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Here’s How Much Deloitte Spends on Compensation As a Percentage of the Firm’s Revenue

two hands holding a 2 dollar bill

Shout-out Stephen Foley at FT for writing up the most important part of Deloitte’s recently released transparency report: PAY. Let’s jump right in and do our own digging.

The 2023 Transparency Report talks quite a bit about governance, ethics, audit quality, leadership, blah blah.

screenshot of the 2023 Deloitte US Transparency Report table of contents

You’re welcome to check it out should any of these appeal to you, just know each section is littered with Deloitte’s trademark self-fellating language. We’re here for page 14 (16 in the PDF) and the part FT highlighted in their article this morning. This:

screenshot from Deloitte US 2023 Transparency Report

Since 2021, employee comp and benefits as a percentage of revenue climbed from 52.4 percent to 55.4 percent, the highest it’s been since the firm started sharing the number a few years back. Deloitte US revenue climbed during that period as well — $22.9 billion for 2021, $27.9 billion for 2022, and $32.7 billion for 2023 (source) — so that means employee compensation as a percentage of revenue was $12 billion in 2021, $15.3 billion in 2022, and $18.1 billion in 2023 (numbers are sloppily rounded, accountants are encouraged to check my math). Going a little further back, comp and benefits as a percentage of revenue was 46.2 percent in 2015, 47.9 percent in 2016, 49.1 percent in both 2017 and 2018, and 49.2 percent in 2019. It wasn’t until 2020 the firm hit more than half its revenue (51.2 percent) on employee comp and benefits. According to the non-GAAP financial information they’ve shared, that is.

As for the rest of the report, there’s a bit of lip service paid to attraction and retention, professional development, and performance management. None of it is particularly intriguing though. Again, you can read it yourself to make your own determination.

6 thoughts on “Here’s How Much Deloitte Spends on Compensation As a Percentage of the Firm’s Revenue

  1. Very interesting, audit and tax represent about 40% of revenue but bring in about 75% of the profit. Consulting on the other hand is a low margin (comparatively) business.

  2. Agree w first comment. You should do a follow up calc. Earnings as % revenue for each service line. Do the other B4 publish similar stats?

  3. I never believe any of the numbers these firms report. First of all, they’re unaudited, and I’ve been told many, many by these firms that financial statements are not reliable unless they’re audited. Second, they have incentive to manipulate the numbers to support their marketing efforts and dick measuring contests with the other firms. Third, I have heard from multiple very reliable sources that the internal accounting function at the large accounting firms are a hot mess. A source once told me that if the firms’ clients saw their internal accounting, the client would fire them. Finally, what non-public company voluntarily discloses its (accurate) financial results to the public? Would any reputable accountant or lawyer recommend that their non-public client do that? It’s insane.

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