If you are considering working at one of the Big 4 accountancy firms then you may be interested in knowing how their bonus payments compare to each other. Alternatively, perhaps you are already working at one of the firms and are interested to see if you could be better rewarded elsewhere.
While the Big 4 firms – Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG, and PricewaterhouseCoopers – are notoriously secretive about their internal affairs, it’s no secret that they all pay out great bonuses to their employees. In fact, a recent report found that the average bonus payout at these firms was £13,000.
The Big 4 accountancy firms are some of the most prestigious and well-paid in the world. So, what kind of bonuses do they offer their employees?
In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the average bonus payout for PwC, KPMG, Deloitte, and EY employees. We’ll also discuss some of the factors that may affect bonus amounts.
How much do the Big 4 accountancy firms pay in Bonuses? PwC, KPMG, Deloitte, EY
The “Big Four” accounting firms are the largest professional services networks in the world. They consist of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Deloitte, Ernst & Young (EY), and KPMG. These four firms provide audit, assurance, tax, and consulting services to many of the world’s largest organizations.
They are headquartered in London, New York, Paris, and Amsterdam respectively. PwC is the largest of the Big 4, Deloitte is the second largest firm, EY is the third largest firm followed by KPMG. The Big Four accounting firms are often referred to as the “oligopoly” because of their dominance in the industry.
According to a recent report, the Big 4 accountancy firms paid out over £2 billion in bonuses last year. This represents a significant increase from the previous year when bonuses totaled just £1.6 billion. The majority of this increase was due to higher bonuses at Deloitte, which saw its payouts rise by £200 million.
This was followed by PwC, which increased its bonuses by £100 million. KPMG and EY also saw increases, but these were more modest, totaling £50 million and £25 million respectively. The report indicates that the Big 4 are continuing to enjoy strong profitability and that their employees are reaping the benefits in the form of larger bonuses. With global economies showing signs of improvement, it is likely that these firms will continue to perform well in the coming years.
Who pays the largest bonuses out of the Big 4?
All of the Big 4 accountancy firms are known for their high-paying jobs and large bonuses. But who pays the largest bonuses out of these firms? PwC, KPMG, Deloitte, and EY all have different bonus structures, so it can be difficult to compare them. However, a recent study found that PwC pays the largest bonuses, on average. The study found that PwC employees receive an average bonus of £15,600, which is significantly higher than the bonuses paid out by the other three firms. So if you’re looking for a job with a high potential for a large bonus, PwC is the place to go!
What bonus can I expect as an associate/graduate from the Big 4?
The Big 4 accounting firms are always looking for top talent, and they’re willing to pay for it. According to a recent survey, the average starting salary for a graduate at a Big 4 firm is nearly double the average starting salary for a non-accounting graduate.
Of course, getting a job at a Big 4 firm is no easy feat. The competition is fierce, and the application process is lengthy and detailed. But if you have the drive and the determination, landing a job at one of the Big 4 firms is certainly within reach.
The size of the bonus you can expect as a graduate at one of the Big 4 accountancy firms will vary depending on a number of factors, including which firm you work for, your level of experience, and the specific role you perform. However, in general, you can expect to receive a bonus that is equivalent to 10-15% of your base salary. So, if you are earning a salary of £40,000, you can expect to receive a bonus of between £4,000 and £6,000.
The exact amount you receive will also depend on how well you perform in your role and whether you meet or exceed your targets. If you are consistently meeting or exceeding your targets, you may be eligible for a larger bonus.
Have a read of the below posts for a deep-dive into the salary progression at each of the Big 4:
KPMG UK Audit – Career and Salary Progression
Deloitte UK Audit – Career and Salary Progression
EY UK Audit – Career and Salary Progression
PwC UK Audit – Career and Salary Progression
What bonus can I expect as a Big 4 qualified accountant?
