By Rob Starr, Big4.com Content Manager
Deloitte’s recently released 2015 Global Revenue Announcement highlighted six consecutive years of growth with $35.2 billion in revenue. This year alone, the company hired 62,000 professionals and invested over $200 million in community and societal impact initiatives worldwide. The firm’s 2015 Global Report showcased how the company continues to make an impact that matters. Deloitte’s Global CEO Punit Renjen took some time from his busy schedule to answer some questions for Big4.com about the recent reports.
What can you say about the $100 million in innovating audit quality that Deloitte spent?
· Audit is and will remain core to Deloitte – it represents nearly one third of our overall business and, in some regions, the majority of our business and we take our obligation to the investing public very seriously.
· Audit quality is the shared number-one priority for Deloitte, and we continue to make significant investments in innovation and technology to drive a better quality audit.
· We are expanding our investment in emerging technologies such as data analytics, visualization techniques and even artificial intelligence (AI), which are dramatically changing the way we approach and conduct audits. These technologies are driving opportunities for improved business performance by revealing more meaningful insights that benefit all stakeholders, and they support and enhance our continued emphasis on audit quality.
· Examples of next-generation applications that support our audit work include:
AI applications that interrogate client electronic documentation using advanced machine-learning techniques and natural-language processing to quickly identify, analyze and extract key information
o A mobile app that enables physical inventory observations from smartphones
o A diagnostic tool that uses visualization to help us understand and identify issues in our clients’ finance functions
· Audits that are broader and deeper require professionals with expanded skills. This means developing auditors with experience in specialized areas – including those not covered by a traditional audit. The Deloitte network is enhancing its talent model to recruit and develop the auditors of the future.
o To recruit and inspire exceptional talent, Deloitte is making investments that appeal to both the head (development, experience, mentorship, mobility) and heart (purpose, inclusion, flexibility, innovation).
Can you define the company’s multidisciplinary model?
· We have never wavered from our commitment to a multidisciplinary approach.
· Deloitte’s multidisciplinary model combines the best strategic thinking, experience and expertise from each of our core capabilities that enhance our ability to help our clients solve their most critical business issues.
· We have a holistic approach that draws on our experience and expertise in audit, consulting, enterprise risk services, financial advisory and tax & legal services that delivers innovative solutions for our clients and outstanding results for Deloitte.
o For example, Deloitte China was engaged by State Grid Corporation of China to provide a suite of advisory services – including financial and tax due diligence, valuation and structuring services and negotiation support – for landmark cross-border acquisitions that are transforming the profile of the global electricity transmission and distribution industry. Our ability to call on professionals from across Deloitte with the breadth and depth of experience required to help meet the complex needs of such a large organization as State Grid Corporation of China and deliver positive impact demonstrates the success of our multidisciplinary model.
· By engaging all areas of the organization when we construct strategies and plans for clients, we provide unique perspective and advice that clients have told us they value.
· Further, as our organic growth has demonstrated, our multidisciplinary approach works.
What are some of the notable advances in digital transformation that have benefited the firm?
· We invest in the latest technology to be able to anticipate and respond to disruption.
· Advanced technologies will help organizations survive and thrive in a world of accelerating change, and Deloitte has the expertise and capabilities – globally – to lead in this vital area.
· Deloitte is developing cognitive computing capabilities that help member firm clients and our network.
o For example, a software application developed by the Deloitte U.S. Innovation group, in close collaboration with the Audit and Consulting M&A practices, already is helping organizations save time and money.
o One AI-enabled document review platform automates the process of reading and extracting critical information from contracts. The technology can reduce time spent reviewing documents by 50 percent or more, allowing users to focus on value-added analysis and interpretation activities.
· Externally, we are helping clients understand how these technologies will impact their business and operating models and their relationships with customers and partners and also help them understand how they can best realize return on their investments.
o For example, we have an “Internet of Things” practice that helps clients understand benefits that go beyond operational cost savings. This includes solutions that explore how the ability to collect and analyze disparate data, in real-time and across time, can transform a business.
o We are also forming go-to-market relationships with some of the leading vendors to provide integrated solutions specific to verticals.
· Internally, my focus is on investing in new technologies, tools and talent to create a culture of innovation and lifelong learning to continually improve the capabilities across our member firms.
How about Crisis Management?
· This year, Deloitte organized a network of crisis management specialists representing nearly 150 countries across our member firms to provide our clients with multidisciplinary, end-to-end business support before, during and after a crisis, with all of the industry-specific and functional skills required to handle crisis situations.
· In FY16, we now have the ability to monitor our key client’s assets using our 24/7 monitoring system. The 24/7 monitoring solution is equipped to track, monitor, accumulate and analyze several sources of data (social media, news, financial reports, government announcements etc.) to identify potential business disruptions and monitor post-crisis impacts. When an incident/crisis occurs, we will be able to notify our clients as to which assets are impacted.
What are the other bigger takeaways from the revenue announcement?
· The announcement highlighted a number of important metrics that clearly demonstrate the strength of Deloitte.
o For example, it notes a number of records including global revenues of US35.2billion – a 7.6 percent growth in local currency, the hiring of 62,000 in our global network and an investment of more than $200 million in community and societal impact initiatives around the world.
· I feel good about our business, which is driven by Deloitte’s commitment to our purpose, which is to make an impact that matters to better serve our clients, to attract and inspire top talent – and to contribute to society as a whole.
· I firmly believe that “culture of purpose” is greatly responsible for the success of each of our member firms and the network overall. Through our Purpose Culture, every Deloitte professional is clear on the value and positive impact they can bring to clients every day. This culture encourages us to challenge ourselves to identify the issues that are most important for clients, our people, and for society—and how we can make an impact that matters on those issues. It is incredibly rewarding when you focus on the impact you can make.
o In fact, research shows a clear connection between a sense of purpose that delivers positive impacts for all stakeholders and sustained business success. Furthermore, leaders need to articulate a culture of purpose–and, equally important, serve as a visible, consistent example of those behaviors. That’s a terrific blueprint for any organization that wants to become and remain exceptional.
o We are working to be more explicit in defining and more consistent in embedding this sense of purpose within each and every member firm. This can be seen in the recent efforts to define a single purpose across our 46 member firms and 220,000 people: to make an impact that matters.
o For the first time, in conjunction with annual revenues Deloitte released its 2015 Annual Global Report. It highlights how Deloitte professionals are making an impact that matters to clients, people and society.
Examples include how member firms are using cognitive and ambient computing technologies to help clients save time and money, redirect resources and improve conditions; how Deloitte Japan is helping create a network of 2,000 venture companies across Japan, contributing to post-tsunami local and national revival; and how Deloitte professionals are providing pro bono advisory skills to aid humanitarian efforts and help young people access education and employment.
What’s in the future for Deloitte?
Our goal is to become the undisputed global leader in professional services. To achieve that, we will invest to position ourselves as global leaders in the clients we serve and the professions we practice:
- Driving alignment across the Network to serve our largest and most complex clients by delivering consistent global capabilities, scale and industry expertise applied with intimate knowledge of the local context.
- Recruit Top Talent. To recruit and inspire exceptional talent, Deloitte is making investments that appeal to both the head (development, experience, mentorship, mobility) and heart (purpose, inclusion, flexibility, innovation).
- Providing a range of world-class services, each equipped to win in its respective market, and contributing to the overall Deloitte brand.
- Ensuring our business strategies are complementary and synergistic, and that the businesses are motivated and managed to work together to enable each other’s success.
- Investing in innovation and new ideas to challenge the status quo, continually evolving our services to serve clients with ever-greater impact.