Grant Thornton Australia achieved growth of 8.2 per cent and revenues of $247.72 million for the financial year ended 30 September 2018, contributing to the highest rate of growth across the international network in six years at 9.4 per cent.
Speaking to Accountants Daily, Grant Thornton chief executive Greg Keith attributed the strong results to a 10 per cent growth to its tax team, as well as a 63 per cent growth in its consulting arm. Its audit practice grew by 5 per cent.
Mr Keith said the figures were also boosted by the firm’s merger with Melbourne-based retail consulting firm GNC Group Consulting in September 2018.
“We’re likely to continue to invest in our advisory and consulting services – we feel that that’s an area that continues to bring significant opportunities. In addition to that, we have clients in the retail and aged care space which are likely to be impacted by the royal commission,” said Mr Keith.
“Our retail consulting team is likely to expand, particularly in NSW, and our attention is to significantly support our client base in the aged care market so they are ready and able to deal with the challenges of the royal commission.”
Mr Keith said Grant Thornton will continue to forecast 5 per cent organic growth, with a hope to match the same growth figures in its tax and audit division in a year that he has labelled as “pretty interesting”.
“We’re continuing to forecast double digit organic growth in tax which is an area of continually increasing significance to us and an area where we are continuing to win new clients,” he said.
“The audit division is continuing to add new partners organically and laterally, including two new partners as of 1 January in our Brisbane office and our expectation is that we continue to grow around the 5 per cent mark this year.
“I think there are some macro issues that Australia is going to face, with the tightening up of cash that seems to be happening as a consequence of the royal commission, there’s an election this year, there are global issues surrounding Brexit and the US, the housing market is clearly tight, and the Australian dollar is in decline – all of these issues will require us and our clients to be aware of the changes that flow out of that and we’ll need to ensure that we can help them navigate that throughout 2019 which promises to be a pretty interesting year.”
Last year, Grant Thornton made a number of key hires, including former KPMG audit partner Darren Scammell, and former Human Synergistics senior consultant Matthew Croxford, in anticipation of the fallout of the banking royal commission and the #MeToo movement.