Over the years, the way of doing business has changed significantly. There are a number of factors which have contributed towards the same. Nowadays, a business house can get entire gamut of business services from one single firm. These services include auditing & assurance, tax consulting, IT consulting, valuation services, forensic investigation and other business advisory services. Globally various firms have emerged as top accounting & other services providers. In this article, we will focus on accounting services provided by these top consulting firms.
Top Ten League
We all have heard about Big 4 accounting firms. Infact, in my last article I talked about how to get into Big 4 Accounting firms . This group has changed over the period. With mergers & acquisitions of these accounting firms, some new firms enter this league & some are pushed out. After wounding up of Arthur Andersen in 2002, following its involvement in Enron Scandal, there has been no change in Big Four league. Apart from the big four, there are other firms who are performing well and are part of top 10 accounting firms. It is worth noting that none of these firms are a single firm; rather, they are professional services networks. Each is a network of firms, owned and managed independently, which have entered into agreements with other member firms in the network to share a common name, brand and quality standards. Please note that this article is not assigning any rank to individual firms. The rankings depend upon number of factors like – Total revenue, profitability, client base, revenue per employee etc. Here the focus is to discuss only about the best & top 10.
Deloitte is one of the Big 4 professional services network. It is British firm headquartered in New York in United States. It started in 1845 and currently it is present in all major countries of the world and it specializes in auditing & assurance, risk advisory and taxation. Few important snapshots of Deloitte are as follows:
- It is present in more than 150 countries and has an employee base of more than 225,000 worldwide.
- The firm currently has a total of 46 global member firms and in FY 2015, earned a record US $35.2 billion in revenues, highest among big 4.
- In India, Deloitte has highest market share among the top 500 companies.
- In 2015, Fortune magazine ranked Deloitte as one of the 100 ‘most exceptional’ companies and Bloomberg Business has consistently named Deloitte as the best place to launch a career.
2.PWC (Price Waterhouse Coopers)
PWC is part of Big 4 firm. It’s a multinational professional services network, headquartered in London, United Kingdom. The history of the firm dates back to late 19th century. It specializes in auditing & assurance, tax and business consulting. Some of the quick snapshots of PWC are as follows –
- It is present in more than 150 countries and have more than 750 offices worldwide.
- PWC has more than 208,000 employees all over the world.
- During FY 2014, PWC’s gross revenue was US $32 billion.
- Vault Accounting 50 has ranked most prestigious accounting firm in the world for number of years as well as top firm to work in North America.
3.Ernst & Young (EY)
EY is another member firm of Big 4 firm league. The firm is headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It started in 1849 and like other firms witnessed lots of merger and acquisition. Like other big 4 it provides a wide gamut of professional services. Some important facts about EY are as –
- It is present is more than 150 countries and have more than 700 offices.
- EY has more than 212,000 employees worldwide.
- During 2015, EY earned around US $29 billion as revenue.
- In September 2014, it was ranked #1 professional services employer and #2 overall in World’s most attractive employer ranking Universum.
KPMG is another Big 4 multinational professional services network. It is headquartered in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The firm history also dates back to 19th century. It has got three major service lines – Audit, tax and advisory. Some of the quick snapshots of KPMG are as follows –
- It is present in around 150 countries with close to 650 offices.
- It employees close to 160,000 people across globe.
- It earned close to US $25 billion as revenue in 2014.
- Over the years it has earned several awards and accolades including best places to work for working mothers.
BDO is a worldwide professional services network of public accounting firms, serving national and international clients. It is fifth largest firm after Big 4.As of 2015, BDO has member firms in 151 countries, employs around 60,000 partners and staff.It earned a revenue of US $7 billion in 2014. It is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium.
It is sixth largest professional services network. Though not as big as Big 4s, it is one of the fastest growing accounting & auditing firm worldwide. GT was formed in 1980 and is incorporated in London, United Kingdom. It has around 40,000 employees in over 130 countries. The combined global revenue of member firms in 2014 was US $5 billion. Its major market territory is United States.
Baker Tilly International is one of the top ten accounting firm. It is also headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is represented by 161 member firms, employing around 27,000 people across 137 countries. The combined revenue of member firms was US $3.4 billion in 2013.
8.Smith & Williamson
It is another UK based accountancy firm. It was formed in late 19th century. It major services includes Accounting and investment management.
This firm comes within top 10 accounting & consulting firms. The member firms are present in over 100 countries. The major services provided by member firm are accounting, auditing and financial advisory. It employees around 27,000 people across globe.
Mazars is a global audit,accounting and consulting group employing more than 15,000 professionals in 73 countries through member firms. It is based out in France.
The top 6 accounting firms have witnessed phenomenal growth. Though there is shuffle among Big 4 as far as top four rankings are concerned, BDO and Grant Thornton have done well to catch up with Big 4 and are nice placed at 5th and 6th position. Apart from the top 6, there is immense competition among other firms to gain business and capture untouched market territories. The changing business environment, complex cross border deals, stringent regulations and new accounting requirements are keeping these top accounting firms highly competitive as well as professional.
- Official website of Deloitte, PWC, EY and KPMG