BDO’s ‘agility’ makes it well placed to succeed – Eagland

THE NEW BDO managing partner has hailed the firm’s “agility” in what has become a marketplace riven with technological and regulatory change.

Paul Eagland, taking on the role for a four-year term from Simon Michaels, said that the pace of regulatory, IT and political change has “never been faster”. But BDO’s investments in digital, its international network and culture meant it was “perfectly placed” to succeed.

“We’re big enough to be able to assemble the best group of subject matter experts, from our national and international networks, to find the right solution for each and every client,” said Eagland. “And we’re small enough to be agile, creative and innovative in the way we tackle client challenges. No one else in the market can combine our scale with our agility.”

Last week BDO announced a worldwide strategic partnership with Microsoft, to drive forward the accountants’ business through collaboration, audit quality and cloud accounting.

Social mobility drive

Eagland has served in a number of roles at BDO, including national head of tax, head of national audit and head of professional services. And, having entered the firm via a polytechnic-based foundation course 30 years ago, supporting social mobility is also high on his agenda. “I’m proud of my background and some of the personal decisions I have made, including choosing not to go to university, resulted in unexpected boosts to my career,” said Eagland.

“No one can provide definitive advice to others with regard to personal career choices. We can, however, provide as much relevant information as possible to help each individual make their personal choice.”

The firm already has nearly 800 trainees on its school leaver and graduate programmes and will continue to recruit in the coming years.

BDO saw its fee income climb 7.6% in 2015/16, to £425m – according to the Top 50+50 Survey supported by Sage. Its international network also saw fees leap – up 13% to £4.8bn in 2014/15.

Previous managing partner Simon Michaels served in two four-year terms. He has also been involved in the judging of the British Accountancy Awards.

Michaels outlined at the start of 2016 the firm’s intention to grab a slice of the FTSE 350 tax advisory market. Eagland has also flagged up the opportunities for BDO arising out of the provision of non-audit services.

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