BDO revenues push $9 billion, driven by huge growth in EMEA region

13 December 2018 4 min. read
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Accounting network BDO has announced revenues of $8.99 billion for 2018, led by growth of 17 percent in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Global audit, accounting and advisory network BDO has cemented its place at the head of the mid-tier accountancy table, reporting worldwide revenues of $8.99 billion for its 2018 financial year ending September. The figure represents an altogether 10.7 percent revenue rise from last year, with its EMEA (Europe, the Middle East & Africa) division registering impressive growth of 17 percent.

While the Big Four jockey among themselves for global supremacy – one by one announcing record revenues for this financial year – Deloitte with a whopping $43.2 billion haul, PwC with $41.3 billion, and EY taking in $34.8 billion in turn – the next echelon of mid-tier firms are engaged in an equally competitive tussle among, led by BDO ahead of the likes of RSM, Grant Thornton, and Crowe.

Yet, while BDO makes a break on the chasing pack, with the coming Moore Stephens merger in the UK set to provide an additional boon, the focus remains firmly on the mid-tier market rather than bridging the Big Four gap. “We view our market as slightly different, and I think actually they view us as slightly different as well,” BDO CEO Keith Farlinger told London business paper City A.M.

BDO revenues push $9 billion, driven by huge growth in EMEA

And although the firm fell a fraction short of the $9 billion revenue mark, BDO did however reach another significant milestone this year in surpassing 80,000 employees (spread across 1,591 offices in 162 countries), growing its staff numbers by 8.4 percent amidst an escalating worldwide skilled labour shortage – described by Farlinger to City A.M as a ‘war for talent’ with sector rivals.

“I’d like to congratulate our 80,000 people across BDO for a truly great achievement in 2018,” Farlinger said in the annual report. “Our people are exceptional, there’s no doubt about it. It is them, with the close relationships that they build with each other and with their clients and their excellence in service delivery, that have contributed to our continuing global growth story.”

According the firm, BDO’s recent success is being driven by innovation and investment in technology – with ‘business-critical acquisitions’ such as IT solutions firm SWC Technology Partners in the US, and digital consultancies Ideas at Work and Crossroads in Belgium – and through ‘future-focused software and tools’ utilising AI, blockchain and robotic process automation.

“BDO’s achievements, not only in 2018 but throughout our 55 year story, point to great potential for our organisation in the future,” Farlinger said in conclusion. “But we do not rest on our laurels: the world is transforming very quickly and we will need to keep attracting the best people to our organisation to continue to serve our clients not just well, but exceptionally.”

BDO has a presence across all the major centres of the Middle East and North Africa, including its member firm in the UAE which first joined the network in 1975. Other regional locations include Lebanon, Jordan and the nations of the GCC. Earlier this year, the network appointed a new member in Belize, achieving full sweep of representation in every Central American state.