25 Best Accounting Firms for 2024

25 Best Accounting Firms for 2024 was originally published on Vault.

Today, we’re very excited to release our 2024 Vault Accounting 25, a ranking of the best accounting firms to work for. The ranking is based on a survey of more than 11,000 accounting professionals, who were asked to rate their firms in several workplace categories, including business outlook, compensation, culture, diversity, hours, overall satisfaction, training, wellness offerings, work/life balance, and more. They were also asked to rate firms other than their own in terms of prestige. The Accounting 25 is compiled using a weighted formula based on these internal and external rankings.

The Top 10 Firms in the 2024 Vault Accounting 25 Based on Vault’s Annual Accounting Survey Are:

1. PwC

2. Deloitte

3. KPMG

4. BDO USA

5. RSM US

6. Moss Adams

7. Plante Moran

8. Baker Tilly

9. CohnReznick

10. PKF O’Connor Davies

No. 1 PwC Offers “Thorough Training” and “Great Benefits”

This year, PwC again ranks No. 1 in the Accounting 25 while taking the No. 2 spot in our Prestige Rankings. PwC also ranks No. 1 in all three Practice Area Rankings (Audit & Assurance, Tax, and Forensic Accounting). Accountants at peer firms tell us that PwC is “progressive,” “diverse,” “the gold standard,” “the top dog of the Big 4,” “super prestigious,” and “filled with great people.” It also offers “thorough training resources” and “great benefits.” Meanwhile, PwC staff members tell us the firm has an “amazing culture” with “smart, caring, friendly, motivated people,” and rave about the “challenging work and opportunities for growth and development.”

No. 2 Deloitte Offers “Constant Learning and Growth opportunities”

Accountants at peer firms tell us that Deloitte—which ranks No. 2 in the Accounting 25, No. 1 in Prestige, and No. 2 in all three Practice Areas—is a “high-performing,” “hardworking,” “excellent large firm,” with a “strong rep,” “great perks and benefits,” and “top-notch training.” Meanwhile, Deloitte staff members rave about the firm’s “collaborative and supportive culture,” “good compensation,” and “constant learning and growth opportunities.”

No. 3 KPMG Is “Welcoming,” Friendly,” and “Strong Globally”

KPMG again ranks No. 3 in the Accounting 25 and No. 4 in Prestige. This year, peer accountants tell us that KPMG is “strong globally,” “prestigious,” “welcoming,” “fun,” “collaborative,” and “friendly,” and has a “good reputation.” KPMG insiders rave about the firm’s “inclusive team environment,” “caring people,” and “great flexible work policies.”

Plante Moran Ranks No. 1 for Culture, Hours, and Work/Life Balance

One of the big winners in our Quality of Life Rankings this year is Michigan-based Plante Moran, which ranks No. 7 in the Vault Accounting 25, and No. 1 in 10 other categories: Client Interaction, Firm Culture, Hiring Process, Hours, Informal Training, Internal Mobility, Overall Satisfaction, Vacation Policies, Wellness, and Work/Life Balance. According to one Plante Moran insider, “The firm stresses work/life balance and acknowledges that that balance varies from person to person. I’ve never felt pressured to sacrifice something personal due to work-related commitments.”

PKF O’Connor Davies Ranks No. 1 for LGBTQ+ Diversity, Racial & Ethnic Diversity, and Overall Diversity

PKF O’Connor Davies, which ranks No. 10 in the Accounting 25, a four-place jump from last year, nearly sweeps our Diversity Rankings this year. The New York City-based firm took the No. 1 spot in three of four diversity categories: LGBTQ+ Diversity, Racial & Ethnic Diversity, and Overall Diversity. PKF O’Connor Davies also ranks No. 1 in ESG Initiatives, Firm Leadership, Formal Training, Promotion Policies, and Relationships with Supervisors. One PKF O’Connor Davies insider tells us, “We’ve hired employees of all races and ethnicities, as well as LGBTQ+ individuals. We have a diversity and inclusion team, and are regularly required to take D&I education and harassment training.”

Accountants Respond to the Changing Labor Market

Three years after the onset of the pandemic and nearly two years after the Great Resignation, thousands of accounting professionals tell us about the effects these events and others are having on their work hours, work/life balance, wellness, and overall satisfaction, as well as on their firms’ business outlooks. Our new accounting firm profiles include direct quotes from professionals about how their satisfaction with their roles is changing, and how their firms are responding to macro events affecting the public accounting industry.

For example, this year, many accounting professionals at numerous top firms tell us that the busy tax seasons are getting busier and they’re feeling overworked, in large part due to the industry-wide staff shortages. Below are three representative quotes on this issue by three professionals who took our survey:

“We continue to grow and acquire new companies to expand our service offerings and geographical locations. But it seems like the recruitment process isn’t keeping up with the expansion. As a result, staff are constantly feeling overworked. Also, fewer people are trying to become CPAs than in the past few decades. The requirement of working long hours during portions of the year is resulting in people choosing other careers.”

-Leading national firm accountant

“Any economic downturn is likely to increase the need for our services, and our strategic investments have been made with that in mind. Only difficulty is resource allocation continues to be a challenge. Many practices have experienced turnover and growth at the same time, so headcount is thin.”

-Big 4 accountant

“Our business outlook is positive. The firm continues to grow, and we can satisfy many of our clients’ needs in-house. The biggest weakness would be an industry problem. A large part of the accounting community is over the age of 50, and they’re going to be retiring, while the number of accounting students coming out of college is declining. The industry is going to be losing many of its practitioners while not having a large pool to replace them.”

-Top middle-market firm accountant

All of our new accounting firm profiles include direct quotes like these from professionals about how their satisfaction with their roles is changing, about their firms’ responses to the various macroeconomic events affecting the public accounting industry, and more.

Vault Accounting Quality of Life and Diversity No. 1 Ranked Firms

Benefits: Schellman

Business Outlook: Frazier & Deeter

Client Interaction: Plante Moran

Compensation: Frazier & Deeter

Culture: Plante Moran

Diversity (Overall): PKF O’Connor Davies

Diversity (Racial & Ethnic): PKF O’Connor Davies

Diversity (Women): Schellman

Diversity (LGBTQ+): PKF O’Connor Davies

ESG Initiatives: PKF O’Connor Davies

Firm Leadership: PKF O’Connor Davies

Formal Training: PKF O’Connor Davies

Hiring Process: Plante Moran

Hours: Plante Moran

Informal Training: Plante Moran

Internal Mobility: Plante Moran

Promotion Policies: PKF O’Connor Davies

Relationships with Supervisors: PKF O’Connor Davies

Satisfaction: Plante Moran

Vacation Policies: Plante Moran

Wellness: Plante Moran

Work/Life Balance: Plante Moran

Vault Accounting Practice Area No. 1 Ranked Firms

Audit & Assurance Accounting: PwC

Tax Accounting: PwC

Forensic Accounting: PwC

View the entire 2024 Vault Accounting Rankings.