BDO continues its sustainable growth trajectory from the prior financial year. Revenue increased by 5.3 percent on the prior year to CHF 233 million.
Audit generated revenue of CHF 76.8 million, an increase of 3.3 percent. The pandemic plus ongoing price pressure made for a tough market environment. BDO’s ongoing investments in digitalisation projects and IT infrastructure enabled us to tackle organisational challenges through modern communication channels, innovative tools and well-trained employees. Additional demand for audit and advisory services arose as a result of government measures to cushion the economic impact of the pandemic. Thanks to innovative solutions and flexible services, BDO was well placed to respond to changing market needs.
Business Solutions saw revenue grow by 3.6 percent to CHF 73.8 million. The extraordinary year 2020 triggered a veritable digitalisation drive in Business Solutions. With the Federal Council’s recommendation to work from home, physical data exchange with clients was reduced to a minimum and interaction processes were redefined. SMEs face increasingly complex requirements, meaning that the advisory competence of fiduciary professionals will become increasingly important. As a central provider of services, their expertise covers not only traditional areas such as bookkeeping, payroll and tax but also solutions in outsourcing, digitalisation, process optimisation or succession planning.
Tax & Legal
Tax & Legal recorded a 2.8 percent increase in revenue to CHF 28.5 million in 2020. Over the past financial year, many companies were once again affected by changes in legislation including the Federal Act on Tax Reform and AHV Financing (TRAF), which entered into force on 1 January 2020. BDO has been supporting clients with implementation from the outset, especially with regard to the additional deduction for research and development. We also assisted many companies in navigating revised withholding tax legislation, which entered into force on 1 January 2021. Two further important bills to receive parliamentary approval in the past year were Switzerland’s Corporate Law Reform and the revised Federal Act on Data Protection. It is not yet clear when they will enter into force but these topics are both sure to remain on the agenda of Switzerland's economic players.
The financial sector suffered less than other industries from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The environment nevertheless remains difficult for the financial sector, which faces challenges such as negative interest rates and rising material expenses as digitalisation advances. Against this background, Financial Services performed well, with revenue up 3.3 percent to CHF 17.6 million. Within Financial Services, the audit and advisory business enjoys a positive outlook thanks to developments in fintech and blockchain as well as new legislation such as the Financial Institutions Act (FinIA) and Financial Services Act (FinSA).
(Real Estate, Abacus/IT, Corporate Finance, miscellaneous advisory services)
Abacus continued its positive development in what was a challenging environment. Revenue from Abacus services was up over the prior year. The volume of advisory services increased in the lively Mergers & Acquisitions market, while Real Estate was not quite able to match its prior-year performance.