This year’s Personality of the Year Award goes to Jeremy Newman, managing
partner of mid-tier firm BDO Stoy Hayward.
Newman won the overwhelming endorsement of Accountancy Age readers. He has
won their admiration not just for his leadership in running a highly successful
firm, but for placing that firm centre stage in the debate on audit choice and
driving home the message that firms like BDO can deliver quality services to
compete with the Big Four.
The firm is also the winner of this year’s Global Firm of the Year Award, a
testament to the firm’s strong growth and Newman’s ambition to make BDOa dynamic
and rewarding workplace for some of the profession’s most talented individuals.
This year, BDO reported a 21% increase in fee income to £275m for the year
ending 30 June 2006. Its operating profit was up 14% to £70m and the firm has
recruited 4,000 new clients over the past 12 months. Corporate finance work
generated a 21% increase in fees on the previous year.
Audit has also proved a particularly strong area for BDO, which recorded a
25% rise in fees for audit. The firm’s focus on large corporate clients and its
investment in recruitment and training has clearly yielded some pleasing
The message is clear: Newman believes that there are viable alternatives to
the Big Four for top company audits. BDO audits PartyGaming, the only company to
have been in the FTSE100 in recent times without being audited by one of the Big
Four firms, and is targeting audit business among the next tier of FTSE250
companies. Newman has positioned himself to promote BDO as having the experience
and expertise to tackle this level of audit appointment.
Others increasingly agree with him. In June the Association of British
Insurers declared that a Big Four auditor need not be the default choice for
every listed company.
Other moves in the audit debate include a joint application with Michael
Cleary, managing partner of Grant Thornton, for a seat on the Financial
Reporting Council’s Market Participants Group.
The international organisations of both firms have been vocal in supporting
the argument for increasing the quality of global audit and financial reporting.
? Accountancy Age Awards Global Firm of the Year 2006
? Accountancy Age Awards Employer of the Year 2005 and 2004
? Placed 19th in the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work 2006
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