Deloitte today set out plans to hire more than 6,000 new UK employees over the next five years in a bid to boost the quality of its audit work.
The plans will see the accounting firm recruit at least 1,200 audit and assurance professionals each year from 2022- 2027, including around 5,000 new auditors.
The hiring spree will see Deloitte take on 885 entry level recruits in 2022 alone – a 30 per cent increase on last year – as it seeks to bolster its ranks across all levels of experience.
The plans, which have seen the firm open 750 vacancies already, will see the firm train hundreds school leavers through its apprenticeship scheme, whilst also reinforcing its numbers with qualified professionals.
The firm said more than half of the new hires will be based outside of the UK’s capital in its 22 regional offices in cities across the UK, including Manchester, Edinburgh, Cambridge, and Aberdeen.
More than two-fifths (43 per cent) of this year’s entry level hires will be based in London, whilst the remaining 57 per cent will be based in Deloitte’s regional offices.
The recruitment drive sits in line with the accounting firm’s plans to invest £125m, over the next five years, in improving the quality of its audit work.
The investment comes as the Big Four auditors face mounting pressure from the UK’s accounting watchdogs to up their standards, in the wake a series of high-profile scandals in recent years.
In its annual Audit Quality Review in July, the UK’s Financial Reporting Council (FRC) said that while the quality of audits carried out by the top accounting firms has improved in recent years “still more improvement is required to deliver consistent audit quality”.
Paul Stephenson, UK Managing Partner for Audit & Assurance at Deloitte, said: “While there has been a great deal of scrutiny around the profession in recent years, it’s also highlighted the importance of what auditors do and the important role we play in the capital markets.”
“Our work enhances trust in the companies we audit, helping the capital markets function with greater confidence,” Stephenson said.
The initiative signals Deloitte’s intentions to double down on developing its audit segment as a major source of revenues as its Big Four rival, EY, pursue plans to separate out its audit business in an effort to boost its advisory arm.
Deloitte’s UK managing partner Stephen Griggs said: “Audit remains a fundamental part of Deloitte’s brand and today’s announcement demonstrates the firm’s commitment to our newly ring-fenced audit business both today, and in the future.”