EY has announced combined global revenues of $31.4bn (£24.3bn) for the financial year ended 30 June 2017, marking a seventh year of growth, with digital services, business advisory and capital transactions fuelling double-digit growth in its advisory and transactions businesses
The firm says all service lines increased revenues, with assurance up by 4% to reach $11.6bn, advisory by 10.4% ($8.5bn), tax by 7.9% ($8.2bn) and transaction advisory services (TAS) by 15.5% ($3bn).
Asia-Pacific achieved the highest growth rate of 11.3%. Europe, Middle East, India and Africa (EMEIA) achieved 8.6%; the Americas 7%; while Japan was marginally down by 2% over FY16.
By country, EY noted the UK recorded near double-digit growth balanced across all service lines, sectors and regions despite Brexit and other geopolitical events adding new dimensions to the business environment. The firm also saw strong growth across Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.
The US recorded more than $13bn in revenue, a 6.7% increase over FY16. The TAS business led the US growth, with five of the top 10 global M&A deals originating from US-headquartered businesses.
Elsewhere EY emerging market practices were up almost 9%. This growth was once again led by India, which grew 19.6%. Mexico performed strongly, with 14.8% growth, while Greater China again achieved double digit-growth (13%).
Mark Weinberger, EY global chairman and CEO, said: ‘We have once again achieved strong revenue growth in what continues to be a complex business environment.
‘In this disrupted and fast-paced world, clients are increasingly turning to EY for advice and insights on how to better manage risk, where to seek growth and how to weave digital into their strategies and operations.
‘EY has a holistic approach to digital transformation and innovation, which is embedded across all service lines and sectors. Significant investment in people and new technologies have allowed us to respond to the dynamic environment.’
EY said in made 13 strategic acquisitions over the year to expand its professional skills and capabilities particularly in the areas of robotic process automation (RPA), digital, cyber, analytics, supply chain and strategy. These include what the firm calls ‘alliances’, including six new agreements like ones signed with John Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality and Pivotal (part of Dell EMC) in FY17.
The firm said it is investing significantly in RPA technology and is using more than 1,100 robots to support EY businesses and clients. EY is also seeking to expand the use of drones in inventory observations, as part of digital audit capabilities focused on enhancing audit quality.
EY reported that the firm hired more than 65,000 people in FY17, and more than two million people applied to work in the organisation. While EY continues to seek traditional business skills, the firm now includes 18,000 data and analytics professionals with 2,100 data scientists.
Overall, headcount increased by 7.3% over FY16, reaching 250,000 people globally. It saw 669 people promoted to partner and more than 385 new lateral partners in FY17. The diversity of EY senior leaders also increased, with 36% of new partners coming from emerging markets and women representing nearly 30%.
In addition, in FY17 EY launched GigNow, a global marketplace for talent that is embracing the ‘gig economy’ and providing opportunities within EY to people seeking more flexibility or short-term assignments. GigNow is currently live in the US, the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand and matches qualified contractors with projects, such as those in the areas of digital, cyber, robotics and blockchain. Since GigNow launched, it has registered 3,000 contractors and matched close to 500 with EY projects.
EY's UK revenue in 2016 was £2.15bn according to the Accountancy Top 75 firms league table.
Report by Pat Sweet