What is Big 4 Consulting?

Definition: Big 4 Consulting refers the Big Four consulting firms, PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Ernst & Young (E&Y), Deloitte, and KPMG. Although they share many common features, they are also different in several ways.

What Does Big Four Consulting Mean?

What is the definition of Big 4 Consulting? Big 4 are offering an extensive range of financial auditing services, including audit, taxation, business and management consultancy, and risk assessment, mainly to Fortune 500 clients. Being industry experts, the Big 4 has taken consulting to the next level by being able to assess the individual needs of each customer and offer the appropriate services.

On the other hand, there are differences in the way they handle management consulting with the use of technology. Technology enables consulting firms to customize their services and to anticipate complex business issues. However, although the level of skills is equally high, the approach is different.

Let’s look at an example.


PriceWaterhouseCoopers was formed in 1998 by the merger of Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand, the two largest accounting firms in the UK. Today, PwC employs 223,468 employees around the world, highly-skilled to offer audit, assurance, advisory, and tax services. PWC’s global revenues reached $35.9 billion in 2016, with assurance at 42.5%, advisory at 32.1%, and tax services at 25.4%.

Deloitte was founded in 1845 and today is the largest consultancy firm in the world in terms of revenues and personnel. Deloitte employs 244,400 employees at its branch offices around the world. In 2016, Deloitte’s revenues reached $36.8 billion, with consulting at 36%, audit at 27%, tax services at 19%, risk advisory at 11%, and financial advisory at 9%. Also, in 2016, Deloitte ranked in the 90th position as one of the 100 best companies to work for.

Ernst & Young was formed in 1989 by the merger of Ernst & Whinney with Arthur Young. Today, Ernst & Young employs 231,000 around the world, highly-equipped with professional skills to offer customized solutions to the company’s vast clientele. At 2016, Ernst & Young’s revenues reached $29.6 billion, with assurance at 38%, tax services at 26%, advisory at 26%, and transaction advisory service (TAS) at 10%.

KPMG, headquartered in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, was launched in 1987 and today it employs 173,965 employees worldwide. The company offers audit, tax, advisory, and industry-specific services, placing great value on its customers and quality of service. In 2015, KPMG’s revenues reached $24.5 billion, with double-digit growth in the emerging economies of India (18.3%), Middle East and South Asia (12.7%), Africa (9.5%), and China (8.5%).

Summary Definition

Define Big 4 Consulting: Big Four Consulting means financial and tax services offered by one of the four largest accounting firms in the world.