Accountant Grant Thornton reported revenue of $5.45 billion (4.29 billion pounds) for the year ended September 30, an increase of 9.4% and its highest rate of growth in six years. The company said a combination of strong markets and mergers helped to drive growth.
The company said its tax services revenue increased 14.8%, while assurance services increased 4.3%, and advisory services increased 10.4%. Tax services make up 22% of revenue.
Over 20% of the growth in 2018 came from mergers and acquisitions.
“There was strong growth in the mid-market in every sector as a lot of clients go global and need help to change their business models,” Bodin said.
“We have looked into where growth will come from in the world in future and we see that it’s going to be very strong growth in the dynamic mid-market. We think that is the core market where we want to focus,” CEO Peter Bodin said in an interview with Reuters.
The growth comes as the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority proposed reforms to increase competition and the announcement by the Financial Reporting Council that it launched an investigation into Grant Thornton’s audit of cafe chain Patisserie Valerie. In November, the U.K. accounting regulator said it was investigating the accountant over its Patisserie Valerie audit to probe possible breaches of its rules.
Last month, the Competition and Market Authority announced a proposal that would require the Big Four accounting firms — KPMG, Deloitte, PwC, and EY — to open their hold on the market by forcing audits of companies listed on the FTSE 350 to be carried out by at least two firms, one of which would have to be outside the Big Four.
Regulators stopped short of calling for a formal separation of the auditing and consulting businesses of the Big Four firms.
Peter Bodin said pushing through the proposed reforms would take, “quite a long time.”