EU Auditor Market Share: 2016

It is no surprise that the audit firms who hold the top four spots in market share in the European Union consist of the Big Four (PwC, EY, Deloitte, and KPMG). In this blog, we look at the market share of audit services in the EU and five Member States, namely the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain.

The charts provided comprise the Big Four accounting firms and other accounting firms that audit at least 2% of the public company audit market in the given location. “Other auditors” is a group comprising the aggregate total of firms that audit less than 2% of public companies for each location.


In the EU, the Big Four accounting firms provide services for over half of the population, accounting for 61% of auditor market share. If BDO and Grant Thornton are added to that percentage, then the Big Four plus BDO and Grant Thornton – the Global Six – account for 72% of the auditor market share. That leaves 1,169 other accounting firms that provide audit services to the remaining 28% of the total European market.

In the United Kingdom, 68 firms provide services to 1,631 companies. The Big Four plus BDO and Grant Thornton hold 80% of this market share.

UK and Germany combined

The difference in the market share breakdown between Germany and the United Kingdom is tremendous. While data from Germany shows roughly half the total number of companies than in the United Kingdom, there are double the number of audit firms. 156 firms audit 739 companies in Germany. This could be due to differences in the size of companies between these two countries.


In the French market, auditors other than the Big Four, Grant Thornton, and Mazars comprise 40% of the total market share: a more level playing field than in other countries. One explanation for this is the requirement of the French Commercial Code that companies who publish consolidated accounts must have at least two statutory auditors.


Smaller countries, such as Italy and Spain, have a much smaller market for audit services, with only 16 and 23 firms, respectively. In both of these locations, the Big Four firms hold at least 80% of the market share.

Audit Analytics has built a database of who audits public interest entities in the European Union. This includes tracking the tenure of the auditor, a database of audit fees for the listed companies in Europe, and a database of all PIEs as disclosed in the transparency reports of each audit firm by member state. We are continuing to expand our coverage of EU PIEs and would be happy to further discuss our research and databases. Please call 508-476-7007 or e-mail to schedule a demonstration.