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Vault 2020 Firm Rankings: KPMG Is the Diversitiest of the Big 4

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We’ve given KPMG a lot of shit on this site recently, and rightly so. But we’re going to throw the House of Klynveld a bone today, as there’s some good news to report: KPMG nearly swept the diversity categories in Vault’s “Best Accounting Firms” rankings.

Let’s not kid ourselves, though: The accounting profession is still predominately made up of old white dudes. But the top firms want you to pat them on the back and say “good job” for trying to make their workplaces more diverse and inclusive. Just look at the press releases the Big 4 put out last year announcing their global revenue totals for fiscal year 2018. They all include the words “diversity” or “diverse” and/or “inclusive.”

For example, KPMG’s said:

Diverse people are our most important asset. Gender diversity has risen across our leadership ranks with women now comprising 24% of Partners and Directors, strengthened by the percentage of diversity across our new Partner promotions (28% in our top 10 largest firms). We strive for overall gender parity throughout our organization, and of KPMG’s total workforce, 47% are women. We have also launched our inaugural Global Inclusion & Diversity Report to further emphasize our focus on creating a truly inclusive and diverse culture as a strategic priority for KPMG.

Deloitte’s said:

[I]n FY2018 Deloitte elevated 676 professionals to partner, a 19 percent increase from FY2017. Globally, 174 of these partners are women.


Deloitte continues to build a diverse, inclusive, agile workforce that is deeply skilled and ready for Industry 4.0. How and where work is done is changing, and Deloitte is responding by providing its people with exceptional professional experiences, including new approaches to connectivity, learning and development, and advancement.

PwC’s had:

Thirty percent of our firms’ new partners in FY18 were female. Female representation in the PwC member firm partnerships has gradually increased from 13% in 2006 to 20% in 2018.

“We know that when our people are at their happiest they are at their most productive, most engaged and most creative.  To attract and retain the brightest, most diverse minds, we are building a culture of continuous development and changing how we develop our people’s skills and leadership capabilities.

“By embracing and investing in technology, we’re helping to raise our people’s digital acumen to prepare them, and PwC, for the future,” says PwC Global Human Capital Leader, Agnès Hussherr.

“We are rethinking development to give our people more access to learning technologies, and matching their curiosity with continuous opportunities to grow. We’re encouraging more flexible ways of working, we’re focusing more on well-being and engaging more diverse minds.

“While there is much still to do in the area of diversity, we are proud of the increasing number of women joining PwC and becoming partners, as well as the 16 LGBT+ networks we have set up across PwC to support and encourage our LGBT+ colleagues around the world.”

And EY’s stated:

Partner promotions reflected key priorities: 29% of the promoted partners are within the Assurance business, 32% of new partners are from emerging markets and women represent nearly 30%. This year the gender diversity on the Global Executive, the highest governing body in EY, increased to more than 26%.


EY was also inducted into DiversityInc’s first-ever “Top 50 Hall of Fame” recognizing EY’s corporate values, culture and its longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.

But according to Vault’s 2020 rankings, the diversitiest and inclusiviest of the Big 4 was KPMG, so said the 8,200 accounting professionals who completed Vault’s annual accounting survey. They were asked to rate their firm’s commitment to diversity with respect to women, minorities, and LGBT individuals. To determine its “Best 25 Firms for Diversity,” Vault used a formula that weights the average score in all three categories equally.

We’ll share the top three firms in overall diversity, diversity for women, diversity for minorities, and LGBT diversity, and let you know where some other notable firms wound up in the rankings (previous year ranking in parenthesis).


1. KPMG (4)
2. PwC (1)
3. Untracht Early (NR)
4. BDO USA (7)
8. Deloitte (5)
12. Grant Thornton (13)
20. CBIZ MHM (21)
21. RSM US (25)

Diversity for women

1. KPMG (7)
2. PwC (3)
3. Frank, Rimerman + Co. (4)
8. BDO USA (11)
10. Grant Thornton (18)
12. Deloitte (8)
21. CBIZ MHM (20)
25. RSM US (NR)

Diversity for minorities

1. PwC (1)
2. KPMG (3)
3. Untracht Early (NR)
4. BDO USA (7)
8. Deloitte (5)
14. Grant Thornton (14)
18. RSM US (24)
20. CBIZ MHM (19)

LGBT diversity

1. KPMG (4)
2. PwC (1)
3. Untracht Early (NR)
4. BDO USA (6)
6. Deloitte (5)
10. Grant Thornton (13)
17. RSM US (21)
19. CBIZ MHM (22)

Despite the accolades from DiversityInc, EY is nowhere to be found in Vault’s rankings.

Related articles:

PwC Once Again Tops Vault Accounting 50 (2020)
You’ll Have to Pry Vault’s ‘Most Prestigious Firm’ Title Out of PwC’s Cold, Dead Hands
Vault 2020 Firm Rankings: Benefits, Comp, Vacation, and Promotion Policies
Vault 2020 Firm Rankings: Culture, Leadership, Relationships with Supervisors, and Work/Life Balance