The two firms are neck to neck in the race to be the largest accountancy firm in the world by revenue, a title that PwC currently holds – but only just.
According to the 2016 International Accounting Bulletin annual rankings, PwC snatched top place back after playing catch-up for the previous two years. However, the difference between the two was a mere $156m.
Deloitte says that over the 2016 financial year, it saw growth in each of its five core businesses (audit, consulting, financial advisory, risk advisory and tax and legal), with advisory businesses posting double-digit growth around the world.
Star performer was risk advisory with an annual growth rate of 22.5% on the back of demand for cyber and regulatory services.
Consulting rose by 10.8%, thanks to increasing demand for integrated services in support of major projects relating to digital transformation, systems implementation, human resources and strategy.
Double-digit growth in legal services over the year also ensured that the tax and legal business rose by 10%, its strongest performance since 2008.
The firm does not reveal the rate at which its audit practice grew.
During the year, Deloitte increased its headcount by 8.5% to a total global workforce of 244,400. As part of its lifelong learning policy, it opened its fourth Deloitte University campus, this time in Singapore. It already has campuses in Westlake, Texas: La Hulpe, Belgium; Chantilly, France; and Hyderabad, India.
It also continued its strategy of investment in new technologies across its service lines. For instance, it reveals that since 2008 it has invested more than $650m to enhance the quality, consistency and relevance of audits.
It has set up a financial services blockchain lab in Ireland to speed up projects from concept to prototype, created a financial crime strategy and response network to help financial institutions address money laundering, cybercrime, fraud and corruption threats, and established a network of cyber intelligence centres around the world.
Commenting on the firm’s results, Deloitte global chief executive Punit Renjen said, “Deloitte’s growth last year is a reflection of the tangible value and high-quality professional services we provide to our clients.
“Deloitte takes pride in helping clients succeed in a global business environment marked by volatility and digital disruption and in our role as stewards helping ensure the proper functioning of global financial markets.”
PwC is likely to issue its global results at some point over the next month.