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January 29, 2023

Deloitte Will Always Be an Audit Firm at Heart, You Guys

Last week, Deloitte announced that its most recent fiscal year was pret-tay, pret-tay, pret-tay good. $31.3 billion is nothing to sneeze at and the consulting and financial advisory businesses are leading the charge, as the Economist notes:

In fiscal 2012 Deloitte increased its revenues from consulting by 13.5% and from financial advisory by 15%—compared with just 6.1% for audit and 3.9% for tax and legal services.

Yeah, the consultants are fist-pumping all over the office while the slow and steady auditors just go about their business because this firm was built on the opiners, RIGHT? Well yes, however, the trend of consulting growth versus audit growth may cause that to look quite different someday: 

If the two businesses continue to grow at the 2012 rate, the firm would do more consulting than auditing by 2017.

Oh. So, okay, that may give a few people heartburn. And sure, some people may start to see Deloitte as having an identity crisis, but Barry Salzberg will make this clear-ish:

Asked what would happen if people perceived Deloitte as a consulting firm with an audit business rather than the other way round, Mr Salzberg replies: “we’re not going to take our eye off our professional responsibility with respect to either.” 

Translation: "We can serve two masters simultaneously, NO PROB."

What could go wrong?

Shape shifters [Economist]

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