Deloitte banks $2.85 billion on march to Australian Big Four crown

15 August 2023 3 min. read
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The Australian branch of Big Four professional services firm Deloitte has banked $2.85 billion in revenues on its march to becoming the nation’s biggest, having so far weathered the industry storm.

Deloitte has dug in for $2.85 billion in Australian revenues over its 2022-23 financial year despite tough economic conditions, with $3.5 million of that sum recently revealed as going to CEO Adam Powick in annual salary.

The figures represent a 14 percent rate of growth on the $2.5 billion the firm brought in during its previous financial year, although they will unlikely be enough to propel Deloitte to the top of the local Big Four just yet.

Deloitte banks $2.85 billion on march to Australian Big Four crown

“In a year of heightened economic and industry turbulence, it is pleasing to have navigated the challenges and continued to deliver quality services and outcomes to our clients,” stated Deloitte Australia chairman Tom Imbesi, adding; “Recent events in our profession have clearly demonstrated the value of our longstanding commitment at Deloitte to maintaining strong standards of governance, ethics and integrity in all that we do.”

Despite much recent discussion as to the current impact on consulting demand being caused by widespread business uncertainty, Deloitte’s consulting division last year grew by another 20 percent, its $1.36 billion contribution now almost doubling its four other primary services lines combined. Audit and Assurance, Financial Advisory, and Risk Advisory all meanwhile grew by around 10 percent, with Tax & Legal recording the softest gains.

In terms of personnel, the firm was pushing towards a nationwide headcount of 14,000 in May, including over 2,900 new hires at net growth of 12 percent, with fresh graduates accounting for around one half of that figure. Deloitte also recently crossed the 1,000-strong partnership mark, its end-of-financial-year tally of 1,025 roughly split between equity and non-equity partners and with a two thirds to one male-to-female ratio.

With close rival PwC expected to lose around $600 million in revenues and shed 1,850 partners and staff to public sector consultancy Scyne, Deloitte’s latest figures should soon confirm it as the biggest of the local Big Four in line with its global standing – but it will likely have to wait another year before claiming its long-coveted revenue crown. While yet to report, it’s believed PwC Australia’s 2023 revenues will fall in the ballpark of $3 billion.

The firm no doubt has its fingers firmly crossed that nothing of significance gets dredged up during the current open season on the Big Four, having so far kept its nose relatively clean compared to the myriad of other scandals and allegations plaguing its rivals. Perhaps the biggest ‘story’ to have emerged from the recent Senate scrutiny is the size of Powick’s pay-packet, along with possibly being conned out of a portion of it by a fellow senior partner.

To his credit, when Powick was questioned on whether he believed his work was “worth seven times the salary of the Australian prime minister”, the Deloitte CEO answered no, and acknowledged he was incredibly privileged to earn what he does, before adding; “It’s not my position to talk about professions and different systems. We’re in a free market . . . . my salary is set to be commensurate with others that play a similar role in our profession.”