Oftentimes, people say they are going to the top accounting consulting firms without knowing what they are talking about. Our 2023 big 4 ranking page will help you tell your friends and family why you are going to the best big 4 possible. No matter which big 4 you choose to go to, they likely rank number 1 or 2 in https://personal-accounting.org/ at least one category. It’s important to note that none of the big four are actually a single accounting firm. Technically speaking, they are each a network of many different independently operated firms. The big four accounting firms have been at the top for quite some time and will most likely remain there.

Your experience at each firm will actually differ more depending on the subsidiary and location. In fact, in many instances, working at any of the firms in the same city will be more similar than working for the same firm in a different city. For instance, working at Deloitte NY will likely be more similar to working at PwC NY as compared to working at Deloitte LA. RSM has more than 41,420 employees working across their 793 offices. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Big 4 working environment tends to be very corporate, with strict processes and systems.

Including offices in just about every US state, from California to Florida. The Big 4 employs hundreds of thousands of dedicated professionals. There is one number that stands out to burgeoning accounting professionals, and with good reason. The number four—as in The Big 4—is linked to career stability, growth and prestige. Ernst & Whinney merged with Arthur Young to form Ernst & Young; and Deloitte, Haskins & Sells with Touche Ross to form Deloitte Touche.

Which Big 4 Should I Choose – Ranked (By An Expert)

This stability is due to the international reach of each of the companies. Ben & Jerry’s, in an unusual case, is suing its owner, the consumer products giant Unilever. The lawsuit seeks to stop Unilever from selling the distribution rights and decisions of the ice cream brand in Israel to a local licensee. Last year, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, the founders of the company famous for its stances on hot-button issues, said they would end sales in Israeli-occupied territories. The licensee is expected to continue selling Ben & Jerry’s in those areas. FTX’s Bankman-Fried, in the recent industry cleanup, says he steps in where businesses have customers to protect, which also helps maintain market integrity.

The Big Four also offer digital transformation consulting to serve the needs of companies in the digital age. The charts below show year of formation through merger, or adoption of single brand name. “Through my business classes, I’ve been able to enhance my leadership, communication and networking skills, all of which will help me in the real world,” he said.

You may also have more opportunity to concentrate on a specialty area like consultancy at the Big 4. Big 4 firms already have a strong presence in the consulting space, and they are constantly expanding into new territories to provide more holistic services to their clients. Mid-tier firms make up the list of firms that aren’t the Big 4, nor local small firms.

EY (Ernest & Young)

You also may find that you forge stronger, more personal relationships with your clients who value your services more. Rather than being just another member of a large team, you could become the go-to person for your clients’ accounting needs. They are the only big 4 accounting firm listed in the rankings in the current year. This is most likely because PwC and EY are in the hall of fame for DiversityInc.


You may have heard of Booz & Company, which PWC acquired in 2014, and formed the strategy consulting practice known as Strategy&. First, they were all created in the 1800s, and were consolidated into larger firms through mergers and acquisitions during the 1900s. You can experience a company culture at EY that nurtures collaboration, innovation, and professional growth.

They earned revenues of $5.1 billion for their fiscal year ended December 31, 2017. EY is usually at number 3 because they are usually several billion dollars behind PwC and Deloitte. Their audit practices and consulting practices are not as robust as Deloitte and PwC. Because mid-tier firms have fewer offices than the Big 4, you may need to relocate, and you’ll have fewer opportunities to travel.

What Are the Big 4 Accounting Firms? Definition and Critique

Though all the Big 4 accounting firms are large, PwC is known for being the more fastidious, traditional, and slower moving organization, opposite to Deloitte. The company has an extremely strong core of clients, so if you’re looking for a more conventional and hierarchical company, PwC is for you. Ranked as the most prestigious accounting firm by Vault for seven straight https://simple-accounting.org/ years, PwC boasts the largest audit fees and biggest number of Fortune 100 audit clients. The firm continues to strengthen its lead in accounting to bolster its foothold and competitive edge. Consulting jobs are considered more prestigious and offer a higher average starting salary. You also enjoy better exit opportunities and a broad exposure to business strategy.

Did you know that the largest big 4 accounting firm isn’t the one with the biggest tax practice? You want to go to the big 4 with the best practice in the area that you specialize in. Their approximate annual growth for 2015 was 8%, which is the highest out of the big four accounting firms. Because these firms are the largest of their kind, the Big 4 employs individuals who can perform external audits, https://online-accounting.net/ taxation services, management and business consultancy, and risk assessment and control duties. Due to the hectic and fast-paced work environment, Big 4 accounting pros garner experience faster than others who join a smaller boutique firm after college. Because of the size and type of clients, many equate a year of work at a Big 4 firm with two to three years of work anywhere else in the industry.

The company recognizes your unique skillset required in the professional services industry and the importance of continuous learning and growth. Each of the Big 4 accounting firms operate under their unified respective brand. However, each firm is actually a network of independent corporations who have agreed to meet a professional standard and share a common name.

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