All the Big 4 have quite a lot in common, and yet they’re all just a bit different too! Deloitte really stands out from the other Big 4 these days in terms of revenue and global leadership.
But what are the main reasons it is different from the other ‘Big 4’?
Well, having been around the consultancy world for the best part of a decade, I’d say that the six main reasons that Deloitte is different from the other ‘Big 4’ are:
- Its revenue (and just all-around global presence)
- Its industry focus (and specializations)
- Its culture
- Its consulting capabilities (more on those in a bit)
- Its thought leadership
- And its overall levels of compensation
In this article, I’m really looking forward to getting stuck into all of these six points in turn. Let’s go!
Table of Contents
1. Global Presence and Revenue
Let’s start with the biggie – Deloitte is the largest of the ‘Big 4’. It generates the most revenue and it has the highest number of employees.
Deloitte has offices in more than 150 countries (which is a lot!). (Source)
This extra size and revenue have some obvious benefits.
It allows the firm to:
- Serve large multinational clients
- Tap into the most diverse markets
- It also makes it an attractive proposition for large organizations that have the most complex of needs (and there are lots of them around!)
Of course, I should say that PwC, EY, and KPMG also generate a huge amount of revenue, and have a massive number of employees. Just not quite as much or as many!
Here’s a quick table that gives you an idea of a comparison between the revenue of each company (along with the number of countries they all serve):
|Firm||Revenue (In billions)||Number of Countries|
|EY (Ernst & Young)||$45.2||150|
So, as you can see, Deloitte is not a million miles away from being almost double the size of KPMG (no mean feat!).
2. Industry Focus and Specializations
Let’s face it – the Big 4 are all diversified and share similarities in their industry focus and specializations.
However, here is a key point – all of these companies have:
- Unique areas of expertise
- They exhibit unique strengths
Let’s take a look at some of these areas of expertise for the Big 4 now:
Let’s do Deloitte first – as they are what this article is about!
Deloitte has a finger in every pie! They have what you could describe as a ‘broad industry focus’. They cater to clients across quite a few diverse sectors.
They are really dominant in the following areas:
- Financial Services.
- Consumer Products.
The company also excels in its consulting practice. They offer various strategies, operations, technology, and human capital services.
2. EY (Ernst & Young)
EY is the Big 4 company that is most similar to Deloitte (in my humble opinion).
But their big things are:
- Climate change initiatives
- Emerging technologies
Pretty much any press release seems to be something to do with one of these, to be honest!
They are a really positive driving force behind emerging technologies, including some of the following:
- Artificial Intelligence.
- Data Analytics.
KPMG is also involved across various industries. I would say that their main focus these days is on:
- Risk management
- Financial advisory services
- Deal advisory services
- Tax consulting
Anyone that has been involved with KPMG knows they are really big on cybersecurity (a field that is growing by the day), governance, risk, and compliance.
4. PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers)
Last but not least, let’s take a look at PwC.
Pricewaterhouse mainly deals with clients in four giant fields. These are:
- Energy and resources.
From a purely consulting perspective (and we are a consulting blog after all), they are really good on:
- Consulting and deals.
- Digital transformation.
- Business strategy.
3. Corporate Culture
Let’s face it – it’s quite hard to pin down a ‘working culture’ of an organization that spans 150+ countries, and multiple offices in every country.
However, let’s work in generalities here for a few moments and give it a try!
I would say the following ‘cultures’ are based on what I hear people saying, and what is perceived to be the truth in the industry.
1. Deloitte: Culture of Courage
Deloitte is really proud of this one. They like to foster a ‘culture of courage’. This means they encourage:
Above all they want employees to take risks and drive through positive change.
I’m a big Quora consulting geek (sorry), but I saw a post on Quora recently, where someone said, “Deloitte comes out to be more employee-friendly than any other big four! For example, As urgent as a deliverable may be, my managers ensure I don’t sit late to complete it; they understand when I say I don’t have the bandwidth, and they either help me achieve the deliverable or give me an extension to submit it.” (Source)
2. PwC: Professional and Friendly Environment
Let’s generalize again – PwC is known for its professional environment.
They value teamwork and individual growth. PwC is also big on being supportive and inclusive.
3. EY’s Entrepreneurial Spirit and Culture of Inclusivity
EY is a really fascinating firm in my eyes. They are huge on their entrepreneurial spirit!
Think creativity, embracing opportunity, seizing the moment! All that kind of stuff is exactly what they are about.
They foster inclusivity, diversity, and all that jazz as well (like all the others).
EY promotes an entrepreneurial spirit among its employees, encouraging them to think creatively and embrace new opportunities. The firm also strongly emphasizes fostering inclusivity and diversity in the workplace. (Source)
4. KPMG’s Emphasis on Work-Life Balance and Supportive Atmosphere
KPMG like to be thought of more as focussing on work-life balance (though how true this is is highly debatable).
They really value the well-being of their staff, and they’re always striving to create a positive and flexible working machine!
4. Consulting Capabilities
Deloitte really do stand out for their robust consulting practice!
They offer all kinds of services including:
- Helping clients tackle complex business challenges on strategy
- Human capital
- And a load more areas too!
I can’t deny that the other Big 4 – PwC, EY, and KPMG – do quite a bit of this too. Let’s face it, all four are dominant in:
- Strategy Development.
- Operational Improvement.
- Mergers and Acquisitions.
- Risk Management.
5. Thought Leadership
This is a really big one in the Deloitte world – thought leadership!
Deloitte has really gained quite a lot of recognition for its thought leadership initiatives. These tend to work like on-the-ground research and provide a lot of valuable insight to the wider business community. (Source)
These are widely regarded as really authoritative resources if I’m honest! They really do ‘shape the conversation’ in the industry.
I’ve got to say it, guys – PwC, EY, and KPMG contribute slightly less to thought leadership than Deloitte.
However, I can’t deny that all of the Big 4 offers:
- Perspective on emerging trends
- Industry challenges
- Regulatory developments
Here’s a biggie for many of you (understandably) – Deloitte offers the highest salary among the Big 4. As an example, they offer $130,925 per year for a senior-level consultant.
Of course, this compensation will vary massively depending on a range of factors, including:
- Years of experience
I’ve tried to paint a picture of the types of compensation to expect at the different ‘Big 4’ firms by drawing up this table below for you. This demonstrates the senior-level consultant salary per year for each of the Big 4 companies:
|Company name||Senior-level consultant salary/year|
If I had to really hit the nail on the head about what sets Deloitte apart from the other Big 4, I would say their general size and global dominance are the biggies!
This is followed up by the types of industries in which it is powerful, and the type of culture reported there.
If you’re looking for more real-world information about what working at Deloitte might be like, I found the following Youtube channel really helpful. This is created by an ex-consultant from Deloitte, and you can watch it here: