EY has reported global revenues of $27.4bn in the year to 30 June 2014, up 6% year on year and up 6.8% in local currency terms, a growth led by emerging markets.

The firm’s service lines all recorded growth. At $11.3bn, assurance remained the dominant area, up 4.5% on 2013 figures. And the firm is set to invest $400m in "state-of-the-art audit technologies and processes" as part of plans to improve audit quality, it reported in its annual report.

Tax followed at $7.2bn, despite growth slowing from 7% in 2013 to 4.3% this year. In particular, EY said it expects the acquisition of Thomson Reuters’ Tax Preparation and Court Accounting Outsourcing businesses in December last year will allow to further expand its tax offering.

Growth in advisory registered below 2013 levels of 18.8%, but remained in the double digits at 14.4% and totalled $6.5bn.
Meanwhile, growth in transaction advisory services accelerated the most from 3% in 2013 to 6.5% in the 2014 financial year, with the service line totalling $2.4bn.

Geographically, despite remaining the firms’ strongest performers, growth in the Americas and Europe Middle East India and Africa (EMEIA) slowed slightly compared to 2013. Conversely, growth accelerated in both Asia-Pacific and Japan.

EMEIA remained the largest overall revenue area with $11.8bn, a 5.1% increase on 2013 levels. The Americas followed close behind with $11.5bn, a 9.1% increase on the previous year.

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Revenue levels in Asia-Pacific were up 5.2% to $3bn, while Japan saw the largest acceleration in growth from 0.8% in 2013 to 5.3% this year, totalling revenue of $1.1bn.

According to EY global chairman and CEO Mark Weinberger, the results reflect a push towards developing markets.

"Emerging markets will continue to drive economic growth for the foreseeable future," he explained, "By 2020, we’re predicting about 30% of our revenue will be from emerging markets and we have earmarked $1.5bn for investment to support that growth."

Staffing numbers for the most recent financial year were at "an all-time high", according to EY. The network exceeded its 2013 new hire estimate of 55,000 by adding 60,000 employees in the last financial year, bringing its total to 188,292 total employees.

This year also saw the firm’s largest partner intake ever, with 675 partners promoted internally and 324 admitted directly. Of the total 999 new partners, 28% hail from emerging markets and just over a quarter (26%) are women. The firm reported its assurance practice benefited from the largest partner intake.

With these results, EY is likely to remain the third largest accounting network in the world. Deloitte announced global revenues of $34.2bn in the year to 31 May 2014 earlier this week.

While PwC will issue their results for FY13 next month and KPMG will do so in December, it is unlikely that EY will overtake PwC who reported $32.1bn in revenues for FY12. Nor is it likely that KPMG who reported $23.4bn in revenues for FY12 will overtake EY.