The Big 4 Accounting Firms

The big 4 accounting firms - full guide

The big 4 accounting firms are the world’s largest and most prestigious professional services firms. They provide auditing, tax, consulting, and financial advisory services to large multinational organizations.

The big 4 firms are Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG, and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Each of these firms has a global reach and employs thousands of highly skilled professionals.

They are widely regarded as the best in the business. They are famous for their high-quality services and their ability to provide clients with comprehensive solutions.

History of the Big Four Firms

Accounting firms have been around since the 19th century and have developed into the influential big four accounting firms of today.

Ernst & Young, Deloitte, KPMG, and PricewaterhouseCoopers each hold their own as some of the largest accounting firms in the world. Over time, these accounting firms have seen changes in leadership. Also, in demographics along with new policies that help shape their success.

Valuing customer service, consistent communication with clients, and embracing digital technology. Those are just a few ways accounting firms have continued to operate more efficiently throughout history. Today, accounting firms solve complex problems for organizations of all sizes and industries in which they play a vital role in decision-making processes.

How the Big 4 Accounting Firms are Organized

The accounting industry’s Big 4 accounting firms have become the gold standard when it comes to accounting services. These four accounting firms – Deloitte, KPMG, PwC, and EY – are organized in a wide variety of ways.

Each firm has its unique structure and focus, all connected by shared services and accounting qualifications. Although each accounting firm is structured differently and offers different services, they are unified by their commitment to promoting integrity among accounting practices around the world.

Why work for Big 4 Accounting Firms?

Working for Big 4 accounting firms offers great opportunities to accounting professionals. These prestigious accounting firms are a mark of excellence in the accounting field. They offer invaluable experiences for those who are looking for an exciting career in accounting.

Their extensive networks with other businesses mean that employees can develop lasting relationships with potential customers. As well as learn from some of the best accounting minds in the industry. You’ll find more information for each career below. Including a brief description, the industry average starting salary, and a list of pros/cons.

The benefits packages provided by these firms are also often quite generous. It makes this type of employment even more attractive to accounting professionals. Consulting jobs are more prestigious and offer a higher average starting salary.

Big 4 Audits

The accounting industry is dominated by the Big 4 accounting firms: Deloitte, KPMG, Ernst & Young (EY), and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). These renowned accounting firms employ hundreds of thousands of accounting professionals around the globe, offering services such as audits and taxation.

Being audited by a Big 4 accounting firm adds credibility to businesses. It is assuring investors that their investments are secure. Clients who partner with a Big 4 accounting firm can build trust in their financials and be more successful in the long run.

Big 4 Taxes

Tax accounting can be a complicated process, but working with one of the big 4 accounting firms makes tax season much less stressful. With tax code becoming increasingly more complex, it is essential to have knowledgeable tax experts help you manage your tax filing and ensure that everything is done correctly and on time.

Big 4 Consulting

Each of these esteemed firms – Deloitte, Ernst & Young (EY), KPMG, and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) – have been around for decades, offering tax consulting services that are among the best in the world.

An ever-increasing demand has necessitated launching of consulting divisions that provide tax accounting advice and other tax-related services. Thanks to the reputation and expertise of these firms, tax accountants at all levels can progress quickly in their careers by working with one of these historic Big 4 organizations.

Ernst & Young

Ernst & Young is the largest accounting firm in the world, making them a household name in prominent accounting.

With its firm foothold as a prestigious accounting firm and as a trusted advisor to corporate clients, it continues to be a leader in delivering assurance, tax, and financial confidence. As part of their commitment to clients, Ernst & Young offers global solutions that leverage resources across multiple geographies and expert capabilities.

This dedication to excellence allows them to provide the highest quality services while staying competitive in the marketplace. They work hard each day to build trust amongst their clients and continue adding value to their work.

EY Recognized for Diversity

EY, the largest professional services firm in the world, has recently been recognized by Fortune Magazine for its unwavering dedication to diversity and inclusion. The firm’s commitment to this issue reverberates across all of its consulting businesses, from audit and assurance to financial advisory, tax, and strategy services.

