EY Value Realized 2023 is our annual report on how we’re creating long-term value for our stakeholders – EY people, clients and society.
During my tenure as EY Global Chairman and CEO, I have seen the power of placing purpose and long-term value at the center of an organization’s strategy.
Consider just a few of the challenges we’ve witnessed the past four years: a global pandemic, war in Europe, extreme weather events, geopolitical uncertainties and rapid technological change. Despite these and other pressures, the EY NextWave strategy to create long-term value for all stakeholders, stemming from our purpose of Building a better working world, has been an anchor in an ever-changing world.
In 2019, we formalized our long-term value approach in the EY NextWave strategy and as a result, we’ve achieved 9.5% compound annual growth (FY 2019–2023) and reached nearly US$50 billion in revenue in FY23, a 14.2% increase in local currency. Long-term value creation is now part of our DNA, and I am proud of the progress it has enabled for EY, highlighted in this EY Value Realized 2023 report.
This year, we continue reporting on that progress using the World Economic Forum’s International Business Council (WEF-IBC) Stakeholder Capitalism Metrics. We also participate in the United Nations Global Compact, and I confirm that EY reaffirms its support of its Ten Principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption.
Our ambition to create long-term value for clients, EY people and society led us to Project Everest this past year — a bold plan to split the EY organization into two separate organizations so we could address the changing needs of clients, our industry and other stakeholders. While Everest did not go forward, it unlocked innovation, identified strengths, and opened new and important conversations with EY clients and regulators.
Everest also identified ways to better pivot the organization and embrace game-changing technologies. For example, we recently brought together all our artificial intelligence (AI) innovation and development efforts under one platform, EY.ai. This unified platform will help enable clients to efficiently access the benefits of AI. It is also intended to increase transparency, trust, and confidence in AI as EY seeks to use these new capabilities to serve the broader interests of society and contribute to a more inclusive, equitable future.
Charting a new course and building confidence in new technologies
For more than a decade, we’ve embedded AI into many EY global technology solutions and in 2021, we supercharged this with a US$10 billion, three-year investment plan. This has already fueled new AI capabilities and offerings that are improving how we work with clients. AI is also playing a critical role in our commitment to continuously improve audit quality. We have embedded AI into the EY Canvas audit platform to support risk assessment, and a broader use of AI is helping EY teams challenge the effectiveness of their audit strategy and bring greater confidence and trust to the audit.
We are also actively building the EY ecosystem and now have more than 100 ecosystem relationships that keep us on the leading edge of change, help us innovate and execute quickly, and offer ever-evolving services to EY clients.
Confidence in AI is one of the current barriers to AI adoption. It’s why in 2022 we formalized EY AI principles, which include accountability, security and privacy, transparency and “explainability,” fairness and inclusivity, and professional responsibility. These principles guide our work with EY people, clients, and governments and other external stakeholders. We are integrating these principles into the EY.ai ecosystem and are also actively engaging with governments, multinational standard-setting bodies, industry associations and civil-society organizations.
We intend to help lead the development of best practices for the responsible and trustworthy use of AI. We recognize no single organization can tackle this level of change, safely and at speed, without collaboration. We are a committed stakeholder focused on realizing benefits, while addressing the risks, as we all move into this next technological revolution.
Understanding the critical importance of EY people
In an era of such significant technological change, it’s more important than ever to recognize the most significant driver of EY success: EY people. Creating long-term value for EY people is a core pillar of the EY NextWave strategy and remains our focus as we support and attract the best talent in the marketplace. For 25 years in a row, the EY organization has been acknowledged as one the best places to work by Fortune.
We’ve grown the global EY organization and created more than 116,000 jobs over my tenure as CEO and are now at nearly 400,000 people strong. We are proud of the different perspectives and backgrounds across the EY organization and this year, we have introduced new DE&I metrics, such as disability inclusion, and a global storytelling campaign focused on elevating the importance of social equity.
One of the ways we help create long-term value for people is through a commitment to lifelong learning. It’s why we’ve invested more than US$385 million in learning and development opportunities in FY23. EY people have earned more than 410,000 new digital accreditations known as EY Badges since we launched the program in 2017, and 274 EY people have earned EY-funded master’s degrees through our fully accredited program with Hult International Business School.
We are also rolling out a program in FY24 to train all EY people on the responsible use of generative AI, as well as experimenting with copilot models to augment the work of EY professionals by boosting productivity and enhancing the employee experience.
We’re also investing in the communities where EY people live and work because creating long-term value for society broadly is also at the core of the EY NextWave strategy. This, along with feedback from EY people, led us to set a global science-based target, to reduce absolute total global emissions by 40% by FY25, against an FY19 baseline. We are on track to meet this target, while offsetting more emissions than we produce and accelerating our wider transition to net zero.
The EY Ripples corporate responsibility program is the signature EY investment in communities, with the goal to positively impact 1 billion lives by 2030. The millions of hours invested by EY people mean we are on track to reach that goal, having impacted more than 127 million lives since EY Ripples launched in 2018.
Riding the NextWave
As I begin my final year at EY, I can’t help but marvel at how much the EY organization has grown — and how the world has changed. Two decades ago, we had 85,000 people and US$9 billion in revenue. Today, we have almost five times that with nearly 400,000 people and US$50 billion in revenues. This increases the impact we can have with EY clients, and our communities, but also the responsibility we have to contribute to a prosperous future for society.
During the past decade, the digital economy has grown at more than twice the rate of the global economy. ChatGPT 2.0 was released in 2019 with a 1.5-billion-word vocabulary. Today’s latest release uses 14,000 times the computing power and has a more than 175-billion-word vocabulary. Shifts in globalization, changing demands from consumers and society, and the effects of climate change, all require more investment, more resilience, and more collaboration from the private and public sector alike. Organizations will need the best technology, the best talent and a hyper-focus on creating trust to continue growing successfully, and sustainably in such dynamic, transformative times.
That’s why I am excited and optimistic about the EY organization’s future. In a world where the opportunities unfold as fast as the risks, we have worked on building a solid foundation for growth — for all EY stakeholders. Every day, we endeavor to deliver on our ambition to be the most trusted professional services organization and our purpose of building a better working world — for EY people, clients and society. And, each year, we get better, hold ourselves accountable to our goals and recognize there is always more we can do. That’s value realized.