Most firms will see revenue growth next year in the single digits, down slightly from the double-digit growth achieved by many firms this year as the economic downturn worsens, the managing partner of BDO Stoy Hayward has predicted.
‘I think [BDO’s growth] will be steadier next year, probably nearer single-digit than double-digit growth and I think that will be a profession-wide trend,’ Simon Michaels told Accountancy Age.
His comments came as BDO released its annual revenues for 2007-2008 last week.
The firm posted 11% revenue growth to £353.1m for the year to 4 July with profits of £65m. Growth has been helped by winning a number of high profile contracts including the valuation of Northern Rock and the receivership of financial conglomerate Dawnay Day.
The top-10 firm has called for more transparency in the audit market and Michaels welcomed the Financial Reporting Council’s audit inspection unit reports which are due out next month.
These long-awaited reports from the accountancy regulator would help shine a light on the closely guarded audit world, dominated by the Big Four, said Michaels.
‘Its about giving the market confidence in what the profession is doing, but it’s more about challenging the institutional prejudices that exist where people think it’s a safer bet to buy Big Four and our view is that there is more choice out there,’ he said. ‘The position is compounded by Big Four only clauses [in audit contracts] and we will lobby to have those removed, because that does limit our ability to drive the practice forward.’
Michaels said that he relishedthe challenge of helping BDO to stay on an even keel amid the economic downturn. ‘When I was appointed managing partner, I couldn’t have predicted that the financial markets were going to completely collapse, but that’s where the challenge is,’ he said.
‘A real test of leadership is how you work with your colleagues to navigate a way through more interesting times. For me I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way in some respects.’
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