Global review 2016

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How have we performed in 2016?

The big picture

The world has always been changing – but what’s remarkable today is the pace of change.

Businesses and governments are addressing disruption – driven by rapidly advancing technology and digitization as well as macroeconomic, geopolitical and demographic shifts – that would have seemed unimaginable just a few years ago: artificial intelligence and robotics are reinventing the workforce; the explosion of data is allowing for the creation of entirely new business models and the reinvention of old ones; and changing consumer preferences and expectations are having massive effects on everything from cars to real estate to entertainment.

A world in which new products, markets, workforces and sectors are emerging faster than ever can be unsettling. But the disruption we see creates exciting opportunities – to embrace creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship, and diversity – in order to challenge the status quo and create not only better products and services, but also more inclusive economic growth. In other words, the disruption we see can help to build a better working world.

Building a better working world, for our clients, stakeholders, our people and our communities, is EY’s purpose. We believe that every audit, every tax return, every advisory opportunity, and every interaction with a client or colleague should make the working world better than it was before. And fulfilling our purpose starts by asking better questions.

The world is changing, fast. This change affects every business in every sector, including our own. But our more than 230,000 people around the world are embracing this challenge and are prepared to navigate any uncertainty we face, and help our clients grasp the opportunities that disruption provides.

Hear from our CEO

Global Chairman and CEO, Mark Weinberger, talks about EY’s performance in 2016 and answers some of the big questions facing EY over the coming year.

How do you see today’s business environment?

   

The global economy this year was another tough year for business. It was incredibly uncertain and divergent, with different parts of the world and economies going in different directions, and we’re increasingly seeing regulations and nationalistic policies which make it harder to operate globally. At the same time, we’re seeing unprecedented speed of disruption. Business models are changing, which creates challenges and opportunities and we’re seeing companies look really hard at where their growth is going to come from. It provides great opportunities for firms like EY and we’re trying to help our clients succeed in this difficult environment.

Where do you see some of the biggest opportunities for EY?

   

There are opportunities across all of our service lines. Of course in Assurance the relevance of our core audit will remain a cornerstone, but we’re seeing tremendous growth in our FIDS and our FAAS businesses, as advisory services around audit become more and more important in helping companies deal with complex rules. In Tax, not only are we seeing increased transparency drive compliance up, and tax planning much more valued – to make sure you’ve got it right from a business purpose standpoint – but PAS (our People Advisory Services, where we advise clients on their tax and advisory issues around human capital) is really growing well, as is our Law business in Tax.

In Advisory we’re seeing tremendous opportunities around cybersecurity and increased needs for data and digital expertise, in addition to our core Risk and Performance Improvement services. In the M&A business we continue to do great work in helping out some of the big deals, and we think those deals are going to continue to happen at a fast rate; as IPOs come back on the market, we’re going to be ready for those.

How is EY dealing with disruption?

Find out more about EY’s plans to stay ahead of the curve.

   

Innovation and technology affects our clients, so we clearly need to be on top of the latest changes: things like blockchain and artificial intelligence, robotics and making sure we have the right resources and the right people to be able to work with clients. And then we need to apply disruption and innovation to ourselves. So as we try and figure out how to move forward in this fast-paced, changing world, we’re entering into more and more alliances with other organizations; and we’re doing acquisitions to get IP and other types of software and intelligence to be able to improve our service offerings. Internally, we’re looking at all the services we provide and having our own team seeing how we can disrupt ourselves.

What drives EY’s success?

   

By far the biggest contribution to our success is our people, which we continually invest in than. We had 43,000 promotions, nearly 230,000 people now across the world. It’s so important that we focus on how happy our people are, and so we look at the Global People Survey and when 84% of our people say they’re proud to work at EY, that’s what drives our success.

How did EY perform this year?

   

EY had another strong year on our journey to build a better working world. We’re now up to nearly 230,000 people worldwide. So we brought a lot of great people in and we’re told by Universum, an outside organization, that we are the third most preferred employer out of all organizations around the world, and the number one amongst professional services firms, so we’re attracting great talent which is very important to us as an organization. And we’ve grown strongly across the world. Our revenues have grown across each of our Areas and our businesses and overall we had a very strong 9% growth rate over the year.

What does EY do to create a more diverse and inclusive organization?

   

For us to be successful at EY we have to have the highest performing teams, which means having a very diverse and inclusive workforce. To have those highest performing teams, first we have to attract people from different backgrounds and different perspectives, and then we have to help them work together to make sure it’s inclusive – not just diverse – meaning that everybody’s ideas are being heard. So we focus like a laser on having these highest performing teams, we measure it across our organization and we really make sure that everybody brings their whole selves to work every day, so we get the best product for all of our clients.

Can you share some personal highlights from the past year?

Listen to Mark talk about the different ways we are building a better working world.

   

If I had to choose one or two, I think the people we bring in to our firm and the things we do for people are so important. So Basil Alyounes, who was a Syrian refugee, who traveled some 2,300 miles from Syria to Germany and when he got there he was interviewed and asked what he wanted to do next. He said, “I want to work at EY” and he was an accounting graduate and after a week we found him and we’ve brought him into our organization now as an intern.

And similarly a great example is when I was in Brazil for the Olympics and we announced that we would be bringing in several women Olympians who have been absolutely terrific in their sport – driven, engaged, proved that they can do so much – and now they’ve turned to the next chapter of their life and they’ve chosen to come to EY; I think these are great ways that we’re building a better working world every day, one intern, one employee at a time.