The Big Four is a term used to refer to the four largest professional service networks in the world: PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Ernst & Young and KPMG. The Big Four play an important role in shaping international standards of auditing and financial reporting for Environmental, Social and Governance factors. With the world looking for leadership on ESG factors, there will be more pressure on these firms to provide more sustainable accounting practices, sustainability assurance and ESG auditing services.
The accounting firms are among the most prestigious organizations on earth; they date back to 1849 when Samuel Touchet opened his own accountancy firm in London. Today there are more than 200 offices across six continents with over 250 thousand employees from 147 different countries working together as one global team. They provide audit services to nearly half of all Fortune 500 companies who have their headquarters located outside of the United States of America. The Big Four are considered the leaders in this industry; they provide services that range from tax to consulting and strategic advice.
Andy Knee, who is a representative of PricewaterhouseCoopers, emphasized how important it is for companies to embrace corporate responsibility. He believes that it is more than just PR or philanthropy; he believes that it is a part of doing business and that companies should continually strive to improve the communities they operate in. Paul Druckman, who works with Ernst & Young, added how important it is for businesses to put people first and embrace transparency.
- What is PwC?
- Who is Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu?
- Who are Ernst & Young?
- What is KPMG?
What the Big Four do:
The Big Four provides assurance as well as consulting services which are so vital in today’s world. The Big Four audit 98% of the companies listed on the Dow Jones Industrial Index, which is the most common index in the United States. They are auditors that provide financial statement audits in accordance to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and country-specific guidelines.
The Big Four provides many services such as:
- Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Services.
- Fraud Investigation and Dispute Services.
- Financial Advisory Services including mergers and acquisitions, restructuring as well as fairness opinions.
- Capital Markets Advisory Services such as equity and debt underwriting as well as listings on various exchanges.
- Performance Improvement Services.
At the end of it all, the Big Four is made up of companies that are dedicated to providing superior services. They constantly ensure that they stay relevant and one step ahead of their competitors by constantly evolving and adapting to modern times.
What is PwC?
PwC or PriceWaterHouseCoopers is a network of firms in 157 countries, 756 locations providing industry and service expertise to address clients’ local and global needs. PwC is the largest professional service firm in the world by revenue and number of professionals.
What do they do at PwC?
at PwC, they advise, guide and assist companies to ensure business continuity in a technology-driven world. They also provide assurance services to organizations across the world. In addition, they bring companies, capital markets and economies around the globe together by providing transaction advisory services.
What are PwC departments?
PwC departments include Advisory, Assurance, Tax and Legal. All of these departments play a vital role in helping organizations to solve their problems. Some of the Advisory departments are Capital, Deals and Cyber Security where they help organizations to take advantage of existing opportunities by optimizing their structure or dealing with cyber-security threats.
How does PwC operate as a business?
PwC operates in a decentralized fashion and operates in different working structures. This enables it to meet the demands of its clients and operate within the local environment. They employ talented professionals from over 100 countries, who are experts in their respective fields, enabling them to provide best industry insights.
What is PwC famous for?
PwC is most known for their slogan, “Building trust in society and solving important problems.” This is because they are dedicated to maintaining the quality of information within the public sector. They also support initiatives which are meant to enhance enterprise competitiveness.
What is PwC best at?
They specialize in risk consulting, financial advisory services and cyber security. The consultancy area focuses on helping organizations to address a wide range of challenges by providing a holistic perspective. Assurance provides audit and assurance services in different industries so as to safeguard stakeholders’ interest. Tax is also a well-diversified service offered by PwC which focuses on managing clients’ tax obligations and minimizing their tax risks.
What makes PWC unique?
What makes them unique is that they meet their clients’ needs by providing integrated services, which include strategy and insights, tax, transactions and consulting all under one roof. Moreover, they apply a team of diverse professionals who bring different viewpoints to help solving multifaceted problems.
Who are PwC clients?
PwC clients include national governments, state agencies, multinational companies and public organizations. Moreover, they provide services to private businesses across various sectors such as semiconductor and electronics, telecommunications, life sciences, consumer products among many others.
Who is Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu?
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu is one of the world’s largest professional services network of independent accounting firms, providing audit, tax and consulting services to public and private clients spanning multiple industries. They are headquartered in London (80 Strand) and also maintain offices in more than 150 countries with over 200,000 professionals worldwide.
It was founded in 1845 as “William & Morris Co.” with an emphasis on quality and expertise to develop public trust. In 1890, William Deloitte opened an office in London which later became the headquarters of the international network. It has been a leader in technological change within the accounting profession, implementing its first mainframe computer in 1959 to help prepare annual reports faster and more accurately.
What do they do at DTT?
At Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, they provide audit, tax and consulting services to public and private clients spanning multiple industries. They also serve the mid-market with a full suite of financial advisory services through their extensive network of member firms.
What are the DTT departments?
The DDT departments include Audit, Tax and Consulting. This covers Assurance, Advisory and Transaction Services for Financial Institutions, Businesses and Individuals.
How does Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu operate as a business?
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu operates in over 150 countries with $36.8 billion in revenue, which makes it the second largest of the Big Four accounting networks. The company runs on a decentralized operating model where each member firm has its own international organizational structure, business activity and brand identity.
What is DTT famous for?
DTT is famous for its tax services and their addition to its consulting division. By comparison, DTT is considered to be one of the most decentralized of the Big Four networks, with member firms that operate autonomously.
What is DTT best at?