Bonuses for qualified accountants can vary widely, depending on factors such as position and seniority. For example, junior accountants may receive a bonus of around 10-15%, while more experienced staff could receive up to 30%. Bonuses also tend to be higher at smaller firms, so it is worth shopping around if you are looking for a more generous pay packet. In any case, qualified accountants at the Big4 firms can expect to receive a healthy bonus each year, which makes the long hours and demanding work environment more bearable.
What bonus can I expect as a Big 4 Manager or Senior Manager?
As a senior manager at one of the Big 4 accountancy firms, you can expect to receive a bonus that is commensurate with your position and responsibilities. In general, senior managers at these firms are among the highest-paid employees, and their bonuses reflect this. The size of your bonus will depend on many factors, including the profitability of your firm, the size of your team, and your individual performance.
In addition, your bonus may also be affected by any special projects or clients that you have worked on during the year. Overall, senior managers at the Big 4 accountancy firms can expect to receive generous bonuses that reflect their high levels of responsibility and expertise.
Which function (audit, tax, advisory) receives the largest bonuses at the Big 4?
Although bonuses across the board at the Big 4 are high compared to other industries there can still be significant variation between the different functions. In general, advisory roles tend to receive the largest bonuses, followed by tax and then audit. This is largely due to the fact that advisory work is seen as more strategic and therefore more valuable to clients.
Additionally, advisory roles tend to require more specialization and technical expertise than either tax or audit, making them more difficult to fill. As a result, accounting firms are willing to pay a premium for experienced advisory professionals. However, it should be noted that bonuses can vary significantly from year to year, depending on market conditions and the needs of the firm. Therefore, there is no guarantee that any one function will consistently receive the largest bonuses at the Big 4.
For a more in-depth look into salary progression at the Big 4 within the audit department, have a read of the following post: Big 4 audit – salary and travel information
How much do Big 4 partners get paid in bonuses each year?
The Big 4 accounting firms are some of the most successful and profitable organizations in the world. So it’s no surprise that their partners are handsomely compensated for their years of dedication and hard work. This level of compensation is one of the many reasons why so many people aspire to become Big 4 partners. It’s important to remember, however, that this level of success requires a significant commitment of time and resources. Most Big 4 partners are classed as self-employed. When you make Partner, you resign from your job and become an owner of the Big 4 firm you’ve made Partner in. For those who are willing to make the necessary sacrifices, however, the rewards can be truly life-changing.
- Typical partner salary range – £186k to £650k
- Average total pay – £250k (including bonuses and additional compensation)
- Typical partner salary range – £81k to £350k
- Average total pay – £190k (including bonuses and additional compensation)
- Typical partner salary range – £261k to £301k
- Average total pay – £326k (including bonuses and additional compensation)
- Typical partner salary range – £100k to £820k
- Average total pay – £654k (including bonuses and additional compensation)
How do the Big 4 compare to each other in terms of bonuses paid?
The Big4 accounting firms are well known for their generous bonuses. But how do they compare to each other? PwC tends to be the most generous, offering an average bonus of £15,000. KPMG comes in second, with an average bonus of £12,500. Deloitte and EY are more modest, offering average bonuses of £10,000 and £8,000 respectively.
However, we can see above that Ernst & Young has the highest average bonus and salaried overall payment for Partners.
It’s important to keep in mind that these numbers can vary depending on factors such as experience and performance. So while the Big 4 do tend to differ in terms of their bonus structure, there is still a lot of variability within each firm.
As always, please remember I am an Accountant, but not your Accountant. In this post (and all of my others) I share information and oftentimes give anecdotes about what has worked well for me. However, I do not know your personal financial situation and so do not offer individual financial advice. If you are unsure of a particular financial subject, please hire a qualified financial advisor to guide you.
This article has been written by Luke Girling, ACA – a qualified Accountant and personal finance enthusiast in the UK. Please visit my ‘About‘ page for more information. To verify my ACA credentials – please search for my name at the ICAEW member finder. Please comment below or contact me here to get in touch with questions or ideas for future posts.