2015 World Survey: Deloitte Retains Top Position

Deloitte has retained its position as the largest accounting network in the world for a second year running, the first time it has been able to do so according to International Accounting Bulletin’s 2015 World Survey.

According to the survey, the top 52 international accounting networks and associations earned a total of $181.7 billion in fees in 2014, a 6% increase on 2013 figures.

Deloitte has for the first time maintained its leading position as the largest global accounting network by beating close rival PwC to the title by as little as $248 million.

Deloitte reported $34.2 billion in fees in 2014. PwC is yet to see the impact of the acquisition of global consultancy Booz&Co. on its financials, which was finalized in the last few months of the network’s 2014 financial year, with 2015 promising to be another competitive year between the close rivals.

While the gap between Deloitte and PwC has been getting smaller over the past decade, the gap between the leading two and third-ranked EY has been increasing. According to International Accounting Bulletin’s data, the gap has increased from $1.9 billion in 2004 to $6.5 billion in 2014. EY reported fee income of $27.3 billion and fourth ranked KPMG $24.8 billion in 2014.

In addition, the gap between the four largest players and their nearest middle-market competitor, BDO International, increased by $7 billion in the past decade from $10.6 billion in 2004 to $17.8 billion in 2014.

The largest four firms hold 66% of the overall market share.

In terms of service lines, last year saw the continued commoditization of audit, countered by ever-increasing investment and growth in advisory among the Big 4 firms in particular.