Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Big Four Firms Report Tremendous 2007 Results

The Big4.com 2007 Firms Performance Analysis

The Big Four accounting firms had a banner year in 2007 with double-digit revenue growth on the heels of strong performances in 2006 and 2005. KPMG had the highest annual growth rate among the firms with 17.4%, followed by Deloitte at 15.5%, Ernst and Young at 15% and PricewaterhouseCoopers bringing up the rear at 14.4%. Despite this relatively slower growth, PwC remains the planet’s largest accounting firm with 2007 revenues of $25.2 billion, ahead of Deloitte at $23.1 billion, E&Y at $21.1 billion with KPMG being relatively the smallest firm at $19.8 billion...

Thursday, November 29, 2007

KPMG - Last Big4 to Report, Shows Excellent Growth

KPMG was the last Big Four firm to report its 2007 financial performance this year. Revenue growth was solid across all business lines and geographies. Advisory services and BRIC countries grew the fastest, to put KPMG's 2007 revenue just shy of $20 billion...

We've moved. Click here to go to the full post at the new Big Four Blog at Big4.com!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Yes Virginia, Deloitte Says Santa Still Holding Steady

Deloitte's 22nd annual survey cuts through typical Big Four stodginess with a refreshing headline:

Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus; Gift Buying is Expected to Hold Steady, Although Consumers Will Spend Less Overall

Here's what Virginia needs to know about the American consumer: While 4 of 10 have intentions to spend less this year than last, they may end up spending almost the same amount. And why do people want to spend less? Lower income households cite higher food and fuel costs as reasons, while those at higher income levels point to volatility in the stock market and declining home values...

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Grant Thornton Revenue Up 17%

Grant Thornton LLP, the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International, reported on October 17th, that its revenues increased 17% to break the bilion dollar level for the fiscal year ending July 31, 2007. Revenues was $1.036 billion

Grant Thornton also said that of its 1,896 new client engagements, 1-in-5 were companies with global operations. But it did not provide much more than this high level info...

KPMG: The Last Big Four Firm to Report 2007

KPMG is the last Big Four firm to report its results. The other Big Four firms - Ernst and Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Deloitte and Touche - have all reported their fiscal 2007 results. And they have all been terrific, all at around 15%, which is quite amazing given that the starting point for revenues is around $20 billion. It is quite hard to grow at these rates for several consecutive years for mega professional service firms.

Ernst and Young: Double Digit Revenue Growth to $21 Billion

Ernst & Young just announced that its global revenues soared to US$21.1 billion for the fiscal year ending 30 June 2007, increasing 15% or US$2.7 billion higher than 2006...

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

PCAOB CFO - Ernst and Young Alum - Resigns

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board reported that its CFO Tom Hohman resigned to become a CFO of a private company in Maryland. He had joined PCAOB in July 2003, and was its first CFO and one of the founding officers. He began his career as an auditor with Ernst & Young LLP and is a Certified Public Accountant...

PricewaterhouseCoopers - IT Security Getting Stronger

A recent PricewaterhouseCoopers survey finds that companies are investing in IT security infrastructure but lagging on their monitoring and enforcement. The 5th annual Global State of Information Security Survey 2007, the largest multi-industry 120+-country survey of its kind, contains responses of 7,200 IT, security and business executives...

Sunday, October 28, 2007

BearingPoint Q2-2007 Results: Loss Widens, Gross Profits Drop

BearingPoint recently reported its Q2-2007 results for its second quarter of 2007 ending June 30, 2007....BE is catching up on contemporaneous SEC reporting, so this is for results achieved almost four months ago

Revenue for Q2-2007 were $875 million dropping from Q2-2006 levels of $893 million, and gross profit was $142 million, declining a whopping $49 million from $191 million prior. As a result net income (loss actually) widened to $(64) million from $(2) million in prior quarter...

Friday, October 26, 2007

PricewaterhouseCoopers - Still Top of the Pyramid

PricewaterhouseCoopers remains top dog among the Big Four firms.

With 2007 revenues of $25.1 Billion, PwC roars up with 14.4% growth in revenues from 2006 and remains ahead of Deloitte by $2 billion.

Advisory increased 14.6% to US$5.7 billion; tax services was up 15.1% to US$6.3 billion; assurance up 6.7% to US$13.1 billion...

Deloitte and Touche: Revs up 16% to $23 Billion

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (Deloitte) recently reported revenues were up by 15.5% to US$23.1 billion for the fiscal year ended 31 May 2007. This is the firm's fifth consecutive year of double-digit revenue growth with each service line and region increasing at double-digit rates...

