Accounting industry in the U.S. - Statistics & Facts

The revenue of the accounting, tax preparation and payroll services industry in the United States is forecasted to generate around 156 billion U.S. dollars by 2018. The leading firms in the U.S. are the “Big Four” global accounting and auditing firms: Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers, EY and KPMG. Together, in 2018 they reported a total revenue of around 148.24 billion U.S. dollars and employed just over one million people worldwide. Just over 56 billion of their combined revenue was generated from the U.S. market.

In 2017, there were 1.24 million accountants and auditors and 1.53 million bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks employed in the U.S. The number of accountants/auditors and their administrative staff was forecasted to rise to 3.44 million in 2022. California was the state which employed the most accountants and auditors in 2017, but it was the District of Columbia which paid its accountants and auditors the highest wages.

Members of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) have expressed generally increasing confidence in their businesses since the beginning of 2016. In the first quarter of 2018, the Certified Public Accountants Outlook Index score was the highest it had been since before 2011, indicating increasing activity in the industry. The index did however fall by five points over the period to the last quarter of 2018. Of the factors posing risks to accountancy business at this time, inflationary pressures from labor costs, raw materials and interest rates were the most commonly identified by accountants.



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