World Survey 2024 analysis

Growth remains positive for top accountancy networks and associations

Joe Pickard, group editor of The Accountant and International Accounting Bulletin, and Stepan Naumenko, data researcher, International Accounting Bulletin, take a look at the key figures from this year’s World Survey.


Growth remained positive for the top 31 accountancy networks, sitting just shy of double figures at 8%. The total fee income for networks this year was $274.8bn, up $21.2bn from $253.6bn last year.

Once again, Deloitte led the networks table with a $5.6bn increase in fee income, representing a 9% growth rate. While this figure represents strong growth for the market-leading firm, it was down from an 18% growth rate the previous year.

It was a similar story for the rest of the Big Four, with positive growth for each firm but at a slower rate than recorded in the 2023 World Survey. The ranking positions for the Big Four firms saw PwC, EY, and KPMG taking 2nd, 3rd and 4th place respectively, once again.

Steady growth was recorded by the rest of the top 15 networks, with all of these showing growth in fee income. Out of the top 15 networks, HLB achieved the highest percentage growth at 23%; this was also the third highest growth rate seen in the entire networks table, with Kudos International and Reanda International experiencing 46% and 27% growth respectively.


The overall growth rate for the 17 associations that took part in this year’s World Survey reached 8%. This was a slight increase in growth rate, as the associations reported a 7% overall growth rate in 2023’s World Survey.

The top three positions of the associations’ fee table remained unchanged, with Praxity, Allinial Global, and PrimeGlobal taking the top positions once again.

The leading firms in terms of percentage growth were BOKS International (23%) and Allinial Global (21%) both showing double digit growth rates.

Service line breakdown


The growth rate of advisory services slowed down slightly this year but remained in double figures at 11% (down from 19% in 2023). Outside of the Big Four, RSM led in this space, reporting $3bn fee income from advisory services, overtaking BDO and Grant Thornton with a 16% growth.

Accounting services saw an increase of 11% from last year, now coming in at $9.1bn in fee income.

Both the audit and tax service lines saw a 7% increase in fee income. Which is an increased rate of growth compared to last year (5% and 6% respectively).

Advisory once again took the lion’s share in fee income, at $113bn. This was $29bn ahead of the fee income for audit and assurance ($84bn), which had the second highest fee income of the four service lines.


For associations, the tax service line led the way in terms of growth at 9%. Allinial saw the largest growth in this area with a fee income of $1.9bn, up 39% from last year.

However, the largest service line in terms of fee income was audit and assurance with $9.8bn. This was up 8% from $9.0bn last year. Praxity took the top spot on this table again, reporting $3.8bn in fee income, up 9% from last year. Allinial had the greatest percentage growth for this service line at 28%.

Compared to the networks, the associations had a more moderate growth rate in the advisory space, with a 6% increase from last year to $4.6bn. AGN International and MSI Global Alliance had the largest percentage growth rates in this area at 30%, and 21% respectively.

Accounting services also saw a 6% growth on last year, an increase of $0.2bn from last year. Ranked associations saw a total $5bn in fee income for this service line.

Regional Data


In Europe, there was a remarkable surge of 13%, particularly notable among firms such as RSM, ECOVIS International, ShineWing International, and Kudos International, each demonstrating an impressive increase of over 25% compared to the previous year.

Similarly, Latin America saw a substantial overall increase of 13%, with nine out of the top 10 firms posting double digit growth.

In North America, there was an overall growth rate of 12%, with seven out of the top 10 firms seeing double-digit growth.

Meanwhile, the growth rate in the Asia Pacific region was less significant, showing a modest 4% increase, notably with significant changes among firms at the lower end of the ranking.

In Africa, overall fee income remained stagnant this year, primarily due to a slight decline among major networks in the region.

Conversely, the Middle East saw significant growth at 10%, particularly among firms like Grant Thornton, MGI Worldwide, ShineWing International, and ETL Global, attributed mainly to successful additions of new member firms.


Both parts of America experienced significant growth in FY23, at 9% for North America and 14% for Latin America. This was largely fuelled by contributions from major associations including Praxity, Allinial Global, and PrimeGlobal. The addition of new member firms emerged as a key factor driving these changes.

Meanwhile, the Middle East also exhibited noticeable improvement compared to the previous year, with overall growth at 10%, notably driven by a substantial 64% increase in fee income from Allinial Global. The majority of firms at the upper end of the ranking showed growth, while more mixed results were seen at the lower end of the table.

Europe saw moderate growth at 8% overall, with the highest percentage growth rate seen by BOKS International at 39%.

Similarly, the Asia Pacific region saw a relatively steady market situation, with modest growth at 6% overall.

Africa, however, emerged as the only region to demonstrate a reduction in fee income compared to the previous year, experiencing a 3% decrease, largely attributed to associations losing their member firms.

Big Four Regional Data

FY23 proved to be a fruitful period across all four networks, marked by an 8% increase in fee income and a 9% expansion in staff. The most notable surge in fee income occurred in the Americas, boasting a growth rate of 12%. Conversely, the most significant spike in staff occurred in the EMEA region, registering a 10% increase.

Deloitte and EY emerged as frontrunners in fee income growth globally, with Deloitte claiming the top spot and EY closing the gap with PwC. The Americas experienced the most substantial fee income growth from Deloitte, showcasing a remarkable 17% increase.

Moreover, KPMG reduced its staff count in the Americas and generally attracted fewer new hires compared to EY, Deloitte, and PwC during this period.