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In some ways, the leverage model in a professional service firm resembles the standard markup function in an automotive repair business. There is a significant difference, however. Professional service firms – like our BIG 4 audit firms and the largest management consulting firms: Think McKinsey – the Boston Consulting Group – Bain & Company – Accenture – Deloitte – E&Y – PwC – and KPMG – use a markup of at least 7 times the wage cost – and often 10 times or more. This compares with standard markups of about two and a half to three times in most automotive repair shops. But leverage only works in large firms. The most profitable small accounting firms have virtually no staff.