What Are The Big 4 Accounting Firms?

What Are The Big 4 Accounting Firms?

The Big 4 accounting firms are the world's four biggest accounting firms. Audit, taxation, management and business consulting, mergers and acquisitions, and risk evaluation and control are just a few of the services offered by these companies.

The Big 4 Accounting Firms

The big 4 accounting firms are Deloitte, PwC, Ernst & Young, and KPMG. Each of the accountancy firms will be explained below.

1. Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, or simply "Deloitte," was founded in 1845 by William Deloitte. It underwent a succession of mergers and reorganizations, but its brand identity, as well as its quality standards and company principles, remained intact. It has now become one of the world's most successful brands.

It made $47.6 billion in 2020 and had nearly 335,000 staff – the most of the Big 4 – in more than 150 countries, displaying competence in audit, consultancy, financial advising, risk management, and tax services to customers throughout the world. Visit the Deloitte website for further information.

2. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)

PwC is the second largest accounting firm in terms of revenue, with $43 billion in 2020. It has around 284,000 employee working for it in 157 countries throughout the world. Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand merged to establish Price Waterhouse Coopers. In 1998, the two agreed to merge and committed themselves to providing high-quality services while creating and sustaining positive client relationships.

PwC has offices in different countries across the world. Like other worldwide companies, these independently owned and managed businesses share common principles and standards. PwC is a professional services firm that specializes in assurance, consulting, and tax. PWC's website can be found here.

3. Ernst & Young (E&Y)

In 1989, Ernst & Whinney and Arthur Young merged to form Ernst & Young. Ernst & Young is a global organization with 150 member firms located all over the world. It hires people who have professional talents as well as values such as integrity, respect, teamwork, passion, and motivation. These are Ernst & Young's basic values.

Knowledge and skill development are also important to the company, with professional training and career progression programs helping roughly 299,000 people reach their full potential. Ernst & Young is a professional services firm that provides assurance, advising, tax, and speciality services. In 2020, Ernst & Young earned $37.2 billion. See the E&Y website for further information.

4. Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler (KPMG)

KPMG is a global accounting network that offers audit, tax, advice, special interest, and industry-specific services. In 154 countries throughout the world, it employs roughly 227,000 experts who work together to deliver exceptional service. In 2020, KPMG made $29.2 billion.

Peat Marwick International and Klynveld Main Goerdeler (KMG) merged in 1987 to establish KPMG. KMPG, like other professional service firms, places a premium on its people and service excellence. Visit the KPMG website for further information.

Some Historical Facts About The Big 4 Accounting Firms

The Big 4 accounting firms was formerly known as big 8, which included (1) Arthur Andersen, (2) Arthur Young & Co., (3) Coopers & Lybrand, (4) Ernst & Whinney, (5) Deloitte, Haskins & Sells, (6) KPMG, (7) Touche Ross, and (8) Price Waterhouse. The elite four were formed as a result of a series of mergers and dissolutions.

The Big 8 was reduced to the Big 6 in 1989 after two massive mergers. Deloitte, Haskins & Sells merged with Touche Ross to form Deloitte Touche, while Ernst & Whinney merged with Arthur Young to form Ernst & Young. Price Waterhouse then merged with Coopers & Lybrand in 1998 to establish PricewaterhouseCoopers, or PwC. It whittled the group down to the Big 5.

Due to Arthur Andersen's role in the world-shocking Enron crisis, the five were reduced by one in 2002. Since then, the four largest existing accounting firms have been referred to as the big 4.

Next To The Big 4: Who comes after the Big 4?

Following the Big 4, BDO is the 5th largest accounting firm, with 91,000 employee in over 150 countries and a revenue of $10.3 billion in 2020. In 2020, RSM International's revenues increased to $6.3 billion. With 58,000 employee in 135 countries, Grant Thornton generated $5.8 billion in revenue. Crowe Global, meanwhile, made $4.4 billion through its network of 200 companies in 146 countries.


The Big 4 accountancy firms are the world's four largest in terms of revenue and staff today. They offer professional services through a worldwide network of independent member firms. Deloitte, PwC, Ernst & Young, and KPMG are among the Big 4. BDO, RSM, Grant Thornton, and Crowe are the firms next to them.

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