KPMG Says M&A Market About to Peak

KPMG is calling the top of the M&A market!

The firm's Corporate Finance's Global M&A Predictor is indicating that global merger and acquisition activity is about to peak. Further, it thinks that overall deal volumes in 2007 will be below records achieved in 2006. How do they do this: looking at a forward index of 1,000 leading companies' net debt to EBITDA ratios and Price Earnings ratios shows that things are slowing - 12 month forward PE valuations is increasing only marginally. However, there is still money sloshing around - cash and debt level remain high, but investor confidence and appetite are certainly more conservative...

PricewaterhouseCoopers - Class Action Law Suit Looms

PricewaterhouseCoopers could be potentially facing a class action law suit for overtime pay...it looks that the Canadian law suit bug may have just slipped over the border.

The fundamental issue claimed against the Big4 is essentially the same - employees supposedly made to work long hours without being paid overtime pay. In this case, Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff (KCR) appears to be investigating a potential class action lawsuit on behalf of these associates against the Big4 accounting firms...

Monday, September 10, 2007

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP UK turnover up 6%, profits grow 11%

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP United Kingdom recently reported a 6% increase for FY 2007 turnover to £2.1 billion. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP FY07 financial year runs from 1 July 2006 to 30 June 2007.

Of this:

  • Assurance increased 4% to £947 million (core audit services grew 8%)
  • Tax turnover sped up 13% to £667 million
  • Turnover in Advisory grew moderately at 4% to £493 million (Performance Improvement Consulting grew by 8%. Net revenue growth in Corporate Finance was 12%)
  • Revenue at Business Recovery Services unit (aka bankruptcy consulting) declined due to good economic conditions

Underlying net revenue increased 9% and underlying profit shot up 11% to £631 million from £586 million in 2006.

Average profit per partner rose 6% to £757,000, with partner numbers up to 822. 56 new partners were admitted on 1 July 2007, with 15 new partners recruited externally during the course of FY07.

Note that turnover includes expenses and disbursements associated with client assignments; and underlying net revenue excludes these items.
Recently we blogged that Deloitte UK reported even stronger results: Sales were up 16% and profits payable to partners were up 17%, profit per partner was £877,00. Deloitte UK has now turnover of £1.8 billion and profits of £572 million and 652 partners.

It appears that Deloitte UK is growing both the top and bottom lines much faster than PwC UK; we don’t have enough reported information to really analyze why this differential exists.

But if this is indicative of global results which are to come shortly, it may not be long before Deloitte beats PwC in revenue as Deloitte posts high double-digits revenue gains versus high single-digits revenue growth for PwC. We shall see in November 2007!


Ouch! BearingPoint Stock Dives 12% to New Low

BearingPoint Inc. dropped almost 13% to $4.80 today in mid-day trading hitting a new all-time low. BE shares have traded between $5.49 and $9 in the past 12 months...

CapGemini Pushes Google's Office Suite - Takes Lead

Watch out Microsoft!

We see that CapGemini will start to push Google online office software (email & calendar management, word processing, spreadsheet) to its corporate clients. This happens to the first time that a large technology consulting (and Big Four) firm is partnering with Google for this set of services. Earlier we had blogged that BearingPoint had partnered with Google to apply its corporate search application to customers.

Friday, September 07, 2007

KPMG Sued in Canada

Here’s an interesting one….KPMG in Canada has been served with a class action lawsuit by former employees that it forced hundred of (mainly tax accountants and auditors) employees to work overtime without paying for such additional time. The lawsuit seeks at least $20 million in punitive damages...

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

PwC Pays $3 million to Justice to Settle Allegations

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and IBM are paying $5 million to settle allegations that both these firms made improper payments on government technology contracts. PwC’s share: $3.2 million, IBM’s share: $3.0 million...

We've moved. Click here to go to the full post at the new Big Four Blog at Big4.com!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

E&Y Has Big Growth Plans for China

Ernst & Young wants to increase its Chinese staff from 8,000 to a whopping 32,000 in ten years, a nearly 400% increase. The hot Chinese economy is creating terrific demand for Big Four services and Big Four personnel. Every Big Four accounting firm is bursting at the seams with demand and business, moreover job hopping is becoming common, and companies are complaining about the shortage of experienced audit personnel...

Monday, September 03, 2007

Deloitte UK Revenues Up 16%, Profit Soars 17%

Deloitte UK recently posted results, audit firms in the UK need to publish financials, unlike their counterparts in the US

Nonetheless, these profits are quite healthy and pleasant to disclose:

For the year ending May 31, 2007 profits available for distribution to partners and retired partners was £572 million, up 17% from previous year; and revenues grew to £1,802 million, up 15.6%...

