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Assurance achieved revenue of €303 million in FY 2015/2016, up €6 million (2%) on the year-earlier figures, and remained our biggest service line in terms of revenue.

Our audit practice reported €2 million (1%) revenue growth to €249 million. Mandatory audit rotation boosted the number of new engagements in our audit business.

In particular, we strengthened our position among listed companies and improved the portfolio balance and the spread across sectors. The associated transition costs and first-year audit investments had a marked impact on our results for the year. The number of hours was higher but so were client-serving professional numbers. The margin was tighter, chiefly because of the unbillable transition costs and the substantial investment of time and capacity required during an audit’s first year.

Overall, we continued to prioritize investments in audit quality and spent more time on all of our engagements. Substantial investments were also made in digitization and data analytics to further improve the audit.

Assurance’s non-audit activities had a solid year. We invested heavily in new services. FAAS, our specialized advisory service for complex accounting and reporting issues and annual closing processes, realized strong growth by enhancing its data analytics, treasury and risk management offering following the acquisition of i3 and Montesquieu. It also expanded its corporate governance consultancy practice. Revenue increased by €2 million (15%) to €20 million. We expect a further growth spurt in the years ahead. Fraud Investigation and Dispute Services (FIDS) saw its revenue increase by €1 million (15%) to €6 million and revenue at Accounting Compliance and Reporting (ACR) slightly increased by €1 million to €28 million.

The average workforce grew by 14% to 1,860 in FY 2015/2016.