Big4 (Deloitte, KPMG, PwC and EY)

Photo credit: Eduardo Sanchez

October 10, 2017 16:22

Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC are the four largest professional services firms in the world and are often collectively referred to as the 'Big 4'.

Each of these firms has a significant consulting division. Deloitte is ranked number one overall in the WhoKnowsAbout Global Management Consulting Rankings, ahead of KPMG, PwC and EY in positions 5th, 6th and 7th respectively (see Figure 1).

Figure 1 - WhoKnowsAbout Global Top Ten Management Consulting Companies

As these ratings suggest, all four firms have strong capabilities across all major industry categories and functional topic knowledge areas.

Figure 2 shows the Industry expertise map for each of the firms.

Figure 2 - Big 4 Industry Expertise

Deloitte has the highest average score of 84 (where 100 would represent best in class capabilities in every industry sector) while the others are clustered at scores in the low 70’s. However, there are some distinctive differences in capability that contribute to these similar overall scores.

Deloitte scores well in almost every category with particular strengths in Public Sector & Defence and in Retail & Wholesale. Both KPMG and EY are stronger than Deloitte in Transport & Travel sector while PwC is the strongest firm in Power & Utilities Sector and is also very competitive with Deloitte in Telecoms & Technology sector.

Table 1 shows each firm’s strength in each industry sector, indexed to Deloitte’s score, allowing relative strengths to be easily compared.

Table 1 – Big4 Industry Capabilities (Indexed to Deloitte)

Similar analysis was also conducted for each firm in relation to each WhoKnowsAbout topic area. Here Deloitte scores 92, while the others are in the low 80’s. As a group, the Big 4 occupy the top 4 positions in terms of functional knowledge.

Figure 3 - Big 4 Functional Topic Expertise

Deloitte’s overall advantage stems from its strengths in IT & Security Consulting, ERP & CRM Systems, and to a lesser extent, Marketing & Branding. However the other three firms are all rated stronger in Sustainability & Environmental issues.

Table 2 summarises the firms’ strength relative to Deloitte in each functional topic sector.

Table 2 – Big4 Functional Topic Capabilities (Indexed to Deloitte)

So, the analysis shows that the Big 4 all offer strong capabilities across most industry sectors and functional topics but that Deloitte achieves the overall highest ranking through its consistent strong capabilities plus best in class capabilities in a few critical areas.

Read more articles and news from consulting world on our blog