Issues in China contribute to stalled growth for Crowe Global

30 January 2020 Consultancy.asia

Crowe Global has reported modest growth of 3.5 percent to finish its 2019 financial year with worldwide revenues of $4.4 billion, the network hampered by problems in China. 

The second-last to report among the world’s ten biggest accounting and advisory networks, Crowe Global has posted 2019 financial year revenues of $4.4 billion, representing growth of 3.5 percent (excluding foreign exchange impact). The results see Crowe only just maintain its position as the eighth largest network of its kind, behind Grant Thornton (which recently lost its sixth spot to RSM) and ahead of Nexia – the latter which is quickly closing in with 2019 revenues of $4.3 billion.

“I am very pleased that we have continued to achieve growth over the last twelve months,” commented Crowe Global's Chief Executive Officer David Mellor. “Volatility in foreign currency exchange rates and unstable economic conditions in several regions has resulted in a challenging global trading environment for many. At Crowe, we are focused on driving value for our clients, our people and our communities through collaboration, leadership and agility; it is these priorities that enable the network to navigate this uncertain landscape.”

Despite the dramatically slowed growth (the network in its previous operating year achieved a 14 percent jump, including a massive 43 percent gain in the Asia Pacific), Crowe pointed to a number of its top-performing regions, including a 75 percent boost to its Indonesian business. All in all, Latin America was the network’s standout region with growth of 13 percent, followed by Africa at plus 12 percent, North America (plus 8 percent) and Europe, the latter up by 6 percent.

Crowe Global Financial results 2019

While its figures for the Asia Pacific weren’t highlighted, the network has no doubt been hampered by events in China – an annual accountancy market worth upwards of $14 billion. Toward the end of 2018, one of its largest players, Ruihua CPAs, severed a joint deal with RSM and Crowe for an exclusive partnership with the latter. Since then, Ruihua has been in a running battle with local regulators following another high-profile scandal at one of its clients, while RSM China has streaked ahead on the back of a local-market merger.

Meanwhile, the Crowe network continues to forge ahead elsewhere, reporting double-digit growth for its tax advisory line, as well as a rise in its audit revenues. In addition, Crowe has expanded human resources advisory practice into new territories, tapping into the opportunities presented by continued client demand for global talent acquisition. The firm also cited activity as to technological solutions, and highlighted its achievements beyond its financial performance.

“I am especially pleased that our firms gained recognition with accolades such as Best Tax Provider (UK) at the Expatriate Management & Mobility Awards and Best Tax and Audit Provider (UAE) at the Global Banking and Finance Awards,” said Mellor, who took over in 2018 shortly before its global rebranding. “These successes are testament to our 42,000 people who are committed to providing service excellence and helping our clients make smart decisions."


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