Mario Christodoulou, Accountancy Age, Wednesday 6 October 2010 at 17:02:00

Deloitte global CEO does not expect Big Four challenger for "a long period of time"

The Big Four?s global supremacy is unlikely to be challenged in the near future, global head of accounting giant Deloitte said today.

Deloitte CEO, Jim Quigley said he does not forsee any immediate threat to the Big Four ? Deloitte, PwC, KPMG and Ernst & Young ? which dominate the international audit landscape.

?We had 150 years building Deloitte. Is it possible, of course it is possible; but will it require a long period of time, I?m sure it will,? he said.

He described mid-tier firms ? Grant Thornton, BDO and McGladrey ? as outstanding, but believed they would provide no threat to Big Four domination in the immediate future.

?The largest companies are generally served by one of the Big Four firms and I think that?s going to continue to be true and one of the reasons are the needs of that market place, due to the scale of those enterprises.?

The comments come as The House of Lords prepares to hear evidence in its inquiry into audit competition, expected later this month. The European Commission also has plans to release a green paper on the issue in the next few weeks.

Quigley spoke as Deloitte celebrated its ascension as the world?s largest professional services firm, marginally overtaking nearest rival, PwC, by $9m (5.7m).

Asked about the performance of Deloitte?s UK arm, he said growth may have been affected by the recession.

?The recession has been uneven and that will also be reflected in the regional results of Deloitte or any professional services firm,? he said.

?You should expect professional services firms be moving in parallel with global GDP.?

Further reading:

Deloitte nudges ahead of PwC as largest global firm