The BDO International network of accounting firms blamed difficult market conditions for a slight decrease in annual revenues in dollar terms, although the network actually came out ahead in terms of euros.

Global revenue for the world’s fifth largest accounting and consulting network fell 2.3 percent to $5.026 billion this year, compared to last year. However, this represents an increase of 1.7 percent in euros compared to last year and an increase of 4.5 percent when excluding the effect of all currency movements.

Revenues from assurance services grew by 4.5 percent at BDO International, whose member firm in the U.S. is BDO Seidman, and now account for 60 percent of total combined fee income. Revenues from tax fell by 3.9 percent and now account for 19 percent of total combined fee income. Revenues from advisory services, the area most affected by the global economic crisis, fell by 10 percent and now account for 20 percent of total combined fee income.  Both staff and office numbers increased in 2009. Total staff increased from 44,002 in 2008 to 46,035 and BDO’s offices worldwide grew from 1,095 to 1,138 during the year.

“Our revenues have been affected by difficult market conditions — particularly in the economies of our largest member firms — and the significant reduction in transaction-based activity,” said BDO International CEO Jeremy Newman. “Our results have also been affected by currency movements and, in particular, the weakening of many currencies against the U.S. dollar and the euro. We are therefore extremely pleased that overall revenues in euros have grown and that there is only a modest reduction in overall fees when expressed in U.S. dollars. It is particularly pleasing that at a time when many other accounting networks are showing a decline in fee income that our underlying revenues, excluding the effect of currency movements, have increased by almost 5 percent.”

Since the end of its fiscal year on Sept. 30, BDO has announced the addition of another five countries to its network, through the admission of new firms in East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda) and the Eastern Caribbean (St Lucia and St Vincent). At the start of 2010 the BDO network will have member firms in 115 countries.

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