Each of the top four have a speciality. For DTT, it is Tax Services. That is because DTT has the largest number of professionals in Tax and, according to surveys, the highest average pay hours for tax professionals of any Big Four firm.
What makes PWC unique?
Deloitte LLP, also known as Deloitte & Touche and Deloitte Haskins & Sells, was formed by a merger between Deloitte & Touche and Deloitte Haskins & Sells in 1998. The firm grew rapidly after the merger and acquired many long-established partnerships including firms such as Binder Hamlyn in the UK, Haskins & Sells in the USA.
Who are DDT clients?
DDT clients include multinational companies, high‑profile entrepreneurs, mid-market business leaders and not for profit organizations.
Who are Ernst & Young?
Ernst & Young are one of the “big four” accounting firms, providing audit, tax and consulting services. They operate in 157 countries with 200,000 people internationally. In 1989, Ernst & Whinney merged with Arthur Young to form one of the largest professional services firms at that time. In 1998 a merger between Ernst & Whinny and another firm was completed and was named Ernst & Young.
What do they do at E&Y?
Ernst & Young provides audit, tax and consulting services to public and private clients spanning multiple industries. They also provide Advisory Services (M&A, Strategic Planning) and Retail Consulting, which helps companies improve their retail strategy by developing the right store formats, store size and location.
What are E&Y’s departments?
E&Y total 13 different departments: Advisory – Assurance (financial audits, compliance and internal control), Taxation, Transaction Advisory Services (M&A and corporate finance) and Fraud Investigation & Dispute Services; Transactions Retail Consulting; Risk Consulting; Information Management & Technology; Human Capital Leadership; Business and Industry Advisory Services (includes Forensic Accounting); Financial Accounting Standards Advisory Services; Finance and Performance Management; Analytics; Tax.
What makes E&Y unique?
Ernst & Young is one of the Big Four accounting companies that is considered unique for its Retail Consulting department. Their retail consultants help large retail corporations develop the right store formats, store size and location.
How does Ernst & Young operate as a business?
The Ernst & Young approach to business is by decentralizing their member firms. Each member firm is free to implement services and policies as it sees fit, as long as they comply with the Big Four auditing standards. This allows for a greater degree of flexibility across the network and enables Ernst & Young to be more responsive to its clients’ needs.
What is Ernst & Young famous for?
The EY Foundation Scholarship Foundation is a scholarship program for students from developing countries across Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America. In 2017, Ernst & Young Foundation committed US$7 million to provide scholarships to 1,300 students.
What is Ernst & Young best at?
Obviously it is their retail consulting services. Their clients include many of the world’s largest retailers, including Carrefour, Marks & Spencer and Tesco. This department provides consulting services to companies that include strategic planning and execution of new store formats for large international retailers.
What makes Ernst & Young unique?
ESG is a leading provider of governance, legal and compliance solutions for multinational organizations worldwide. Working with over 4,000 clients in a wide range of industry sectors and regions, they have developed a unique combination of sector-based content and knowledge combined with their own best practice methodology processes to help organizations address complex compliance risks.
Who are E&Y clients?
Ernst & Young clients include many of the world’s largest companies, including Sony, Walmart and Sprint Corporation. Ernst & Young also supports many not-for-profit organizations, such as the American Red Cross, National Multiple Sclerosis Society and WWF (World Wildlife Foundation).
What is KPMG?
KPMG is located in 154 countries with about 28,000 partners and staff members. They operate in more than 150 countries around the world. The four largest member firms that form KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”) are KPMG LLP (U.S.), KPMG China, KPMG Europe LLP and KPMG Vietnam. They provide Audit, Tax and Advisory services.
What do they do at KPMG?
KPMG’s market focus includes companies across multiple industry sectors. They provide professional services in the areas of audit, tax and advisory for organizations around the world.
What are KPMG departments?
Their departments include Audit, Consulting, Financial Advisory, Risk Assurance and Tax. Their consulting includes information technology, private equity and strategy consulting. Their Risk Assurance and Tax departments include specialized consulting and support in the areas of risk and compliance, financial and transactional tax services.
How does KPMG operate as a business?
Its operations are different from the competition because it is a cooperative organization. KPMG member firms operate as branches and not as subsidiaries. Each KPMG firm has established boundaries of independence and control over their own daily operations, but all of the member firms share one single brand name and one single logo.
What is KPMG famous for?
KPMG is often in the news and is famous for its audits of banks. Some of the audit clients it has include HSBC, JPMorgan Chase and Deutsche Bank, where KPMG is solving the bank’s compliance with money laundering rules.
What is KPMG best at?
KPMG is focussed on investment advisory, tax planning and consulting services. Their best areas are audit, risk management, financial restructuring and forensic accounting. Their forensic accounting is often sought out for its ability to audit or investigate financial statements and uncover fraud and other irregularities.
What makes KPMG unique?
What makes KPMG unique from its competitors is its size and how it is structured as a cooperative. KPMG has the largest number of partners and revenue among its competitors, which include PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Deloitte and Ernst & Young (EY).
Who are KPMG clients?
Some of their top clients include GlaxoSmithKline, Hewlett Packard and American Express. They also service small and medium enterprises, non-profit organizations and governments.
Caveats, disclaimers & the largest accounting firms on financial advisory
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Research & Curation
Dean Emerick is a curator on sustainability issues with ESG The Report, an online resource for professionals focusing on ESG principles. Their primary goal is to provide resources to help middle market companies, SMEs and SMBs transition to a more sustainable future.