RSM International has reported an 18% year-on-year increase in its global fee income to $4.4bn for the financial year ended 31 December 2014.

Within the service lines, audit and accountancy fees rose by 17% to $2.2bn, tax increased 15% to $1.3bn and advisory registered by far the highest growth at 57%, totalling $838m.

Notwithstanding Europe’s continued economic woes, the network’s growth was spurred by a 79% increase in the region, driven by the April 2014 addition of Baker Tilly UK as RSM’s British member firm.

That of Baker Tilly UK was one of a round of additions carried out by RSM across Africa and the Middle East, Asia Pacific, Europe and Latin America, also contributors to the 2014 performance.

Further to the network’s outlying performance in Europe, fee incomes grew 22% in Latin America, followed by Africa with 13%, the Middle East with 9%, North America at 8% and Asia Pacific at 2%.

The network also pointed in particular to the US and China as areas in which individual member firms drove particularly strong organic growth.

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Finland, Greece and Switzerland were also top performers in Europe, registering a fee growth of 53%, 47% and 33%, respectively.

In terms of headcount, the network increased its overall number of staff by 17% to 37,500 professionals working across 112 countries and 732 offices.

RSM global chief executive officer Jean Stephens tells IAB exclusively: "we’re reporting 18% growth, in large part due to Baker Tilly UK."

However, she adds: "we still had very good growth without that, Europe was our star performer and there was good growth all around.

"Over the last few years, with the exception of the UK change, we have been very solid in just continuing to build and grow," she explains.

Stephens told IAB she feels positive about the future, however did agree "competition is heating up" in the market.

"I think going into 2015 growth is going to continue to be a challenge and we have to continue to be smarter in terms of how we leverage our strengths and engage with our clients and provided that added value."


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