PwC the largest accounting and consulting firm in Ireland

22 June 2020 3 min. read

PwC has retained its top position as the largest accounting and consulting firm in Ireland.

In its latest financial year, revenues at big four professional services group PwC rose by 12% to €564 million, on an all-Ireland basis, up from €502 million the year previous. PwC also reported strong growth in employee numbers, with figures up by 13% to 5,288 in 2019, as it added a net intake of more than 400 graduates and professionally qualified people over the reporting period.

PwC Ireland operates from seven locations across the country – Dublin, Cork, Galway, Kilkenny, Limerick, Waterford and Wexford – and is led by CEO Feargal O'Rourke, who has been at the helm of the firm for some five years now. Around a third of PwC’s turnover in Ireland is earned by its audit business, with tax advice, financial advisory and consulting bringing in the remainder of the fees. 

Number two in Ireland’s accounting and consulting market is KPMG, which saw its revenue rise from €414 million to €458 million. Its headcount meanwhile grew by a net amount of 210 professionals, up to 3,210 employees. In Ireland, the firm is led by CEO Seamus Hand – he leads the firm’s offices in Dublin (two locales), Cork and Galway.

Revenue of the Big Four firms in Ireland

Big Four rival Deloitte ranks third, with 3,170 employees generating to the tune of €380 million turnover according to its latest financial statements, up marginally on the year previous, while EY ranks fourth, with 2,928 employees in Ireland generating revenues of €373 million, up from 2,681 employees and €352 million turnover the year previous.

In its latest financial year, EY enjoyed growth across all four of its divisions – assurance, tax, advisory and transaction services – and the firm managed to improve its male to female ratio to near parity of 49% versus 51%, as part of its diversity agenda. 

Deloitte, which is led by Harry Goddard, and EY, led by Frank O’Keeffe, both have offices in Dublin, Belfast, Cork, Limerick and Galway. EY meanwhile has a sixth Irish office in Waterford.

Covid-19's impact

Despite the strong figures for their latest financial year, all four of the accountancy and consultancy giants are currently navigating a challenging market as a result of the Covid-19-induced crisis. Amid a fallout of demand, in particular in advisory and consulting services, PwC, KPMG, Deloitte and PwC have all taken measures to cut costs in recent weeks, including freezing recruitment, slashing the pay of partners, reducing the contract hours of workers and sending some staff on furlough. 

“It is clear that this crisis will have significant implications for our business over the remainder of this year and certainly into next year,” said Seamus Hand, KPMG’s managing partner since May last year. 

Beyond the Big Four, mid-tier accounting and consulting firms such as BDO, Grant Thornton, Mazars and PKF have also been taking stringent austerity measures.