Big 4 revenue bragging season has begun in earnest, or should I say in Ernst, as EY put out a congratulatory press release this morning stating that its global revenue for fiscal year 2019 reached $36.4 billion, the ninth-straight year the firm has posted record numbers.
In actuality, that represents a 4.7% increase over FY 2018’s revenue of $34.8 billion, but EY likes to inflate its growth using “local currency” terms, so an 8% increase in local currency, as highlighted in the press release, looks a whole lot better than a 4.7% increase.
EY Global Chairman and CEO Carmine Di Sibio, who wasn’t global chairman and CEO for any of FY 2019, which ended on June 30, the day before he officially took over for Mark Weinberger, congratulated EY for all the hard work and building a better working world and stuff:
“While the past year has seen a number of strains in the global economy – from trade tensions, protectionism and recession fears – we have achieved strong growth from our continued focus on long-term value creation using technology to transform traditional EY services and to launch new, innovative solutions. As a result, more EY clients are turning to us for both traditional and a newer range of services. EY clients see us as a strategic part of their wider ecosystem enabling their success in today’s marketplace.
“As I begin my first year as the new EY global chairman and CEO, we will be launching the next phase of our strategy to make even greater use of our biggest strengths: EY people, client-centric approach, use of technology and global footprint. I am looking forward to working with the immensely talented and diverse EY people to deliver this strategy.”
Speaking of Weinberger, the newest member of the MetLife board of directors, he sent out a “hey, don’t forget I was CEO then” tweet this morning:
— Mark Weinberger (@Mark_Weinberger) September 5, 2019
EY Americas’ revenue increased from $15.6 billion in 2018 to $16.7 billion in 2019, while its Europe, Middle East, India and Africa (EMEIA) area saw revenue of $14.1 billion, up from $13.9 billion in 2018.
Among its four core service lines, transaction advisory services had the most growth in 2019 at 15.5%, followed by advisory services (9.2%), tax services (8.6%), and assurance services (4.4%). But again, this growth was determined in local currency terms. In reality, TAS grew by 11.9%, advisory by 6.4%, tax by 5.2%, and assurance by only 0.9%.
That 6.4% growth in advisory services was the smallest increase in nine years, according to the Wall Street Journal.
And if you joined the Black and Yellow in 2019, you got your own special tweet this morning:
Raise your hand if you started at EY in FY19! You were one of 22,500 exceptional and diverse people who did. Our headcount increased 8.6% last year to more than 284,000 people globally helping us to achieve our purpose of building a #BetterWorkingWorld.https://t.co/nOEgfWG3BR pic.twitter.com/JUsAU1GV59
— EY (@EYnews) September 5, 2019
In addition, 1,163 people were promoted to partner or admitted into EY member firms in 2019: assurance represented 33% of the partner class, emerging markets accounted for 33%, and women represented nearly 30%, EY noted. And women now make up more than 31% of the EY global executive team.
The $36.4 billion in revenue in 2019 pretty much solidifies EY as the third-largest Big 4 firm. Deloitte and PwC will release their FY 2019 global revenue results sometime within the next month, and both surpassed $40 billion in global revenue in FY 2018. But EY should have some breathing room from KPMG, which came in fourth in revenue in 2018 with $29 billion. KPMG won’t release its 2019 results until December.