September 21, 2021

Number of the Day: $157 Billion

The year of our COVID Lord 2020 proved to be the biggest challenge the Big 4 firms have faced since the financial crisis, as the pandemic wreaked havoc on global revenue forecasts that looked so promising at the start of each firm’s fiscal year.

Deloitte, PwC, EY, and KPMG had combined global revenue of approximately $157 billion in fiscal 2020, up only 1.5% from $154.7 billion the previous year. That is the lowest combined year-over-year revenue growth since 2010, when total Big 4 global revenue increased 1.4% over 2009’s total.

Here are the combined global revenues for Deloitte, PwC, EY, and KPMG from 2006 to 2020 (notice how the firms’ combined revenue was booming until 2009 and 2010, the tail end of the financial crisis):

  • 2006: $77.4 billion
  • 2007: $89.2 billion
  • 2008: $102.8 billion
  • 2009: $93.8 billion
  • 2010: $95.1 billion
  • 2011: $103.6 billion
  • 2012: $110.2 billion
  • 2013: $113.7 billion
  • 2014: $120.4 billion
  • 2015: $123.7 billion
  • 2016: $127.7 billion
  • 2017: $134.3 billion
  • 2018: $148.2 billion
  • 2019: $154.7 billion
  • 2020: $157 billion

Overall, three of the Big 4 still had record-breaking global revenue in 2020, with KPMG being the lone exception. But PwC’s global revenue only increased 1.4% in fiscal 2020, EY’s by 2.3%, and Deloitte’s by 3.9%.

KPMG’s revenue dropped 1.8% in 2020, the first time a Big 4 firm has had a year-over-year decline in global revenue since EY in 2010.

Poor KPMG. The House of Klynveld was sailing along from Oct. 1, 2019 until about February or early March 2020, with pre-pandemic revenue growth of 5%. Then from March to Sept. 30, the firm’s revenue took a nosedive, falling to -1% by the end of the financial year.

In addition, all three of KPMG’s core service lines brought in less revenue in 2020 than in 2019.

Revenue growth at PwC was at 7% for the first nine months of the firm’s fiscal 2020, but the pandemic and the resulting lockdowns and stressed economies across the globe put a stop to all that money-making. Compared to the same three months in 2019, revenues were down 6% from April to June 2020, according to PwC.

Deloitte also was rolling along the first nine months of its fiscal year, with an aggregate growth rate of 7.5%, the firm said, but struggled from March to May 2020.

And at EY, the 2.3% increase in global revenue in 2020 was much smaller than its seven-year compound annual growth rate of 7.7%.

Related articles:

Deloitte’s 3.9% Increase In FY 2020 Global Revenue Is the Smallest Growth In About 5 Years
Thanks to the Rona, PwC’s Global Revenue Only Went Up a Measly 1.4% in FY 2020
EY Won’t Let a Mere 2.3% Increase In FY 2020 Global Revenue Ruin Its Thursday
Oof. KPMG’s 2020 Global Revenue Got All F’d Up By the Rona

Latest Accounting Jobs--Apply Now:

Have something to add to this story? Give us a shout by email, Twitter, or text/call the tipline at 202-505-8885. As always, all tips are anonymous.

1 Comment

  1. We should also consider the different reporting period.
    For example, KPMG fiscal year – 10/1/2019 – 9/30/2020. They got only 4-5 months pre-pandemic in this report period.

    While EY fiscal year – 7/1/2019 – 6/30/2020. That means they got 8-9 months pre-pandemic in this report period. Deloitte got one more month.

    Looking at these, KPMG should have a better number than EY and Deloitte next year.

Comments are closed.

Related articles

Number of the Day: 53

The average age of a non-Big 4 public accounting firm partner hasn’t really changed at all in the last three years. In late December 2018, CPA Journal analyzed the results of the 2018 NYSSCPA–Rosenberg Practice Management Survey and mentioned this in regards to partners’ ages: Partners have gotten slightly younger, both in terms of average […]