The world’s largest accountancy firm is
to build a multi-million dollar learning and development centre to
train and nurture a 45,000 person workforce. Deloitte US will
invest $300 million in a 750,000 square feet (69,677 square metres)
facility at Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, with construction due to
begin next year.

Dubbed “Deloitte University” by the network’s global chief
executive Jim Quigley, the facility will serve as a central hub for
Deloitte talent in the region, including new hires, professionals,
partners and leadership.

It will comprise of 800 guest rooms, classrooms, multiple
conference spaces, dining venues, a ballroom, a business centre,
recreational facilities and a fitness centre. The centre will host
training programmes, leadership events, academic conferences and
networking opportunities. Due for completion in 2011, the facility
will be larger than the Louvre museum in Paris, which houses 35,000
works of art in 60,000 square metres.

Deloitte US partner Jon Eisele told the International
Accounting Bulletin
that the centre was motivated by a desire
to invest in the learning and the leadership development of
staff.

“The whole cultural aspect is also very important,” Eisele
added. “You’ll have people meeting and sitting in a class with
others from all over the world. When you become as large as our
organisation you have to become more intentional and deliberate in
protecting your culture.”

Quigley said the facility is likely to be used by member firms
in Canada, Mexico, Latin America and further afield. He said the
facility would also act as a beacon to attract new talent to the
firm.

“When you think about building a world class campus and how it
would influence the thinking of a key recruit that is trying to
decide which professional services firm they want to work for, they
see that campus and commitment built in their development. It’s
going to impact how we compete for talent and how effective we are
for retention,” he explained.

Deloitte confirmed the facility is likely to be used extensively
to train audit personnel on IFRS as regulators edge closer towards
allowing US listed companies the choice of reporting under global
accounting standards. This will be one of the largest training
exercises ever undertaken by the US profession, but both Quigley
and Eisele stressed the IFRS training requirement was not a factor
in the timing of the announcement.

The International Accounting Bulletin understands that
architects have drafted several blueprints of the facility but no
design concept has been rubber stamped at this “early stage”.

Deloitte said the centre would be built according to Leadership
in Energy and Environmental Design standards established by the US
Green Building Council.

Arvind Hickman and Nicholas Moody