Over the past twenty years many financial institutions have come and gone. Some have had a larger impact than others. Firms like Enron have left a huge negative stain in the accounting profession while other companies have merged to form giants.
This list however, shows you the undisputed four largest firms in the world.
Deloitte & Touche
Headquartered in New York with global revenues in excess of £26 billion, Deloitte & Touche is the current market leader among the Big Four accounting firms. Deloitte has the largest number of worldwide employees of any accounting firm in the world and offers its staff a level of remuneration well above the average accounting salary range. Competition for places is so fierce that candidates without masters degrees are rarely considered.
The company operates through more than 150 independent firms around the world, each working in a specific geographic area and offering a range of services including audit, tax, consulting and risk management.
PwC counts many of the world’s largest companies among its clientele. Based in New York it currently employs more than 163,000 people at 766 offices in 150 countries. With global revenues of close to $26 billion it first lost out to Deloitte in 2010 for the title of the largest accounting firm in the world
PwC was formed when Price Waterhouse merged with Coopers & Lybrand in 1998, bypassing then market-leader, Arthur Andersen.
Ernst & Young
With a history that can be traced back to England in the year 1849, Ernst & Young is one of the oldest accounting firms in the world. The company currently has 144,000 employees at 695 officers in around 140 countries, One of the top accounting firms in the US and with annual revenues of more than $21 billion, it is third only to Deloitte and PwC.
Ernst & Young has one of the world’s largest tax practices, specializing in serving multinational clients that have to comply with multiple local tax laws.
KMPGs clients include more than 1,500 of the world’s 6,000 largest firms. Although one of the largest accounting corporations in the US, KPMG actually has its global headquarters in Amsterdam and is one of the most geographically dispersed of the Big Four with offices in 812 cities around the globe.
KPMG is a cooperative that operates as an umbrella organization for its global network of member firms. It has global revenues in excess of $20 billion, more than four times the amount earned by the fifth largest accounting firm.