Accounting network revenue hits $200bn globally

In this years' Accountancy Network and Associations annual survey, the Big Four networks continue to dominate the global accounting market as combined revenues hit $200.12bn (£150.80bn), while the UK accounts for 10% of all global revenue at $19.4bn, reports Amy Austin

Although there is a heightened level of change and uncertainty throughout the global profession, the Big Four frontrunners remain the same in this year’s Networks and Associations Survey, with Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu maintaining its lead over PwC, after it leapfrogged the firm in last year’s survey.

As the world’s largest network, Deloitte had an overall growth of 5.4%, driving its fee income to a record $38.8bn (2016: $36.8bn). The gap between Deloitte and PwC, whose fee income has hit $37.6bn (2016: $35.89bn), now stands at $1.12bn (2016: $910m).

EY maintains its lead over KPMG with revenue hitting $31.4bn (2016: $29.6bn), a growth of 6%, compared to KPMG whose fee income increased 3.9% to hit $26.4bn (2016: $25.4bn).

Big Four dominance is as prevalent as ever with combined fee income hitting $134.2bn, a 5% increase on $127.7bn in 2016, accounting for 67% of total Top 25 income.

There has been greater movement among the mid-tier groups with Praxity jumping two places to seventh with fee income of $5.2bn, up 9.5% from last year’s figure of $4.7bn. As a result, RSM International has dropped one place to eighth place with $5.1bn, although this figure is still up 4.7% on last year’s $4.9bn. Grant Thornton International has also dropped one place to ninth with $5.0bn.

BDO LLP and Geneva Group International (GGI) have held on to fifth and sixth spot, respectively, with a 6.5% increase in revenue to $8.10bn for BDO, while GGI shows a modest 2.4% rise to $5.4bn in fee income in 2017.

UK market


Total UK revenue for the Top 25 networks and associations hit $19.4bn (£25.5bn) in 2017, a 5.3% increase year-on-year from $18.8bn, suggesting that a weak pound and Brexit uncertainties have failed to have a negative effect on revenue. UK business forms an integral part of global revenue, accounting for 10% of the Top 25’s global fee income.

The Big Four continue to dominate the UK market in much the same as they do the global market; however, despite combined revenue growing to $15.4bn (2016: $14.3bn), their overall share has fallen by 4% to 76%. Although Deloitte’s revenue has grown 11% to hit $4.5bn (2016: $4bn), the firm was still unable to leapfrog PwC, which holds on to the top spot with revenues of $4.8bn (2016: $4.5bn), a growth of 4.6%.

EY takes the number three spot with a 9.2% growth rate to reach revenues of $3.1bn (2016: $2.8bn), while KPMG remains fourth with fee income hitting $2.9bn (2016: $2.7bn), growing 5%.

Outside of the Big Four there has been a greater pace of change, with eight out of the remaining 21 networks and associations (38%) experiencing a drop in fee income in 2017.

Further reading

Read the full Top 25 survey: global accounting networks & associations 2018 here.

Top 25 survey 2018: UK outlook for global accounting networks is here.

Top 25 survey 2018: increased disclosure improves share of women partner numbers is here.

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