Deloitte sees global revenue grow 5.5% to $47.6B despite coronavirus
Deloitte reported Tuesday that its global revenue increased to $47.6 billion for the fiscal year ending May 31, 2020, a 5.5 percent increase in terms of local currency, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic in the latter half of the year.
Deloitte reported that its audit and assurance practice grew 2.6 percent, its consulting practice grew 7.1 percent, the financial advisory practice grew 3.0 percent, the risk advisory practice grew 5.6 percent, and its combined tax and legal practice grew 6.5 percent.
Deloitte and other large firms such as PwC, Ernst & Young and BDO have been reporting revenue increases in recent weeks despite the pandemic (see story). However, that doesn’t mean the accounting profession has been immune to the economic downturn this year, and a number of firms have been forced to lay off staff. Most firms saw business drop off steeply this past spring and summer as the pandemic spread across the U.S. and other parts of the world.
In the first nine months of fiscal year 2020, prior to the effects of the pandemic and global slowdown, Deloitte said its aggregate growth rate was 8.9 percent in local currency terms and 7.5 percent in U.S. dollars, with all Deloitte businesses and regions experiencing growth. The Americas region saw 4.6 percent growth in terms of local currency, the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region experienced 6.5 growth, and Asia grew 6.6 percent.
“FY2020 has been a tale of two halves,” said Deloitte Global CEO Punit Renjen in a statement. “In the first part of the year, we were serving our clients, people, and communities as normal, then the COVID-19 pandemic struck, bringing with it a level of global disruption we’ve rarely seen in our 175-year history. Our number one priority has remained the health and safety of our people. From the beginning, we adopted a ‘people-first’ approach recognizing that we all needed flexibility and support to adjust to the new normal. Amidst a tragedy that has affected millions, we continue to focus on our professionals’ mental and physical wellbeing as well as addressing the pandemic’s profound impact on our clients and communities.”
Deloitte reported that as the pandemic spread and led to a global lockdown, the firm prioritized safety and business continuity, while supporting communities in need. It virtualized its business to emphasize employee safety and continuing business operations, while leveraging flexible work arrangements and adopting technology to foster virtual collaboration. The firm also adjusted schedules to accommodate the obligations of team members, clients and their families. Deloitte accelerated the rollout of a personalized virtual learning system, which allowed a quick transition from in-person to online learning experiences. The new digital learning system gives employees access to skills training, along with business and industry knowledge.
Deloitte has also been helping its clients respond to the pandemic’s various challenges, offering guidance on supply chain risks and disruptions, workforce strategies, business continuity and financial management, along with various technology and digital solutions.
Deloitte has also been trying to help communities around the world deal with the impact of the pandemic, contributing nearly $20 million in donations and employee time. The firm said it has provided in-kind donations of laptops and electronics for virtual learning to support millions of students globally, along with airline credits and personal protective equipment for health care workers.
Deloitte staff also offered nearly 60,000 pro bono hours in skills and expertise to communities in need. That included 3D-printed medical supplies in Spain, a crowdsourcing app to provide frontline workers with grocery deliveries in Canada, and an initiative to deliver 250,000 meals in India to people experiencing food scarcity during the lockdown.
For the future, Deloitte said it wants to create a more equitable and just world in the wake of the pandemic. The firm said it has committed to addressing systemic racism and injustice by redoubling its efforts to advance respect and inclusion, embracing diversity in all its forms. This commitment includes working toward gender parity throughout the career lifecycle; advancing LGBT+ inclusion and allyship; and expanding mental health resources to support people in both normal and extraordinary times.
The firm is also working to combat climate change and has developed two programs to drive responsible climate choices within and beyond its organization. Those include a global, strategic service offering to provide an expanded set of professional services and insights to help clients respond and adapt to the challenge of climate change across their business value chain. Through its WorldClimate strategy, Deloitte is committing to achieving net-zero emissions by 2030, ahead of the 2050 timeframe set by the Paris climate agreement, as well as “operating green,” and extending the impact beyond the firm. Specific goals include reducing business travel; sourcing 100 percent renewable energy for Deloitte’s buildings; converting 100 percent of the firm’s fleet to hybrid and electric vehicles; and engaging with major suppliers to adopt science-based targets. Deloitte said it would also invest in market solutions for emissions it can’t eliminate.
The firm plans to align its climate policies, practices and actions across its organization by designating a senior leader who will be responsible for climate in each geography; prioritizing discussion of climate change on executive agendas; and embedding climate considerations into decisions on office operations, real estate and investments.