The big 4 accounting firms have their operations spanned across the world because they are considered to be highly critical in terms of providing much-needed critical support for companies.
They are not only focused on providing accounting related services but also provide auditing-related services that can ensure that these companies are able to report their financial statements with due compliance to the rules and regulations that exist.
These Big 4 companies have their operations spread across all corners of the globe. If they are not physically present in some of the locations, they have partner firms that help them make a footing in those particular locations. The list of the most prominent Big 4 Auditing companies includes Ernst and Young, Deloitte. Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC), and KPMG.
However, given the number of companies that exist across the globe, it is not practically possible for the Big 4 companies to cater to all the clients. Therefore, the clients that the Big 4 companies cater to are mostly big clients that have a substantial size of business.
In the same manner, the fee charged by these Big 4 firms are considerably high, therefore, it might not always be affordable for all the companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises.
Therefore, in that case, clients have no option but to resort to other alternates that are present to offer accountancy-related services. Here is a list of the top 6 alternates of Big 4 Firms.
1) CohnReznick LLP:
CohnReznick is a US based accounting firms. With headquarters in New York, it is considered as the 14th largest accounting firm in the U.S by annual revenues. In the year 2019, they reported a revenue of $689 million. The scope of operations of CohnReznick include advisory, assurance and tax revenues.
This is further spread across numerous different industries including affordable housing, commercial real estate, private equity, hospitality, manufacturing and distribution, renewable energy, technology, governmental contractors, so on and so forth. It is a fairly large, as well as a reputed firm, and employs as many as 3000 people, with around 275 partners across the world.
2) Grant Thornton International:
Grant Thornton LLP is considered as an American member firm of the Grant Thornton International. It is considered as the seventh network in the world in terms of fee income.
They also have widespread operations that span across 59 offices in the United States, as well as 8500 employees, and 550 partners. Grant Thornton has three broad service lines: audit, tax, and advisory services.
They also offer specialized advisory-related services. Their main area of expertise includes compliance (mainly with Sarbanes-Oxley Act), mergers and acquisitions, as well as tax and business-related evaluations.
Their target industries are quite diverse. They include a multitude of clients from construction, distribution, energy, financial services, food, and beverage, as well as health care.
3) Baker Tilly LLP:
Baker Tilly, LLP is a CPA firm. It is headquartered in Chicago. It is ranked alongside the top 15 largest CPA firms in the United States. It is spanned across 148 countries, with a member representation of 123 partner firms. It is classified as the 10th largest accounting network in the world, by revenue.
The extensiveness of their operations can also be gauged by the fact that they employ 4600 team members, and that also includes 440 partners. Within the US, they have representation (and hence serve) in all states. They have more than 50 offices and locations throughout the country. Its independent member firms have combined revenues of $4.0 billion.
4) Plante Moran:
Plante Moran is one of the oldest accounting firms. They are now in their 98th year of operations, which speaks volumes about the kind of experience they have under their belt. It has headquarters in Southfield Mich. Over the recent years, their growth has exponentially grown since they now take on more clients than ever before. The firm is known to serve clients in the areas of audit, tax, consulting, as well as wealth management.
It is classified as the 11th largest audit, accounting, and tax firm in the United States. It employs around 3000 people and has as many as 27 offices across various different states in the United States.
The main area of focus for Plante Moran is towards audit, tax, consulting, as well as wealth management. It is mainly recognized for its team-oriented culture that fosters a greater and promising collaboration with the relevant clients.
5) Moss Adams LLP:
Moss Adams is based in Seattle, and provides services pertaining to accounting, consulting, as well as wealth management. It has been around for a time period of 110 years. It has as many as 3400 professionals, which span across 25 years. In addition to that, they also have offices in Oregon, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Kansas, Colorado, and Texas.
They serve a diverse range of industries, which broadly include apparel, communications, construction, automotive, financial services, health care, and life sciences. It is categorized as the 11 largest firms, in accordance with revenues.
During the last fiscal year, the amount a sum of around $768 Million. In the same manner, they have severe private clientele that provides asset management services through an affiliate company under the name of Moss Adams Wealth Advisors LLC.
6) Smith and Williamson:
Smith and Williamson’s firm is regarded as the eighth largest accounting firm in the world. They are based in London, but they have spanned their operations across 550 offices in over 100 countries. It is a UK member firm of Nexia International, which is an organizational network of accounting, audit, as well as consulting firms.
With more than 130 years of experience under their belt, they have an employee base of 1800, only in the United Kingdom. As of March 2019, they had a fund under management of advice of around USD 29.4 Million.
For organizations that have a global outreach particularly in the UK, this is a very viable alternative to the Big 4, since their scope of operations is considerably widespread in this regard.
Hence, it tends to be a very vital choice of companies, especially for companies that are connected with the UK because of a partnership or a collaboration of some sort.
In addition to these 6 alternates that are presented to Big 4 firms, it can be seen that there are a couple of other accounting firms too that continue to serve clients on various grounds and dimensions.
However, when choosing an accounting firm, it is highly important to ensure that proper research is undertaken by companies in order to figure out if the chosen accounting company is specialized in the area where they are operating.
It is important to have an accounting firm that is well-aligned with the objectives of the company so that maximum value can be leveraged as a result of onboarding.
Therefore, it can be seen that there are numerous different alternate to big 4 firms that can be used by medium and big sized enterprises in order to attend to accounting, tax and audit related companies.
These companies might offer different services from the typical services that are offered by the Big 4 clients. However, there services might differ on a number of grounds, yet they can be chosen by clients depending on the industry they are a part of, and the end result they are seeking from the particular accounting company.