Economy in Deloitte in Scotland
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Numbers are important. They have a helpful way of conveying results in an easily-digestible, unerring format. But, perhaps I would say that, given my profession.
In my last blog, I talked about a lot of numbers. Last year Deloitte’s UK Group delivered 13.6% growth, breaching £3 billion in revenue for the first time. The firm has invested in 30 start-ups, 20 of which were developed by our own people. Our number of partners and directors in Scotland rose to 35 and 45, while we also recruited 53 graduates and 10 BrightStarts.
Seldom has so much happened in the space of 12 months. In the last year, we’ve witnessed a great deal of change, not only in terms of technology, politics and economics; but in many other walks of life too.
For Deloitte, it has also been a truly transformational period. Our firm has grown at its fastest pace for a decade, increasing turnover by 13.6% and breaching £3 billion across the UK Group for the first time.
The oil price drop has been severe, with a profound effect on the industry. Almost every business is reassessing how it operates and looking for ways to respond – cutting costs and discretionary capex, all the while enhancing production volumes to keep their head above water.
Historic is a word often used erroneously – but today is definitely a historic day. In one of Britain’s most definitive political moments, the public has spoken and made clear that it sees the UK’s future being better-served outside of the EU.
Collaboration is a buzzword in the North Sea these days. At a time when the industry is striving to restore competitiveness, improve efficiency and bring down costs it has seldom been more important. Oil and Gas UK’s most recent Activity Survey found that operating costs have dropped from around $30 per boe to $17 since 2014, but measures still need to go further.
Scratch the surface though, and you quickly realise that there’s little clarity over what collaboration actually means. That lack of understanding was one of the main drivers behind our report: Making the most of the UKCS: Collaborating for success. Surveying the UK Continental Shelf’s (UKCS) operators and supply chain companies, respondents told us that they collaborate to a high degree with their suppliers and customers in initiatives mainly aimed at cutting costs.
The recovery from the financial crisis of 2008 barely got going before we were talking about a sovereign debt crisis in Europe. Nevertheless, stock markets rose and economic indicators started to head in the right direction from around November 2011.
Now that’s morphed into an oil price slump, precipitated in part by a slowdown in emerging markets; most notably China. If the experience of the last few years tells you anything, it’s that there are always challenges to be overcome.
The end of the tax year is fast approaching and this is always a good time to ensure your tax house is in order. With this in mind, we’ve put together some top tips for things that you should consider before 5 April 2016.
Few days are met with more anticipation, and sometimes trepidation, than Budget day. This year’s set of announcements were a complex mixture of tax changes, in what will be the first revenue-neutral Budget of this Parliament.
Some gained and others found themselves worse off from proceedings. Among the winners were individuals, savers, higher rate taxpayers, small businesses and oil and gas companies. Those who fared less well were larger businesses, property investors and, potentially, people who like to indulge in a sugary drink.
This week [Monday 29 February], saw the launch of a major new initiative to boost the exporting capability of Scottish business. The Exporting is GREAT roadshow has been rolling across Scotland this week, encouraging more businesses to sell their products and services overseas.
This is all about jobs and growth, and exporting is vital to Scotland’s future. We know that firms which export grow faster, generate more revenue, hire more people and tend to pay better.
The festive period is a time of reflection. And looking back over the last 12 months, I can safely say 2015 was a big year for Deloitte and for me.
This will be my first Christmas as Senior Partner for Deloitte in Scotland and Northern Ireland; a role I’m honoured to hold. I’ve inherited a fantastic team, which has helped make the transition that bit easier, and I’ve been inspired by the brilliant clients the firm gets to work with every day.