A difficult global economy, political uncertainty and the impact of a strong US dollar on local currencies have exerted downward pressure on the financial results of many global accounting networks and associations. At the same time, attempts to boost revenues from advisory work in the face of an extremely competitive audit market have yielded mixed success. Combined revenue for the top 25 networks and association in financial year 2015 hit $183.92bn (£125.23bn), up from $180.9bn in last year’s survey, representing an aggregated 4.6% increase in fee income.
Although at constant exchange rates many lay claim to double-digit growth, if you scratch beneath the surface it soon becomes clear that the business environment over the last 12 months has remained challenging, with top line numbers masking significant geographic and service line disparity.
Michael Reiss von Filski, CEO of sixth ranked GGI Global Alliance, said its multidisciplinary approach was a factor in its growth. ‘It is not possible to be on the peak without offering a full range of services. Clients simply don’t buy that anymore. Associations of independent firms offer a true alternative and not just a lower ranked imitation of a Big Four,’ he said
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