Strong momentum as COVID-19 hit, the resilience of the business and the outstanding contribution and adaptability of its people has helped the firm weather the economic downturn and ongoing uncertainty of COVID-19. EY CEO and Regional Managing Partner Oceania, Tony Johnson commented:
"Our firm's resilience during FY20 is the result of a combination of factors that have been integral to our strategy for some time and have stood us in good stead during these difficult times. These include our incredibly strong Assurance business, strong and trusted relationships with our clients, our investment in broadening the capability of our consulting businesses and our investment in technology across our entire business. All enabled by the expertise, effort and flexibility of our people."
The firm, has demonstrated its ability to mobilise quickly around a crisis, be decisive and adapt very quickly to respond, often ahead of the external changes and impacts. A focus on clients, having everyone focused on winning and delivering work, and highly effective agile teaming across the business has been key to delivering these results. Above all else, an unwavering focus on people throughout this period has been the beacon in the firm’s approach. Our values underpin our culture and have united the firm’s people during this adversity. Despite difficult decisions, the firm has focused on supporting its people’s mental and physical wellbeing, investing significantly in innovative and engaging ways to connect and support its people.
The firm’s performance through the year and its resilience through COVID-19 has also been made possible by the response and support of its Core Business Services. These functions demonstrated agility and innovation, quickly pivoting services and collaborating across the business to deliver real efficiencies and benefits for the firm. The Technology services of the firm enabled the early and smooth transition to remote working for its 8,300 people. The firm made three strategically significant acquisitions during the year - Aleron to bolster the firm’s technology capability, Cadence Economics to expand their economics capability critical to the firm’s work in infrastructure and support the perspectives of their Chief Economist Jo Masters, and Port Jackson Partners, an ambitious move to build a world class strategy business. Revenue also benefitted from a full year of activity from the prior year acquisitions of social impact business Karrikins and technology businesses Adelphi Digital and Plaut. The Financial Services business continued to perform strongly in FY20, with growth of more than 20 per cent from advising clients on complex transactions, actuarial, financial crime, cyber and assurance programs.
The firm’s first-rate Assurance practice grew by 10 per cent commencing work on two new notable appointments as auditors of BHP and Origin Energy during the year. Continued investment in audit quality is delivering improved results in internal and external reviews. Risk Advisory, including internal audit and a market leading actuarial business grew by more than 20 per cent, as did consulting services focused on supporting clients navigate uncertainty through large-scale technology transformation, digital, data and analytics services. Tax, including People Advisory Services and EY Law grew by 8 per cent, with a focus on technology, tax outsourcing, leadership and culture advice and services. Strategy and Transactions grew by 6 per cent, impacted by some slowing and deferral of transactions in the second half of the year but pleasingly confirmed again as the number one M&A advising accountant for both deal value and deal volume. During the year the firm contributed 46,000 hours of time on pro bono and volunteering work and gave more than AUD$1.3 million to charities and community organisations through employee giving and firm donations.
The firm established a Bushfire Recovery Taskforce in January and since that time has given 1,140 hours of time helping approximately 270 local businesses gain access to more than AUD$1 million of grants and incentives. The firm has also provided a key secondment to ‘BizRebuild’ a business-led initiative providing practical and on the ground assistance to small and local businesses left devastated by the bushfires. Looking to the year ahead, Mr Johnson commented:
“I am very proud of the firm’s performance in FY20, the result of an amazing contribution by all our people in challenging and testing times. We are not “out of the woods” from either a health or economic perspective. The prolonged economic uncertainty we are facing means we will continue to require an agile strategy, mindset and culture to navigate FY21 and beyond. Our plan will not change - focusing on saving lives, saving jobs and managing our business for the long-term. While we must be appropriately cautious about the immediate future, we are still on the look-out for opportunities, whether they be acquisitions or people that will add value to our business – particularly in technology, strategy, law, digital and climate and sustainability services. This will further strengthen our ability to advise our clients across the increasingly broad spectrum of their needs and provide our people with unparalleled career development opportunities. Our clients – large and small - across all sectors are continuing to face into tough challenges as they also manage their businesses not only in the Now but also in the Next and Beyond. It is our ambition to deliver long-term value to our clients, people and society.”
Notes to Editors
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