Mid-tier firm RSM has made a number of partner and director appointments in the lead up to FY17/18, with a particular focus on growing its business advisory division and servicing client demands off the back of “never-ending” tax complexity.
‘Voracious’ tax, advisory demand drives spate of mid-tier hires
RSM has bought its total partner count to 94 and principals to 44 for the new financial year, including six new partners and seven new principals appointed since May.
The firm’s business advisory division got the bulk of the recent hires, accounting for eight of the appointments.
Business advisory has been a focus of RSM since the firm’s inception, but national chair Jamie O’Rourke told Accountants Daily the service line has been on an upwards trajectory in recent months, and is a key growth area for the new financial year.
Market demands for succession planning, particularly with SMEs, is one of the core drivers of this service offering.
The demands of that SME client base is increasingly being driven and shaped by technology, Mr O’Rourke said, which has in turn become a principal focus for the firm.
“The game is changing, clients have a lot more technology, which enables us to provide a different suite of services,” he said.
“Cyber security is a new service, and it sits in a risk advisory services group, and we’ve been working on it for the last 18 months to two years,” he said.
“That will be a focus area of our strategy going forward,” he said.
Appointments related to tax accounted for three of the recent hires, but Mr O’Rourke said this continues to be a key growth area, due largely to the ever-increasing complexity of Australia’s tax legislation.
“Taxation is a big thing. There’s an enormous amount changing around taxation, and we are doing everything we can to strengthen our tax teams,” he said.
“Businesses need help in understanding legislation. Australia has some of the most complex legislation in the world, and we are seeing nothing but a veracious appetite in understanding what the rules are around taxation,” he said.
“We see it increasing, not decreasing,” he said.
Using technology to deliver these tax-related services will be a priority of the relevant divisional heads, which Mr O’Rourke said is standard across the board.
“In all of our spaces, not just tax — and that’s seven distinct service lines — each of the national heads have it upon themselves to use technology in how they provide their services,” he said.
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