Building a better working world
For our clients
Throughout our history, we have taken our role as public accountants and the important role we play in the world’s capital markets very seriously. Running through our organization is a strong sense of obligation to serve a number of different stakeholders who count on us to deliver quality and excellence in all we do.
Strong capital markets improve living standards in economies around the globe. While our audits provide accurate, transparent and timely information to these markets, our other services play an important role as well. Our Advisory services help our clients retain the confidence of investors, manage risk and strengthen their controls. Our Transaction Advisory Services advise clients on how to raise, preserve and optimize capital, while our Tax services help taxpayers meet their obligations amid ever-changing and complex tax regulations.
We are committed to a multi-disciplinary business model because we believe it improves audit quality, particularly when supported by an effective governance environment, it helps us attract and retain the best talent, and it enables us to provide exceptional client service.
Global Government & Public Sector Center Leader, Ernst & Young
Networking for global solutions
“Diverse teams are proven to stimulate new ways of problem solving. Having women leaders as part of decision-making groups brings different approaches to the table and reduces the risk of uniform thinking. This principle also applies to government decision-making, but in many parts of the world the number of senior women leaders in the public sector remains surprisingly small,” says Uschi Schreiber, Global Government & Public Sector Center Leader.
According to Ernst & Young’s Index of Women as Public Sector Leaders, only four countries in the G20 have women in one-third of leadership roles, as the CEO and Head/Deputy Head of a government department.
This is one of the reasons why we set up the Worldwide Women Public Sector Leaders Network. Read more about our network here. Uschi continues: “Globalization has had a significant impact on how governments work. There is much greater connectivity, interdependency and interest in sharing solutions. Our network gives women leaders a forum to connect with their peers globally and share best practice across different government departments, from one country to another.
Ernst & Young’s Global Public Leaders Series – lectures from public sector leaders and innovators – is another forum for public sector leaders to discuss current practices and future ideas. Each speaker comes from a different geographical background and brings their insight to the challenges facing governments.
Peter Ong, Singapore’s Head of the Civil Service, was our first speaker, focusing on citizen engagement. Karin Svanborg-Sjövall, a Swedish public policy expert, presented on public/private collaboration in the provision of welfare services in Sweden. You can view our Global Public Leaders Series here.
Uschi concludes: “In the government and public sector our mandate is to work with governments around the world on solving complex problems. By bringing together diverse groups of leaders and connecting them to their global peers, business leaders, think tanks and leading NGOs, we’re building our global brand and contributing to implementing change.”
Exceptional client service
As a professional services organization, we must serve with objectivity and professional skepticism, while also maintaining open and honest communication. Today, our clients expect more than technical excellence from Ernst & Young; they expect us to contribute to their overall success by providing market-leading insights.
At Ernst & Young, all we do, whether directly connecting with clients or through our internal interactions with each other, affects how we deliver service quality to clients. Our ability to differentiate ourselves in the market by all 167,000 of our people being connected, responsive and insightful is an important part of how we are focused on building a better working world.
All of our service lines have made a commitment to provide exceptional client service. To deliver on this promise, we are embedding exceptional client service into how we measure quality, our people’s goals and even our recruitment techniques.
Providing exceptional client service requires understanding clients’ different needs, and tailoring our services for them, based on their size and the industry in which they work. We are committed to embedding a stronger sector perspective in our service lines and incorporating greater sector relevance in how we develop people and deliver services.
In terms of the size of our clients, large global businesses are always raising their expectations about being served globally, with the same high-quality service everywhere in the world. Increasingly, global businesses need help with evaluating new business opportunities, expanding into and out of emerging markets, complying with regulatory rules across numerous countries, fostering a global workforce and interacting with governments.
The middle market comprises many mature, stable and profitable companies, often private and intending to remain so. These companies face many of the same issues as our largest clients – but without the in-house resources to tackle them. They need our support in executing transactions to drive growth and to expand into new markets around the world. All of the complex issues faced by companies within the middle market require high-value services that we are committed to providing.
