BDO managing partner eschews Big Four consulting strategy

THE MANAGING PARTNER of BDO has said top six accounting firm’s strategy lies away from building a big consulting business as the firm delivered annual fees of £391m off the back of strong growth in its tax practice.

In contrast to the Big Four firms, which have reported robust fee growth in their advisory businesses and have established large consultancy groups through a series of acquisitions, BDO delivered a 20% increase in revenues from its traditional tax practice. 

Speaking to Accountancy Age, BDO managing partner Simon Michaels said the firm’s strategy was away from building “big IT and consulting businesses”.

“We will leave that to others,” he said. “Our expertise is in providing core advisory skills.”

The firm’s tax practice has benefited largely from the regulatory upheaval affecting the large-listed audit market, which has led increased tendering activity and a clamp down on the provision on non-audit services to audit clients.

“Against a backdrop of new regulations in the audit market we have seen larger corporates look outside the Big Four for tax services,” Michaels said.

Speaking more generally about the results, Michaels said: “The last year has seen us focus on long-term, sustainable growth; one that sees investment in our people and technology at the very centre of our business decisions. We have a strong business strategy and vision, and the financial strength that’s needed to invest and shape our business for further growth in the future.”

He also said that analytics and insight driven by tools to make the best use of data were “heavy” areas of investment for the firm.



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