World Survey 2023 analysis
Growth returns to double digits
Joe Pickard, editor of The Accountant, and Santiago Bedoya-Pardo, GlobalData accountancy reporter, take a look at the key figures from this year’s World Survey.
The total overall growth rate for the top 32 accountancy networks has reached double digits for the first time since 2006, at 11% for FY22.
Deloitte led the rankings once again, with an impressive 18% growth taking the network’s fee income to $59.3bn, compared to $50.2bn last year. PwC and EY also showed an increase in growth rate compared to last year, with growth of 11% and 14% respectively, compared to 5% and 7% respectively last year. KPMG was the odd one out of the Big Four, only reporting an 8% increase in fee income compared to 10% growth last year.
For the top ten networks, the overall growth rate reached 12%, while the average (mean) growth rate per network stood at 10%.
The ranking order for Networks remained largely unchanged, the biggest upset being a 46% decrease in Nexia International’s fee income, corresponding to a $2.3bn reduction. This was due to the loss of member firms in the year.
The overall growth rate for all 19 associations included in this year’s World Survey was 7%. This was down slightly from 8% in FY21.
The top ten associations just missed out on double-digit growth, hitting 8% overall, with an average (mean) growth rate per association of 5%.
Service line breakdown
FY22 saw advisory taking a strong lead in the rankings amongst networks, experiencing a staggering 19% growth rate globally. While accounting still came last, it saw a positive growth rate of 4%. Growth rates for audit and assurance services and tax services stood at 5% and 6% respectively.
For advisory services, while the Big Four took the top spots, RSM saw the highest growth in FY22 at 36%. All of the top 10 networks in advisory experienced growth in FY22 and six saw double-digit growth.
When it came to accounting services, BDO ranked first with growth of 2%, while, of the top 10 networks in accounting, only three experienced double-digit growth (Moore Global at 24%, Kreston Global at 10%, and PKF International at 14%).
Audit and assurance, and tax services, saw relatively more robust growth, with all of the top 10 networks in these service lines experiencing positive growth in FY22.
Associations just missed out on double-digit growth for advisory, coming in at 9%. Likewise, the audit and assurance service line also came in at 9% growth for FY22. This was closely followed by tax services, with growth of 7%. The same, however, cannot be said about accounting, which saw a 2% decrease in fee income.
Praxity took the top spot for advisory services, and also experienced the highest growth amongst the top 10 at 28%. In total, four of the top 10 associations in advisory saw double-digit growth. However, three of the top 10 experienced a decrease in fee income from advisory services in FY22.
For associations in accounting, Praxity again ranked first with fee income of USD$990.6m, yet this equated to an 18% decrease compared to their FY21 performance. Only three of the top 10 associations in accounting saw double-digit growth in FY22 while four saw a decrease in fee income from accounting services.
Performance in audit and assurance, on the other hand, portrays a relatively stronger picture. Praxity once again ranked first with 15% growth, while AGN International, ranking seventh, saw growth of 48%, going from fee income of USD$298m in FY21 to USD$442.5m in FY22.
Tax services saw a mixed performance. Praxity once again ranked first with 11% growth and four of the top 10 saw double-digit growth. However, another four of the top 10 saw a decrease in fee income from tax services in FY22.
FY22 saw Latin America experience double-digit growth at 10% overall. Of the top 10 networks in the region, RSM, Crowe, Grant Thornton and Baker Tilly International all experienced impressive growth at 24%, 24%, 18% and 18% respectively.
The Middle East region saw similar success with overall growth of 9% and four of the top 10 networks in the region experiencing double-digit growth: BDO, Grant Thornton, Mazars and Baker Tilly International at 18%, 18%, 17% and 10% respectively.
The overall growth rate for North America was 7%, with double-digit growth seen for eight of the top 10 networks in the region.
Meanwhile, both Africa and Asia-Pacific saw 4% growth overall, with impressive growth from Moore Global in Africa at 22% and from HLB International in Asia-Pacific at 16%.
On the other hand, Europe experienced a negative growth rate of -1% in the year, with the highest growth rate amongst the top 10 networks in the region seen by Moore Global at 11%.
Latin America also experienced the highest growth rate of the regions for associations, at 11% overall. Double-digit growth was seen for five of the top 10 networks in the region, with particularly impressive results for Allinial Global and DKF International at 46% and 42% respectively.
The next highest growth rate was seen for the Asia-Pacific region at 10%, with second ranked PrimeGlobal experiencing growth of 37% in the region.
This was followed by North America with 9% growth overall. Of the top 10 associations in the region, double-digit growth was seen by AGN International, Praxity, Allinial Global and PrimeGlobal at 17%, 15%, 13% and 10% respectively.
The overall growth rate for the Middle East was 6%, with four of the top 10 associations in the region experiencing double-digit growth: INPACT, LEA Global/ Leading Edge Alliance, MSI Global and Praxity at 27%, 21% 18% and 12% respectively.
The growth for Europe stood at 3% overall for FY22, while the lowest growth rate was seen for Africa at 1%.
Big Four Regional Data
FY22 proved to be a positive year for the Big Four all around the globe, in terms of both fee income growth and growth in staff numbers.
The Americas saw the Big Four prosper the most in terms of fee income. While growth was highest in this region for all four networks, Deloitte was at the helm with the highest fee income of USD$30.7bn and highest growth rate of 22%, while KPMG was the least successful, with the lowest fee income in the region and lowest growth rate of 15%.
Deloitte had the highest fee income in the Asia Pacific region at USD$10.0bn and the highest growth rate in the region at 18%. While Deloitte also saw the highest growth rate in EMEA at 13%, however, actual fee income was higher for PwC in this region: USD$19.1bn for PwC compared to USD$18.8bn for Deloitte. For both of these regions, KPMG again saw the lowest fee income and growth rates of the Big Four at 6% and 2% respectively.
Staff statistics, however, were relatively stable across regions, to the notable exception of yet another period of bonanza in the Americas for Deloitte with staff growth of 26% in the region. Meanwhile, PwC saw staff growth reach 21% in Asia Pacific, standing first in the ranking for the region, but only 4% in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region.