The so called “Big Four” accounting firms – PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), KPMG, Ernst & Young (EY), and Deloitte – are known for paying their staff high salaries.
The Big Four firms are planning to hire in 2021. PwC, for example, said it plans to add 100,000 employees over the next five years. Both Deloitte and EY are planning to expand their workforces in India.
In 2020, the four firms combined employed well over a million people worldwide. New hires typically earn six-figure salaries from the get-go. An entry-level consultant who just graduated from business school can make more than $200,000 a year at the four firms when you include base salary, bonuses, and relocation expenses.
Insider analyzed the US Office of Foreign Labor Certification’s 2020 disclosure data for permanent and temporary foreign workers to find out what PwC, KPMG, EY, and Deloitte paid employees for jobs ranging from entry-level to executive roles. The salary data analyzed were based across the US.
We looked through entries specifically for roles related to management consulting and accounting. Performance bonuses, signing bonuses, and compensation other than base salaries are not reflected in this data.
Here’s how much PwC, KPMG, EY, and Deloitte paid their hires.
Deloitte is organized into three main service areas that offer different salaries. These areas include the human capital division, the strategy and operations division, and the technology division. Deloitte had the greatest number of employees, topping 334,800 in 2020, according to research platform Statista.
It also applied for the greatest number of visas compared to other leading consultancies, with the U.S. Department of Labor approving 57,259 H-1B visa workers to work at Deloitte, according to Bloomberg law. Deloitte did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the salary data.
Here are the salary ranges for consulting and accounting roles:
- Analyst: $41,995 to $76,212 (includes advisory, business, project delivery, management, and systems)
- Global security application analyst: average $127,858
- Senior analyst: $74,800 to $90,900 (includes business, project delivery, and systems)
- Audit and assurance senior assistant: average $69,315
- Consultant: $60,341 to $97,000 (includes advisory, business technology, project management, and strategic services)
- Business process consultant: average $120,000
- Tax consultant: average $57,676
- Senior consultant: $84,462 to $150,000 (includes accounting and reporting, advisory, global privacy, and project delivery)
- Manager: $106,238 to $178,660 (includes advisory, audit and assurance, business solutions, and financial technology development)
- Tax manager: average $98,572
- Senior manager: $113,477 to $209,400 (includes advisory, audit and assurance, business solutions, corporate development, product systems, and technology operations)
- Managing director: average $308,433
- Tax managing director: average $161,273
- Principal: average $399,767
Principals at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) made up to $759,505.
In 2020, PwC applied for 1,999 visas. Here are the salary ranges for both consulting and accounting roles. PwC declined to comment on the salary data.
- Associate: $68,533 to $132,986 (includes advisory, assurance, and tax)
- Senior associate: $82,500 to $184,173 (includes advisory, assurance, and internal firm services)
- Tax senior associate: $69,300 to $183,560
- Manager: $120,019 to $233,100 (includes advisory, assurance, and internal firm services)
- Tax manager: $126,600 to $240,450
- Senior manager: $150,536 to $283,826 (includes advisory, assurance, and internal firm services)
- Tax senior manager: $151,200 to $362,400
- Director: $176,245 to $349,999 (includes advisory and internal firm services)
- Tax director: $200,000 to $332,0000
- Assurance managing director: $295,000 to $556,900
- Principal: $632,455 to $759,505 (includes advisory and assurance)
KPMG offered partners an average of $280,000.
KPMG has more than 219,000 employees worldwide working out of over 650 offices. The firm declined to comment on the salary data.
Here are the salary ranges for consultants, accountants, and leadership at KPMG.
- Associate: $65,199 to $76,258
- Senior associate: $86,934 to $109,555
- Director: $170,138 to $267,277
- Associate director: $154,696 to $192,076
- Specialist director: $163,494 to $249,333
- Lead specialist: $138,967 to $178,916
- Senior specialist: $115,100 to $140,571
- Manager: $117,486 to $149,493
- Senior manager: $141,906 to $188,732
- Managing director: $300,760 to $460,000
- Partner: average $280,000
- Principal: $325,000 to $950,000
Employees at Ernst & Young (EY) made salaries ranging from $78,574 to $516,666.
EY is letting its 284,000 global employees get an online MBA for free during the pandemic.
The professional-services firm reportedly deferred promotions and bonuses amid the global economic slowdown caused by the pandemic. It also pressed pause on hiring in April, according to LinkedIn.
In 2020, EY applied for 6,426 visas. The firm did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the salary data. Here are the salary ranges for consultants, accountants, auditors, and chief executives at the firm:
- Accountants and auditors: $85,653 to $86,990
- Appraisers and assessors of real estate: average $100,944
- Analyst: $78,574 to $82,449 (includes business intelligence and climate change)
- Computer systems analyst: average $125,088
- Management analyst: average $135,659
- Financial analyst: average $136,370
- Statistician: average $103,657
- Risk management specialist: average $104,790
- Actuaries: average $127,416
- Economist: average $135,526
- Logisticians: average $155,198
- Mathematicians: average $178,556
- Compensation and benefits manager: average $198,737
- Computer and information systems manager: average $201,213
- Financial manager: average $516,666
Aman Kidwai contributed to an earlier version of this post.