Career information site Vault recently released their annual Vault Accounting 50, a ranking of the current best accounting firms to work for. Vault compiled their ranking by weighing a firm's prestige, culture, work/life balance, compensation, overall job satisfaction, business outlook, and formal training.

While the Big 4 firms are all featured in the top 10, a number of other firms are starting to rank just as high as the heavyweights.

Vault's Top 10 firms are ranked thusly:

1.      PwC

2.      Deloitte

3.      EY

4.      Grant Thornton

5.      KPMG

6.      BDO USA

7.      Plante Moran

8.      RSM

9.      Baker Tilly

10.  Dixon Hughes Goodman

“PwC’s continued dominance of our accounting rankings is impressive,” says Derek Loosvelt, Vault’s senior finance editor, in a statement. “This is the fourth straight year that PwC took the top spot in the Accounting 50. Also impressive is Grant Thornton’s rise to No. 4 this year. GT’s rise represents a big shift in the rankings, and underlines that GT, a non-Big Four firm, has been improving its workplace offerings for its employees. Not since our 2013 rankings has a non-Big Four firm ranked among the top four in the Accounting 50. And it was Grant Thornton that pulled it off that year, coming in at No. 2.”

Compared to last year's rankings, Big Four firms scored 10% higher in formal training than non-Big 4 firms, 7% higher in informal training, 10% higher in overall diversity, and 13% higher in minority diversity.

“The Big Four scored higher this year versus last year in every workplace category,” Loosvelt continued. “This included an impressive 3 percent jump in promotional policies. The rise in their scores signals that the Big Four firms, already very prestigious places to work, are getting a lot better when it comes to being congenial places to work. That said, the Big Four still lag their non-Big Four competitors in a couple of very important categories. The Big Four  scored 10% lower in work hours vs. non-Big Four firms and 5% lower in work/life balance. But the good news, for those looking to join one of the Big 4 (PwC, Deloitte, EY, and KPMG), is these firms see the need to improve quality of life, and so we should see continued advancement from them in these areas.”  

Non-Big Four firms saw improvements since last year in all quality of life categories minus compensation, benefits, green initiatives, philanthropy, and hiring process (the drops in scores in these categories were small, though: less than 1/10 of a point). 

In other Quality of Life news, Plante Moran held steady at the top. The Michigan-based firm received the most No. 1 Quality of Life rankings, followed by PwC, which was No. 1 in several categories and saw improvements in others.

Grant Thornton took the unofficial “Most Improved Firm” title in terms of quality of life, with several double digit ranking increases, making it clear the firm has been putting in place numerous workplace policies that are paying dividends.

Vault's individual Quality of Life winners are as follows:

  • Benefits: PwC
  • Business Outlook: Plante Moran
  • Client Interaction: Plante Moran
  • Compensation: Brown Smith Wallace
  • Culture: Plante Moran
  • Diversity (Overall): PwC
  • Diversity (Disabilities): Grant Thornton
  • Diversity (Military Veterans): KPMG
  • Diversity (Minorities): PwC
  • Diversity (Women): Frank Rimerman + Co.
  • Diversity (LGBT): PwC
  • Firm Leadership: Plante Moran
  • Formal Training: Deloitte
  • Green Initiatives: PwC
  • Hiring Process: PwC
  • Hours: Friedman
  • Informal Training: Plante Moran
  • Internal Mobility: Plante Moran
  • Philanthropy: WithumSmith+Brown
  • Promotion Policies: Grant Thornton
  • Relationships with Supervisors: Plante Moran
  • Satisfaction: Plante Moran
  • Travel Requirements: Plante Moran
  • Vacation Policies: Plante Moran
  • Work/Life Balance: Plante Moran

For the full Vault Accounting 50 rankings, head to their site here.