We have long recognized the potential of entrepreneurs, who continue to drive growth in many markets. Over the past three decades, we have been working with entrepreneurs, adapting our experience, industry capabilities and resources to work for entrepreneurial, fast-growth companies.
Our highly globally integrated structure allows our clients to access our entire network of talent. And we are committed to building high-performing teams by aligning our resources to the needs of our clients, regardless of location. Leveraging our global structure, combined with our mobility programs, we are able to deploy the best teams with the appropriate skills and knowledge for every client. Also, we are making a differential investment to make sure that we have resources on the ground in the emerging markets to respond to our clients’ increasing need for services in these growing markets.
The strength of our global reach is balanced with deep local knowledge. While our services are tailored specifically to each client’s market and circumstance, we drive consistency across our global network through our Global Code of Conduct, which provides the ethical and behavioral framework on which we base our decisions every day. The code is anchored in our values and underpins all that we do.
Camille de Guillebon
French Business Network Leader for Greater China, Ernst & Young
Champagne, Bordeaux ... and Ningxia
While Chinese consumers’ thirst for Pernod Ricard’s spirits, such as Martell and Chivas, shows little sign of slowing – China is the company’s second-largest market worldwide after the US – there’s also a growing interest in homegrown wine, both for local consumption and for export.
Camille de Guillebon, Assurance Partner, explains, “The Ningxia region – close to the Inner Mongolian border – is an area particularly suited for wine growing, which is where Pernod operates China’s Helan Shan Mountain brand.”
To strengthen its position in China’s wine industry, Pernod Ricard China, who own the Helan Shan brand, recently decided to also invest in Helan Shan’s vineyard and winery.
Camille, who coordinated the acquisition within Ernst & Young, is also a French Business Network (FBN) Leader for Greater China, based in Shanghai. The FBN is a multidisciplinary network made up of 150 French Ernst & Young professionals in 30 locations who support subsidiaries of French companies in their international operations. You can read more here.
Camille continues: “Our engagement for Pernod Ricard China was not straightforward. We performed three separate due diligence projects covering aspects of restructuring, finance and human resources, all in the remote province of Ningxia. We analyzed and challenged the financial and operational assumptions being made. We also unraveled a complicated ownership structure – all within a timeframe of several weeks.
“Good communication and teaming were vital, given the remoteness of the vineyard and winery, the detailed analysis the acquisition demanded, the number of teams involved, the language differences and the tight deadline. I coordinated the teams in China, communicated with our Pernod Ricard team in Paris and acted as the one point of contact for Pernod Ricard China’s CFO and General Counsel. Working together, we were able to further strengthen Pernod Ricard’s position in the growing Chinese wine market.”
At the heart of providing exceptional client service is our unwavering commitment to quality and service that is professional and globally consistent. This means service that is based on objectivity, professional skepticism, and adherence to Ernst & Young and professional standards. Executing on exceptional client service strengthens the connection between service quality and market growth, enhancing public trust and confidence in both Ernst & Young and the capital markets.
Our global integration efforts have strengthened our ability to establish and execute on policies and practices that improve service quality, and in particular global audit quality. This benefits clients, audit committees, investors and the capital markets, and also limits risk.
We have a holistic approach to how we measure the quality of the service we provide to our clients and other stakeholders. It starts with our comprehensive program of quality review and real-time quality assurance of engagements in all service lines, which measures compliance with professional standards and all Ernst & Young policies. In addition, we use our Expectations of Service Quality (ESQ) framework to understand client and/or audit committee expectations before work begins and then measure how well we perform against those expectations through our Assessment of Service Quality (ASQ). ASQ allows our stakeholders the opportunity to tell us what is working well and what needs to be improved. It’s about having a dialogue, making sure we understand their needs and then responding accordingly.
Investing in our service lines
We have four service lines: Assurance, Tax, Advisory and Transaction Advisory Services. In order to meet our clients’ needs, we take an integrated client-focused approach to provide each with the services they need from across these service lines. Our clients expect us to deliver high quality first and foremost, but they also expect us to be innovators, to envision and build solutions they need, supported by cutting-edge technology.
