The 20 Top Accounting Firms In The World [UPDATED 2022 ] (2023)

The 20 Top Accounting Firms In The World [UPDATED 2022 ] (1)
Each year, the world’s largest accounting firms grow a little larger. Basically, with all the mergers and acquisitions, the never-ending competition for global supremacy seems to never end.

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With that said, as of 2022, these are the top 20 accounting firms in the world.

And the Winner is…

It comes as no surprise that Deloitte holds the number one global position. Furthermore, its hold on the top spot seems secure for the time being.

Deloitte is located in more than 150 countries and has over 600 offices in the world. The firm is headquartered in New York City, New York. They have most recently reached the 100-partner milestone when they merged with Curtis Mclean.

Typically, Deloitte specializes in audit & assurance, tax, advisory, and risk. Additionally, they offer a wide range of tax services that include strategy, financial and technical, and human capital.

Deloitte’s closest competition over the last few years has been and continues to be PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers). PwC comes in as the second-largest accounting firm in the world.

PwC has locations in more than 150 countries and more than 750 offices worldwide. Unlike Deloitte, they are headquartered in London.

Recently, the firm has merged with Booz & Co, a medium-sized consulting firm. The merger was approved on December 23rd, 2013. Ultimately, they offer a wide range of services but they specialize in audit & assurance, tax, and consulting.

Ernst & young earns the number three position in global accounting firms. This firm operates in more than 150 countries, utilizing more than 700 offices worldwide.

They are globally headquartered in London. Also, in recent history the firm has acquired Greenwich Consulting, adding 7 more offices to its roster, and more experience in strategy consulting.

Holding firm at number four, KPMG comes in as the last of the Big 4but still far ahead of the number five firm on our list.

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Typically, the firm operates in over 650 offices located in over 150 countries around the world. They’re headquartered in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

In recent news, the company has recently merged its Denmark operations with those of Ernst & Young. Consequently, the merger will allow the company to offer more services to its clients while providing more support for that particular region.

Grant Thornton UK is number five in the top 20 firms and is an arm of Grant Thornton International. Essentially, the firm has 26 offices spread across the UK and specializes in audit, tax, and advisory services.

Recently, they’ve merged with PFK to bring more services and locations to its clients in the UK. The firm is headquartered in London.

BDO ranks number six and is headquartered in London. The firm has more than 1,200 offices in 138 countries. Furthermore, they recently added to their capabilities and offices through the acquisition of Alpern Rosenthal.

The merger will allow BDO to expand its operations in both Pittsburgh and Florida. Ultimately, the firm specializes in audit, tax, and advisory services but has much more to offer its clients.

(Acquired by Baker Tilly in August 2013)

RSM Tenon Group comes in at number seven out of the top 20 firms in the world.

They are headquartered in London and currently operate out of more than 700 offices located in more than 100 countries. Recently, the firm announced the merger of its China firm with that of Crowe Horwath’s Chinese firm to create a new firm called Ruihua China CPA’s.

Furthermore, the new firm has requested to be a member of both Crowe Horwath China and RSM China.

Smith & Williamson holds the number eight position in the world. They are headquartered in London and hold more than 550 offices in over 100 countries.

The company hasn’t merged with any other firms in recent history but is a part of M&A International and Nexia International.

Baker Tilly is number nine on the top 20 list in the largest firms in the world. They’re headquartered in Chicago and hold more than 580 offices in more than 110 countries.

In June 2013, the firm merged with Holtz Rubenstein Reminick LLP. Consequently, the merger added 25 firms to Baker Tilly’s already larger list.

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Moore Stephens UK is headquartered in London and holds the tenth spot on the top 20 list of firms.

They are a part of Moore Stephens International which has more than 620 offices in more than 100 countries. Also, their UK division recently merged with Winx, corporate finance, and X-Stra, business consulting.

Hence, this merger allowed the firm to expand its corporate finance sector.

Mazars, headquartered in London, holds the number eleven position. The firm has more than 13,000 employees in more than 70 countries.

They recently merged with Chadwick at their Liverpool and Manchester branches. The merger will allow the company to expand in the area where they did not have a great presence before.

Haines Watts holds the number twelve position on the top 20 firms in the world. They are currently headquartered in London, have more than 60 offices in the region.

The firm is part of Geneva Group international. The company recently merged with Ocean Consultancy Limited.

Crowe Clark Whitehill is headquartered in London and has more than 160 firms operating in more than 105 countries. They specialize in audit, tax, and advisory services. The firm has not completed any mergers recently; however, they did win the Accountancy Firm of the Year award in 2012.

