Global professional services network Grant Thornton has posted record global revenues on the back of its booming trade in Asia.
Global professional services network Grant Thornton has cited a transformational merger in Japan and strong organic Asia Pacific regional growth as among the primary reasons for the firm’s record global profits of $5.45 billion for the 2018 financial year to 30 September – up 9.4 percent network-wide on its previous year. For the Asia Pacific, that year-on-year growth figure stood close to a massive 19 percent.
According to the firm, over one fifth of its combined global growth was achieved courtesy of mergers and acquisitions, with the largest of its 24 deals for the year being the addition of Japan-based Yusei Audit Co. and Yamada & Partners Certified Public Tax Accountants – adding some 900 new professionals to the Grant Thornton network and “substantially boosting its tax and audit capabilities across the region.”
Next to Japan, Grant Thornton saw huge to considerable growth in the four largest economies of ASEAN, recording a whopping ~32 percent and ~27 percent rise in Indonesia and Malaysia, and healthy boosts in Singapore (16.3%) and Thailand (12.6%). “This is a testament that despite difficult times, we are still the trusted advisor for our clients because of our vast capabilities,” said Grant Thornton Malaysia country managing partner Datuk Narendra Jasani.
Across its entire Asian Pacific network, the firm reports that 42 percent of member firms grew revenues by upwards of 10 percent, a feat equaled by over half of Grant Thornton’s European members, where it also recorded above-average growth of 7.7 percent (Ireland, Greece and Spain the standouts at above 20 percent). Dollars-wise, Europe and the Americas accounted for roughly $4.25 billion of the network’s overall 2018 revenues.
Elsewhere, the firm’s Africa division took huge strides, growing by more than a half and buoyed by the addition of SizweNtsalubaGobodo – South Africa’s largest black-owned advisory – while, in terms of service lines, tax (14.8%) and advisory (10.4%) were the largest growth areas, with Assurance contributing around 39 percent of total revenues followed by Advisory and Tax at a respective 35 and 22 percent. Global headcount rose more than 6 percent to break the 50,000 people mark.
“Our success this year is the result of a deliberate strategic focus on our core mid-market client base, and our key strategic growth markets where we want to be successful,” said Grant Thornton International CEO Peter Bodin, who took the helm at the beginning of last year. “Being clear on where we need to develop our capabilities, and focusing on quality in those core markets, has underpinned this performance."
The impressive growth is further reflected in another significant milestone: with fellow mid-tier accounting and advisory network RSM having also now reported for 2018 – at $5.37 billion – Grant Thornton has quietly slipped past its closest competitor as now the sixth largest international network behind the Big Four and runaway mid-tier leader BDO (which posted revenues of close to $9 billion for 2018). Next on the list, Crowe Global, pulled in 2018 global revenues of $4.3 billion, up 14 percent.