The global economy continues to be shaped by uncertainty, volatility and globalisation. While the upheaval has no doubt driven demand for services that help companies navigate the choppy waters of uncertainty and risk, the impact on the accountancy profession itself has been huge. In particular, rapid advances in technology and ongoing competition for the best people are all combining to further exacerbate the challenges already faced by the sector.
Combined global revenue for the Top 25 networks and associations in financial year 2016 reached $188.53bn (£146.14bn) (2015: $182.3bn), representing an aggregated 3% rise in fee income on the previous year. While that performance may appear rather lacklustre, many networks and associations stress the impact of a strong US dollar on masking stronger, in some cases double digit, local currency growth. Universal increases in fee income across the top 10 largest networks and associations support the view that demand for services remains strong, particular those aimed at helping clients manage increased regulatory pressure, digital disruption and a growing focus on mitigating risk. At the same time, just three across the Top 25 – DFK (ranked 22nd), Morison KSI (24th) and IAPA (25th) – posted revenues down on the previous year, compared with nine networks and associations in last year’s survey.
Michael Reiss von Filski, global CEO of sixth ranked Geneva Group International, which posted 2016 results up 3.75% to $5.24bn (2015: $5.05bn), said the benefits of a multidisciplinary approach were being recognised by other players in the market, not least the Big Four who had all bolstered their legal offerings over the course of 2016. ‘Clients expect the full range of services: accounting, legal, tax, advisory,’ he said. ‘Critical mass is of the essence; global coverage cannot be achieved with just a few offices.’
For full article click here