The Australian Financial Review Accounting Partnership Survey’s recently released, annual results have boosted optimism within the accounting sector with results showing partner numbers at our country’s largest accounting practices rose by over 5% in the year leading up to June 30th, 2015.
10 Australian Financial Review Accounting Survey Highlights
1. The Partnership Survey forecasts the sector will undergo growth over the coming 2 to 3 years.
2. The Australian accounting sector has adopted and adapted to new technologies and models of operations very quickly and on a wide scale.
3. Leaner management structures are emerging.
4. The younger generations coming into the sector are more open in their thinking & approach to work.
5. The top 15 partnerships (based on collective income) made over $7.43 billion in charges which represents a yearly increase of 11%, or $721 million.
6. The majority of the big four new partner hires fall into the categories of data & digital analytics, and cyber security.
7. The mid-tier is still very buoyant, yet to calm down after years of upheaval.
8. Audit is still going strong, but tax is playing less of a significant role these days.
9. Some accounting practices have introduced health & wellbeing programs for their employees and partners as their workload continues escalating.
10. Partner performance is being scrutinised more strongly than ever before and the demands placed upon them are steadily increasing.
"We're continuing to raise the bar on partner performance. It's more demanding now than it has ever been. We're just responding to the market. Clients are more demanding, want more for less, there is disruption and the 24x7 nature of global business,” observed chief executive of EY Oceania, Tony Johnson.
How Did The Big 4 Stack-Up Against Each Other?
1. Out of the big four, Deloitte came out on top as the best performer reporting a 15% increase in revenue up to $1.34 billion. Deloitte also boasts the biggest partnership base out of all major accounting players, boosting its partner ranks by 9.5% up to 632.
2. EY came in second recording a 14% rise in revenue, up to $1.29 billion. With a recorded growth of partner numbers up by 13% to 461, EY can claim the fastest partnership number growth for the year 2014-2015.
3. PwC came in next with a 10% growth in revenue bringing their billings up to $1.73 billion. Their partners increased by 5% up to 492.
4. With an increase of 8%, bringing the total to $1.21 billion revenue, KPMG came in fourth out of the big four. KPMG recorded a slight increase of 2% partner growth, driving-up the firm’s partner numbers to 402.
Mid-Tier Top Performers Are…
PKF, Crown Horwath-Findex and William Buck led the mid-tier pack due to their effective acquisitive strategies resulting in an increase of over 15% for all three star performers.
The Latest On Australian Accounting Sector Trends…
- The accounting sector is very buoyant:
- There’s a lot of movement towards pioneering internal markets.
- Flexible work arrangements are growing.
- Processes are increasingly being automated.
- Certain accounting duties are being offshored in a rising amount.
- Consulting and advisory growth has skyrocketed.
- Demand is strong in the public sector, property and financial services.
- ‘Accounting’ is not an apt term to describe the Big 4 accounting firms in their totality these days because they have expanded their services. Instead they should be referred to as ‘diversified professional services firms’.
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