BDO shuts its local cyber and risk unit in Western Australia

01 July 2020 2 min. read

Professional services firm BDO has closed down its local cyber and risk advisory unit in Western Australia. 

Peter Toll, the Managing Partner of BDO’s office in Perth, said that the decision is grounded on a strategic review that began six months ago. Having assessed the needs of its clients, and BDO’s existing capabilities in the field amid a competitive landscape, the decision was made to pull out of the segment locally.

The move comes just a few months after BDO's lead partner for risk advisory services in Western Australia, Andrew Hillbeck, left the firm to join larger rival Deloitte. The loss of the leader dented the client portfolio of the business in the region.BDO shuts its cyber and risk unit in Western AustraliaToll however said that the decision is not related to Hillbeck’s move nor the current Covid-19-induced downturn. “Like a lot of other Australian companies, BDO is working through a number of strategic challenges as part of the severe economic impacts of the virus, however, this decision is not directly linked to the pandemic,” he said to news outlet Business News. 

BDO will continue to serve its Western Australia clients with cyber and risk advisory services, but staffing will now be led from its national team. 

Interestingly, BDO earlier this year described cyber security as “more important than ever” in a joint report with AusCERT, having found that the online environment is becoming increasingly risky. The firm also found that cyber security is now a topic that has nestled its way into boardroom discussions.

The decision sees a team of around 15 staff made redundant, although some team members have “been successfully redeployed” to areas experiencing high client demand, said Toll.

But, “a rebalance of remaining staff was unavoidable,” and as a result about 10 staff have left the firm on June 30. Among the leavers is Pippa Hobson, who was chairman of BDO’s Western Australian region. She joined the accounting and consulting firm in February 2018 from mid-tier competitor Crowe Horwath.