AA Awards 2008: Global Firm of the Year

If the Deloitte camp are pleased to have carried off the Global Firm of the
Year award, you could forgive them; it’s been a long time coming.

The firm has never won the award in its current incarnation, and at least for
as long as John Connolly has been in charge, since 1999.

The judges said: ‘The firm has had a great story to tell over the past 12
months and has put in a great performance. There’s plenty of unique stuff going
on and the entry ticked all the boxes.’

They could have added that Deloitte’s success over the past ten years has
been largely unsung. John Connolly has, in recent years, outgrown his peers and
the acquisition of Andersen partners has put the firm on a new plain.

Where once they were small but significant in the ranks of the big firms, the
talk now is of whether it will overtake PricewaterhouseCoopers and become the
number one firm. For Connolly, that would prove the crowning glory of his career
in accountancy.

So what of this year? Perhaps the most memorable achievement has been to hit
the target of growing the firm to £2bn in revenue, hitting Connolly’s
self-imposed target of ‘2in2’.

The firm’s revenues grew by 11.5%, more than any other firm. The profit per
partner at Deloitte is now £970,000. How long before it surpasses the
million-pound mark?

The firm also said that it grew faster in the second half of the year, when
the credit crunch was impacting, a particularly notable achievement.

Heading for the top

John Connolly, chief executive of Deloitte, got himself into hot water this
year – but only with his rivals at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Connolly said that
while Deloitte was not bigger than PwC – yet – ‘maybe we have overhauled them
already in terms of our standing in the marketplace.’

PwC’s Ian Powell responded saying: ‘There are a lot of comments that are
pretty easy to say and pretty difficult to prove.’

But it is Deloitte who will be smiling today. In a small but significant
battle to be the pre-eminent accounting firm in the UK, Deloitte has first

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