Overview of the Big Four Accounting Firms

The Big Four earned their nicknames by collectively being the largest four accounting & auditing firms in the world. Any time you hear of any large or medium companies using an outside accounting firm or being audited it will most likely be one of these companies. The different companies in the Big Four are Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC), Ernst & Young, and KPMG.

Deloitte was founded in 1845 in London, England and is still a UK private company although their headquarters are in the United States. They offer services in auditing, consulting, financial advisory, tax, and enterprise risk. In 2010 they brought in over $26 billion in revenue and have over 170,000 employees.

Pricewaterhousecoopers or PwC was also founded in London in 1849. They currently have headquarters in London and a United States headquarters in New York City. They offer similar services as Deloitte but operate more in America than some of their competition. Oddly enough, they also brought in just over $26 billion in 2010 and have around 160,000 employees.

KPMG offers auditing, tax assistance, and advisory services to clients worldwide. They were founded in 1987 and currently have their headquarters in Amstelveen, Netherlands. They earned just over $20 billion in 2010 and employ over 138,000 people.

Last but not least we have Ernst & Young which was founded in 1989 but parts of the company date back to 1849. They service companies all over the world and offer very similar services as the other companies do.