This is my final blog post for 2013 rounding off what has been a very good year for RSM and our member firms. Like every network we have had our challenges – but with most challenges come opportunities and 2013 was no different in this regards. However, as I share my reflections on 2013, I would like to concentrate on the positives we have seen this year.
In the beginning of the year, we welcomed all six region’s leaders to London for three full days of business development and strategies for growth planning. The RSM regional conference season (where relationships are strengthened to better allow us to serve clients) began in earnest with professionals in Asia Pacific gathering in Kuala Lampur, followed by the MENA team meeting in Marrakech and European MPs converging in Budapest. Finally, the Latin American regional conference in Cancun provided Bob Burdett’s closest colleagues the perfect opportunity to pay tribute to his service to RSM as he retires at the end of the year.
Another very successful and highly motivated group of professionals attended the 8th RSM Academy and another team of international tax experts widened their international tax client service skills at the first specialist RSM ITAX Academy – both Academies designed to equip our people with even more international expertise and talent.
Back to the beginning of the year, in March, we won the International Accounting Bulletin Award for Global Initiative of the Year for RSM World Day 2012. The judges said RSM World Day was the year’s most significant global initiative undertaken by a network or association. This makes me very proud, and it was certainly a hard act to follow, but in September, RSM member firms celebrated RSM World Day for the second time with just as much vigour and passion as the first year. See the RSM World Day News to see the collection of wonderful stories about staff get-togethers, team-building and charity work done around the world.
And so on to the RSM World Conference in Amsterdam at the end of October – our first carbon neutral conference. Over 250 partners from across the globe attended our most successful conference to date – the theme was ‘#1 for clients’ and the level of conversations and engagement in delivering our promise to clients highlighted to me a confidence within our firms.
At the World Conference we had the chance to welcome the new member firms and correspondents that have joined us this year: Angola, Nigeria, Swaziland, Bangladesh, Japan, Argentina, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Finland, France, Isle of Man, Sweden and Qatar.
Other achievements include launching our new intranet site for member firms – RSM Connect, and our international business development programme – Connected for Growth – have made significant progress this year and all of our centres of excellence have been active in enhancing their client services – including International Tax where RSM is the 5th largest provider of these services.
With regard to our global profile – our first ever online game ‘Where on Earth?!’ highlighted all countries where we have member firms to over 30,000 players, a new global advertising campaign was seen by FT.com readers, and our white paper on ‘The Road to Recovery’ achieved over 60 press hits and a global audience of 13.4m. Our continued sponsorship of the European Business Awards has given us the chance to celebrate with almost 400 national champions in nine European countries over the last two months. And finally, myself and Bob Dohrer – RSM’s Global Leader for Quality and Risk – were both listed in the just released International Accounting Bulletin’s Global Accountancy Power 50 ranking. For RSM to have two entries in the Top 50 is a reflection of our collective strength and public recognition of RSM and our member firms’ strong positioning in the market.
There have been many other achievements I haven’t mentioned both centrally and within our member firms from people initiatives, profile raising, developing new business and above all continually exceeding our clients’ needs.
For me though (and I am an auditor at heart) the proof is in the figures. The point of doing all of this work is to facilitate the development of our client base across member firms and to be the provider of choice for large multinationals and national corporates making strides to expand their businesses across borders. Our latest Q1-Q3 figures show year on year increase of over 30% referred work between members indicating our ever increasing international client base.
As I reflect on 2013, I am proud – of our members, of our leaders, of our network. We continue to be focused on providing the highest level of service to our clients – wherever they have professional service needs and in taking RSM to an ever increasing and dynamic client base. It has been another exciting RSM year. Now we turn to 2014, and look forward to our continued focus on our clients – and being the service providers of choice in all of our global markets.
My very best wishes to all for a healthy and prosperous 2014.