A high level of awareness and demand in the market is giving the auditing and consulting firm BDO a strong boost in growth. The German BDO Group achieved a 14.1 per cent increase in revenue in the 2021/2022 reporting year* compared to the previous year (6.6 per cent). At €347 (304) million, the revenue of the previous year was far exceeded. All business segments contributed to the gratifying revenue development with double-digit growth. This underlines the growth strategy that has been successful for years and reflects the market’s perception of BDO as a high-quality provider.
BDO has once again been able to win renowned companies for financial statement auditing in the past 12 months. At EnBW, one of the largest energy companies in Germany, BDO was awarded the contract in the tender process for the group-wide audit starting with the 2024 financial year. At the listed automotive supplier Grammer and the listed semiconductor manufacturer Elmos Semiconductor, BDO was proposed as an auditor at the annual general meeting. BDO is also growing very successfully internationally. BDO Global increased its revenue to US$12.8 (11.8) billion in the 2022 financial year compared to the previous year. Worldwide, BDO is represented by over 1,800 offices in 164 countries and now employs more than 111,000 people.
‘We have invested a lot at BDO in recent years – in digitalisation and primarily in people. This is now having a very positive effect on our economic development,’ says Dr Holger Otte, Chairman of BDO’s Executive board. ‘I am highly satisfied with both our revenue growth and our business results. I am particularly pleased that we have achieved double-digit growth in all business areas. This success underlines the fact that BDO is an integrated auditing and consulting firm – and we want to stick to that. Our integration into a powerful international network with global expertise, uniform quality standards and digital solutions has contributed significantly to our success. “Worldwide. Closer. To You.”, our claim, fits this and expresses the fact that BDO accompanies its clients worldwide and at the same time maintains a very personal client proximity. BDO is excellently positioned for the future and is highly esteemed in the market. After 13 eventful years as CEO, it is with great optimism, joy and inner serenity that I can hand over the chairmanship to my successors Andrea Bruckner and Parwäz Rafiqpoor on 1 July. They will continue our successful growth story with our highly competent and committed employees.’
Audit revenue increases to €148 million
The Audit & Assurance business field remains BDO’s largest service area, accounting for 42.6 per cent of revenue. Compared to the previous year, it increased by a strong 14.7 (5.0) per cent to €148 (129) million. The growth is also based in particular on an expanded number of auditors and increased efficiency with which large mandates such as the energy company EnBW can also be taken on. ‘The continuous further development of the use of state-of-the-art technologies, the establishment and expansion of highly qualified staff and excellent international positioning are the key to our very successful development,’ says Bruckner, who, together with Roland Schulz, is responsible for the Audit & Assurance service area on the Executive board, among other things.
The demand from companies for advisory and auditing services in the area of sustainability continues to rise. BDO supports several listed clients, but also future reporting companies in the SME sector, on their path to sustainable corporate management and reporting. The range of topics and companies is also reflected in the composition of the interdisciplinary team, which contributes its expertise both to clients and to the Institute of Public Auditors in Germany (IDW). There, standards are developed for the further professionalisation of the profession with regard to sustainability.
Double-digit growth in tax and legal advice as well
With a 41.0 per cent share of revenue, the Tax & Legal service sector comes close to Audit & Assurance. Revenue here rose by 10.9 (9.4) per cent to €142 (128) million compared to the previous year. Significantly higher demand was recorded for advice in the area of VAT and international tax, where BDO also has DAX companies as clients. ‘There are increasing staff shortages in company tax departments, which we compensate for through process optimisation and capacity relief,’ says Rafiqpoor, board member at BDO responsible for Tax & Advisory, among other things. ‘Our technological solutions are in high demand. We will continue to invest here and expand our offering.’
Advisory Services: Very strong transaction and transformation business
The Advisory Services division made a significant leap in revenue. Compared to the previous year, revenue rose by 23.9 (3.6) per cent to €57 (46) million. This is due in particular to the strong transaction business – a success that can also be seen in the renewed top rankings in the current league tables of PitchBook. The second strong pillar alongside the M&A business is transformation consulting. Here, BDO takes a holistic approach across all service lines. ‘We have put together cross-sector transformation teams with a focus on finance, digital and ESG,’ says Rafiqpoor. ‘This allows us to bundle our transformation competencies, which is very well received by our clients.’ In the Advisory Services business area, BDO gained the energy group RWE and Hamburger Hochbahn, among others, as new clients. The share of BDO’s total revenue was a good 16 per cent.
Expansion of the BDO Cyber Security offering
The Executive board sees a lot of potential in the activities of BDO Cyber Security, which is to be significantly expanded over the next two years. In the summer, the Security Operation Centre (SOC) will go live with 24/7 operation and monitor clients’ security architecture via a cloud-based system in order to be able to respond to foreign threats and attacks in real time. The cyber service portfolio will be significantly expanded and staff significantly increased.
More than 2,500 employees and new impulses for corporate culture
At a time when there is a great shortage of staff in the industry and both young talent and specialised professionals are difficult to attract, BDO has been able to significantly expand its workforce and now employs more than 2,500 experts. The corporate culture is strengthened by a People & Culture initiative, which is based, among other things, on a new Employer Value Proposition (EVP). ‘Togetherness is our path, change is our task, trust is our performance – these core principles are our inner compass,’ says CEO Bruckner.
Change in leadership: Andrea Bruckner and Parwäz Rafiqpoor new chairmen of the board
With the new financial year on 1 July, there will be changes in the Executive board, as already publicly announced, under the auspices of change, continuity and rejuvenation. Dr Holger Otte is stepping down from his position as Chairman of the Board after 13 successful years as CEO and 40 years with BDO. However, he will continue to serve on the BDO Global Board and will also remain associated with BDO as an anchor shareholder. Dr Otte will be succeeded as Chairman of the Executive board by Andrea Bruckner and Parwäz Rafiqpoor, both of whom have been BDO Executive board members for many years. Bruckner is responsible for quality assurance, technology, the sustainability strategy and human resources, Rafiqpoor for the commercial and operational business.
The Executive board has been rejuvenated by Dr Jens Freiberg, the 45-year-old Head of Capital Markets, who will in future be increasingly responsible for international business. Roland Schulz, who has been a member of the Executive board for 24 years, will continue to be responsible for important business BDO’s regions in Germany.
* The global BDO organisation and thus also the German BDO Group report uniformly worldwide for the period of 1 October to 30 September of each year. The information provided in this press release relates to the period of 1 October to 30 September of the following year. In this respect, the information is not fully comparable with the information in the national consolidated financial statements of BDO AG Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft as at 30 June.