January 17, 2019

Grant Thornton Topped $5.4 Billion in Global Revenue in 2018

It’s a dynamic time to be a GTer (unless you work in the U.K.), as Grant Thornton International announced this week that its network of firms around the world combined to reach a record $5.45 billion in revenue for the financial year that ended on Sept. 30, 2018.

Peter Bodin

Global revenue grew 9.4% in U.S. dollar terms from $5 billion in 2017, a result that Peter Bodin, CEO of Grant Thornton International, called … “fantastic” (not “dynamic,” sorry).

“It’s great to see our firms from markets across the globe flourishing as we continue to build a sustainable next-generation professional services organisation,” he said in a statement.

The Americas region remains Grant Thornton’s largest, with $2.5 billion in revenue in 2018, $1.8 billion of which came from the U.S. Europe was the second-largest region with $1.75 billion in revenue.

But 2018 was a disappointing year for Grant Thornton U.K., as its revenue dipped from £500 million in 2017 to £491 million last year. Because of this, and once BDO U.K.’s pending merger with top 10 accounting firm Moore Stephens becomes final later this year, Grant Thornton will drop from fifth-largest to the sixth-largest accounting firm in the U.K. In addition, the average pay for Grant Thornton U.K. partners decreased 8% last year, from £403,000 in 2017 to £373,000 in 2018.

Dave Dunckley was promoted late last year to CEO of Grant Thornton U.K., replacing Sacha Romanovitch who decided not to seek a second four-year term as the firm’s boss.

A disgruntled Grant Thornton U.K. employee reportedly sent an anonymous memo to several media outlets in September that contained Romanovitch’s performance review. The document, which the publications were told represented the views of 15 partners or directors at Grant Thornton, said Romanovitch was pushing a “socialist agenda” and had instilled a “culture of fear” at the firm where there were severe repercussions for speaking out. The memo also said the firm was “out of control” and has “no focus on profitability.”

Bodin told Economia that he has “huge respect for her leadership” and called her an “outstanding leader” who did a “fantastic job for both the U.K. firm and globally.”

“Looking back, she and her team, and the partnership in the UK, have built a really good platform for the future.”

In November, the firm appointed Dave Dunckley as Romanovitch’s replacement who Bodin says is a “good choice to take on that platform.”

“I think they are on the right track now,” he added.

Of Grant Thornton member firms’ three core service lines—advisory, assurance, and tax—two saw double-digit revenue growth last year:

  • Advisory: 10.4% growth, $1.9 billion (4.1% growth in 2017)
  • Assurance: 4.3%, $2.1 billion (1.8% in 2017)
  • Tax: 14.8%, $1.2 billion (2.1% in 2017)

The number of GTers around the world grew by 6.3% to 52,686 in 131 countries.

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