An Overview of the Top 50 Global Accounting Networks in 2020
What is an Accounting Network?
An accounting network is a group of accountancy-related service providers who share a common objective of providing seamless support for their clients around the world. Although each member is owned and operated independently, they are bound by agreements under the network to operate under a common brand and quality standard. A representative entity performs the role of coordinating the network’s activities.
History of How Accounting Networks Came to Be
Historically, accounting networks first arose from the United States Securities Exchange Commission’s needs for accounting industry coordination and quality consistency in audit standards. These networks expanded overseas as there were needs for financial audits wherever business is conducted.
Members benefited from the credibility brought about by the branding of the network, allowing them to raise their fees. This differentiation is important, especially when operating in an industry where all service providers are essentially providing the same services.
Members also benefited from the ability to undertake international projects more cost-effectively, leveraging on the network members present in the locality as well as accessing revenue opportunities from the network members.
With the common set of standards applied across members in different countries, their clients benefit from the seamless integration of records and smoother consolidated reporting process.
From the initial Big Eight (consisting of Arthur Andersen, Arthur Young & Co, Coopers & Lybrand, Ernst & Whinney, Deloitte, Haskins & Sells, KPMG, Touche Ross, and Price Waterhouse), a series of mergers took place further reducing the list to the current Big Four (consisting of Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young, and KPMG).
Services Provided by Accounting Networks
As a natural progression of business growth and with the essential infrastructure in place, accounting networks quickly branched out into related services with ease. Typically, accounting networks provide services such as actuarial, advisory, assurance, audit, consulting, data & analytics, financial advisory, legal, management consulting, risk advisory, strategy consulting and tax advisory. Clients served come from wide ranging industries clusters such as aerospace, defence & security; banking & capital markets; energy & natural resources; technology, media & telecommunications; transportation & logistics.
Benefits of Joining a Global Accounting Network
As part of a global accounting network, there are many member benefits including:
- Alignment in quality standards helps give clients the assurance that services are satisfactory and meet industry requirements.
- Member’s credibility is enhanced as a service provider, with clients being assured that the member has undergone the qualifying evaluation by the network.
- Member can leverage on the branding of the network to differentiate itself, especially in an industry where it may be difficult to stand out amongst the peers.
- Member’s capability and capacity is enhanced such that it can better undertake projects that are of bigger scale, and of multi-market and multi-disciplinary through support from fellow network members.
- Increased in-bound business opportunities coming from network members who may need localized assistance with client queries as well as assistance to take on more complex projects.
List of Global Accounting Networks and the Number of Countries Present in
Based on information collated from various sources, the top 50 global accounting networks reflected that they operate across various countries ranging from 12 to 162. These comprise of organisations that have operated since 1845, to newer ones that commenced in 2016.
|Rank||Accounting Network||No. of Countries||Country of HQ||Year Established|
|4||HLB International||153||United Kingdom||1969|
|5||Ernst & Young||150||United Kingdom||1849|
|6||Baker Tilly International||147||United Kingdom||1988|
|7||PKF International||145||United Kingdom||1969|
|8||Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu||143||United States||1845|
|9||Grant Thornton International||135||United Kingdom||1980|
|10||Crowe Global||127||United States||1915|
|11||Geneva Group International||126||Switzerland||1995|
|12||RSM International||126||United Kingdom||1964|
|13||Kreston International||125||United Kingdom||1971|
|14||IR Global||119||United Kingdom||2010|
|15||Moore Stephens International||115||United Kingdom||1907|
|16||Nexia International||115||United Kingdom||1993|
|18||LEA Global||111||United States||1999|
|21||MGI Worldwide||105||United Kingdom||1947|
|22||Russell Bedford International||102||United Kingdom||1983|
|23||DFK International||95||United Kingdom||1962|
|24||UHY International||95||United Kingdom||1986|
|26||AGN International||84||United Kingdom||n/a|
|28||BKR International||81||United States||1989|
|29||Morison KSi||81||United Kingdom||1923|
|31||The International Accounting Group||80||Canada||2003|
|34||Integra International||73||United Kingdom||1994|
|35||Allinial Global||71||United States||1969|
|37||Antea Alliance of Independent Firms||70||Spain||2008|
|39||Alliott Group||66||United Kingdom||1979|
|40||Santa Fe Associates International||65||Spain||1997|
|41||INPACT Global||60||United Kingdom||1989|
|42||Parker Russell International||54||United Kingdom||2003|
|44||JHI Association||46||United States||2005|
|45||Abacus Worldwide||41||United States||2012|
|46||Reanda International||36||Hong Kong||1993|
|47||BOKS International||34||United Kingdom||2016|
|48||Kudos International Network||25||United Kingdom||2012|
|50||International Accountants Consortium||12||Switzerland||1975|
*Information as of 11 February 2020. Revenue and number of office figures have been excluded due to limited information available.
Notably, the Big4 are well positioned within the top of range, benefiting from the virtuous cycle of a wide global reach. 3E Accounting’s international network is the largest in Asia and the only one from Singapore.
Moving forward, an accounting network’s continued success will likely hinge on members engagement to build a closer relationship with network members. Through the stronger relationship, members will be more receptive to adopt better quality standards to meet the changing industry requirements and leads to a robust and reliable overall network brand. The accounting network should also actively monitor the behaviour of the members and be responsive to undertake rectification to ensure compliance to a baseline level of professionalism, responsibility and trust towards stakeholders. As a mark of excellence, an accounting network can value add to the members by creating opportunities for members to get to know each other better and facilitate business flow between members resulting in increased revenue and enterprise growth.
Data as per research based on 11 February 2020. Although every effort has been made to provide complete and accurate information, Singapore Brand makes no warranties, express or implied, or representations as to the accuracy of content in this article. Singapore Brand assumes no liability or responsibility for any error or omissions in the information contained in the article. This article is not intended to constitute advice nor is it to be used as a substitute for specific advice from a professional. Users should not act (or refrain from acting) based upon information in the article without independently verifying the information and obtaining any necessary professional advice. Users are solely responsible for ensuring the accuracy, currency and other qualities of the data in the article.