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Big 4 Accounting & Auditing Firms for CA, CMA, CS and Accountant Professionals

The Big Four are the four largest international professional services networks, offering audit, assurance, tax, consulting, advisory, actuarial, corporate finance, and legal services. They handle the vast majority of audits for publicly traded companies as well as many private companies, creating an oligopoly in auditing large companies. It is reported that the Big Four audit 99% of the companies in the FTSE 100, and 96% of the companies in the FTSE 250, an index of the leading mid-cap listing companies.The Big Four firms are shown below, with their latest publicly available data.
Revenue per Employee
Big 4 usually refers to the four largest accounting and auditing firms:

PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Ernst & Young, and KPMG. These certified public accounting (CPA) firms perform most of the audits which are required of U.S. corporations having stock that is publicly traded. see more at

In the 1980s and before, the majority of the audits of publicly traded corporations were performed by the Big 8—the eight largest CPA firms. However, some of those firms merged with others and Arthur Andersen ceased to exist. As a result, the Big 8 is now the Big 4.

Big 8
The firms were called the Big 8 for most of the 20th century, reflecting the international dominance of the eight largest firms (presented here in alphabetical order):

The reference to Big 4 exists because the size of each of the four largest firms is several times the size of the 5th largest firm. There was a similar size disparity in the 1980s between the 8th largest firm and the 9th largest firm.

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In addition to performing audits and other assurance services, the Big 4 provide tax advising and various management services.

The following are the members of this internationally renowned group.

1. Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited

DeloitteDeloitte Touche Tohmatsu, popularly known as just “Deloitte”, is probably the biggest professional service organization in the world. The firm was founded by William Deloitte in 1845. It went through a series of mergers and reorganizations but kept its brand name along with its quality standards and company values. Now, it emerges as one of the most successful brands in the world.

In 2012, it had approximately 193,000 professionals in more than 150 countries demonstrating excellence in providing audit, consulting, financial advisory, risk management, and tax services to clients worldwide. See Deloitte Website

2. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)

PWCPwC is one of the world’s largest providers of accounting services. It employs 180,000 professionals in 159 countries around the world. The company was formed by the merger of two large accounting firms — Price Waterhouse, and Coopers & Lybrand. The two decided to merge in 1998 and dedicated themselves to provide services of value while establishing and maintaining good customer relations.

PwC firms operate locally in different countries around the world. These independently owned and managed firms, like other international companies, share common values and standards. PwC provides excellent assurance, consulting, and tax services. See PWC Website

3. Ernst & Young (E&Y)

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Ernst & YoungErnst & Whinney merged with Arthur Young to create Ernst & Young in 1989. Ernst & Young is a global organization of member firms in more than 140 countries. It employs people equipped with professional skills and values of integrity, respect, teamwork, enthusiasm, and motivation. These form the core values of Ernst & Young.

The organization also values knowledge and skills development, helping around 170,000 employees achieve their potential through professional training and career growth programs. Ernst & Young offers assurance, advisory, tax, and specialty services. See E&Y Website

4. Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler (KPMG)

KPMGKPMG is a global network of accounting firms providing audit, tax, advisory, special interest and industry-specific services. It employs approximately 152,000 professionals working together to provide quality service in 151 countries around the world.

The organization was formed in 1987 through the merger of Peat Marwick International and Klynveld Main Goerdeler. Like other professional service organizations, KMPG places great value on its people and quality of service. See KPMG Website

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