According to general market research, accounting firms in Australia were valued at approximately $20 billion in 2016, in terms of revenue. The Australian accounting industry posted an average annual growth of about 2.6% between 2012 and 2017 and employment figures reached about 115,000. The local accounting services industry comprises accounting, auditing, bookkeeping, advisory and tax services. Of the accounting firms in Australia, the Big Four hold a significant share of the market.
PwC Australia manages numerous offices in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth, Newcastle, and Greater Western Sydney. With approximately 500 partners and 5,800 staff, PwC is one of the biggest accounting firms in Australia. In 2016, PwC Australia reported revenues of almost $1.92 billion. It focuses on the fact that in today’s fast-paced society, staying relevant is key and means challenging themselves to be a step ahead of the competition. By staying connected, listening and conversing, the firm seeks to solve the challenges of tomorrow using three simple principles:
Under the leadership of Duncan McLennan, national managing partner of KPMG Australia, the firm reported revenues of $1.37 billion in FY 2016. KPMG Australia stresses the importance of audit quality and the notion that it’s not just about reaching the right opinion but how that opinion is reached. KPMG Australia focuses on the processes and integrity behind the formal audit report. The firm makes the best effort to make it clear that quality is both imperative and non-negotiable for the firm.
At EY, the firm is committed to building a better working world with enhanced trust and confidence in business, sustainable growth, development of talent, and greater collaboration. According to EY’s transparency report, the firm reported revenues of $1.48 billion in FY 2016, higher than the previous year’s $1.28 billion. EY Australia’s reputation is based on providing top-notch professional audit services objectively and ethically to every client.
Deloitte Australia is under the leadership of CEO Cindy Hook. The firm is committed to growth, client services, and its people, which include 700 partners and more than 7,000 employees located across the country, Papua New Guinea, and Timor-Leste. In FY 2017, Deloitte Australia reported record revenues of A$1.76 billion, up 15% from the previous year. To stay competitive and maintain its momentum, the firm continues to invest in innovation, technology, and skilled staff, while expanding through acquisitions, alliances, and growth. Deloitte’s purpose is to make an impact that matters and creates a lasting difference.
The majority of accounting firm rankings are based on revenue figures and general size of the companies, including the number of senior management and staff and office locations. However, the rankings don’t tell the full story. Although the Big Four generally tend to serve the largest clients comprise of the biggest corporations, non-Big Four firms also take on highly important projects that involve important corporations, SMEs, and even smaller organizations.
Financial audits, tax services, and advisory services do not solely revolve around the Big Four. In fact, other factors should be considered when seeking professional advice, such as which professional services firm is most suitable for the company, costs, what the company wants to accomplish, and the potential for long-term relationships. It is often the case that services provided by smaller firms are more personalized and tailored to a company’s specific needs. In conclusion, rankings are not necessarily a definitive measure of quality and may not provide a complete picture.
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