EY Germany: Champion in Professional Services

EY-Germany

Berlin: EY Germany

When a company with over 10,000 employees is soon celebrating its 100th birthday, it doesn’t really run the risk of being considered hip and unconventional. And if assurance services play a major role on top of that, well then the start-up scene coolness that’s all the rage with Generation Y seems to fade far into the distance. Managers in grey suits? Auditors, tax consultants and advisors with no sense of fun? Traditional old economy business with files, figures, and facts?

If this is what comes to mind, then you will be surprised to discover one of “Germany’s Top Employers 2017.” So what makes EY Germany special? What can a globally integrated assurance and advisory company offer in the age of blockchain and big data? How digital is its business and how does it help clients master this transformation?

Let’s start with the files. The days in which auditors carried tonnes of folders around with them are long gone. Similar to other industries, EY and particularly assurance services are becoming increasingly digital.

This benefits clients, since it means greater transparency and security, and also benefits employees, due to the fact that they will be able to fully concentrate on activities that demand specialised knowledge and outstanding judgment.

To make the auditing process more efficient and transparent, EY continuously incorporates innovative technologies into its work. Process mining, data analytics, robotics, and artificial intelligence are the digital revolution’s magic words, and show where the future is taking the company. As a result, the quality of audits will become better and better – where auditors used to only be able to conduct random spot checks, they will now be able to analyse entire quantities of data and make more well-founded risk assessments.
But it isn’t just their audits that are digital. EY’s consultants from advisory and tax are also busy integrating new technologies into their traditional value chain. Wherever data needs to be analysed, protected, and secured, value chains managed in the cloud, or production and sales become interconnected as a result of Industry 4.0, digital technologies are vital to meeting clients’ requirements.

Cybersecurity, for instance, is one of the prime examples that demonstrates how the company is using the tools of digitisation to avoid the risks being created by digitisation.

In the field of tax consulting, today digital technologies also help EY identify risks, handle rapidly growing quantities of data, and use them in a beneficial manner. This is why the company is also expanding its teams in this area to include data scientists, in order to marry classic know-how and IT expertise and develop new solutions together with its clients.
Old economy? Not a trace. On the contrary – this disruptive change is turning the world upside down, and anyone that wants to play a role in the digital economy of the future needs to be actively driving this transformation or risk being driven and ultimately pushed out of the way.

This revolution is hitting every industry – established business models, production processes, and sales channels are under pressure and forcing basically every company today to reinvent themselves. And as a leader in transaction advisory services EY Germany is well positioned in helping to reshape its clients.

But this transformation isn’t just affecting EY’s clients, but the company as well. As an auditing and advisory firm, this means two things: on the one hand, an opportunity, since its clients have a significant need for guidance and expect it to prepare them for the digital future. But on the other hand, a challenge, since the company also needs to realign its own business strategy and change from an operative, technological, and cultural perspective.

And even with almost 100 years under its belt, EY Germany still is a champion in reinventing itself and improve anywhere it offers new services. To achieve this, it has recently acquired three renowned consulting firms – the strategy advisors OC&C Strategy Consultants, the digital specialists etventure, and Kivala HR, a consultancy firm that specialises in the digitisation of human resources. As a result of these acquisitions, the company has rounded out its portfolio of consulting services and can offer its clients an entire package of services from one source – from strategic development to transforming operative business models to the digitisation of human resources, IT architecture, risk management, finance, taxes, and legal.

The objective is clear – EY wants to be the preferred partner of companies in all industries when it comes to their transition into the digital economy. Regardless of whether for auditing, tax advice, or transaction and management consulting – the company offers the right solution for every aspect of the transformation process along the entire value chain.

EY uses its services to help its clients master digital transformation and remain successful in their market. By doing so, it is simultaneously securing its own business success – in the previous fiscal year, EY Germany grew by more than 16% and further expanded its market position as the second-largest auditing and consulting firm.

In this context, focusing on key industries is one of the aspects driving this growth. This is why the company provides consulting services across all sectors, from life sciences and the automotive industry, to major retailers, or the financial sector. In almost all of EY’s projects, the focus is on the transformation of business models and business processes. This also increasingly applies to assurance, as auditing and transformation go hand in hand – if a client’s business model or regulatory requirements change, this also has an effect on the company’s finances. And the additional major auditing contracts it was recently awarded also confirm that clients view the company as the right partner for their financial transformation.

For example, the year-end audit of Commerzbank’s financial statements was another contract EY was awarded from a company listed on Germany’s DAX stock index. As a result of winning three other major banking clients, it is now the auditor of five of the ten largest banking groups in Germany. Furthermore, last year it maintained its position as the leading auditor and advisor to medium-sized companies and was awarded numerous new audits. As a globally integrated company, EY is the preferred auditor and advisor to Germany’s Mittelstand (SMEs) – and will help its clients successfully master the challenges of digital transformation.

To do so, the company isn’t only investing heavily in technology, but also in talented individuals. As such, last year it hired more than 1,500 new employees. In addition to classic professions like auditor, tax advisor, and management consultant, it now also employs mathematicians, medical scientists, architects, and engineers. Transformation consulting is a service that particularly requires multidisciplinary teams with a variety of different skills. This means its clients’ transformation and that of the company itself are taking place simultaneously – in order to guide its clients down this path in the best possible way, it needs to travel down and master this path itself.

EY Germany isn’t showing any signs of slowing down; it is on top of professional services. The fact that the company is closing in on the proud old age of 100 is exactly why it’s never too early to begin reinventing itself. i


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