Saffery Champness is headquartered in London and currently operates out of 12 offices. They are part of Nexia international which has a very large network of firms throughout the world. Saffery Champness specializes in audit, tax, and advisory services. The firm recently acquired 4 other firms in 2012, boosting their performance and rankings.

Begbies Traynor is currently ranked as the number fifteen firm out of the top twenty. They are headquartered in Manchester England.

The firm currently operates out of 30 offices across the UK. Additionally, they specialize in insolvency and global risk partners. They recently sold their tax division to Smith & Williamson.

UHY Hacker Young is headquartered in London and currently operates out of 260 offices across the UK. They are ranked at sixteen out of the top 20 firms in the world.

The firm specializes in tax planning and business growth. Although the firm has grown over the years, they haven’t acquiesced or merged with any other firms in recent history.

Kingston Smith is number seventeen on the list of top twenty accountancy firms. They’re currently headquartered in London and has 7 offices across London and the Southeastern portion of England. Recently, the firm merged with PFK.

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Typically, Zolfo Cooper specializes in advisory and restructuring services. They are headquartered in London and have a plethora of offices around the globe including the UK, US, and other countries. They recently merged with Kroll Inc.

MHA MacIntyre Hudsonis located in Buckinghamshire, UK. They currently operate out of 40 offices across the UK.

They specialize in audit, tax, and governance. Also, the firm most recently merged with Kent firm Larkings which has added six new partners and 2 offices.

Johnston Carmichael is number twenty out of the top 20 accountancy firms in the world. They are headquartered in Aberdeen, Scotland and have 11 offices across the region. The company merged with PFK in September 2013. Ultimately, the firm specializes in audit, tax, and advisory services.

Working for one of the worlds top accounting firms in a privilege and an honor. Furthermore, your job at one of these firms can open doors to other opportunities that never would have been available otherwise.

For those interesting in becoming one of the accountants, here’s a simple 7 step process getting hired by one of the worlds largest firms.

Step #1 – Create a Plan

Without knowing where you want to go, there is no way to know how to get there.

The 20 Top Accounting Firms In The World [UPDATED 2022 ] (2)Your very first step in being hired by one of the world’s top accounting firms is establishing your goal. Ask yourself these questions to start:

  • Where do I want to work? The US? The UK? Asia?
  • Is there a specific firm you want to work for? Why?
  • What do you prefer, taxation, analysis, auditing?
  • Do you eventually want to start your own small business?
  • Will you want to promote to a senior (or higher) position?
  • Does being a CFO at another business sound appealing?

Basically, answering these questions should give you a rough idea of what type of career you’re gunning for.

With that idea in mind, you can identify what credentials are required (degrees, certifications, licenses, etc…) That information will get you started on step #2.

Step #2 – Start Your Education

With your ideal accounting position in mind, conduct some basic online research to learn what qualifications are required for that job. For most of the world’s largest public accounting firms, a Bachelor’s degree in a minimum, with a Master’s being a plus. Passing The CPA Exam is also important, but you typically aren’t required to pass that before starting your career.

How to Identify the Right School for You

A fresh High School Graduate and a ‘change of career’ mom in her late 20’s aren’t likely to follow the same path to their ideal job. But our basic advice for all aspiring accountants is this.

Truthfully, if you can afford the tuition costs and have the grades to get into a top university, that’s probably the best way to go. Alternatively, for those who don’t have the time, money, or grades to do that, here are your options.

Online schools don’t have the best reputation, and for most of them, there is a good reason. However, there are a handful of accredited high-quality institutions that offer worthwhile degrees that you can earn on your own schedule.

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Step #3 – Apply for Internships

Getting some kind of accounting experience is very important for new accountants. Therefore, you should try and canvas colleges for recruiting opportunities as well as visiting firms to inquire about becoming a volunteer or intern. Essentially, the best accounting firms in the world look for new hires that have some kind of experience.

Step #4 – Become a CPA

You can take the CPA Exam before or during your internship or first job, but we advise to do it before if you can. The CPA Exam is very difficult and you’ll need every bit of focus to pass. Typically, most people use some type of CPA review course to help them study for the exam.

This can be difficult to accomplish while working at a firm. However, the plus side to taking the exam while employed is that most large accounting firms offer some kind of incentive for passing.

Step #5 – Touch Up Your CV or Resume

Hopefully, by now you have some hands-on experience and are ready for your first full-time paid position. Just like most jobs, a resume or CV will be required. You can find hundreds of tips on crafting the perfect resume online, so we won’t go through all of that right now.

Our basic advice is to first establish that you are qualified for the position. Next, show how you’re different from everyone else. This can be personal or professional achievements, volunteering, difficult situations you managed: anything really. Just make sure to stand out.

Step #6 – Nail the Interview

If your resume passed the first filter you’ll likely be called in for an interview. Again, you can find all sorts of tips on interviewing online, but we recommend two things.

1) Express your interest in very specific parts of their business. Additionally, ask them questions they aren’t expecting to be asked.

2) Relax and pay special attention to your attitude and demeanor. At this stage in the process, most candidates meet the qualifications. Therefore, they’re typically looking for people they will get along with. Be that person.

Step #7 – Get Hired

If you’ve followed all the steps so far, there is a good chance you will be hired. Congratulations! Now the real test begins. When you start working, show up early, stay late when they need you, and then be the person they can count on. Ultimately, first impressions can last a career; make sure to put your best foot forward.

Asia

1. PKF
2. Ruihua
3. BDO
4. PWC
5. KPMG
6. Ernst & Young
7. Manabat Sanagustin & Co.
8. RSM
9. Deloitte
10. HLB

Australia & New Zealand

1. Deloitte
2. Ernst Young
3. PWC
4. KPMG
5. McGladrey and Pullen
6. Grant Thornton
7. BDO USA
8. Crowe Horwath
9. BKD
10. Moss Adams

Europe

1. PWC
2. Deloitte
3. KPMG
4. Ernst & Young
5. Grant Thornton UK
6. BDO
7. RSM Tenon Group
8. Smith & Williamson
9. Baker Tilly
10. Morre Stephens UK

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11. Mazars
12. Haines Watts
13. Crowe Clark Whitehill
14. Saffery Champness
15. Begbies Traynor
16. UHY Hacker Young
17. Kingston Smith
18. Zolfo Cooper
19. MHA MacIntyre Hudson
20. Johnston Carmichael

Graph source

FAQs

Who is the world best accountant? ›

Five highly successful accountant entrepreneurs
  • Kumar Mangalam Birla. Billionaire and chairman of the Aditya Birla Group, Birla was educated in Mumbai and London. ...
  • Tony Fernandes. ...
  • David Ross. ...
  • Bob Parsons. ...
  • John D Rockefeller.

Which accounting firm is the most prestigious? ›

PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) LLP

PwC is widely considered to be the world's most prestigious and progressive accounting firm. It offers extensive career development opportunities, including formal coaching and mentoring, informal mentoring, excellent trainings, and clear promotion paths.

Is Mazars Big 4? ›

Mid Tier accounting firms – traditionally seen as any firm which is not a Big 4 firm or a small firm. As a rule of thumb, think of the Mid Tier firms as the top 100 UK firms, minus the top 4 firms. The top of the Mid Tier, e.g. BDO, Grant Thornton, RSM, Mazars are very different from the rest of the Mid Tier.

What is the biggest Big 4 in accounting? ›

The Big Four accounting firms

The leading accounting firms in the world are Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Ernst & Young (EY), and Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler (KPMG). The firms provide their clients with various professional services that include auditing, corporate finance, and legal advice.

Is BDO Big 4? ›

BDO is a worldwide professional services network of public accounting firms, serving national and international clients. It is the fifth largest firm after Big 4.

What Big 4 firm pays the most? ›

Which big 4 accounting firm pays the most? Well it depends on which practice you want to go into. If you want to make the most money in consulting, Deloitte pays the best. However if you want to make the most money in auditing or tax PwC is likely your best bet.

Who are the Big 5 audit firms? ›

There are 18 profiles including the big four firms PwC, Deloitte, EY, and KPMG and medium-sized firms including Grant Thornton, SizweNtsalubaGobodo (SNG) and BDO, which have been involved in a series of mergers. Other profiles include Mazars and PKF in the private sector, as well as the Auditor-General.

Is Mazars better than PwC? ›

PwC scored higher in 5 areas: Diversity & Inclusion, Senior Management, Career Opportunities, Recommend to a friend and Positive Business Outlook. Mazars scored higher in 3 areas: Work-life balance, Compensation & Benefits and CEO Approval. Both tied in 2 areas: Overall Rating and Culture & Values.

