Deloitte has increased global revenue by 1.8 percent to $26.6bn, momentarily inching ahead of rival PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Deloitte’s growth is due to the strength of its consulting business and solid demand in Asia and Latin America.
PricewaterhouseCoopers is due to release its global figures in about a month and will need to grow aggregate firm revenue by at least 1.7 percent to cling onto top spot.
It’s impossible to predict how PwC will perform. In the past few years, Deloitte has closed in on its rival, although PwC UK recently reported stronger growth than Deloitte UK. Whichever network ends up on top, the lead is likely to be marginal.
Any revenue growth is positive because economic conditions are still tough in most western markets while Deloitte’s UK firm, the network’s second largest contributor, recently reported a 1% contraction.
Consulting powers growth
Revenue growth was fuelled by a strong performance from the Deloitte’s consulting business, which grew fee income by 15% to $7.5bn. This growth included the acquisition of several consulting firms, such as BearingPoint’s North American public sector practice and the UK real estate consultancy Driver Jonas.
Global audit revenue declined 1 percent to $11.7bn despite the network increasing its market share of the Fortune Global 500 by 1 percent. Tax revenue declined by 5% to $5.4bn and financial advisory revenue was down 2 percent to $2bn.
Deloitte said its results were affected by modest reductions in hourly rates as fee pressure has been a constant pain for firms across the world. A global M&A drought is likely to be the reason why financial advisory work declined.
Revenue generated from public sector work increased 38% while manufacturing and financial services work remained flat.
Firms in the Asia-Pacific region led growth with 9% to $3.6bn, Americas firms grew revenue 4% to $13bn, while Europe, the Middle East and Africa showed a 3% decline to $10bn.
Deloitte said it has more than 170,000 professionals, which makes it the largest employer of accountants in the world.
In a month the network could also be crowned the market leader in revenue.