Last month Deloitte consolidated its place as the largest accountancy firm in the world with a record turnover of £38.8bn, up £2bn on its 2016 figures. Then the gap between the two firms was $900m.
PwC says that its current success against a background of geopolitical and global economic uncertainty was down to the hard work and dedication of its 236,000 staff across the world.
Revenues rose in all the firm’s major markets and across all the lines of business, driven, it says, by investment in innovation, technology, new services and the power of its brand.
The strongest revenue growth was seen in central and Eastern Europe which was up by 13%. Australasia and the Pacific region and Asia also both turned in a sparkling performance at 10%, while the Americas grew by 7%.
The Middle East and Africa grew by 4% as did Western Europe.
Advisory was the fastest growing service line. Operations reported turnover up nearly 8% to $12.3bn, particularly on the back of strong performances from Strategy & and the firm’s technology practices (up 17% and 20% respectively).
Both assurance and tax and legal services grew by 6% to $16bn and $49.5bn respectively.
“As the world changes and our clients’ businesses evolve, so PwC has been changing to meet the growing and increasingly complex needs of a much broader range of stakeholders and society at large,” said PwC global chairman Bob Moritz.
“Our strategy of investing heavily in technology, quality, innovative new services and recruiting top talent paid off with strong revenue growth across all our lines of business, both new and established, in FY17.
“While we remain optimistic about the future, we – along with clients – are planning for a wider range of economic and geo-political scenarios as we reflect on and learn the lessons of the past year.
“We have the best brand in the marketplace and this, combined with the strength of our people and our reputation for client service, has driven strong organic growth right around the world.
“We continue to make selective, strategic acquisitions to strengthen our existing services and to accelerate the development of newer ones such as cyber security. The deal to take the 600-strong tax function of GE into our network is a great example of this and one that will redefine the model of tax advice and compliance in the future.”
Combined revenue wasn’t the only record the firm broke in 2016/17. A record 59,252 people joined PwC firms last year, including 28,238 graduates and 25,982 experienced professionals.
Half of the graduate recruits and 45% of the experienced hires were women as were 25% of the 862 new partners.
Moritz also revealed that as part of the firm’s commitment to greater transparency, it had become the first global accountancy firm to disclose the results of its internal audit quality reviews in its global annual review.
“This is an important step on a road to increasing transparency for PwC which I hope will set a benchmark for our industry,” he said.