The outlook for accounting firms in Canada is very positive, as the country’s accounting industry is expected to register strong growth in the coming years. An expanding Canadian economy, as well as the increasing complexities in its regulatory and tax structures, continues to create a huge demand for professional accountancy services in the country. In fact, over the next five years, industry revenues are expected to rise significantly. The growing number of Canadian and multinational companies entering the domestic market provides more opportunities for accounting and financial services.
It is difficult to provide a comprehensive list of the top 10 accounting firms in Canada because accounting firms in different provinces and cities show different strengths and weaknesses. In British Columbia, one of the fastest growing markets in accounting, the largest accounting firms in 2016 are as follows:
|Rank||Accounting Firm||Year Founded|
|5||BDO Canada LLP||1921|
|6||Ernst & Young||1945|
|7||Grant Thornton LLP||1919|
|9||Manning Elliot LLP||1952|
|10||Dale Matheson Carr-Hilton LaBonte LLP||1978|
|11||Crowe MacKay LLP||1969|
|12||Davidson & Company LLP||1984|
|13||Wolrige Mahon LLP||1962|
Similar to any other country or location, the Big Four accounting firms hold a majority share of the market. The Big Four is known to audit major telecommunications companies, banks, oil and gas firms, and large mining businesses.
The Big Four consists of KPMG, PwC, Deloitte, Ernst & Young.
In addition to audit practices, the Big Four also manage advisory engagements, consulting, and US corporate tax departments for both American and Canadian companies that want to penetrate each other’s market. Each Big Four firm’s mission, values, and strategies are generally the same globally.
MNP dates back to 1945 when Winnipeg-based Laird, Sprague & Co started operations in Brandon, Manitoba. Ron Meyers acquired full ownership of the company in 1958 and renamed the firm Meyers Dickens Norris Penny & Co. (MDNP) in 1969. In 1996, another merger happened to rebrand the firm as MNP. Calgary, Alberta-based MNP is one of the largest accounting and business advisory firms in Canada, with over 4,000 staff and offices across the entire country.
Founded in 1980 by six entrepreneurs, Smythe LLP focuses on being a socially responsible firm dedicated to providing exemplary accounting, assurance, taxation, and business advisory services on a timely basis. A member firm of Allinial Global, Smythe is connected to firms all around the world. Smythe serves clients of all sizes, both private and public, boasting specialized industry knowledge in technology, real estate and construction, not-for-profit, and mining.
Founded in 1952, Manning Elliott now consists of over 150 chartered professional accountants and business advisors with several years of experience in working with small and medium-sized businesses. Manning Elliott is regarded as one of the most well-respected and progressive mid-size firms in British Columbia. The firm highly values a closely knit company culture that not only emphasizes high-quality work but also fun in the working environment.
DMCL LLP is an independent member firm of Moore Stephens North America. With offices in Vancouver, Surrey, and Port Coquitlam, DMCL is one of the largest independent accounting firms in Canada. Whether it be assurance, advising and accounting, or tax, the firm operates under a client-centered approach to helps clients achieve their goals.
A relatively new yet significantly growing firm, Davidson & Company provides auditing, securities, and business and personal accounting services. Thr firm’s motto is “Big enough to know, yet small enough to care.” It fully believes that the whole experience begins and ends with clients and strives to deliver a clear plan that enables open and honest communication, cultivates deep understanding, and promises ongoing involvement.
Alan Wolrige and Ken Mahon shared a vision and created an accounting firm that would provide a full range of services to local businesses. Wolrige Mahon LLP today is an independent member of Baker Tilly International, a network of independent accounting and business advisory firms throughout the world.
Wolrige Mahon’s company motto is “We chart our own course, according to our own vision and that of our clients.” It is one of the largest accounting firms in the Metro Vancouver area, providing services in audit and accounting, taxation, business valuations, litigation support, corporate finance, information technology, and restructuring.