Saturday, August 18, 2007

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP UK turnover up 6%, profits grow 11%.

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP United Kingdom recently reported a 6% increase for FY 2007 turnover to £2.1 billion. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP FY07 financial year runs from 1 July 2006 to 30 June 2007...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

BDO Seidman Ordered to Pay $521 Million Fine

We have a story about one of the Big Six, and it appears that the risks of doing business as Big Four auditors are not confined to them alone.

BDO Seidman has been ordered to pay $170 million in compensation and $351 million punitive damages. The charges: being negligent to show fraud in Bankest, a financial services company owned by a Portuguese bank, Banco Espirito Santo. A six member jury decided that BDO was guilty in one hour, having found it grossly negligent in June...

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

CapGemini CTO Ponders on Mass Collaboration

Open Source Innovation and Alumni Mass Collaboration

We have mentioned Big Four in-house bloggers earlier and in particular Andy Mulholland, CTO of CapGemini, and here is an interesting recent blog from him, where he notes that mass collaboration amongst a multitudes of experts can enable exponential advances in research frontiers (Wikinomics). Here is the link to the post. The rest of the blog is good reading too...

KPMG Finds Chemical Mergers On the Upswing

KPMG recently released a report on global Chemicals M&A activity, with a particular emphasis on Europe. World chemicals sales in 2005 were a whopping EUR 1,476 billion, with the EU accounting for 30% of this total. 13 of the top 30 companies in the world, accounting for 15% of chemicals sales have HQs in Europe...

PricewaterhouseCoopers Involved Deeply in China Olympics

PricewaterhouseCoopers Audits 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games

We are exactly one year away from a special date in one of the rapidly growing economies of the world.

08/08/08 marks the opening of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China....

Deloitte Finds US Multinationals With Domestic Focus

A Deloitte study finds that US multinationals still have a domestic mentality regarding compensation despite their rapid globalization.

The recently released International Stock Plan Design and Administration Survey, released by Deloitte Tax LLP along with the National Association of Stock Plan Professionals, had a number of interesting findings...

BearingPoint Files 10-K for 2006, but Investors Wary

A few weeks ago, BearingPoint (NYSE:BE) filed its 10K for 2006, later than what the SEC allows for companies to file after the end of their fiscal year, but none the less good timing for BE given their past history. Most of the numbers were known to investors anyway so this was a formality. In terms of Q1-2007, BearingPoint indicated lower quarterly sales than the previous year, but mildly better than the previous quarter. Of concern is the voluntary turnover rate of almost 25%, indicating that one-fourth of the professional population is leaving each year, what is not reported is the turnover by managerial grade. Headcount was also lower in the quarter, which means that BE is hiring less than the turnover rate...

Sunday, July 29, 2007

E&Y on Global Venture Capital - Vibrant and Accelerating

Ernst and Young has just released its Global Venture Capital Report 2007 showing that the venture capital market around the world remains vibrant and accelerating. Global venture capital funding in US, Europe, Israel, China and India totalled $35 billion in 2006, with China registering the sharpest growth at 58%. India also grew sharply but from a small base...

Friday, July 27, 2007

PCAOB 2006 Report on KPMG - 7 Issues Cited

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board today released its 2006 report on KPMG (the third Big Four firm report to be issued). Based on the Sarbanes Oxley Act, the PCAOB must review accounting firms that audit 100 or more public companies once a year...

Monday, July 16, 2007

PricewaterhouseCoopers Pays a Whopping Fine in Tyco Case

PricewaterhouseCoopers recently agreed to pay a whopping $225 million to settle a securities and accounting fraud class-action lawsuit brought by Tyco shareholders. This brings the total settlement amount in excess of $3 billion for investors.

Judge Kaplan Overthrows Case Against KPMG Employees

We have blogged earlier about Judge Kaplan and the government’s tax fraud case against 13 ex KPMG employees and all the twists and turns that the trial has taken over the past few months...

We've moved. Click here to go to the full post at the new Big Four Blog at Big4.com!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

CapGemini Shares Rise on Potential Buyout from Infosys

Rumors are flying about that Big Four firm CapGemini could be acquired by Indian software giant Infosys. This would create a global behemoth of sales of $14 billion combining the $11 billion of CapGemini sales with $3 billion of Infosys revenue. CapGemini shares rose almost 8% last week, giving market credibility to these rumors...