Global Family Business Center of Excellence
Family businesses are an important part of the world's economy and the backbone of the economic systems in many countries.
Working closely with our sector centers, our service lines are constantly investing in new services and technologies. A prime example is in data analytics capabilities, which helps our clients make more informed decisions from the wealth of data they are collecting.
Assurance is our largest practice with 66,000 professionals around the globe. External audit services make up the bulk of our Assurance practice, complemented by a number of specialized practices: Climate Change and Sustainability Services (CCaSS), Fraud Investigation and Dispute Services (FIDS), Accounting Compliance and Reporting (ACR) and Financial Accounting Advisory Services (FAAS).
We have seen some dramatic changes and increased complexity in the world of finance over the last few years, and delivering high-quality audits is paramount to building investor trust in the capital markets. As a result, Ernst & Young is investing heavily in our audit practice through a multiyear program that will transform our delivery of audit services.
Our objective is simple: to enhance the quality and value of the audits we deliver to all stakeholders. Our transformation will not only enable us to deliver a more agile and efficient audit, but also a more relevant one.
By investing in innovative audit tools, we will be able to better capture and analyze large volumes of data, enabling us to obtain deeper business insights and reach stronger audit conclusions. Using our advanced audit tools, we will spend less time on administrative tasks and more time executing audit procedures in higher-risk areas.
Audits in today’s complex world require outstanding people. While we have always recruited and retained exceptional talent, our transformation program will also provide audit professionals with more opportunities to grow and develop. Our classroom and web-based training, as well as on-the-job audit experience, will be enhanced with a strong focus on executing highly relevant quality audits and delivering exceptional client service.
Our clients are demanding much more than external audit services and through our specialty practices we are able to address many of the issues confronting modern business, such as fraud prevention and detection and the need for sustainable business strategies and integrated reporting. To meet these needs we will continue to grow and invest in each of our specialty practices – CCaSS, FIDS, ACR and FAAS – so that we provide the most relevant assurance services in the world.
The business and tax landscapes will continue to become more complex, as the pace of globalization and change continues to increase. Tax authorities are adapting their enforcement strategies, focus and policies in response to these changing dynamics. We remain focused on helping our clients fulfill their tax payment and reporting obligations in every market in which they operate.
Our network of 32,000 Tax professionals cover all tax disciplines, including business tax, indirect tax, international tax, transactional tax and tax-related issues associated with human capital. We have had another year of strong global growth across our Tax practice.
We have invested in three profession-leading Area Tax Centers (in EMEIA, Asia-Pacific and the Americas) that operate as virtual hubs providing coordinated pan-regional services across a range of tax specialties. An integral part of the Area Tax Centers is our Global Tax Desk Network, which provides our multinational clients with real-time advice across a spectrum of geographies and markets where our clients have operations. Over the past year, we have also significantly accelerated our investments in the emerging markets to effectively serve our clients – both in the developed and emerging markets – as they execute their expansion and globalization agenda.
We understand that our clients need to stay up to date with today’s fast-changing tax policy and legislation wherever they do business. In response, we launched a Global Tax mobile app with 3,500 pages of content from our suite of global tax guides. We were the first professional services organization to publish our tax technical content in a mobile format. It enables the user to access the full content of our tax guides offline and will also notify users when updated content is available.
With a focus on business performance, our Advisory practice helps clients operate more effectively and efficiently, enabling them to grow sustainably. We work with large enterprises and government institutions on their most pressing management and operational challenges. Our 27,000 Advisory professionals form one of the broadest global consulting networks of any professional services organization. Our professionals help clients protect their business, improve performance and enable change.
Advisory is our fastest-growing service line, with strong double-digit growth in FY12, and we anticipate that it will continue to expand rapidly over the coming years. In response, we are continuing to make significant investments in our Advisory practice. We have made a number of acquisitions to expand our capabilities over the past few years, and we will continue to seek out the right acquisition opportunities at the global strategic level and on a more tactical geographical level.
