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KPMG Vs. Other Big 4 – 8 Subtle Differences

EY, PwC, Deloitte, and KPMG seem equally massive and appealing to recent graduates looking to start their consulting careers. However, upon extensive research, I discovered subtle differences between KPMG and its group competitors.

KPMG (Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler) is the smallest firm in terms of revenue and the number of employees from the other ‘Big 4.’

The primary 8 differences between KPMG and the other ‘Big 4’ are:

  • Lesser revenues
  • Finest Workplace culture
  • Fewer employees 
  • Slightly less compensation
  • Audits fewer Fortune 500 companies
  • Best Employee Development programs
  • Countries severed
  • KPMG serves fewer firms in the S&P 500

In this article, I will explore 8 differences between KPMG and other ‘Big 4’ members (PwC, Deloitte, and EY) to help you make an informed decision.

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Looking up from street level at corporate skyscrapers with a blue and cloudy sky

1. KPMG Generates Less Revenue Than Any Other ‘Big 4.’

The ‘Big 4’ (Deloitte, KPMG, PwC, and EY) are the world’s four biggest revenue-generating accounting firms. However, KPMG’s income falls behind the other members when compared internally.

The following table shows the revenues generated by each firm in the fiscal year 2022.

Company name Revenue (In billions)
PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers)$50.3
EY (Ernst & Young)$45.2


2. Employee Count – KPMG Vs. ‘Big 4’

KPMG (Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler) has fewer employees than any of the ‘Big 4.’ Nevertheless, this discrepancy does not diminish the company’s reputation, quality of service, and working environment.

The strict selection criteria and recruiting process may explain this difference.

For example, a Reddit contributor says, “I applied to KPMG with a lacking GPA and have strong work experience, but wasn’t called for an interview. On the other hand, Deloitte invited me to the interview process and now offered me a full-time position in advisory.”


Below is a table showing the current employee count at each of the ‘Big 4’ firms based on statistics from last year.

Company name Number of employees


3. KPMG Audits Least Number Of Fortune 500 Companies Than Any Other ‘Big 4.’

The ‘Big 4’ collectively audits an impressive 457 out of Fortune 500 companies, of which only 21% (96 organizations) are audited by the KPMG.

However, they still serve a diverse range of well-known businesses, such as:

  • Foot Locker
  • CarMax
  • Dish Network
  • Alaska Airlines
  • JC Penney
  • Dollar Tree

Here is the breakdown of Fortune 500 companies served by these firms.

Firm NameNumber Of Fortune 500 Companies Served
KPMG96 (21%)
PwC123 (27%)
Deloitte101 (22%)
EY137 (30%


4. Workplace Culture – KPMG Vs. ‘Big 4’

While researching the best firms to get into consultancy, I’ve found KPMG the finest for its excellent staff development programs, exceeding industry standards.

Its workplace culture is also known for being slightly less quirky, with no pressure to conform to the stereotypical city graduate lifestyle.


On the other hand, Deloitte focuses more on growth and is constantly seeking out new projects to drive growth. As a result, the company culture is competitive and result-oriented. 

EY promotes diversity, with a strong track record supporting LGBTQ and women’s rights. Whereas, PwC is widely considered to be the most prestigious of the four, with a solid audit business and a reputation for excellence.

Corporate skyscraper
KPMG currently audits the lowest number of Fortune 500 companies out of the ‘Big 4’

5. KPMG Audits The Smallest Number Of S&P 500 Companies Than Any Other ‘Big 4.’

According to an analysis, KPMG audits only 84 out of the S&P 500 companies, accounting for approximately 17% of the total S&P 500 clients the ‘Big 4’ serves.

In comparison, EY audits 156 companies, followed by PwC with 152 and Deloitte with 99. It is worth noting that despite auditing the smallest number of businesses among the ‘Big 4,’ KPMG still earns significant audit fees, totaling $994 million/year.


6. KPMG Offers Employee Development Programs 

Deloitte, PwC, and EY from the ‘Big 4’ work efficiently for their employee growth, but KPMG is one step ahead, offering them career development solutions and courses. Those include:


1. Leadership Development

KPMG offers leadership development programs to evolve administrative skills and competencies in its employees. These programs are available for workers at all ranks, from entry-level employees to senior executives.

2. Technical Training

KPMG provides technical training to its employees to enhance their audit, tax, and advisory services knowledge. This also helps them stay updated with the latest industry trends and regulations.

3. Professional Qualification Programs

KPMG professional qualification programs help employees pursue additional credentials and skills. These programs allow them to earn certifications in many fields, such as the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation.

4. Mentoring Programs

KPMG offers mentoring programs to its employees, where they can receive support and guidance from experienced professionals. It helps them develop skills and gain knowledge by taking personalized feedback and advice.

5. Career Development Programs

KPMG also proposes career development programs that help workers identify their career goals and create a plan to achieve them.

7. Operational Countries – KPMG Vs. ‘Big 4’

KPMG operates in 143 countries worldwide (Source). This presence is slightly lower than PwC, which functions in 157 countries but is comparable to the other two firms in Deloitte and EY.

The table below delivers an overview of the number of countries where each of the ‘Big 4’ accounting firms operates.

Company NameNumber of countries they serve in 
Ernst & Young150

8. Salary Offering Is Slightly Lower at KPMG Than Any Other ‘Big 4.’

Regarding salary, KPMG trails behind the other ‘Big 4’ firms by a nose.

However, the compensation offered by each firm depends on various factors, such as: 

  • Employee’s position
  • Level of experience
  • Location of work

For instance, in the table below, I’ve mentioned the average salary offered by The ‘Big 4’ (KPMG, PwC, Deloitte, and EY) to a senior-level consultant.

Company nameSenior-level consultant salary/year 



  • Will Bennett

    Will Bennett is a Cambridge graduate. He worked as a Consultant and Senior Consultant at Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in London. Will is the Founder of The Cambridge Consultant.