Is Grant Thornton Big 5? ›

Grant Thornton LLP (Grant Thornton) is one of the world's largest organizations of independent audit, tax, and advisory firms.
...
#5 – Grant Thornton LLP.
Grant Thornton LLPDetails
Revenue1.45 billion USD
3 more rows

What is the Big 8 accounting firms? ›

The eight, in alphabetical order, were Arthur Andersen, Arthur Young, Coopers & Lybrand, Deloitte Haskin & Sells, Ernst & Whinney, Peat Marwick Mitchell, Price Waterhouse, and Touche Ross—all U.S. or U.K. entities.

Is PwC better than Deloitte? ›

Deloitte scored higher in 9 areas: Overall Rating, Culture & Values, Diversity & Inclusion, Work-life balance, Senior Management, Compensation & Benefits, CEO Approval, Recommend to a friend and Positive Business Outlook. Both tied in 1 area: Career Opportunities.

Is EY better than PwC? ›

Employee Ratings

EY scored higher in 2 areas: CEO Approval and Positive Business Outlook. PwC scored higher in 2 areas: Senior Management and Recommend to a friend. Both tied in 6 areas: Overall Rating, Culture & Values, Diversity & Inclusion, Work-life balance, Compensation & Benefits and Career Opportunities.

Who is the 5th biggest accounting firm? ›

Founded in 1964 in Zaventem, Belgium, BDO is arguably the fifth largest accounting firm, with an incredible revenue of 11.8 billion dollars in 2021. BDO offers tax services, consulting, business advisory and public accounting to a whole host of clients in over 150 countries in the world.

What is the salary in Big 4? ›

Average Big 4 Accounting Firms Consultant salary in India is ₹ 10.8 Lakhs for less than 1 year of experience to 8years. Consultant salary at Big 4 Accounting Firms India ranges between ₹ 7.3 Lakhs to ₹ 15.3 Lakhs. India.

Is EY better than Deloitte? ›

Employee Ratings

Deloitte scored higher in 9 areas: Overall Rating, Culture & Values, Diversity & Inclusion, Work-life balance, Senior Management, Compensation & Benefits, CEO Approval, Recommend to a friend and Positive Business Outlook. Both tied in 1 area: Career Opportunities.

Which Big 4 is best to work for? ›

Though the smallest of the Big 4 firms, KPMG is known to have the best work-life balance amongst its employees. The company places an emphasis on employee engagement and has the lowest churn rate of the Big 4. KPMG is somewhere between the more agile Deloitte and the old-school style of PwC.

Which country pays accountants the most? ›

Top 10 Countries With The Highest Chartered Accountant Salary In The World
  • SWITZERLAND. ...
  • CANADA. Average Salary – US$113,000. ...
  • LUXEMBOURG. Average Salary – US$104,000. ...
  • JAPAN. Average Salary – US$85,000. ...
  • UNITED STATES. Average Salary – US$75,000. ...
  • AUSTRALIA. Average Salary – $US75,000. ...
  • NORWAY. Average Salary – US$62,000. ...
  • SWEDEN.

Which country is best for accounting jobs? ›

10 key countries for accounting careers
  • Malaysia. ...
  • China and Hong Kong. ...
  • Australia. ...
  • Mauritius. ...
  • Vietnam. ...
  • Switzerland. ...
  • Pakistan. Pakistan's economy has fared much better than other developed economies during the financial crisis. ...
  • Search thousands of the best up-to-date accountancy and finance jobs here.

Can accountants rich? ›

You can get rich from accounting, but your main source of income most likely won't come from the ordinary job. It will come from your experience and the gained opportunities this line of work will bring. An accountant knows a lot about money - and that knowledge is how accounting may make you rich.

Which is the No 1 accounting body in the world? ›

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA):-

CIMA, a member of IFAC, is the world's largest accounting body in the world with 1,15,000 members and 6,500 students. CIMA was founded in 1919 and has the full potential of management accounting which helps Individuals and businesses become successful.

Who is the first accountant? ›

But the father of modern accounting is Italian Luca Pacioli, who in 1494 first described the system of double-entry bookkeeping used by Venetian merchants in his Summa de Arithmetica, Geometria, Proportioni et Proportionalita.

Which country CA is best? ›

Which countries have the Highest Paying Jobs for Chartered accountants?
  • Ireland - $132,000.
  • Switzerland - $120,000.
  • Canada - $113,000.
  • Luxembourg - $104,000.
  • Japan - $85,000.
  • Australia - $75,000.
  • Norway - $62,000.
  • Sweden - $52,000.
21 Feb 2022

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