Deloitte has closed to within a fraction
of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as the largest accounting network
in the world, with revenue of $26.1 billion in the year to 31 May

Although the network’s combined revenue
contracted 4.9 percent in US dollar terms, this was enough for it
to almost tie with the market leader PwC, which revealed fee income
of $26.2 billion, following a 7 percent revenue decline in US
dollar terms.

Deloitte global chief executive Jim Quigley
told the International Accounting Bulletin that Deloitte’s
culture and a decision to retain and build its consulting arm were
the main reasons the network was able to close the gap on its
traditional rival.

“We’re pleased we’ve eliminated the gap
between ourselves and them, and I believe it’s a tribute to the
business model we have,” Quigley said.

Deloitte’s consulting line was the best
performing service line, growing 2 percent in US dollar terms and
7.3 percent in local currencies to $6.5 billion.

“Our consulting capability is deep and broad,
and I’m delighted with the decision we made to retain it,” Quigley
said. “I think it actually helps us broadly in our ability to
deliver high-quality audits to our audit clients just because we’ve
got some competencies inside the enterprise that are enormously
valuable in that regard.”Deloitte v PwC by revenue 2003-2007

Audit and tax remained flat in local currency
terms compared with the previous year. Financial advisory services
revenue decreased by 6.1 percent, primarily due to substantially
decreased merger and acquisition activity across the world’s
capital markets.

“That’s a business that’s going to come back
as there is significant liquidity in the marketplace,” Quigley

“Not only strategic buyers but private equity
players have significant resource pools that they have yet to
invest. Our teams are being deployed, the deals are not yet
publicly announced or closed but we are seeing that activity pick

Although advisory as a whole has dropped, the
network’s public sector advisory practice was among Deloitte’s
fastest growing service areas and was buoyed by the acquisition of
BearingPoint public sector businesses in the US.

On a firm by firm basis, Deloitte’s star
performers were the Indian, Japanese and Australian firms, which
experienced local currency growth of 29.9 percent, 11.5 percent,
and 11.3 percent, respectively.

Broadly speaking, the Asia-Pacific region had
a stellar year, growing 7.6 percent in local currency terms – the
fifth consecutive year it has led growth among Deloitte’s three
global regions.

A closer geographical look reveals that Africa
led the pack with local currency fee income growth of 21 percent,
the Middle East increased revenue 16 percent, and Latin America
increased 14 percent.

North America (-2.5 percent) and Europe (0.9
percent) performed worst due to the severity of the economic
downturn in these regions.

During the 2009 fiscal year, the network hired
more than 40,000 professionals. The workforce now stands at
approximately 169,000 people globally, representing a 4.5 percent
increase from 2008.