Big 4 Companies
Globalization has allowed many big companies to expand their business activities to many countries across the globe. And thus, today, we can observe many multinational companies with their networks stretched across several countries. The term "Big Four" is also one of the outcomes of the process of globalization, and it is used to refer to the top 4 firms in the field of professional services. These companies, which are referred to as the "Big Four," include Deloitte, KPMG, EY (Ernst & Young), and PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers). All these companies are market leaders in the global accounting networks.
The services offered by the Big Four cover several clients' business requirements. The services include audit, taxation, corporate finance, management consulting, assurance, actuarial, and legal services according to the needs of their clients. The following article will provide a detailed explanation of the Big 4 companies.
Big 4 Companies
The following companies are referred to as the "Big Four companies".
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, popularly known as Deloitte, is a multinational company that specializes in professional services networks. The annual revenue of more than $50 billion places Deloitte among the most successful companies in the world. Currently, the company has its headquarters present in more than 150 countries with a workforce of more than 300,000 employees. The current base of Deloitte is situated in London.
William Welch Deloitte founded the company in 1845. Later, the company expanded its business activities to the United States in 1890. Over the years, the firm formed partnerships with several other companies, and thus executives also changed the company's name many times. But after a rebranding campaign in 2008, the firm was named Deloitte.
The company initially started with the motive of providing audit services has diversified in many other services over the years. The company now provides audit services, consulting, financial advisory, risk advisory, tax, legal consultation, etc.
As common with many other multinational firms, Deloitte has its presence in almost all of the major countries in the world. Some of the best-reputed offices of Deloitte include India, China, Hong Kong, among others.
2. EY (Ernst & Young)
Ernst & Young Global Limited, commonly referred to as EY, is also a multinational professional services network part of the "Big Four" companies. Currently, the company is headquartered in London. With an employee strength of around 300,000 employees in 2021, EY is among the biggest employers in the world. Also, a revenue of around $40 billion is just another number to prove the extent of this company.
The current structure of this globally renowned organization came into existence after the merger of two major accounting firms, Ernst & Whinney with Arthur Young & Co., in 1989. The parent company Ernst & Whinney was established in the United States as Ernst & Ernst in 1903. Another parent company, Arthur Young & Co., was formed due to the hard work and dedication of the Scottish Accountant, Arthur Young, in the United States.
The company was started as an accounting firm but soon diversified to many other services with time. Now, the services handled by the company include Assurance, Tax Consultation, Consulting for Business matters and Technology matters, Strategy formation, related transactions, etc. Out of all these services, assurance is the biggest contributor to the revenue and success of the company. The assurance services provided by the companies include Financial Audit and financial accounting advisory services accompanied by Forensic & Integrity Services.
The company has its presence in over 150 countries and thus requires extensive arrangements for the efficient management of the company. For the purpose of better management, the working of this company is divided into three global regions
- the Americas
- EMEIA (Europe, India, Middle East, and Africa)
3. KPMG (Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler)
KPMG International Limited, popularly known as KPMG, is another company that is part of the "Big Four" companies. It is a United Kingdom-based limited company and is one of the biggest multinational professional services networks. Currently, the head office of this esteemed organization is situated in Amstelveen, Netherlands.
A workforce of more than 200,000 people provides the company with the necessary talent to successfully provide its services. The company clocked a revenue of around $32 billion in 2021, yet another proof of its success.
The current name of KPMG stands for Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler. As it is obvious from the name, the current form of this company is a result of many mergers which have taken place over the years. The oldest entity of this company, "Grace, Darbyshire, & Todd," was founded in 1818, placing it amongst the oldest functioning business units in the world.
The second major part of the company, "Peat Marwick," started its operations in 1925. Another partner of this company KMG (Klynveld Peat Goerdeler), was founded in 1979. After working independently for several years, these companies decided to merge in 1987, which led to establishing the current form of KPMG.
Just like other companies in the Big Four, KPMG also specializes in the services of Assurance, Actuarial, Consulting, Financial, Legal, and Tax advice. Several rating agencies have rated KPMG as one of the best firms for employees to work and advance their corporate careers.
4. PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers)
The last company part of the "Big Four" companies is PwC. PwC stands for PricewaterhouseCoopers, a multinational professional services network of several firms. PwC is placed at the second spot among the list of the largest professional services network globally. The company has a presence in more than 150 countries with about 700 locations in different parts of the world.
Also, the company has a strong workforce with more than 280,000 people working for PwC. PwC succeeded in generating revenue of $45 billion in 2021, which was only second to another member of Big Four companies Deloitte. Moreover, PwC has one of the most admired work cultures globally that allows the employees to work in a relaxing and stress-free environment.
Following in the footsteps of many other corporate organizations and other professional services networks, Pwc was also formed due to a legal partnership between two large firms- Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand. Price Waterhouse & Co. was among the biggest accounting firms during the late 19th century and thus started to diversify so that the company could also provide some other services.
A merger of two big companies resulted in the formation of the firm of Coopers & Lybrand in 1973. And the Price Waterhouse company was formed in 1865 as a partnership between Samuel Lowell Price, William Hopkins Holyland, and Edwin Waterhouse.
Pwc has successfully diversified the company's portfolio to include a large number of services. Currently, PwC provides Assurance, Financial Advisory, Data & Analytics, Management and Consulting, Risk Assurance, Forensic accounting, legal services, and Tax advisory services.