The firm posted growth across all its major service lines; audit increased by 4.4%; tax by 6.4%; advisory was up 10.1%; and transaction advisory services jumped 13.9%.
Revenue also increased across all four regions: the Americas 7.4%; Europe, Middle East, India and Africa 6.9%; Asia-Pacific 10.5% and Japan 3.1%.
EY completed 21 acquisitions in 2018 in areas such as cyber, blockchain and analytics, including Citizen, BlackLine Systems and JDA Software.
The firm increased its workforce by 5.7%, to more than 260,000, with almost two million people applying for EY jobs last year.
EY promoted 747 people to partner and brought in 400 new external partners, although less than a third (30%) of the new partners were women.
Mark Weinberger, EY global chairman and CEO, said, “This year more clients turned to EY for support in their digital and transformation strategies, and for our bedrock services across audit and tax. Our significant and innovative investments are driving growth and supporting the delivery of high-quality services.”
EY is the first of the Big Four to post its global results for 2018, but last year Deloitte increased its revenue by 5% to $38.8bn (£27.67bn) to keep its nose in front of PwC, which also increased its fee income by 5% to $37.6bn (£26.81bn).
EY announced last month that it is set to invest $1bn (£784.4m) in new technology solutions and innovation over the next two financial years.
The investment will cover financial services, digital audit and tax, cyber, risk management and cloud-based technology.