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October 4, 2010

Deloitte eclipses PwC as largest global firm

Deloitte is officially the largest accountancy network in the world as its member firms brought in $9 million more in revenue than PwC’s in the past fiscal year. This is the first time Deloitte has been crowned the highest earning network .

Today, Deloitte revealed its annual revenue was $26.578 billion in the year to 31 May 2010, eclipsing the $26.569 billion PwC generated in the year to 30 June 2010. Deloitte’s workforce of about 170,000 people is larger than PwC’s headcount of 161,118, which confirms Deloitte is now the market leader in the most common metrics used to determine network size.

A month ago, Deloitte said its aggregate member firm revenue was $26.6 billion, which is identical to the financial results PwC disclosed on Monday. This prompted the International Accounting Bulletin to request Deloitte reveal its revenue figures to the nearest million.

A slender margin

Nine months ago, this publication predicted Deloitte would become the largest group this year but nobody could have foreseen such a slender margin. A difference of $9 million is remarkable when you consider that both networks have independent member firms in most countries around the world.

Over the past five years, Deloitte has been the fastest-growing professional services network among the Big Four. During 2005-2009, Deloitte outgrew its rivals by 2.7 to 3.3 percentage points annually. 

The key to Deloitte’s success has been the retention of its market-leading consulting business, which in recent years has flourished when core services such as audit and tax struggled. PwC sold its consulting arm to IBM following the Enron scandal but has been rebuilding it in recent years.

Deloitte said its member firms have committed more than $1 billion in strategic investments over five years. Highlights include:

  • More than $500 million in the following markets: Brazil, China, India, Japan, Middle East, Russia and Southeast Asia, as well as a number of European countries
  • Approximately $400 million toward developing the capabilities of Deloitte staff across the global network. This includes a $300 million Deloitte US investment in Deloitte University, a learning and development facility scheduled to open near Dallas, Texas, in 2011. Further, Deloitte plans to hire more than a quarter of a million people during the next five years.
  • More than $100 million into “As One”, Deloitte’s new organisation-wide business and operational strategy. The “As One” strategy is designed to respond to clients’ increasingly complex needs and to enhance the member firm network’s ability to seamlessly deliver world-class services across geographic and business borders.
  • More than $300 million committed to Deloitte Audit. Audit is a fundamental element of the member firm network’s portfolio and investment funds continue to be prioritised towards enhancing audit quality, technology and methodology in response to regulatory, economic and other factors influencing the profession.

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