BDO has reported a 16% increase in revenues to £935m for the financial year 2022/23, with significant growth across all three of its service lines of audit, tax and advisory
Fee income grew by double figures driven by demand from the firm’s core market of mid-sized businesses, with revenue up significantly to £935m from £809m in FY22. Operating profits grew 5% to £198m, although this was still below pre-covid levels but up on the previous year’s £187m.
BDO strengthened its position as the fifth largest firm in the UK, significantly ahead of other mid-tier competitors.
Average profit per equity partner was down 6% to £609,000, which BDO said ‘reflected additional investments and increased partner numbers’. The firm appointed 61 partners in the last year, bringing the partnership to 441.
All three areas of the business – audit, tax and advisory – saw significant growth over the last 12 months.
The audit business posted revenues of £400m, up 24% from £324m the previous year with growth in AIM audit clients. In addition, BDO said ‘the dynamics of the audit market continues to create demand for audit services and the pipeline for future work remains strong’. This year, the firm invested an additional £8m in the central audit quality team and recruited a further 300 people in audit.
The tax business generated revenues of £225m, up 13% from £199m, with tax compliance, private client and risk advisory services in high demand.
Advisory revenues grew by 8% to £310m, with the digital risk and financial services advisory arms posting particularly strong growth.
Paul Eagland, managing partner at BDO LLP, said: ‘Despite the challenging market conditions, our revenues have continued to grow and have trebled over the last 10 years. With this growth we are investing to ensure BDO’s future is secure and sustainable.’
‘At a time of economic uncertainty, individuals and businesses turn to trusted advisers to help guide them. Given our position in the market, I’m pleased to say that entrepreneurial mid-sized businesses continue to come to us for our expertise and support, which has in turn enabled us to post a positive set of financial results.
‘The strength and resilience of mid-sized and entrepreneurial businesses continues to be a major driver of UK economic growth and job creation.’
In line with its five-year strategic plan, investment continued to be a major focus for BDO, with an additional £120m spent on the business in the last year. BDO’s top priority is to continue to improve quality within the firm by investing in more skilled people, technology, innovation and future high-growth services.
During the year, BDO took on a further 500 people creating skilled jobs across the UK, bringing the headcount to nearly 7,500 people in 17 regional offices. This followed a significant recruitment drive the previous year when the firm hired 1,000 extra staff.
In total, BDO promoted more than 3,000 staff including appointing 61 new partners taking the partnership to 441, the largest it has ever been.
Training future accountants was also a priority as the firm recruited 650 school leavers and graduates and entered into a new partnership with Teach First to help improve social mobility. This includes providing volunteer coaches for teachers, delivering workshops in classes and a charitable donation from the firm.
BDO said ‘the decision to invest heavily in people will meet the increased demand for services as well as focusing on wellbeing by spreading workloads across more people’.
The firm remains committed to being an agile working environment, in which people – with their teams – decide the best location from which to work depending on the task at hand, be it at home, in BDO offices or at client or audit sites.
Putting more resources into technology and innovation is also a key part of BDO’s approach to improving quality and efficiencies within the firm. A new Innovation & Digital Office is accelerating the development of digital products and the adoption of AI and related technologies across the firm.
Another area of investment has been in future high-growth services, specifically in ESG advisory and digital risk advisory, which will generate substantial growth in the years ahead. The firm’s ESG investments have also continued throughout the year, including the publication of its net zero roadmap, which has been validated by the SBTi (Science Based Targets Initiative).
BDO, its partners and employees contributed £350m to HMRC for business, VAT, employment and personal taxes based on the 2022/23 financial results.