms followed the collapse of the Enron corporation which was audited by Arthur Anderson. The salaries for Big 4 accountants vary widely, however, depending on education, experience and organization.

Often referred to as the ‘Big Four’, Deloitte LLP, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Ernst & Young (EY), and KPMG LLP dominate the accounting industry not only in the U.S., but globally. The pressure on profits is set to us gaap versus ifrs continue in the current financial year, he said, because of a tougher economic environment. Clients are taking longer to sign deals, and opting for piecemeal contracts rather than committing to long-term projects.


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What Is Busy Season Like at a Big Four Company?

Deloitte and its subsidiaries have more than 600 offices in more than 150 countries. Including offices in just about every US state, from California to Florida. In 2018 the firm reported an astonishing $35.2 billion in revenue, the company has continued to grow over the past four years on average 7%, even with the recession.

This past year they got into global mining and metals which could bring the much sought after growth they are hoping and planning for. Although they have continued to grow over the years and remain in the big 4, this jump was a welcome reprieve from previous years slow growth rates and lower revenues. Their companies merged in 1989 to form Ernst & Young, long after the two had passed away. Both men opened their original firms with their brothers, and passed away within days of each other. PWC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) is ranked as the number two accounting firm in the world.

In 2012 the company built Deloitte University to train its current and future employees. The company is one consistently voted as one of the best employers to work for by Fortune Magazine. They hire many of their entry-level employees through universities where they have programs. They also have one of the higher average salaries for starting workers at $70,698. Over time the company has merged with other companies or bought them out completely and created subsidiaries to become one of the biggest firms in the world. In addition, these mammoth organizations advise on tax and offer a wide range of management and assurance services.

Though one of the largest and most reputable firms at the time, it ultimately collapsed due to the scandal. EY recently announced a $10 billion investment in company expansion in an attempt to reach more clients and more successfully navigate their needs. During fiscal year 2021, Ernst & Young reported roughly $40 billion of company-wide revenue, an increase of 7.3% from the year prior. Ernst & Whinney merged with Arthur Young to form Ernst & Young; and Deloitte, Haskins & Sells with Touche Ross to form Deloitte Touche. Then in 1998, Price Waterhouse merged with Coopers & Lybrand to form PricewaterhouseCoopers, famously known as PwC.