Let’s face facts – The Big 4 companies (Deloitte, PwC, EY, and KPMG) have earned a reputation of unparallel excellence and admiration from clients and professionals alike! But why?
I’ve been around the consulting world for the best part of a decade, and I’ve learned that the Big 4 firms are prestigious in the consulting industry mainly due to:
- Global reach with offices in many countries and territories
- Commitment to excellence when completing projects
- Consistency in ranking as the best consulting companies
- Diverse client base worldwide
- The rigorous selection process to recruit top talent while hiring new professionals
- Better career opportunities for graduates
- Competitive salary and benefits to the workforce compared to small firms
Below, I’ll take a look at the 7 reasons why the Big 4 firms are prestigious in the consulting industry and attract top talents to pursue their career.
7 Reasons Why the Big 4 Are Prestigious
1. Global Reach
This is a biggie to start with!
One of the foremost reasons the Big 4 are so esteemed and sought after is their extensive global reach.
With a vast network of offices spanning different countries and territories, these firms have established themselves well since their inception.
Hers is the short table to help you understand when these firms were founded and how many countries they are operating in:
|Date of Inception
The summary is basically that each one has been around pretty much forever, and they operate in the majority of countries across the earth.
2. Commitment to Excellence and Innovation
A cornerstone of the Big 4 prestigious status lies in their unwavering commitment to two things:
They’re not shy to tell you about this either.
One of the companies – KPMG – states on their website that they never stop learning and improving their working strategies. Excellence is the main component of their core values. (Source)
Deloitte also prides itself on the same parameters as the firm continuously raises its standards to deliver trust and invests heavily in monitoring programs. (Source)
EY and PwC are not far behind in delivering good results on their audit and advisory processes and do their best to adhere to the supreme industry practices and ethical standards.
3. Ranked Best Consistently
Another key reason that contributes to the prestigious status of the Big 4 is:
- Their consistent recognition
- Their top ranking in the Vault’s prestige ranking in the accounting industry. (Source)
Last year, PwC ranked number 1 in the list by edging out EY. Deloitte came third, and KPMG fourth.
With a little shuffle every year, these corporations have taken the top 4 positions in the Vault’s prestige ranking for the last 10 years.
Not only that, but these firms have created a strong reputation over the years by continuously delivering value. It is pretty much universally agreed that they uphold exceptional standards across their range of services. (Source)
This, in fact, has made it difficult for other accounting and consulting companies to match the Big 4 trustworthiness and credibility.
4. Diverse Client Base
Big 4 companies serve a broad spectrum of clients. These range from small-sized businesses to almost every company in the Fortune 500. (Source) (So, the biggest companies around).
The ability of Big 4 to attract and retain such diverse clientele speaks volumes about:
- Expertise in their respective field
- Adaptability to new innovation and technology
- Capacity to cater to the needs of various industries and sectors
Whether providing tax advisory to corporations, assurance services to banks or financial institutions, or management consulting to new startups, Big 4 has demonstrated complete proficiency and versatility in addressing complex business challenges.
5. Rigorous Selection Process
The Big 4 consulting and accounting firms also gain prestige by maintaining a rigorous selection process and low acceptance rate when hiring new professionals. Rigorous is an understatement!
Through their elusive selection process, the firms only select the best and most qualified candidates to join their ranks. (Source)
To be honest, it’s pretty brutal stuff.
The selection process typically involves:
- Multiple rounds of interviews
- Reference checks
These steps are designed to assess not only the technical skills of the candidate but also their leadership potential and cultural fit to serve their clients better.
6. Better Career Opportunities
The reputation and global reach of Deloitte, PwC, EY, and KPMG offer exceptional career opportunities to their employees.
This really cements their legacy and prestige in their eyes. (Source)
Big 4 provides its employees with training and networking benefits which come in handy when starting a new career.
Since the firms have established a well-off reputation over the years and have a long list of clients, individuals get to learn new things and face challenges to help them in their career growth.
I’m a big consulting forum geek, and I saw on one site that a current employee said about working at one of the Big 4 firms, Deloitte, said, “Great learning experience and consulting model is different and very independent. Consultants are exposed to a wide network to learn a lot from the high-performing team and get to work on challenging projects.”
Furthermore, the Big 4 keeps its prestigious status by hiring only exceptional professionals who excel in their respective fields. They provide the best results to their clients.
Not only that, any of the Big 4 company names on your resume gives you the stamp of approval due to their reputation and prestige.
This makes you the most desirable candidate in the job market.
7. Competitive Salaries And Benefits
The Big 4 companies offer competitive salaries and attractive benefits to their employees. This establishes them as the most sought-after employers, which adds to their prestige in the industry. (Source)
Along with the attractive salary, these benefits include:
- Plenty of yearly vacations
- Flexible working hours
- Work-from-home opportunities
- Casual dress code
- Maternity and paternity leaves of 3 to 6 months.