RSM reported its international network of accounting firms broke through the $5 billion mark in annual revenue globally.

Each of RSM’s service lines saw revenue increases last year, with tax advisory leading the way at 5.7 growth. Tax services similarly grew 4.8 percent in North America and 17.0 percent in the Asia Pacific region. After passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, RSM anticipates U.S. vs. China tax competition will continue to drive growth in both parts of the world in 2018.

Audit and accounting continued to be RSM’s largest service line, with revenues totaling $2.5 billion.

RSM’s consulting service line grew 3.8 percent. The strongest performance occurred in the Middle East and North Africa, where revenues increased 30.0 percent.

Other services (outside of audit and accounting, tax and consulting) totalled $110.0 million and included the recent introduction of significant legal services across several of RSM’s firms.

RSM US managing partner Joe Adams (left) with RSM Canada managing partner Harry Blum
RSM US managing partner Joe Adams (left) with RSM Canada managing partner Harry Blum Courtesy of RSM

“The coming year brings with it the promise of even further disruption; from the re-drafting of international tax and data regulations to the introduction of emerging technologies, digital innovations, and the growth in the ‘gig economy’,” said RSM International CEO Jean Stephens. “Traditional business models are no longer going to suffice. The rapid advance of technology also brings risk. High-profile breaches during 2017 raised global awareness of the scale and consequences of cybersecurity threats. This led to our members seeing an increased global demand from within the middle market for risk and consulting expertise to help them prepare for and combat potential disruption to their businesses.”

RSM expanded into eight new countries last year, including Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Costa Rica, Guinea, Malawi, Mozambique and Senegal.

It engaged in mergers and acquisitions in Germany, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Poland, Republic of Ireland, and the U.K., augmenting client service scale and expertise in these countries.

RSM saw growth in each geographic region last year, with the strongest growth coming in Sub-Saharan Africa at 13.6 percent. RSM also saw a 30.0 percent increase in that region in outbound referrals, as clients looked for help with international expansion and challenging external environments. RSM added extra personnel in Mozambique and Malawi last year to help address that need.

Fee income in North America increased 5.5 percent in North America to $3.2 billion last year, as U.S.-based businesses benefited from protectionist measures. RSM’s busy cyber consultancy practice helped consulting fees in North America grow 8.1 percent year-over-year. RSM Canada joined the network last month, expanding the network’s capabilities and brand in the region.

The Asia Pacific region continued to grow steadily at 4.8 percent, despite challenges in key markets. RSM India won a number of new clients after the Indian government introduced a unified Goods and Services Tax.

The Europe region grew 6.0 percent, while the North Africa region grew 8.2 percent.

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