BDO enjoys 15% global revenues hike to hit $11.8 billion

18 January 2022 3 min. read
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Professional services network BDO has cemented its place as the world’s fifth-largest consulting and audit firm. Distancing itself from its nearest rivals, BDO posted growth of 15% for its latest financial year.

Mid-tier accounting and consulting leader BDO has banked $11.8 billion in global revenues for its 2021 financial year to October. Compared to 2020 figures, this is growth of 14.8% if measured in US dollars, while the firm has also enjoyed a revenue jump of over $2 billion since 2019. Most of those gains occurred over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic.

As the world’s fifth largest accounting network behind the Big Four – ahead of closest rivals Grant Thornton and RSM – audit and assurance continues to be BDO’s largest service line, accounting for 42% of total revenues. The firm’s tax and advisory practices each contributed 21.5%, and business services and outsourcing added 15% – with the revenue split by practice almost identical to the previous reporting period. The firm said that its strong 2021 figures were supported by its largest ever intake of employees and partners, with the net 6.8% boost taking its overall global headcount to just a shade under 100,000 professionals.

Revenue of BDO International

BDO has 1,728 offices in 167 countries and territories worldwide and growth has been consistent across all regions. In particular, EMEA saw a very healthy revenue increase of 17.4% – ahead of Asia Pacific on 16.9%, and the Americas with 12.6%.  While the Americas are still the firm’s largest region, contributing 53% of revenues, this means EMEA and Asia Pacific offices are catching up – adding contribute 35% and 12% respectively. 

UK growth

Focusing in on its UK wing, BDO saw its return to pre-Covid levels of growth. A release noted that all areas, including audit, tax and advisory, “performed well” in 2021, with an 11% increase in gross revenues to £731 million.The firm’s financial report shows pre-tax profits surged by 48% to £203 million for the year compared to 2020, while it was also a 22% boost compared to the 2019 financial year.

Fastest growing of the business’ wings was its advisory sector, as it gains ground on BDO’s historically biggest service line. While BDO’s audit business posted revenues of £276 million, this is growth of 12% on the previous year. Even as “desire from main market businesses to get ahead of market reforms” boosts the number of listed companies it audits, however, its consulting line outperformed it, growing at 15% to hit £261 million. This is something the firm said was driven by its “strong sector expertise”. Elsewhere, the firm’s tax business generated £194 million in revenues – a 4% increase.

Like the global brand, BDO recruited steadily through 2021. The firm brought in a total of 1,200 people, including 500 apprentices. Managing Partner Paul Eagland expects this helped the firm come out ahead with spikes in demand.

Eagland noted, “As the economy started to settle, post Brexit and with the roll-out of the vaccine programme, we experienced an increase in demand for our services. This demand, coupled with the tenacity and hard work of our people, and cost savings in areas such as travel, has enabled us to post a strong set of financial results.”

Looking ahead, Eagland expects that BDO can continue on this path in 2022. He added, “While a number of our clients have experienced financial difficulties, the overall strength of this segment of our economy has been remarkable. Their success has enabled us to revert to our pre-pandemic merger strategy of growth.”