EY books another year of double-digit growth in the Asia Pacific

17 September 2018 Consultancy.asia 4 min. read
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Ernst & Young has achieved solid growth of 7.4% over the past year to book record global revenues of $34.8 billion, with its Asia Pacific business the standout region.

The Big Four accounting and consulting firm Ernst & Young has kept the pressure up on its rivals PwC and Deloitte with a record $34.8 billion take for its past reporting year till the end of June – equating to 7.4% growth against 2017 (in local currency and 11% in US dollars) across its various service lines and regions and its eighth consecutive year of overall growth. The Asia Pacific was again the firm’s hottest market, achieving growth of 10.5% with a five year annual compound growth rate of 10.2%.

Altogether, the firm raised revenues of $4.1 billion in the Asia Pacific (exc. Japan), with Greater China again featuring as one of the EY’s top five markets for overall revenue in its third consecutive year for double-digit growth. The Australia market was also noted for its strong growth, while India, which sits within the firm’s EMEIA (Europe, Middle East, India and Africa) geographic division, led all locations with growth of 16.3% (its eighth year of such growth).

The firm’s performance in India belied the EMEIA lagging other regions overall with growth of 6.9%, yet the region collectively still accounted for $13.9 billion of the overall tally – with Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain cited as particularly strong growth markets – behind the Americas, which pulled in revenues of $15.6 billion (at 7.4% growth for 2018 with a five-year CAGR of 9%). The US remained the major share of the firm’s revenues both regionally and globally, with a grand haul of $14 billion.

The balance between growth and traditional markets was further reflected across EY’s service lines, which saw its advisory and transaction advisory lines up 10.1% and 13.9% respectively, and its assurance division (up 4.4% and 6.4%) still lifting the bulk of the weight with return of $12.5 billion each. Yet, the firm’s advisory line has again outshone its tax division, with earnings of $9.6 billion against $9 billion, while the remainder came via its booming transaction advisory services ($3.6 billion) which has now achieved a five-year CAGR of 13.3%.EY records double-digit growth in Asia to book record global revenuesIn respect to the EY’s growing advisory segment – which includes consulting on rapidly emerging Industry 4.0 technologies such as robotic processes automation (RPA), blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), data analytics and cybersecurity – the firm has already stated its intention to reinvest $1 billion back into new technology solutions over the next two years, and has continued to open its flagship wavespace innovation centres across the globe, including plans for further rollouts across its Asian markets.

Carmine Di Sibio, EY’s Global Managing Partner for Client Service, said in conjunction with the release of its annual financial report; “Our commitment to deploying the best use cases for new technologies helps clients not just keep pace, but stay ahead of the vast disruption in today's business world. Significant investments in people, technology and alliances over the past few years are transforming traditional and emerging EY services alike. We are proud that we are empowering clients to succeed and grow in this complex environment.”

In further support of its technological aspirations, the firm has put in a concerted training and recruitment drive in the domain over the past year, with EY now boasting a workforce featuring over 20,000 data and analytics practitioners around the world and more than 2,000 data scientists. Altogether, the firm’s advisory division saw an 11.7% jump in headcount over the past year (to nearly 60,000 employees worldwide) – matched only by the rise in its transaction service professionals – while the Asia Pacific recorded a 4.4% boost in personnel across all departments.

Overall, the firm’s headcount increased by 5.7% globally, adding 65,000 new faces from more than 2 million applications to take its total employee count to over 260,000 (with the firm’s attrition rate rising marginally to 21.1%) – stationed across 700-odd offices in more than 150 countries. For the 2018 financial year, the firm has admitted 1,147 new partners, with close to a third of those operating in emerging markets such as the Asia Pacific – which saw regional Area Managing Partner Patrick Winter take the helm in July.