Global review 2013
In a world that’s more complex, more dynamic and more competitive than ever before, clients expect to be served by the right team of professionals, regardless of service line or geography.
Delivering exceptional client service
Despite some signs of improvement in the global economy, businesses today continue to face an environment of uncertainty and ambiguity. The global economy is recovering and growing at different speeds.
Our clients face a rapidly changing world, and they look to us to provide them insights and advice.
Technological innovation — cloud computing, data analytics, social media, mobile technologies — is accelerating. It is disrupting existing business models, creating new industries and challenging business leaders to think about how they can transform their own organizations to suit this digital era.
Rising global demand for commodities and natural resources has led to energy security concerns and volatile pricing, but it is also driving innovation in green energy and cleantech.
Exceptional client service
In a world that’s more complex and dynamic than ever before, clients expect to be served by the right team of professionals, regardless of service line or geography. It is not enough to be technically excellent — our clients want professional service providers who are connected to their business, responsive to their needs and insightful about their sector and the challenges they face.
To deliver on this, we have united all of our people around the concept of exceptional client service. Exceptional client service is about EY professionals being the most connected, responsive and insightful in the marketplace.
Connected means bringing all of EY to our clients with the right people in the right locations, building trust and enriching relationships.
Responsive means the desire and commitment of every person in EY to be proactive, visible and timely.
And insightful means sharing EY experiences and a point of view tailored to the clients’ situation, thereby advancing their thinking.
To be successful, exceptional client service has to be more than something we say we do, we have to demonstrate it every day. Exceptional client service is a fundamental part of how we operate, both strategically and tactically.
We are acutely aware of our important role in serving the public interest, promoting transparency and supporting investor confidence and economic growth. This is one way in which we are fulfilling our purpose of building a better working world.
We remain committed to building strong relationships with our clients, regulators and other stakeholders. We believe that bringing the right business and policy insights to the table is an important complement to being connected, responsive and insightful. And we believe that all of EY must understand the regulatory environment in which we operate, to understand and assess its impact on EY and our clients’ businesses.
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 EY and professional standards. This uncompromising commitment to quality is one way we protect and enhance our brand.
Our service lines are accountable for the delivery of quality on engagements, including managing quality reviews and real-time quality assurance of engagements, which measures compliance with professional standards and all of our policies.
We provide services across four service lines: Assurance, Tax, Advisory and Transaction Advisory Services. We want our clients to benefit from our highly integrated global structure. This means eliminating silos and bringing the best of our organization to clients through borderless teaming across service lines, industries and geographies.
The strength of our global reach is balanced with deep local knowledge. Our market segment model groups together local accounts, allowing our people to set account investments and market priorities locally, while still maintaining global consistency in terms of metrics and enablement. It’s about enabling account teams to offer more relevant, tailored services to clients, in particular those clients who may not be global in scope, such as our middle-market clients.
Investing in our services
We are committed to a multidisciplinary business model because we believe it supports quality across all of our service lines. It also allows us to make investments in tools and resources that benefit all service lines. For example, we continue to invest in our global sector centers — virtual hubs for sharing industry-focused knowledge and experience.
Our centers give account teams fast, easy access to people with deep industry knowledge, enabling them to anticipate market trends, identify the implications for our clients’ businesses and deliver industry-specific solutions. Our sector focus is part of delivering on our commitment to exceptional client service.
Our account teams also have access to our global EY Knowledge team — researchers, analysts and benchmarking professionals — to turn information into useful knowledge. The services that EY Knowledge provides include content development, customized research and market and competitive trend analysis. Ultimately, this helps account teams better understand our clients’ business environment and collaborate and learn from colleagues.
Bringing the best of our organization to clients is also about being innovative. Clients expect us to continually build new solutions supported by cutting-edge technology.
In Assurance, more than 66,000 people deliver external audit services, as well as provide fraud detection and forensic services and advise on financial accounting matters. Our audit professionals, in auditing companies’ accounts, serve the public interest and play a vital role in the global capital markets. Our Assurance practice also includes Financial Accounting Advisory Services (FAAS), Fraud Investigation & Dispute Services (FIDS) and Climate Change and Sustainability Services (CCaSS).
We are committed to developing and managing our practice and our people as we work to achieve our ambition and to do our part in building a better working world. One key area of focus is continuing to improve audit quality. We are investing significantly in our Assurance practice through a multiyear investment in our people, quality processes, technology, tools and practices. Our aim is to be highly quality focused, relevant, agile and effective, so we can deliver the highest-quality audits in the profession. Our investments include tools for audit delivery, advanced research, and new tools and techniques for capturing and analyzing data. With data analysis, we seek to improve our ability to visualize and interpret data, allowing us to enhance risk identification and provide deeper business insights. Our new tools for documentation and research will allow our auditors to work more efficiently and collaborate better with team members. We also launched a new audit approach for the private middle market, where many emerging and fast-moving companies reside. This gives our private middle-market clients a highly effective, customized audit approach.
