Deloitte is the largest professional services firm in Atlanta, with more than 1,600 employees and 160 partners and directors. Deloitte has deep roots in the city, dating back to June 1915, when a Haskins and Sells office was established in Atlanta. It became one of Atlanta’s first prominent and well-respected accounting practices in the city.
The Haskins and Sells office in Atlanta, managed by L. C. Matthews, primarily served the federal government, industrials (companies that produce and distribute goods), insurance companies, railroads, and universities. The firm rapidly grew both nationally (merging with Deloitte, Plender, Griffiths, and Company in 1952) and locally. By the 1960s the Atlanta office employed more than sixty professionals, who served various clients in the telecommunications, textile, automotive, general manufacturing, and utility industries. In the late 1970s the firm, which officially changed its name to Deloitte, Haskins, and Sells in 1978, launched a consulting practice.
In 1958 Touche Ross established an Atlanta practice that primarily served the city’s most prestigious retail client—Rich’s. In the mid-1960s the firm merged its sixty audit and consulting employees with Young Garber and Company, making Touche Ross one of the largest accounting practices in Atlanta, with a staff of 150 employees serving clients in such industries as banking, consumer business, government, health care, hospitality, manufacturing, and transportation.
After many mergers among the most prestigious accounting firms in North America, one of the largest mergers in the history of the profession eventually led to the 1989 collaboration between Touche Ross and Deloitte, Haskins, and Sells. This merger established Deloitte as one of the “Big Four” professional services firms. The Atlanta merger brought more than 1,000 audit, tax, financial, and consulting professionals under one roof.
One of the fastest-growing of the so-called Big Four accounting firms in the nation and currently the second-largest professional services firm in the world, Deloitte is a multibillion-dollar company with more than 120,000 employees in 150 countries globally. In the United States alone, the firm has almost 30,000 professionals located in more than eighty cities. The firm is the only one of the Big Four to have retained its consulting arm. Besides consulting, its professionals have a broad range of experience in auditing, finance, and tax and risk, and they provide service to all areas of industry, including consumer business, energy/utilities, financial services, life sciences and health care, manufacturing, public sector, real estate, technology, media and communications, and transportation.
The first of the Big Four firms to launch an initiative dedicated to advancing and retaining women, Deloitte was named by Working Mother magazine as one of the “100 Best Companies for Working Mothers” for eleven consecutive years, beginning in 1993. Deloitte employs more than 600 women partners and directors nationally.
Deloitte is also dedicated to corporate citizenship and continues to develop relationships with various nonprofit organizations. Atlanta employees of the company volunteer hundreds of hours each year to such programs as the AIDS Walk, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta, Chamber of Commerce, Forward Atlanta, Hands On Atlanta, Junior Achievement, United Way, Woodruff Arts Center, and Zoo Atlanta.