Key highlights in 2019:
- 6.9% increase in global revenues year-on-year at average exchange rates (*8.8% at constant exchange rates)
- Global headcount increases by 1,872 and 54 new offices
- Double-digit growth for 46% of member firms
- Growth led by North America (14.8%)
- Service line growth dominated by tax (11.7%) and consulting (7.2%)
- Key merger activity in China and France, and an enhanced presence across Africa
RSM, the leading global audit, tax and consulting network focused on the middle market, has announced global revenues of US$5.74 billion for 2019, representing a 6.9% year-on-year growth at average exchange rates (8.8% at constant exchange rates). The network also reported a headcount increase of 1,872 and 54 new offices across the globe.
Regional growth was particularly strong in North America (14.8%), with Asia Pacific also experiencing a significant increase (6.0%). Across the network, 77% of RSM member firms grew their revenues, with 46% experiencing double-digit growth. In an increasingly complex and data driven regulatory landscape, service line growth was led by tax services (11.7%) and consulting services (7.2%).
Earlier in the year, RSM announced a merger between Chinese firms Huapu Tianjian and GT Ascenda to form the new RSM China. This resulted in 40% local growth, enhancing the network’s capabilities in advising Chinese middle-market businesses on international expansion opportunities.
In Europe, plans were finalised to formally unite the network’s five French member firms in a strategic merger that will complete later this year as part of an ongoing commitment to consistent, high-quality service delivery.
The network also enhanced its presence across Africa, expanding its footprint in Angola, Ethiopia, Gabon and Mauritania, with more announcements expected in 2020 across several regions.
Innovative partnerships and digital solutions
With the appointment of a Global Chief Innovation Officer and the formation of RSM’s Global Digital Advisory Committee, the network is investing heavily in the enhancement and development of new and existing services, as well as internal applications and processes, through the utilisation of new digital technologies.
RSM US has partnered with Plug and Play, which accelerates opportunities for middle market businesses through new technologies, digital strategies, big data, artificial intelligence and other innovations in the cyber technology space. RSM Spain formed a strategic partnership with BanQu, a non-cryptocurrency blockchain platform that enables global brands to generate a digital paper trail, providing transparency in the supply chain.
2019 marked the launch of RSM Orb, a new global audit methodology and supporting platform that scales according to client complexity and circumstance. The methodology, focused on client risk and providing deeper critical insights, has been deployed across more than 100 countries worldwide, contributing to growth of 6.3% for audit.
A people first approach and stewardship
RSM’s people first approach includes an annual calendar of world class academies, conferences and training events. 2019 saw this ethos consolidated with the launch of The Global People First Advisory Committee. Its mission is to invest in new initiatives that encourage inclusivity, leverage professional development, and strengthen collaboration through the sharing of skills and knowledge.
Stewardship is being brought to life by member firms throughout the network with innovative initiatives such as ‘reverse mentoring’, NextGeneration Leader Programmes and mental health first-aid champions.
Jean Stephens, Global CEO of RSM International said:
“2019 has been an exciting point of inflection for us at RSM as we re-imagined the next generation of our business, launching multi-year programmes designed to ignite growth across all facets of our business, initiating new ways of working and enhancing our people and client experience to meet their changing needs in an increasingly globalised digital world.
“While digital transformation and innovation are high on our agenda, we are ultimately a people business. It is now more important than ever to invest in our team and emphasise human engagement and emotional intelligence in a technology empowered world, as we ensure we continue to deliver on our brand promise, The Power of Being Understood.”