£70m investment in staff and technology bolsters BDO’s long-term ambitions

Ed Dwan

Accountancy and business advisory firm, BDO, has posted an 11% increase in revenues, to £809m for the financial year 2021/22.

The firm has made significant investments in the business after BDO partners made the strategic choice, at the start of the year, to raise levels of investment.

Overall, an additional £70m was invested in people, quality and technology across the entire firm.

The decision to invest in additional people – taking the firm from 6,000 to 7,000 – was designed not only to deal with the increased demand for services, but to also promote a healthier work-life balance by spreading workloads across more people.

In the North West, this includes a focus on improving audit quality, recruiting an additional 378 experienced people, promoting nearly 150 employees, committing to the recruitment of 58 trainees to start in the 2022/23 financial year, increasing salaries and investing in quality, new technology and digital applications.

Pre-tax profits declined by eight per cent to £187m, due to investments in its workforce, and the return to pre-COVID levels of costs.

BDO believes that the focus on longer-term, sustainable growth is the right decision.

Ed Dwan, partner and head of the North West at BDO, said: “Our strong growth this year is down to the resilience of our core market of high growth, entrepreneurial businesses, combined with the hard work and ability of our people.

“During such uncertain economic times, businesses like ours need to invest in skills to stimulate growth and, ultimately, the economy. We’re using the proceeds of growth to invest in our people, for the long term, with an additional emphasis on wellbeing, work-life balance, quality and innovation.”

The practice said it experienced growth across all three of its service lines of audit, tax and advisory.

It attributed this to the resilience of its core market of entrepreneurial, high-growth and mid-sized businesses in the face of difficult economic circumstances and the hard work of its people.

He added: “In the North West, the focus is very much on building strength in our specialisms and investing in the region to deliver everything a business could possibly need from us, now and in the future.

“With significant investment in new talent, across areas such as tax, audit, transaction services, and business outsourcing, we have also remained 100% committed to rewarding those within our business who continue to deliver high quality services to our clients day in, day out.”

All three areas of the overall business – audit, tax and advisory – performed as expected in the 2021/22 financial year.

The national audit business posted revenues of £324m, up 17% on the previous year, with the firm-wide tax practice generating revenues of £199m – an increase of three per cent, while BDO’s national advisory revenues grew by 10% to £286m.

Dwan added: “The global economy continues to be in a state of upheaval with extreme levels of uncertainty and volatility.

“Despite these conditions, our business has proven resilient and strong. We’re confident in our future, and firmly believe our investment will consolidate our market position and embed the highest standards of quality ahead of our next stage of growth.”

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