Big Four firm Ernst & Young reported that its combined global revenues for fiscal 2012 rose 6.7 percent in U.S. dollars, to $24.4 billion, from $22.9 billion in 2011. Revenues grew even faster in local currencies, at 7.6 percent.

Advisory services showed the strongest growth for the year ended June 30, 2012, at 16.2 percent, with transaction services following at 9.4 percent, tax at 7 percent, and assurance revenues rising 4.1 percent.

Acquisitions accounted for less than half a percentage point of the overall growth, though headcount soared by more than 15,000 people, to 167,000. The firm also noted that 25 percent of its new partners in 2012 were women, up from 23 percent in the previous year.

Regional growth was strongest in Asia-Pacific, at 11.1 percent (in U.S. dollar terms), and the Americas, at 9.3 percent, with India growing at a particularly strong 19.8 percent and Brazil at 17.5 percent.

While pleased with the firm’s performance, global chairman and CEO Jim Turley did note that there were potential trouble ahead: “The ongoing sovereign-debt crisis in Europe, the impending ‘fiscal cliff’ in the U.S., and signs that the emerging-market economies are slowing all point toward a challenging business climate in the months ahead. We will also continue to face regulatory uncertainty in many jurisdictions around the globe. That said, we are pleased that our business showed good results, the best since 2008, in the midst of what has been several years of uncertainty,” he said in a statement.

E&Y is the second Big Four network to report in recent weeks, after Deloitte, which reported growth of 8 percent. (See “Deloitte Global Revenues Grow over 8% in FY2012.”)


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