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February 5, 2023

Deloitte Rules the Windy City Once Again

There are a few things those of us who live in and around Chicago can count on every single year: bad Chicago Bears quarterbacks, the Chicago River dyed green for St. Patrick’s Day, a new lineup of Goose Island Bourbon County stouts on Black Friday, and Deloitte being Chicago’s largest accounting firm.

The Green Dot has ruled Crain’s Chicago Business’s list of the largest accounting firms in the Windy City since 2013. And with 4,691 professionals in Cook and six other neighboring counties, Deloitte led the way once again in 2020.

However, one streak did come to an end in 2020, according to Crain’s, most likely due to everyone’s favorite pandemic (or hoax, to some):

The top 25 companies on our accounting firms list saw the number of local professionals they employ shrink this year, ending a years-long growth streak.

Those companies employed a total of 22,145 full-time professionals in the seven-county Chicago area as of June 30, 2020, down 1.8 percent from the previous year.

By comparison, those same 25 companies posted a 5.5 percent increase in 2019 and a 3 percent increase in 2018. And the increases were even bigger in previous years.

Deloitte’s 5.2% decrease in Chicago area professionals compared to 2019 is a big reason for the overall drop-off, according to Crain’s. And a good chunk of them were probably unfortunate victims of the U.S.-wide layoffs at Deloitte in late spring.

The firm in the top 10 with the biggest reduction in local staff was Plante Moran, whose headcount in the Chicago area dropped 11.4% this year. While we were told there have been some performance-related job cuts at Plante Moran since the coronavirus outbreak began, there haven’t been mass layoffs.

Among the other Big 4 firms, EY was the only one who saw an increase (slight as it may be) in full-time professionals in the Chicago area over last year at 0.5%. PwC’s local staff decreased by 2% and KPMG’s by 0.5%.

The top 10 largest firms in Chicago are the only ones Crain’s made visible without a paywall. They are:

  1. Deloitte: 4,691 (-5.2%)
  2. EY: 4,085 (0.5%)
  3. PwC: 3,530 (-2%)
  4. KPMG: 2,641 (-0.5%)
  5. RSM US: 1,210 (10%)
  6. Crowe: 931 (-7%)
  7. BDO USA: 706 (-2.1%)
  8. Grant Thornton: 602 (-5.9%)
  9. Plante Moran: 544 (-11.4%)
  10. Miller Cooper & Co.: 391 (1.3%)

Chicago’s largest accounting firms 2020 [Crain’s Chicago Business]

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