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September 27, 2023

Vault Accounting 50: PwC Is Still the Most Prestigious Firm In the Land (2021)

There wasn’t much that changed in Vault’s 2021 ranking of the most prestigious accounting firms, at least in the top 25. PwC was named the most prestigiousiest firm for the 12th straight year, the Big 4 took the top four spots once again, and the same firms that filled up the top 25 in 2020’s ranking did so again in 2021, albeit the positions for some did change.

But there was a little more movement in the bottom crust, with three newbies cracking the second tier of firms.

For the uninitiated, Vault compiles its prestige rankings by surveying accounting professionals, who are asked to rate firms with which they were familiar on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most prestigious. Survey participants weren’t allowed to rate their own (or former) employer.

Even though a good portion of the list is a cut-and-paste job from last year’s, there are some winners and losers in this latest iteration of the Vault accounting firm prestige rankings:


  • PwC: Vault might as well call it the PwC Most Prestigious Accounting Firm Award at this point.
  • Moss Adams: Got back in the top 10 after slipping to 11th in 2020.
  • Mazars USA: Gained two spots to crack the top 20.
  • Carr, Riggs & Ingram: Made the biggest leap in the rankings, gaining nine spots to No. 35.
  • Bennett Thrasher: BT, which was founded by two former P. Dubs accountants, also posted a nice gain, from No. 49 to No. 42.
  • Frazier & Deeter, Warren Averett, and Squar Milner: New to the top 50 in 2021.


  • Everyone but PwC: Natch.
  • CohnReznick: Fell out of the top 10 this year.
  • Eide Bailly: Lost a spot to fall out of the top 20.
  • Sikich and Doeren Mayhew: Both firms fell six spots, the most in the top 50.
  • Weaver; Kaufman, Rossin & Co.; and Wolf & Co.: Dropped out of the top 50.

Here are the 50 firms whose shit supposedly stinks less than the other bazillion accounting firms in the U.S.:

1. PwC (1)
2. Deloitte (2)
3. EY (3)
4. KPMG (4)
5. Grant Thornton (5)
6. BDO USA (6)
7. RSM US (7)
8. Baker Tilly (8)
9. Crowe (9)
10. Moss Adams (11)
11. CohnReznick (10)
12, BKD (13)
13. CliftonLarsonAllen (12)
14. Plante Moran (14)
15. Dixon Hughes Goodman (15)
16. Marcum (16)
17. EisnerAmper (17)
18. CBIZ MHM (18)
19. Cherry Bekaert (19)
20. Mazars USA (22)
21. Eide Bailly (20)
22. Armanino (25)
23. Wipfli (21)
24. Citrin Cooperman (23)
25. UHY Advisors (24)
26. Friedman (28)
27. The Siegfried Group (27)
28. RubinBrown (26)
29. Withum (30)
30. Cohen & Co. (29)
31. PKF O’Connor Davies (32)
32. Blumshapiro (31)
33. Elliott Davis (34)
34. Marks Paneth (35)
35. Carr, Riggs & Ingram (44)
36. Anchin (36)
37. Novogradac & Co. (33)
38. Berdon (38)
39. BPM (43)
40. Grassi & Co. (39)
41. The Bonadio Group (45)
42. Bennett Thrasher (49)
43. Frank, Rimerman + Co. (41)
44. Whitley Penn (46)
45. Frazier & Deeter (NR)
46. Sikich (40)
47. Warren Averett (NR)
48. Doeren Mayhew (42)
49. Aronson (48)
50. Squar Milner (NR)

Have at it in the comment section.

Related article:

PwC Continues to Dominate Vault Accounting 50 (2021)

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