Here is the list of the top five external audit companies globally.
1. Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited
Deloitte is one of the big four audit firms. The firm provides a range of services including audit, assurance, taxation, risk advisory, financial advisory, and risk management. The network of Deloitte is strong and spread across more than 150 countries around the world.
The firm’s revenue has grown over time, and a major portion relates to assurance services. In 2021, the revenue of the firm amounted to $50.2 billion. It’s the greatest revenue earned by any of the auditing companies globally.
2. PriceWaterCooper – (PWC)
PWC is one of the big four auditing companies. The company has grown with different mergers and acquisitions. One of the biggest mergers was Price Waterhouse and Cooper & Lybrand. They are well known for excellent quality assurance, tax services, and consulting.
The firm employs 284,000 professionals from around 157 countries of the world. In 2021, their total revenue amounted to $45.1 billion. It’s the second-largest revenue earned by any of the auditing companies.
3. Ernst & Young (E&Y)
E&Y is well known for its values, integrity, ethics, and excellent work environment. Their services are more or less the same as other auditing companies that include assurance, taxation, and advisory.
The firm came into existence with the merger of two firms, Ernst & Whinney and Arthur Young. Their total revenue amounted to $40 billion in 2021.
4. Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler (KPMG)
KPMG is a big name in the auditing world. The firm came into existence in 1987 through a merger of Marwick International and Klynveld Main Goerdeler. They deliver services in assurance, advisory, taxation, and other business practices.
The firm’s total revenue during 2021 amounted to $32.12 billion. Further, their operations are spread around 154 countries of the world.
This completes the list of big-four auditing firms, and these four firms, and are often referred first-tier firms. However, the market share of second-tier firms has increased during recent years, and the gap is closing between second and first-tier audit firms.
5. BDO global
BDO is the fifth largest auditing company in the world. They are well known for their quality commitment and reasonable cost. The fee charged by BDO is relatively lower. However, quality commitment is nearly the same as any big four firm.
They do employ top talent and professional accountants around the globe. Their areas of services are the same as the big four that include assurance, tax, advisory, corporate compliance, and other business-related services.
The firm employs around 91,000 professionals in 167 countries in the world. Their total global revenue amounted to $11.8 billion in 2021.
Other second-tier firms include RMS, Beaker Tilly, Crowe Horwath, and Nexia international. So, there are two types of external audit companies.
Final thoughts on external audit companies
There are four major auditing companies around the globe. These companies include PWC, KPMG, E&Y, and Deloitte. These companies enjoy a large part of the market share; these companies are often referred to as the first tier.
After the big four, other auditing companies are referred to as second-tier including BDO, RMS, GT, Crown, Beaker Tilly and Nexia international, etc.
Frequently asked questions
Why should I join the big four audit firms?
Big four companies help to maintain momentum in your auditing career. The stamp of big four on your CV has the potential to make a difference throughout your professional journey. Further, most multinational companies around the globe are clients of big four auditing companies.
What are the second-tier audit firms?
Second-tier firms come after big four auditing companies. These second-tier companies include BDO, RSM, Crown, Beaker Tilly, and GT etc.
Is BDO a good firm for starting a career?
BDO is the fifth largest firm in the world. It’s well known for charging low prices and delivering exceptional quality. It can be good to join BDO. However, joining big four companies should be the first priority.
Also read, external audit