EY is creating an inclusive culture with unconscious bias awareness, diverse recruitment practices, flexible work arrangements, and job role redesigns for those with differing abilities. This recognition from Fortune Magazine celebrates EY’s efforts in ensuring a level playing field for talent that permits each team member full opportunity for success.

EY Tax Accounting University

The EY Tax Accounting University provides students and professionals with the tools and resources needed to become a successful tax accountants in one of the largest professional services firms.

It’s an online platform that enables learners to take on virtual assignments, be part of case studies, participate in learning simulations, and take advantage of the largest collection of tax accounting courses available.

EY Recruitment

EY, one of the largest professional services firms in the world, is an independent corporation that provides assurance, tax, transaction, and advisory services. Their recruitment process is known to be rigorous yet constructive and supports individuals with diverse backgrounds and qualifications.

They have been successfully connecting people to meaningful career opportunities in various areas like consulting, technology, and assurance globally. EY encourages all job seekers to apply irrespective of their stand in the workforce and makes sure that every individual feels welcomed into the organization.


PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), founded in 1998, is the largest prestigious accounting firm in the world, providing services for independent corporations and technology consulting. It is from several independent corporations that provide assurance, tax, and advisory services in many different countries. PwC also specializes in several unique areas such as tax structuring, sustainability programs, fraud prevention, and more.

PwC Training Opportunities

It offers business training opportunities to help business owners and leaders evolve in their professional and personal capacities. The wide range of training, specifically tailored for business leaders. It will sharpen business strategies, navigate public company complexities, and stay abreast of industry changes. Each program is unique to help business professionals reach the highest level of business performance.

PwC Open University

PwC Open University offers business education resources to help business executives and public companies stay ahead of the competition. By offering specialized courses, business strategy tools, and global thinking capabilities, PwC helps companies better understand the evolving business environment. Its unique delivery system combines content from global business experts. They are leaders in their respective fields, making them a one-stop shop for business strategy solutions and up-to-date industry trends.

PwC Recruitment

PwC provides world-class business insight, enabling business leaders to craft smart business strategies and navigate complex financial issues. An esteemed professional services firm, PwC offers an unrivaled recruitment process for new professionals wanting to join the team. With rigorous selection criteria to ensure only the sharpest minds enter the organization, those accepted will gain invaluable experience in a wide array of business sectors.


KPMG is a powerhouse in the business world; over 157,000 professionals serve clients in 152 countries. By taking on tax jobs, audit jobs, and consultancy roles, KPMG provides timeless service for its partners and clients.

Whether you’re looking to join the team or just get an idea of what’s out there in the tax job market, KPMG should be at the top of your list. From working with individuals to helping multinational companies from all over the world, KPMG works tirelessly to provide quality services to everyone who needs their help.

KPMG University Connection

KPMG University Connection is a ground-breaking program that connects high school and college students to the unique opportunities within KPMG. With over 700 offices worldwide, KPMG provides a platform for students to gain knowledge and experience through mentoring and skills workshops.

Through this program, students have access to internships with top companies, job shadowing opportunities, industry events, and even career coaching. It’s an amazing way for students to network and start developing their careers while in school.

KPMG recruiting

KPMG is actively searching for top talent to join its organization. The company seeks candidates who are passionate, driven, goal-oriented, and eager to learn. KPMG values hard workers with excellent skills. In problem-solving and communication as they have a wide range of professional services that serve different types of clients.

For those seeking to join KPMG, the company offers various pathways like internships or entry-level roles where aspiring members can launch their careers and immerse themselves in the KPMG culture. Furthermore, KPMG’s commitment to diversity and inclusion ensures that anyone from any background has an equable opportunity to join the team.

Deloitte LLP

Deloitte LLP has established itself as a leader in global business. With its exponential growth and the variety of services that it offers. Founded in 1845, Deloitte seems to evolve every year with the addition of new firms to increase their capabilities and offerings.

They recently acquired Monitor Group, a consulting firm, to allow them to better advise on critical issues such as sustainability and mergers & acquisitions. Moving forward Deloitte seeks to keep its mark at the forefront. Of its competition by continuing to acquire other firms. Advancing new technologies, and developing new types of services worldwide.

