BDO nearly doubles revenue in decade and outpaces main rivals

05 December 2019 2 min. read
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Mid-tier accounting and consulting firm has grown its revenues by 7% to $9.6 billion in its latest financial year, with its headcount up 10% to 88,100 professionals across 1,800+ offices in 167 countries. 

“It has been a landmark year for BDO globally, with continued organic growth and our selective ongoing merger and acquisition strategy paving the way for another solid year of growth,” said Keith Farlinger, the global chief executive officer of BDO. 

Organic growth was strongest in the Americas, at 16%, now accounting for 53% of the firm’s global fee income. BDO’s second largest geographic division (33% of the total), EMEA, grew by 13%, while Asia Pacific saw 12% growth led by massive growth in Pakistan (38%), India (30%) and Indonesia (21%). 

Global revenue of BDO

Country organisations that performed particularly well were Australia, Chile, Lithuania, Mexico, the Netherlands, Peru, Romania, Saudi Arabia and Singapore – all of which booked double-digit growth. 

Inorganic activity included the merger with Moore Stephens in the UK (one of BDO’s biggest-ever deals), the acquisition of Consolid8 in Australia, and the purchase of Grant Thornton in South Africa. A total of 20 mergers and acquisitions were closed in the year ended 30 September 2019, with the US practice the largest dealmaker, bolting-on among others Global Trade Strategies in Atlanta and Lootok in New York.

In terms of services, Audit and assurance remains BDO’s largest contributor to global revenues at $4 billion (42%), followed by Advisory and Tax – each at 21% of group turnover – and Business Services & Outsourcing, which holds a 15% share. 

Global revenues of large accounting and advisory firms

A decade ago, BDO generated revenues of just over $5 billion, meaning that over the ten year period, BDO has grown faster than its main rivals. Deloitte was the fastest grower among the Big Four giants – Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC – but trailed BDO by 14% growth, while Grant Thornton and RSM grew by 67% and 50% respectively.

“We have cemented our position as the fastest-growing global accountancy and business advisory firm in the last 10 years,” said Farlinger. 

Looking ahead, BDO expects a solid 2020 financial year, despite growing economic uncertainty unfolding in economic and financial market. To be ready for the future, the firm is investing $300 million in technology and innovation.