• Register
Return to: Home > News > Tax > WORLD SURVEY: Global firms back in the black

WORLD SURVEY: Global firms back in the black

IAB world survey revenue vs growth

Global accounting firms are on the path to recovery in a year that welcomed a new leader of the pack. While 2009 will be remembered as a year of hardship and revenue contractions, the past 12 months has seen growth return, albeit at much more muted levels than pre-financial crisis days.

Of the 44 global networks and associations surveyed, 60% reported either US dollar growth or flat revenue on their 2008/2009 fiscal year results. The combined revenue of global firms was $144bn, which is not quite a return to the glory days of 2007/2008, when the group generated revenue of $152bn.

What these results highlight is a steady recovery for global firms, despite challenging trading conditions in the US and UK – the two largest accountancy markets. Much of this growth is being fuelled by the key emerging economies China, India and Brazil, where global firms are being rewarded for investing heavily.




Audit and accountancy services performed admirably among the top 10 global networks, while advisory and consulting proved a mixed bag. Risk management, internal audit and due diligence services are in demand but corporate finance and IPO work is still at a lull although firm leaders expect activity to return as the M&A market continues to pick up.

Cross-border tax advice, including transfer pricing, proved to be the service with the most consistent growth.

In terms of litigation, 2010 was a better year for global firms than 2009, but troubles in Ireland could lead to more litigation this year.

The spread of IFRS is motoring along and providing opportunities in many Asian markets for firms, while it now seems that the US will adopt and it unveils its roadmap this year. 2010 is also the year the role of the auditor came under the spotlight as politicians in the EU and UK review the audit industry and its future path.

There has been a minor reshuffle in this year’s global top 10. Deloitte has taken pole position for the first time from rival PwC and PKF International has moved into tenth spot.

Deloitte became recognised as the highest earning network in October when PwC released its results. The difference between the two networks is staggeringly small – Deloitte’s revenue was $26,578m while PwC brought in $26,569m. In 2009, PwC earned $71m more than Deloitte but this year PwC is $9m behind.

IAB world survey top 10 audit and tax firms

Top Content

    Blockchain and the Big Four: does it deserve all the hype?

    Although still in its infancy, blockchain is one of the most talked-about technologies of 2018. Will the blockchain bubble burst, or will it live up to its reputation as the ‘new internet’? Eleanor Jerome investigates

    read more

    Malaysia: Ready to show its strength

    Recent changes have enhanced the quality of audit reports in Malaysia, giving the profession a welcome opportunity to demonstrate its value to clients. Paul Golden reports

    read more

    China: Regulating the Chinese dragon

    Harsh regulatory actions and looming US trade wars have been dampening expectations in a Chinese market still full of potential, finds Jonathan Minter

    read more

    Indigenous Australians: New checks and balances

    With fewer than 40 known qualified Indigenous Australian accountants, Jonathan Minter speaks to Shelley Cable from PwC Australia about how increasing this number is an important part of improving the financial literacy of Indigenous communities

    read more
Privacy Policy

We have updated our privacy policy. In the latest update it explains what cookies are and how we use them on our site. To learn more about cookies and their benefits, please view our privacy policy. Please be aware that parts of this site will not function correctly if you disable cookies. By continuing to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy unless you have disabled them.