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Date: 2024-05-19 Page is: DBtxt001.php L0700-SI-ACCOUNTANCY
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A VERY CONCENTRATED INDUSTRY

The Big Four (Deloitte, Ernst & Young (EY), KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)) are the four biggest professional services networks in the world, offering audit, assurance services, taxation, management consulting, advisory, actuarial, corporate finance and legal services. They handle the vast majority of audits for public companies as well as many private companies.

Until the late 20th century, the market was dominated by eight networks but this gradually reduced due to mergers and the 2002 collapse of one firm, leaving four networks dominating the market in the early 21st century.

In the UK in 2011, it was reported that the Big Four audit 99% of the companies in the FTSE 100, and 96% of the companies in the FTSE 250 Index, an index of the leading mid-cap listing companies. Such industry concentration has caused concern and calls for the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to consider breaking up the Big Four. In October 2018, the CMA announced it had launched a detailed study of the Big Four's dominance of the audit sector.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Four_accounting_firms Open External link
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THE BIG FOUR NETWORKS

None of the Big Four firms is a single firm; rather, they are professional service networks.

Each is a network of firms, owned and managed independently, which have entered into agreements with other member firms in the network to share a common name, brand and quality standards. Each network has established an entity to co-ordinate the activities of the network.

In one case (KPMG), the co-ordinating entity is Dutch, and in three cases Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and Ernst & Young (EY)) the co-ordinating entity is a UK limited company. Those entities do not themselves perform external professional services and do not own or control the member firms. They are similar to law firm networks found in the legal profession.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/wiki/Professional_services_networks' Open External link

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