BDO hails 'resilience' of Scotland’s mid-market businesses as revenues jump

Accountancy and business advisory firm BDO has hailed the “resilience” of Scotland’s mid-market businesses after posting a double-digit hike in revenues, though profits have dipped.

The firm reported an 11 per cent increase in revenues to £809 million for the financial year 2021/22 with growth across all three of its service lines - audit, tax and advisory. It cited the reasons for growth as being the resilience of its core market of entrepreneurial, high-growth and mid-sized businesses in the face of “difficult economic circumstances”, as well as the hard work of its people.

The UK-wide firm said it had made significant investments in the business. This has included spending £70m recruiting an additional 1,000 people, promoting nearly 3,000 individuals, increasing salaries and investing in “quality” technology and digital applications. As a result of the investments and the return to pre-pandemic levels of costs, profit before tax was down 8 per cent to £187m. While these high levels of investment mean a planned reduction in 2021/22 profit and partner pay, BDO insisted that the focus on “longer-term sustainable growth” was the right decision.

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In Scotland, the firm has made a long-term commitment to office space at 2 Atlantic Square in Glasgow, where more than 130 staff are based, while investing in a major refurbishment of BDO’s Citypoint base on Haymarket Terrace in Edinburgh. There has also been a focus on improving audit quality, recruiting across all areas of the business, promoting nearly 50 employees, committing to the recruitment of 20 trainees to start in the 2022/23 financial year, and developing a suite of new technology and digital applications.

Martin Gill is head of BDO in Scotland, where the firm has invested in its Edinburgh and Glasgow operations.

Martin Gill, head of BDO in Scotland, said: “Our strong growth this year is down to the resilience of our core market of high-growth, entrepreneurial businesses, combined with the hard work and ability of our people. During such uncertain economic times, businesses like ours need to invest in skills to stimulate growth and, ultimately, the economy. We’re using the proceeds of growth to invest in our people, for the long-term, with an additional emphasis on wellbeing, work-life balance, quality and innovation. This is particularly so in Scotland, where we have invested heavily in workspace across Glasgow and Edinburgh.”