We are also growing and investing in FIDS, FAAS and CCaSS to provide the most relevant services to our clients, from fraud prevention and detection, to financial accounting standards and processes, to developments in integrated reporting and sustainable business strategies.
In addition, we launched a new career framework that sets out the knowledge and skills we believe audit professionals need at various milestones in their careers. This is part of how we support our people in having full and varied careers. Assurance is our largest service line and it remains core to who we are and what we do in serving the public interest.
In our Tax practice, we have over 35,000 professionals who help clients manage complex tax obligations responsibly and proactively. We help them assess, improve and monitor their tax functions’ processes, identify and manage tax implications across domestic and cross-border business activities and maintain effective relationships with tax authorities around the world. Tax has six sub-service lines: Business Tax Services, Global Compliance and Reporting, Human Capital, Indirect Tax, International Tax Services and Transaction Tax.
The evolving global marketplace continues to present fresh challenges for both tax authorities and taxpayers. At the national level, governments striving to reduce national debts are raising tax rates, increasing enforcement and considering changes to tax policy. Supranational organizations are actively engaged in an international discussion about standardizing some tax policies for cross-border commerce. We help our clients find their way through this environment as they balance more complex tax compliance with their own economic sustainability and growth.
We help clients to remit a growing variety of indirect taxes. And we advise them on how tax affects the efficiencies sought in global supply chains. We also help clients attract the best talent in a highly competitive marketplace for human capital. We have made a major commitment to serving entrepreneurs and middle-market companies, who will be the engines of growth in the future, offering services designed to help family businesses expand their global footprint.
We continually respond to our clients’ need for the latest news and information, and we are extending our industry-leading publications to reach a wider, more global audience. Our suite of digital technical tools delivers insightful thought leadership and definitive tax guides on a variety of digital platforms, including tablet and mobile. Our Global Tax Desks — our international network of experienced tax professionals — continue to provide clients with real-time advice across the range of industries and geographies where our clients do business.
Our Advisory practice works with some of the world’s largest and most complex multinational corporations, as well as with government organizations from many countries, on their most pressing management and operational challenges. We use proven, integrated methodologies across all geographies. Our global structure allows us to mobilize our 30,000 Advisory professionals quickly and allocate them to projects in the right place at the right time.
With strong double-digit growth in FY13, Advisory is our fastest-growing service line. We anticipate that the growth trajectory will continue and are making investments in our practice at the global, strategic level and on a more tactical, geographical level.
We continue to grow our positioning with analysts, earning recognition from key firms. Gartner, IDC and Kennedy have all identified EY as the fastest growing consulting organization globally, by geography and in most service areas.
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 two primary service areas, Risk and Performance Improvement.
We are the market leaders in Risk services. These services include Internal Audit, Enterprise Risk Management and Governance, Risk and Compliance. A large portion of our Risk practice is dedicated to managing the risks associated with running IT operations. We help clients to optimize and secure technology so that it serves the business effectively, enhances results and reduces risk.
Our more than 20-year history of developing leaders in cybersecurity is notable. We have seven Advanced Security Centers that share a cloud-based infrastructure. In today's environment, managing the risks associated with social media, big data and mobile and cloud computing is top of our list of priorities.
We continue to build our capabilities consistently around the globe in Performance Improvement, with a particular focus on deepening our Supply Chain and Operations, Customer, IT Advisory and Strategy capabilities. We look for innovative new services to complement our business and are continuously strengthening our analytics, cloud and digital capabilities.
Transaction Advisory Services (TAS)
Our 9,000 TAS professionals around the world support a wide range of corporate, private capital and government clients to help them make stronger, more informed decisions about how they manage their capital agenda — specifically around how they raise, invest, preserve and optimize capital in a rapidly changing world.
Delivering exceptional client service around the capital agenda requires that we rigorously and consistently execute on five areas of focus:
- Offering market-leading transaction strategy and operational services.
- Providing highly strategic divestment advisory services to our clients around the world.
- Innovating and integrating our TAS services to provide our clients with fully rounded business solutions.
- An ongoing commitment to lead in the middle market with the full suite of Capital Agenda services.
- Further invest in our sector capabilities to provide insightful and connected industry advice to our clients.
We are accelerating the expansion of our capabilities that enable us to drive strategic, early-stage capital agenda discussions — M&A, Commercial Advisory Services, Operational Transaction Services, Business Modeling, Economic Advisory and Distressed Advisory.
The market for broad-based, strategic Divestiture Advisory Services (DAS) is growing rapidly as clients outsource more work. We have established a market leadership position in DAS, and we are expanding our lead by building more portfolio assessment skills and deepening our strength in operational, financial and tax carve-out capabilities.
We continue to innovate our services to deliver relevant integrated business solutions to address complex, multifaceted client issues. New products such as Transaction Diligence — our issues-focused, integrated due diligence approach — are changing the way our clients see us as they better understand the breadth of strategic advice we can offer.
Whether it is buying, selling or restructuring, we have a relentless focus on our clients’ strategic needs across all aspects of the economic cycle.