Only one in five partners appointed to PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte, EY and KPMG in the past year were in the traditional businesses of audit and assurance.
In contrast, about one in three new partners was in the fast-growing consulting areas, showing just how fast these firms are re-orienting themselves to compete against giant technology consulting firms such as Accenture, IBM and InfoSys.
The transformation at the Big Four has been driven, in part, by acquisition, said Lynn Kraus, the head of markets at EY Oceania.
"Over the last two years, the acquisitions that the big four firms have been making are hugely different to four or five years ago," she said.
"At EY, we've made six acquisitions over 24 months, all with a lens for this whole concept for digital and cyber skills.
"We're out buying businesses that have skills that we don't have in-house."
"We're not just an accounting firm," said Holly King, one of PwC's new partners.
Ms King runs the firm's Project Delivery services, an area that implements large-scale technology projects and lends out teams of technology staff to clients.
"PwC hasn't worked in that business implementation role for some time," she said.
"What this enables us to do is have strategy to execution skills."
Ms King said she expected to double the revenue her division generates and her team size – currently at 86 – over the next year.
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