Deloitte University

Deloitte University is the premier learning and development center located outside of Dallas, Texas. It was created when Deloitte acquired Monitor Group, a strategy consulting firm, in 2013.

Deloitte’s global workforce has the opportunity to gain new insights and access world-class development resources. Activities vary from knowledge sharing to problem-solving to team building and more.

Onsite Deloitte advisors help participants create actionable next steps. Once they leave the campus their learning is quickly translated into meaningful results for Deloitte clients and Deloitte people. With a wide range of educational offerings that address Deloitte’s emerging needs in a rapidly changing business world, it is undoubtedly one of the best places for Deloitte professionals to grow their skillset.

Deloitte Recruiting

Deloitte, one of the world’s leading professional services firms, has recently been on a hiring spree. Following its acquisition of the Monitor Group, Deloitte is recruiting talented professionals to bring fresh ideas and thought leadership to the firm.

With this new strategy in place, Deloitte has already seen an increase in experienced potential candidates who can help propel the brand forward in the ever-evolving business landscape. If you have what it takes to help create powerful solutions and make a real impact at Deloitte, then now is your time to join their ranks and make your mark on history.

Deloitte Revenue Numbers

Deloitte announced its new numbers for the year, revealing a significant increase in revenue. The consulting and accounting giant reported nearly $43 billion in total global revenues for 2019, up 8.4% from the year prior.

Much of this success was due to their recent acquisition of Monitor Group. An international strategy consulting firm – which added significant value to their portfolio. Led by CEO Punit Renjen, Deloitte is continuing to make strategic investments that set it on course for continued growth and expansion in the years ahead.

How to become a Big 4 Accountant?

Becoming a Big 4 accountant can seem like a daunting task, but with the right attitude and determination, anyone can make it happen. Pursuing an accounting degree is essential for anyone wanting to get into one of the Big 4 firms.

A strong academic background in accounting. A professional demeanor during interviews will aid a job seeker in getting noticed by such competitive recruiters. Once you secure an interview, make sure to come prepared with examples. Demonstrate your knowledge of the industry and show why you would be of value to the company.

Additionally, research the organization you apply for before the interview and answer questions clearly and concisely. By following these steps and actively networking with recruiters, anyone can become a Big 4 accountant if they remain persistent and diligent.

Find the right school for you

It is possible to become a Big 4 accountant with the right education and experience. Finding the right school for your educational needs can help you reach this goal.

It helps to research universities that offer programs in public accounting. Also in accounting technology or related fields as part of their curriculum. Taking the time to find the right school will pay off in due course. It allows you to pursue your dreams of becoming a Big 4 accountant.

Identify your goals

To become a Big 4 accountant, set the following goals:

  • Understanding the firm’s culture and values,
  • proactively studying for professional certifications relevant to the accounting profession,
  • increasing technical skills in areas like auditing and taxes,
  • and constructing a strong network with key players in the industry.                                                As part of my professional development, I also plan to participate in webinars and seminars that offer insight into the realities of working at a Big 4 firm.

Gain hands-on experience – through internships

Building up experience and knowledge as an accountant is a key step to becoming a Big 4 Accountant. The fastest way to gain this experience is through internships. Working in such environments gives you the chance of seeing day-to-day activities within the profession. From preparing financial statements to transaction recording.

Prepare your resume

After significant research and thoughtful consideration, you have decided that a career as a Big 4 accountant is the right path for you. You understand the importance of preparing your resume. Be ready to make it clear that you are the perfect choice for this position.

It should be in such a way that your qualifications, achievements, and experience stand out. Stand out to make a powerful statement to any potential employer. Highlighting specific areas of strength can be instrumental. It can help to demonstrate how they would benefit from employing you as part of their team.

With complete attention to detail and an organized approach, taking time to craft your resume will surely increase your chances of success in becoming part of one of these renowned establishments.

Jordan Salas
Jordan Salas

Jordan is an experienced CPA and an author & editor at Financopedia. Over the past 12 years, he has written tax and financial content for leading brands. His writing has been featured in Forbes, The Los Angeles Times, Walstreet journal, and more. Jordan enjoys watching old movies and hiking in his free time.

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