You’ll Have to Pry Vault’s ‘Most Prestigious Firm’ Title Out of PwC’s Cold, Dead Hands

A little while ago, we told you how PwC locked down the top spot in Vault’s 2020 Accounting 50—the seventh consecutive year the firm has been ranked No. 1.  But believe it or not, this isn’t the longest win streak P. Dubs has going when it comes to Vault’s rankings.

Even though the House of Ryan will have to pay out the ass to settle a lawsuit with the FDIC due to the epic collapse of Colonial Bank, is still embroiled in a lawsuit or two, and has a massive theft problem, PwC was named “most prestigious accounting firm” for 2020 by Vault—a title it has held onto since 2010.

Vault compiles its prestige rankings by surveying accounting professionals, who are asked to rate firms with which they were familiar on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most prestigious. Survey participants weren’t allowed to rate their own (or former) employer.

PwC earned its highest score ever in Vault’s 2020 prestige rankings at 8.874, just barely edging 2017’s prestige score of 8.870.

There aren’t many surprises among the top five, as the Big 4 firms have held down the top four spots and Grant Thornton the fifth spot since 2007. The last time a firm not named PricewaterhouseCoopers topped Vault’s prestige rankings was Deloitte in 2009.

So, here’s Vault’s ranking of accounting firms by prestige for 2020 (previous year ranking in parenthesis):

  1. PwC (1)
  2. Deloitte (2)
  3. EY (3)
  4. KPMG (4)
  5. Grant Thornton (5)
  6. BDO USA (6)
  7. RSM US (7)
  8. Baker Tilly (9)
  9. Crowe (8)
  10. CohnReznick (12)
  11. Moss Adams (10)
  12. CliftonLarsonAllen (11)
  13. BKD (13)
  14. Plante Moran (14)
  15. Dixon Hughes Goodman (15)
  16. Marcum (18)
  17. EisnerAmper (19)
  18. CBIZ MHM (16)
  19. Cherry Bekaert (17)
  20. Eide Bailly (20)
  21. Wipfli (21)
  22. Mazars USA (25)
  23. Citrin Cooperman & Co. (29)
  24. UHY Advisors (23)
  25. Armanino (27)
  26. RubinBrown (24)
  27. The Siegfried Group (26)
  28. Friedman (33)
  29. Cohen & Co. (22)
  30. Withum (34)
  31. Blum Shapiro & Co. (30)
  32. PKF O’Connor Davies (40)
  33. Novogradac & Co. (35)
  34. Elliott Davis (28)
  35. Marks Paneth (46)
  36. Anchin (36)
  37. Weaver (42)
  38. Berdon (41)
  39. Grassi & Co. (NR)
  40. Sikich (31)
  41. Frank, Rimerman + Co. (37)
  42. Doeren Mayhew (45)
  43. BPM (38)
  44. Carr, Riggs & Ingram (32)
  45. The Bonadio Group (NR)
  46. Whitley Penn (NR)
  47. Kaufman, Rossin & Co. (50)
  48. Aronson (48)
  49. Bennett Thrasher (NR)
  50. Wolf & Co. (NR)

We’ll continue to pore over Vault’s different rankings and share anything else interesting. In the meantime, feel free to share feelings on your firm’s prestige (or lack thereof).

Related articles