Big-4 consulting vs McKinsey, BCG & Bain: how they differ

The major line of service and the core “moneymaker” in the Big 4 is auditing (also referred to as assurance). Audit work typically generates over a third of total revenue, followed by Advisory and then Tax. This goes for academics, extra circular actives, and professional experience.

Diving into the firms

Both men opened their original firms with their brothers, and passed away within days of each other. In 2012 the company built Deloitte University to train its current and future employees. These services can accounting services unlimited be invaluable for businesses looking to become more competitive in their respective markets. According to some reports, KPMG holds a 19% market share in India and employs around professionals in India.

The History of KPMG

Because of the size and type of clients, many equate a year of work at a Big 4 firm with two to three years of work anywhere else in the industry. This experience alone can fast-track professionals to senior roles, increasing earning potential and job security. “Tier-2” is a common term denoting top consulting firms outside MBB and the Big 4. These firms are global or regional, and often specialized to a degree.

Big 4 Ranking by Revenue

Finally, each of the Big 4 firms provides quality assurance and consulting services to their clients, which involve verifying that a company’s processes are accurate and up to date. As consultants, they focus on helping a company improve operations or develop new strategies. The Big 4 provides various services such as accounting, auditing, taxation, strategy, management consultation, valuations, market research, assurance, legal advisory, etc. Audit still plays a big role in the company’s profit-generating ability, though Deloitte’s consulting business is second to none. Back in the early 2000s, other Big 4 accounting firms sold or spun off their Consulting practices in the wake of the Enron scandal and subsequent regulations (e.g. Sarbanes-Oxley or “sox”). Deloitte decided to still keep their consulting practice in-house, putting them ahead of the pack once the other Big 4 firms started to re-boot their consulting arms.

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To a greater extent than their schools’ respective football teams, whose seasons are three months away, these basketball teams have their rosters in flux. Arizona just lost two highly touted prospects, Joson Sanon and Jamari Phillips, in the span of a week. KPMG case interviews are candidate-led, occur in the last stages of KPMG’s recruitment process, and typically last minutes. The last time we left off with Arthur Andersen, it was facing demise following the Enron scandal.

  1. The greater number of Big 4 consulting projects, as well as higher level of involvement compared to their MBB counterparts demand more manpower.
  2. This means there will be more job opening and opportunities for new hires in the future.
  3. EY’s global network supports its mission to provide insightful and effective solutions to its diverse client base.
  4. These accounting and professional services networks are similar in nature to how law firm networks in the legal profession work.
  5. Nonetheless, Big 4 firms are also respectable career launching pads – offering the same kind of exit opportunities as MBB, although the quantity and quality (pay) are usually lower.

Through their participation in international regulatory bodies and forums, they help shape the future of the accounting and consulting professions, ensuring that the industry evolves to meet the changing demands of the business world. Because these firms are the largest of their kind, the Big 4 employs individuals who can perform external audits, taxation services, management and business consultancy, and risk assessment and control duties. Due to the hectic and fast-paced work environment, Big 4 accounting pros garner experience faster than others who join a smaller boutique firm after college.

Accounting Jobs Available at Big 4 Firms

The original eight, based in the U.S. or the U.K., included Arthur Andersen, Arthur Young, Coopers & Lybrand, Deloitte Haskin & Sells, Ernst & Whinney, Peat Marwick Mitchell, Price Waterhouse, and Touche Ross.

The Big 4 firms are much larger than MBB in terms of revenue and employee number. However, consultants from the top-3 firms tend to be employers’ first choice. MBB consultants have all made it through a famously rigorous selection process and have earned a prestigious organization’s seal of approval. As at McKinsey, BCG and Bain, weekend work is both rare and frowned upon in all of the Big-4 strategy units. As a result, the strategy units of the Big 4 can be less nimble and entrepreneurial than McKinsey, BCG and Bain, where the input of fewer internal stakeholders is required when proposing new initiatives. The projects tend to be quite short, lasting anything from two weeks to six months.

Combined they perform more than 80 percent of the public company audits in the U.S. and gross more than $100 billion dollars in revenues annually. There’s no wonder why it’s a dream of so many public accountants to land a job with one of them. They also work with large privately held companies, non-profit groups, and high wealth individuals.

The PwC tax scandal is one example where PwC sold advice to clients on tax avoidance, and did so using information obtained from PwC tax experts consulting for the Australian Tax Office and Department of Treasury. The charts below show year of formation through merger, or adoption of single brand name. Wiley University Services maintains this website on behalf of The University of Scranton. We aim to keep this site current and to correct errors brought to our attention.

For example, PricewaterhouseCoopers runs PwC Open University, a platform for employees to listen to webcasts and get industry alerts. Deloitte offers specific leadership training for its employee’s longevity and career development. The largest of the Big Four, Deloitte’s workforce grew to over 457,000 employees during their 2023 fiscal year. Deloitte operates in 150 countries and ranked the sixth-best workplace in 2023. They say “there’s no such thing as a free lunch” – MBB candidates have to fight harder to get more out of their job. A consulting post at McKinsey, BCG or Bain is a better career choice overall, but every year thousands of applications are sent to each firm – so many, that the acceptance rate is below 1%.

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