September 26, 2020

BDO USA Reports $1.8 Billion in FY 2020 Revenue, Wants Everyone to Know It Is the Most Resilient Firm Ever

The Little Dipper of accounting firms, BDO USA, announced today that its FY 2020 revenue increased 11.3% (I calculated 9.8%, but whatever) to $1.8 billion, up from $1.64 billion last fiscal year.

That all looks great on paper, especially during this year of our COVID Lord 2020, but like RSM US, which also reported a revenue increase of 11% in FY 2020, Bravo Delta Oscar’s fiscal year ended on April 30, so we won’t really know how bad the pandemic impacted the firm until it releases its FY 2021 revenue results.

In a press release, BDO claimed it “achieved strong growth in FY 2020 across all business lines,” with advisory revenue increasing by a mind-boggling 29.4%, followed by an 8.8% increase in tax and a 6% increase in assurance.

But the main thing BDO PR wants you to take away from the press release is just how resilient the firm has been this year. I mean, it’s in the title of the press release: “Reporting Revenue Increase of 11.3% to US $1.8 Billion, BDO USA Positions for Resilience.”

Both CEO Wayne Berson and Board Chair Kelly Johnson used the words “organizational resilience” to describe its most recent fiscal year. But at least Johnson specifically gave some props to BDOers in her statement:

“Our world-class workforce, dedication to exceptional client service and purposeful innovation have been instrumental in our growth and provided a solid foundation, which is especially underscored during tumultuous times.”

Berson did not:

“We were fortunate to be in a strong position heading into the crisis and despite the uncertainty, continue to lead with empathy and purpose, while prioritizing innovation and building long-term organizational resilience,” said Wayne Berson, CEO of BDO USA. “Over the past few months, we’ve taken steps to strengthen our business and mitigate risk, which has put BDO on solid footing to navigate an unknown and unwieldy national recovery.”

And that’s unfortunate, coming from the firm’s CEO. The one part of the firm that actually has been resilient is BDO’s employees. If it weren’t for them, Wayne, you and your firm wouldn’t have been in that “strong position heading into the crisis.” And even despite all of that, BDO employees still had their pay slashed—between 5% and 10%—from May until mid-August.

As the leader of the seventh-largest accounting firm in the U.S., Berson should also have given his employees some props in the press release for being the most resilient thing about BDO USA, especially the past six months or so. We hope he’s told them that internally. If not, that sucks.

But your resiliency, BDOers, hasn’t gone unnoticed by us.

[BDO USA]

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