Partners at BDO saw their profits increase to over three quarters of a million pounds, putting them ahead of their peers at rival firms EY and KPMG.
Profit per equity partner before tax increased to £760,000 at BDO following a 14 per cent drop last year, while EY partners were paid an average of £749,000 this year and KPMG partners received an average of £572,000 in 2020.
Staff bonuses, totalling £19m, also swelled by over 170 per cent over the year. A third of BDO LLP’s 6,000-strong workforce were promoted up in the company.
The accounting firm said it appointed 35 new partners in the last financial year, and another 38 since July.
BDO managing partner Paul Eagland told City A.M. BDO plans to increase headcount further by “at least another 300 or so” in the next 12 months.
The recruitment drive will include more partners, a BDO spokesperson confirmed. City A.M. understands the firm plans to recruit from across Big Four accounting firms as well as outside the accounting giants, dependent on skills and cultural fit.
The news comes as BDO announced a return to pre-pandemic levels of growth with the help of mid-sized business clients driving revenue increases across all three of its business lines. The business reported an 11 per cent increase in revenues to £731m for the financial year 2020/21.
BDO’s advisory revenue increased the most at 15 per cent to £261m, while the company’s audit business was up 12 per cent but contributed £276m.
BDO’s tax business revenue increased by four per cent to £194m, driven by demand for tax compliance and risk advisory services.
The firm’s profit before tax was up almost 50 per cent from last year to £203m, and 22 per cent on a annualised basis compared to 2019.
The number of listed companies BDO audits also rose, so that BDO boasts auditing the highest number of UK listed businesses out of any other firm.
Earlier this year the so-called ‘challenger’ firm announced that it had hired over 450 new trainees into its audit team over the course of the year, in a move to bolster its auditing arm. It also said it had brought on more than 600 new trainees across departments since the start of 2021 – more than it has ever done before.
The hiring flurry into its audit team followed a damning report by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) in July which found that a third of large company audits fell short of standards.
In October the FRC confirmed that it was investigating BDO over its audit of collapsed construction company NMCN.