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Big Four Firms Dominate Professional Services Rankings

The Big Four Firms - PwC, D&T, E&Y, KPMG and Accenture have taken the top 5 revenue spots in a recent global professional services report released by Managing Partners Forum. BearingPoint is number 24 while we couldn't quickly spot CapGemini in this list.

Here are some impressive (rounded) numbers


Rank 1, Revenue $22 B, Employees 142,000

Deloitte and Touche

Rank 2, Revenue $20 B, Employees 132,000

Ernst and Young

Rank 3, Revenue $18 B, Employees 114,000


Rank 4, Revenue $17 B, Employees 113,000


Rank 5, Revenue $17 B, Employees 146,000


Rank 24, Revenue $4 B, Employees 18,000

Just the top 5 firms alone account for $84 billion of revenues, a good 16% of the total US$535 billion of all the professional services firms tracked. The Big Four accounting firms (PwC, D&T, E&Y and KPMG) totaled to $77 billion, 70% of the US$115 billion of accounting revenues.

Very impressive figure, and testimony to the enormous clout of these firms in the professional services arena.

For the full report see here...http://www.mpfglobal.com/campaigns_global500.htm

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

PricewaterhouseCoopers Reports on Record Internet Advertising Revenues

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) and The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) just released the Internet Advertising Revenue Report demonstrating the strong growth in US internet advertising. For the fourth quarter of 2006, US internet advertising revenues was $4.8 billion, a quarterly record and 35% over the same quarter in 2005. For the full year 2006, revenues were a record $16.9 billion again up 35% over 2005...

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Canada's Number 5 and 6 Accounting Firms Call Off Merger Talks

We had blogged earlier that the number 5 and number 6 accounting firms in Canada, namely BDO Dunwoody LLP and Grant Thornton LLP had started talks to merge their practices to become one of the largest accounting firms in the country and a clear alternative to the Big Four firms. Culture clash and amicable settlement of monies/rights between partners were two potential risks which we thought could put a spanner in the works.

Now the Big Four firms can rest with some ease.

Yesterday we see news reports that these firms’ Boards announced plans to end their merger discussions. There was no specific reasons stated which led to cessation of discussions. While the advantages of merger were clear, so it appeared did the challenges of coming together.

The press release says,” The due diligence process had proceeded amicably and with the cooperation of both firms, but despite best efforts the two firms were unable to overcome the challenges, and therefore were unable to complete the process to the satisfaction of all

Somehow we believe that the parties could not fully put their heads together on how power, organization and profits were going to be shared. We look to our readers to see if they have any insights on why this merger did not go through as planned.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

PCAOB Moves Up Calendar: Issues E&Y Inspection Report

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board following its mandate required by the Sarbanes Oxley Act recently issued its 2006 inspection report for Ernst & Young. This appears to be a major shift in timing and the release is much ahead of its normal timetable of August. More so, the inspection was done between May and November of 2006. Ernst and Young is the only report issued for 2006, the other Big Four firms' reports have yet to be issued...

Thursday, April 26, 2007

CapGemini Blows Away Expectations in Q1-2007

Capgemini SA (CAPP.PA) just reported excellent Q1-2007 resutlts. Sales grew 18.5%, driven by consulting, growth in outsourcing business and the Kanbay acquisition. Results were far ahead of analyst expectations. CapGemini also raised full year guidance from current level of 8% to 9%...

Monday, April 16, 2007

Number 5 and 6 Audit Firms Merge in Canada

In Canada, we hear of consolidations below the Big Four level. Canada’s Number 5 and 6 accounting firms, Grant Thornton LLP and BDO Dunwoody LLP have recently agreed to discuss a merger. The motive: to become larger and stay competitive with the Big Four firms. Yet the road is long: Grant Thornton audits only 3 of the top 100 TSE companies, while BDO Dunwoody audits none of those companies...

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Accenture's Terrific Results: Stock Zooms Up

Accenture Ltd. (NYSE: ACN) today announced terrific Q2-2006 results, and boosted fiscal third quarter and full years earnings outlook.

Net income increased to $296.7 million, for an EPS of 47 for the quarter ended February 28, 2007. Net income was $69.7 million, or 11 cents EPS in the same quarter a year ago. Revenue rose 15% to $5.17 billion from $4.49 billion a year ago...

Saturday, March 24, 2007

PricewaterhouseCoopers Lets Out Family Secret!

We see from David Reilly from the Wall Street Journal that PricewaterhouseCoopers has revealed one of its longest and best-kept secrets?

How much money do PwC partners really make?

This happens to be a WSJ and a Big Four first!...