Our decision to maintain a focused service footprint in Advisory continues to be a key differentiator for us. We remain committed to our focused strategy and will continue to invest in our three sub-service lines: Performance Improvement, Risk, and IT Risk and Assurance.
In Risk, we are the market leaders in internal audit and financial risk and controls. And we will continue to expand our capabilities in other areas of risk, including governance, risk and compliance as well as enterprise risk management, and innovate in areas such as risk consulting, risk analytics and risk technologies to stay ahead of our competition.
We are building out our capabilities consistently around the globe in Performance Improvement, while deepening our supply chain, customer and IT advisory expertise. We will look for innovative new services, particularly to take advantage of new solution opportunities such as analytics, cloud and digitization, which will play an even more important role in our strategy as we move forward.
We use proven, integrated methodologies across all of our geographical areas. And our global structure enables us to mobilize our people quickly and allocate them to projects in the right place, at the right time.
Transaction Advisory Services
Ernst & Young’s 8,600 Transaction Advisory Services (TAS) professionals help our clients complete deals that create social and economic value by helping them make more-informed decisions about how to strategically manage capital and transactions in a fast-changing marketplace.
Our TAS professionals understand the priorities and challenges faced by our clients’ businesses. For many organizations, capital is no longer cheap or readily available and those that have access to it want to use their resource more strategically. Today, our clients are demanding not only the technical services but a broader spectrum of advice on how they strategically manage their capital. Every business must continually assess the potential impact of evolving market conditions on the performance of its operations and capital base. In response, we have developed the capital agenda – a strategic, client-centric approach that positions the full range of integrated TAS services to help our clients raise, invest, preserve and optimize their capital.
The capital agenda has allowed us to increase our share of the global TAS market and has created a platform for us to serve as strategic advisors to our clients on all aspects of a transaction and the capital life cycle. It has also enabled us to sustain world-class branding through our unique Capital Confidence Barometer.
We will continue to drive innovation across our TAS services to further anticipate changing market dynamics. This will be supported by new technology and tools, improved benchmarks and data analytics. We are rolling out a new cloud-based engagement management system and reporting suite that is being implemented across TAS globally to enhance the way we team with clients and with each other across borders and sub-service lines.
We have increased integration across our TAS practice and further aligned our TAS services with the wider organization to provide highly responsive, strategic and connected business solutions to our clients.
Global Family Business Center of Excellence
Family businesses are an important part of the world’s economy and the backbone of the economic systems in many countries. They make up more than 60% of all companies in Europe and the Americas, and they encompass a vast range of firms of different sizes and from different sectors. And in many emerging markets, local family businesses are thriving as entrepreneurs hand over fast-growing companies to their ambitious and well-educated children.
Ernst & Young has established a Global Family Business Center of Excellence to align our resources to meet the unique needs of family-owned businesses. Each family business is unique, yet successful family businesses have much in common. We have a team of people who are focused on understanding these common success factors and they have developed a framework that we call the “growth DNA of family business.”
This framework outlines services to support both the personal and company performance agendas of family business leaders. An aligned family and business strategy secures both the family’s and the company’s values on a long-term and sustainable basis – forming the foundation for the planning of ownership and management succession.
Global industry centers
Our clients increasingly expect relevant industry insights on the issues that affect their business. And Ernst & Young has invested in 16 global sector centers, which serve as networks for sharing industry-focused knowledge and experience.
We encourage our people, across all service lines, to be part of these networks and to develop industry-specific knowledge. Our commitment of time and resources means that we can anticipate market trends, identify implications and develop clear points of view on relevant industry issues.
Each global sector center works to:
- Enable our accounts – through account planning, pursuit excellence and connecting industry resources
- Provide sector insights
- Solution development around key sector issues
- Build global networks of Ernst & Young professionals who serve industries
Our priority sectors: