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UK Impact Report 2021

I’m pleased to share EY UK's first Impact Report which explores our commitment to creating value for all our stakeholders.

This report sets out the value which we believe we have created for our stakeholders over the last financial year.  We also look back and share actions we have taken over the past year to create social value through our contributions to our industry, regional development, social mobility, diversity and inclusion and addressing climate change.

At EY, our purpose is Building a better working world. For us, that is not just a phrase but a working philosophy, the North Star by which we navigate. It guides us in helping our clients deliver better outcomes for their stakeholders, empowers our people to achieve their full potential, and supports the communities in which we live and work.

Hywel Ball, UK Chair, Ernst & Young LLP
Edited by Hywel Ball

EY UK Chair and UK&I Managing Partner, Ernst & Young LLP

UK Chair and UK&I Managing Partner. Leading our 17,000 people in the UK. FTSE 100 audit partner. Father of three and Welsh rugby fan.

Our working world

Every day, we help a wide range of organisations navigate the challenges they face, understand emerging trends, mitigate risks, and seek out opportunities in a post-pandemic world.

In the years ahead, businesses will face increasingly complex and inter-related challenges. We believe four main topics will drive the corporate agenda in the UK as we emerge from the pandemic and build back better.

  • Sustainability

    Sustainability is a defining global issue of our generation, and every business must play its part in tackling the challenges we face. 

    EY has set targets globally to significantly reduce its absolute emissions and will remove and offset more carbon than it emits.

    Alongside efforts to reduce our own footprint, EY teams continue to help organisations respond to the most significant resource and environmental challenges. We also contribute to the broader sustainability dialogue: our Climate Business Forum, founded this year, has brought together some of the UK’s largest companies and future leaders, developing a clear set of actions that businesses can take to help achieve the UK’s decarbonisation ambition.

  • Technology

    Digital emerging technology and data analytics profoundly impact businesses in every industry, presenting significant opportunities and challenges.  

    We help firms focus on efficiency and scalability by simplifying their technology architecture, standardising workflows, and automating processes.

    We continue to deliver digital innovation in areas including audit, data and technology platforms, launching the EY Global Tax Platform, and driving solutions like Diligence Edge which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to revolutionise M&A due diligence.

  • Trade

    Global trade is undergoing unprecedented change. After almost 50 years, in which British companies have not had to focus on trade policy, or indeed to build expertise in this area, it is now top of the agenda for boards and management.

    International trade typically impacts multiple functions of an organisation. Our integrated team reflects this with the holistic perspective we bring to issues. Trade skills are complemented by extensive knowledge of various business areas and sector specialisms, including tax, law, supply chain, workforce and immigration, sustainability, strategy, and transactions.

  • Trust

    Trust is the foundation on which organisations build vital bonds with partners, clients, and consumers, supporting long-term growth and allowing them to face the future with confidence. 

    Our work is fundamental to building trust in organisations, whether through our audits, which provide confidence in capital markets, our work on internal controls, tax compliance or in assessing and benchmarking environmental performance. We help organisations build and embed trust across their activities.

Creating value for our people 

We are passionate about empowering our people to live their purpose, by creating an exceptional experience where people belong.

Over the last 12 months, not only did we maintain pay and jobs and honour all our existing offers of employment, we continued hiring across the UK to meet growing demand.

Creating a diverse and inclusive workforce continues to be a top priority - we set a series of new anti-racism commitments, which included targets for Black Partner representation, as well as a commitment to offering at least 30% of EY’s work experience places to young Black people for the next five years. 

Our people in numbers

  • Over 2,550 people were hired over the last financial year.
  • 36% of these roles based outside London.
  • 909 graduates and 179 school leavers joined EY in September 2021.
  • Of the student recruits, 46% are women, 38% are from an ethnic minority heritage, and 4% are Black.
  • We also appointed over 100 new partners, including 65 internal promotions -  the largest intake of home-grown talent in 10 years. 

We are also continuing to invest in the skills of our people and provided over 660,000 hours of training in areas such as new technology and digital skills over the last financial year.

This summer, we announced the launch of a Neuro-Diverse Centre of Excellence (NCoE) in the UK, which has set an ambition to hire 150 neurodivergent individuals over the next three years, who will work within EY’s integrated client teams. The NCoE is designed to create a supportive working environment for individuals with cognitive differences — such as autism, dyslexia, and ADHD — as EY continues to learn from contributions of current neurodivergent employees.  The programme aims to help individuals to apply their strengths and meet clients’ business needs in emerging technologies, such as: artificial intelligence, data analytics, automation and blockchain.

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We bring extraordinary people, like you, together to build a better working world. 

Careers at EY

Creating value for society 

We are committed to building trust between business and society, playing a leading role in social equality and the environment, and being at the forefront of change.

Our people have made positive contributions to building capabilities and efficiencies across British businesses through their daily work. They also add significant value to the communities where they live and work by volunteering their time and expertise.

Commitment to audit quality

We have continued to make significant investments in audit quality, with EY globally investing US$10b in people, technology and quality management systems. This has been reflected in ongoing improvements in the firm’s latest Audit Quality Review (AQR) inspection results.

Download the EY UK 2021 Audit Quality report (PDF, 11MB)

EY people making a difference

  • The EY Foundation – EY’s independent charity – supported 2,400 young people through its skills and work experience programmes.
  • EY Ripples – the firm’s corporate responsibility programme – contributed to a range of projects that positively impacted almost 1.3m people in the UK.

As well as giving over our time and skills, we have continued our fundraising activities. This year, we launched our inaugural charitable giving process which will support 26 national and local charities over the next 12 months. 

Helping prevent homelessness

Working with our data partner Xantura, we have helped pioneer a new approach to tackling homelessness, supporting Maidstone Borough Council predict at risk households. During the pandemic, this innovative approach prevented almost 100 households from becoming homeless, and reduced the risk of homelessness in and around the borough of Maidstone by 40% in just one year.

Commitment to environmental sustainability

In October this year, EY announced that it had achieved its global ambition to be carbon negative. In May 2020, we were one of 50 companies to sign up to a Green Pensions Charter, marking a commitment to ensure that EY pensions are invested sustainably. 

Creating value for clients

Throughout the pandemic, we have supported businesses and other organisations as they respond to a complex and fast-moving business environment. 

Leaders must look to what comes next and transform their organisations for the world beyond the pandemic. Our role is to use our sector knowledge and capabilities across the firm, in the UK and globally, to help deliver this change, creating value for our clients so they, in turn, can create value for their stakeholders and the communities they operate in.

Over the last six months, we have made five strategic business acquisitions to enhance the range of services and skills we provide to clients and to support our growth strategy in the UK & Ireland. The acquisitions of CMA Strategy Consulting, Lane4, Frank Hirth, Pythagoras and Seaton Partners are significant investments and will further strengthen our tech capabilities. 

We have also played a role in helping transform organisations for the world beyond the pandemic. From fossil fuels to fintech, we have brought together and provided support to ensure UK businesses are fit for purpose and ready to prosper in the future. 

Creating financial value

As companies adjusted to the COVID-19 pandemic, strong levels of client demand and continued investments in EY’s people and tech capabilities have supported our growth in the UK over the last financial year.

EY in numbers:

  • UK fee income grew by 7.3% for the financial year ended 2 July 2021.
  • Revenues in Strategy and Transactions grew 12.1%, Consulting grew 9.5%, Assurance grew 5.8% and Tax grew 4%.
  • Total tax contribution for 2021 is more than £1.05bn. 

Looking to the future

We believe in creating real, long-term value for our people, the communities in which we live and work, our clients and our organisation. 

The decisions we took during the pandemic to continue investing in our people, business, and the range of services we provide to clients means that we are in a great position to build our UK growth.