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by Derek Loosvelt | April 17, 2018


nyc skyline at night

Today, we released our annual Vault Accounting 50, a ranking of the Best Accounting Firms to Work For. This year, the rankings were based on a survey of more than 8,800 accountants. We asked these accountants to rate their firms in several workplace categories, including compensation, culture, training, work/life balance, hours, and business outlook. We also asked them to rate other firms in terms of prestige (they could not rate their own firms). 

For the sixth year in a row, PwC took the top spot in the rankings, coming in at No. 1. Fellow Big 4 firm Deloitte was not far behind. Deloitte held onto its No. 2 ranking, scoring just 3 percent lower than PwC. 

Here are the 10 Best Accounting Firms to Work For according to Vault’s annual Accounting Survey: 

1. PwC

2. Deloitte


4. Grant Thornton


6. Plante Moran

7. Crowe Horwath

8. Baker Tilly

9. Moss Adams

10. RSM

Accountants at peer firms told us that PwC is the “best in the business” and a “top-notch,” “high quality,” “very prestigious” firm with “great training and learning opportunities.” Meanwhile, PwC insiders very much appreciate the “work/life balance and flexibility” and “working with the best and brightest in the field who continually challenge you to do your best.” PwC insiders also say, “There’s always something to learn on the job, and there are a million ways to improve and grow as a professional.” 

This year, accountants at peer firms told us that Deloitte is a “very prestigious” firm, “known worldwide,” with “elite clients”—it “has an aura that resonates with international companies.” Meanwhile, Deloitte staff members rave about the “world-class training” and “ability to work with top talent on some of the world’s largest companies.” 

As for KPMG, it’s also “very prestigious, ” according to peer accountants, who add that KPMG is a “great firm” with a “great training program” and is “very good to its people.” Insiders at KPMG praise the “inclusive family-like culture,” “learning and growth opportunities,” and “interesting, intellectually stimulating, challenging work.”

In addition to dominating the top of the Accounting 50, Big 4 firms dominated the Prestige Rankings and Diversity Rankings. PwC and Deloitte again ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in Prestige, respectively. And PwC ranked No. 1 in Overall Diversity, Minority Diversity, and LGBT Diversity.

However, it was a mid-sized firm that dominated our Quality of Life Rankings. Michigan-based Plante Moran ranked No. 1 in 11 of 18 workplace categories, including Business Outlook, Client Interaction, Culture, Firm Leadership, Hours, Internal Mobility, Overall Satisfaction, Relationships with Supervisors, Travel Requirements, Vacation Policies, and Work/Life Balance. Indeed, the firm is an “inviting, happy place to work” and “known for its work/life balance,” according to peer accountants. Meanwhile, staff members at Plante Moran say the firm’s “caring culture is irreplaceable” and “the people here are so good to work with that we spend time together outside of work.” 

You can find the complete Accounting Rankings here.

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