Analyzes the Americas Region 2011 Performance of the Big Four Accounting Firms

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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 America’s financial performance shows interesting trends across firms, geographies and service lines.

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From 2005 to 2011, there has been a noticeable drop of about 3% in the Americas region’s share of the total revenue for all the firms.

Revenue by Geography

The distribution of revenues by geography shows some very interesting insights. Contrary perhaps to common belief, Europe (including generally Europe, Middle East and Africa), rather than the Americas region (including Canada, the US and South America), has the highest percentage of total revenues for the Big Four firms, averaging 43% of total worldwide revenues. Americas average about 40% and the Asia Pacific countries (including India, South Asia, China, North Asia and Australia) have the remaining 17% of the revenue share.

The Americas

The Americas represent about 40% of global revenues of the Big Four firms combined revenues, but its share has been falling over the years. From 2005 to 2011, there has been a noticeable drop of about 3% in the Americas region’s share of the total revenue for all the firms. In 2005, 42% of combined firm revenues were reported from the Americas region, whereas in 2011, it had dropped to only 40% of total firm revenues. From 2010 to 2011 however, there was strong performance for the Americas region from all the firms, with the region growing overall at 9.9% – PwC grew the fastest at 11.4%, followed by KPMG at 10.7%, Deloitte at 10.0% and E&Y at 7.3%.

There also appears to be large variation across firms in the proportion of total global revenue from the Americas. For example, Deloitte at the high end, sources 50% of its revenues from the Americas driven by its Deloitte Consulting unit, and KPMG at the low end has only 31% of its revenues from the Americas. Ernst & Young has 39% and PwC has 37% of their total revenues from the Americas, in line with the total firm average.

While Latin America, and particularly South America and Mexico have provided good growth opportunities for growth in recent years, the predominance of the mature markets of USA and Canada with their slower growth has generally limited the expansion of Big Four firms in the Americas region. For example, KPMG noted that 2011 revenues in Brazil grew 22%, Deloitte reported that Brazil and Chile revenues grew in excess of 20%.. E&Y Brazil grew at 26%. South and Central America for PwC grew 23% while North America and Caribbean revenues grew 10%.

The 3% revenue share loss of the Americas has generally gone to Asia Pacific, where emerging markets such as China, India, Korea and Vietnam have grown at disproportionately higher rates.

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Kristy Short
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