Releases its 2011 Big Four Firms Performance Analysis

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One-of-a-kind study reveals unique insights into the world’s largest accounting firms: Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers PwC. Our exclusive look at eight years of financial performance shows interesting trends across firms, geographies and service lines.

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Thr Big Four firms had outstanding growth across geographies and service lines to record revenue levels. PwC beat Deloitte and regained its leadership position., the premier social networking forum for professionals and alumni of Accenture, Andersen, BearingPoint, Capgemini, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers PwC announced today the release of the 2011 Big Four Firms Financial Performance Analysis, providing a detailed financial and operating analysis of the performance of the four largest accounting firms in the world. The analysis shows the firms enjoyed outstanding revenue growth from 2010 to 2011 after a severe revenue decline in 2009, and stabilization in 2010, to solidify a rebound arising from the global economic slowdown. 2009 marked an abrupt reversal of five straight years of double-digit revenue growth.

After a moderate 2010, 2011 fiscal year saw large increase in revenues for Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers, with revenues increasing between 7.6% and 10.1% from 2010, as firms got a strong boost from a general global recovery, enhanced equity markets, improved credit conditions, and better M&A and IPO activity, all of which spurred client demand, especially for Advisory Services and in Asia. Revenues increased in most developed regions, while growth continued at high levels in emerging markets of Asia and Latin America. Despite the limited data points that the firms report each year, our exclusive look at eight years of financial performance of these firms shows some very interesting trends and insights across firms, geographies and service lines.

In 2010, Deloitte had surpassed PricewaterhouseCoopers to become the largest Big Four firm, reporting revenues of $26.578 billion and growth of 1.8%, just ahead of PwC’s revenues of $26.569 billion and growth of 1.5%. Deloitte beat PwC by a small but significant margin of only $9 million. In 2011 however, PricewaterhouseCoopers regained its leadership position with revenues of $29.2 billion, up 10.0%, which exceeded Deloitte’s revenues of $28.2 billion, up by 8.4%, by more than $400 million. Ernst & Young placed third with 2011 revenues of $22.9 billion but its revenues rose the slowest among the Big Four with a 7.6% increase from 2010. KPMG remained the smallest firm with revenues of $22.7 billion, but had the highest growth at 10.1% and reduced the gap with Ernst & Young to only $170 million.

From 2010 to 2011, combined revenues for all the four firms in US dollar terms rose 9.0% to a historic record of $103 billion, a level which even surpassed the previous high of $101 billion in 2008. Audit revenue increased by 5.7% from 2010 to 2011, Tax revenue was also up by 7.1%, and Advisory revenues continued their strong streak, increasing by a solid 15.9%. The depreciating U.S. dollar over the reporting period helped firm post higher growth numbers in U.S. dollar terms. In local currency terms, revenues rose by somewhat lower percentage levels. Americas revenue increased solidly by 9.9% from 2010 to 2011, Europe revenue was also up by 5.4% despite volatility in the region, and Asia revenue growth continued with an outstanding performance of 17.4%. The analysis has further details on performance by global regions and by Audit, Tax and Advisory service lines, and outlook for 2012 and the future.

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The full study can be downloaded as Adobe pdf at

A summary video is available here.

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