EY Ireland said on Thursday it was continuing to add jobs as it eyes “another year of record growth”, even as partners in its UK firm have been warned to prepare for fresh cuts to costs and jobs after the global accountancy group abandoned plans to split itself in two.
A spokeswoman for EY Ireland said that the firm was “well on the way” to filling 900 new roles announced last November, aimed at growing its headcount to 5,100. She declined to give details on how many of the positions have been taken up.
The comments came after EY UK’s managing partner for financial services, Anna Anthony, told partners on a call on Wednesday that the firm was “already working on reducing our costs” as there are “inefficiencies” in the business, according to the Financial Times.
On Tuesday, EY called off a plan to break up its audit and consulting businesses globally after months of internal disagreement and opposition from executives in the US on the structure of the plan. The Big Four firm had secured approval last September from its global leadership for the proposal, code-named Project Everest, and would have represented the biggest shake-up in the accounting industry in more than two decades.
EY’s US leaders moved immediately after the decision to abandon the split to unveil a $500 million (€453 million) cost-saving programme as part of a new strategy.
“Last year, we delivered record growth in our business with revenues on the island of Ireland up 26 per cent for the financial year to 30th June 2022 and we project another year of record growth for this financial year,” a spokeswoman for EY Ireland said in response to questions on whether it would follow the lead of EY’s US and UK firms.
“This is testament to the breadth of talent and depth of expertise within EY Ireland’s business and to the trust placed in us by our incredible clients. We remain firmly focused on ensuring exceptional client service and on investing in our world class talent here in EY Ireland, now and into the future.” She said that EY Ireland remains “laser-focused on continuing to build a business that delivers outstanding client service and greater opportunities for our people”.
EY Ireland, led by managing partner Frank O’Keeffe, saw its revenues rise 26 per cent last year to €536 million, which compared with 17 per cent expansion in the UK arm, to £3.23 billion (€3.66 billion), and 7.3 per cent growth across the EY global network, to $40 billion.
The planned split of the group was to entail EY’s audit function being bundled into a business that would offer assurance services and retain the EY name. The consulting business was to be given a new name and prepared for a stock market flotation.
The proposal was aimed at addressing long-standing regulatory concerns about the potential conflict that arises from a firm providing non-audit work to clients they are also responsible for auditing. EY’s Big Four rivals – Deloitte, KPMG and PwC – face the same issue.
Still, EY’s global executive insisted this week that it remained committed to the idea of creating “two world-class organisations” by coming up with a new transaction.