Accounting Services Industry Profile

Report Page Length: 10-12
Last Quarterly Update: 5/20/2024
SIC Codes: 8721
NAICS Codes: 5412
Chapters Include:
Industry Overview Trends & Challenges Industry Forecast
Quarterly Industry Update Call Prep Questions Website & Media Links
Business Challenges Financial Information Glossary & Acronyms
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Excerpt from Accounting Services Industry Profile

Companies in this industry provide services such as auditing, bookkeeping, payroll processing, and tax return preparation. Leading companies include ADP, H&R Block, and Paychex (all based in the US). Major companies that have international operations include the "Big Four" accounting firms: Ernst & Young and PricewaterhouseCoopers (both based in the UK); as well as Deloitte Tohmatsu Group (Japan); and KPMG (the Netherlands).

Worldwide, the Big Four dominate the market and have expanded in many countries by buying local firms. In countries such as China, the Big Four have affiliated with local firms. However, concern over the share of the audit market held by the Big Four has led European regulators to impose new rules meant to enhance competition.

The US accounting services industry includes about 133,000 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $152 billion.


Demand for accounting services depends on new business formations, the increasing complexity of corporate business, and personal income. The profitability of individual firms depends on the right mix of services and effective marketing. Large firms have advantages in providing wider ranges of services to large corporate clients and having the resources to serve customers with many locations. Small firms can compete effectively by specializing and providing superior service. The US industry is fragmented: the 50 largest US companies account for just less than 50% of revenue.

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