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

PricewaterhouseCoopers in Hot Russian Tea

PricewaterhouseCoopers Russia seems to be in some hot Russian tea!

Just a few weeks ago, PwC offices in Moscow were raided by police and prosecutors. The charges: irregularities in auditing of Yukos and evasion of taxes...

Friday, March 16, 2007

KPMG Europe Expands into Netherlands

KPMG sent shockwaves through the accounting industry when they merged the UK and German practices some months ago to create the largest accounting firm in the continent. Even at that time they made it clear that they would be interested in expanding their reach to include other KPMG European firms...

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Is Sarbox Hurting American Competitiveness?

This was the key topic in front of a star-studded panel called by Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson in Washington DC today. Invitees included Warren Buffet, Jeff Immelt, Alan Greenspan and others. The event was covered in great detail by CNBC business television...

Friday, March 09, 2007

Accenture (NYSE: ACN): $1.5 Billion Back to Shareholders

Accenture continues to suffer from an embarrassment of riches!

The ACN Board of Directors today approved a $1.5 Billion share repurchase.

Shares of Accenture rose 62 cents to close at $35.74 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Deloitte and Touche LLP Shuffles Top Ranks

Big top executive changes at Deloitte

Barry Salzberg becomes the new chief executive of Deloitte and Touche USA, replacing James Quigley

James Quigley moves on to become global CEO of parent firm Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, replacing William Parrett...

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Stocks Routed: ACN, BE, CAP.PA Slide Down Big

Stocks got whacked globally today, from a 9% drop in China to a 414 drop in the Dow Industrials. There was just a sea of red with really no place to hide, except in cash or shorts...

Monday, February 26, 2007

PricewaterhouseCoopers Delivers the News:Less Welcome Than Usual

The PricewaterhouseCoopers auditors (green-shades, according to popular press) did show up at the Oscars yesterday with their sealed envelopes and armed guards following 70 years of tradition in sending, receiving, counting, auditing and determining the winners...

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Accenture (NYSE: ACN) Match Play - Stenson Wins Today

Henrik Stenson today beat Geoff Ogilvy the reigning champion to capture the World Golf Championships-Accenture (NYSE: ACN) Match Play Championship.

Along the way Stenson defeated Zach Johnson, K.J. Choi, Aaron Baddeley, Nick OHern, Trevor Immelman, and finally Geoff Ogilvy

Deloitte to Pay $130 Million to Parmalat Shortly

We earlier blogged that Deloitte had settled with Parmalat to pay US $149 million for its role in the bankruptcy of the Italian dairy company.

Now we understand it is time to pay....Parmalat SpA says that Deloitte have a few days to come up with the money, and apparently Deloitte will pay $130 million as a first installment...

KPMG Criminal Indictment Dismissal Remains

Another bit of news on KPMG

KPMG's escape as a firm from ciminal indictment remains as U.S. District Judge Loretta A. Preska dismissed objections of ex partners who have been charged criminally with promoting illegal tax shelters...

Michael Rake, KPMG Chairman Switches to BT

Sir Michael Rake, KPMG International's current chairman will be succeeding Sir Christopher Bland as British Telecom chairman in September 2007. Sir Michael is 59 years old and been with KPMG for 33 years.

Now, the interesting part of this transition is that Sir Michael will take a huge pay cut from £3.6 million in 2006 down to Sir Christopher's basic salary of £500,000 plus pension contribution of £32,000. That's almost a 75% decrease...

Sunday, February 18, 2007

PwC Auditors Defend Oscar Secrets - James Bond Style

Variety.com, the Hollywood magazine and website has a very interesting article on PricewaterhouseCoopers' role in all the secrecy and glitz surrounding the Oscar Awards. Here is a summary with our twist, the original article from Andrew Barker is an excellent read at ...   

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Deloitte Head to Become Governer of Hungary Central Bank

A Deloitte Partner makes headlines in Hungary.

We hear that Andras Simor, country head of Deloitte and Touche LLP since 2002 will be appointed as the next governor of Hungary's central bank. He will take the job in March 2007 when Zsigmond Jarai, the current governor's term expires. Mr. Simor is a non-political appointee, thus somewhat immune from partisan plays plaguing Hungary.

We’ve moved. Click here to go the full post at the new Big Four Blog at Big4.com!

Friday, February 16, 2007

KPMG on WSJ's Front Page: Continued Fascination with the Big Four

David Reilly has a fascinating article on KPMG LLP which featured yesterday on the home page of the Wall Street Journal. It is heartening to see Big Four firms getting top coverage (some good and some bad) on the nation's most widely read business newspaper...