Deloitte175

A story of leadership and purpose





The firm of William Welch Deloitte was founded in 1845 in London, where he wrote his first entry in his firm’s first ledger on 23 April 1845, exactly 175 years ago. While we take our name from him as a global firm, it is imperative that we broaden and deepen our connection to the entrepreneurs and visionaries who are responsible for the business we have today. It’s important to acknowledge that about 30 Irish accountancy firms ultimately formed Deloitte in Ireland as we now know it. Our legacy stems from these firms and individuals.

Our origin story tells us a lot about our culture and who we are as a business. Deloitte’s purpose of making an impact that matters for our people, clients and communities is rooted in our legacy. In Ireland, our leaders of today and tomorrow strengthen us all through their own individuality and diverse perspectives, while carrying forth the legacy, values and behaviours of our founders.

We’ve been a human catalyst at the intersection of business and technology since the advent of the steam engine. We’ve served clients through three industrial revolutions. We’re more than ready to lead through the fourth. We will emerge from the current global crisis stronger and better positioned for the future. We’re not trusted because we’ve existed for 175 years. We’ve existed for 175 years because we’re trustworthy. That’s why clients choose Deloitte.

That’s our legacy. That’s our future.



Through wars, recessions and pandemics: a global story of resilience


Since our founding in 1845, Deloitte has prevailed through political upheavals, war and disasters. Along the way, Deloitte has endured ten major global economic downturns, including the Great Depression (1929-1939) and the Great Recession (2008-2009), as well as dozens of national or regional recessions. We have seen the rise and fall of European colonialism and the birth of new countries around the world. Deloitte has been able to persevere through these storms due to the resilience that lies within our DNA and Deloitte’s commitment to serving clients with integrity.

Our people were at the frontlines during World War I, when more than 120 Deloitte people and 100 Haskins & Sells' professionals worked with the Red Cross to prepare for War Department audits and help enroll its employees for overseas service. We were also there during World War II and the Luftwaffe bombings of London, where Deloitte people dispersed across the city, and partners and senior clerks remained connected via telephone.

In 1917, the Great American Auditing Co., the Chinese Mainland predecessor firm of Deloitte China, was one of the first foreign accounting firms to set up in Shanghai. It helped clients maintain their businesses and trading connections throughout the troubled years of the First Chinese Republic (1912-1928). And during the Spanish flu pandemic, the predecessor firm of Deloitte Canada helped the Hudson's Bay Company, a retail chain owning stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue and still a Deloitte audit client, providing auditing services as it reeled from the effect of the disease on communities across Canada.

Over the years, Deloitte leaders have recognised that doing the right thing for stakeholders and our people can also create new opportunities. In the wake of the Crash of 1929, Deloitte leaders in the US advocated for mandatory public company audits to protect capital markets. Very quickly a new, unexpected and stable business was born. During the post-World War II recession, various Deloitte firms pivoted to help companies stay on their feet using new statistics-driven approaches developed before and during the war—approaches that came to be called ‘management consulting’. And when Saba & Co, the predecessor firm of Deloitte Middle East, opened offices in Qatar in the 1950s to help the government of that emirate, it helped bolster the economy long before significant revenues from oil and gas began to flow in.

The fact is, in the turbulent seas of uncertainty, Deloitte has always been a remarkably stable and resilient ship. Deloitte’s diverse portfolio of business offerings, technological know-how, and future-focused thinking have provided the necessary ballast for Deloitte member firms to pivot, reorganise and help clients forge new opportunities out of adversity.

In these uncertain times, Deloitte is once again connecting to what matters, as has been done for 175 years—focusing on the needs of clients, stepping up to support our communities and prioritising the well-being of our people. Together, we will overcome this latest challenge, and will help Deloitte clients and the organisation emerge stronger.

Stories

Our DNA
Deloitte’s founders, alumni, and people today have navigated confidently through 175+ years of making an impact that matters to clients, to society and to each other. The following stories illustrate moments of impact and connection since 1845 and how Deloitte’s shared values continue to shape who we are today.
Through wars, recessions, and pandemics: A story of resilience
Deloitte has a long history of helping clients, communities, and our people thrive during times of adversity. Resilience is an essential part of our DNA as we continue to live our five Shared Values and make an even greater impact in the age of COVID-19.
Through wars, recessions, and pandemics: A story of resilience
The Ties That Bind: William Welch Deloitte, Railroads and the Birth of Professional Accounting
Founder William Welch Deloitte became a leader in the burgeoning field of accounting just as the industrialization of England gave rise to the urgent need for financial discipline.
The Ties That Bind: William Welch Deloitte, Railroads and the Birth of Professional Accounting
Elijah W. Sells and the Intersection of Compassion and Action
Elijah W. Sells, a cofounder of Deloitte legacy firm Haskins & Sells, produced a detailed peace plan during World War I that shared similarities with the plan for the League of Nations
Elijah W. Sells and the Intersection of Compassion and Action
From Typewriters to AI: Deloitte, Governments and the Dockery Commission
Deloitte’s reputation as a consultant to governments on implementing new technologies dates back to before the founding of Haskins & Sells (Deloitte LLP predecessor) in the US .
From Typewriters to AI: Deloitte, Governments and the Dockery Commission
Becoming the Green Dot
Deloitte’s distinctive Green Dot emerged out of a period of transition for the organization, but has since become a beloved and iconic symbol that embodies unity and a shared purpose for people around the world.
Becoming the Green Dot
Citizens of the World: The Foundation and Global Growth of Deloitte’s Footprint
From its earliest days, Deloitte worked with clients around the world, embracing a global outlook that would lead to the international network of member firms serving 150 countries and territories today.
Citizens of the World: The Foundation and Global Growth of Deloitte’s Footprint
The Lincoln Proclamation and Deloitte’s legacy of multigenerational service
The Lincoln Proclamation, which records Lincoln’s decision for posterity, has become a treasured part of Deloitte’s history.
The Lincoln Proclamation and Deloitte’s legacy of multigenerational service
Planting the Seeds of Leadership
Deloitte’s tradition of growing leaders from within extends deep into the organization’s history and continues today with numerous internal initiatives dedicated to helping its talented professionals grow and realize their potential.
Planting the Seeds of Leadership
Leading the Way in Technological Innovation
Deloitte became the world’s foremost auditing and professional services provider due in part to its dedication to technological innovation.
Leading the Way in Technological Innovation
Deloitte University: Building a Global Culture
Deloitte University launched in 2011, offering Deloitte professionals and clients leadership and technical training at locations across the globe. It also functions as an important cultural unifier for Deloitte.
Deloitte University: Building a Global Culture
“The Future Is in Asia”: Deloitte Tilts East
Deloitte is building on its long history in the Asia Pacific region with a major investment. It aims to become the undisputed market leader in professional services in the region.
“The Future Is in Asia”: Deloitte Tilts East
Our DNA
Deloitte’s founders, alumni, and people today have navigated confidently through 175+ years of making an impact that matters to clients, to society and to each other. The following stories illustrate moments of impact and connection since 1845 and how Deloitte’s shared values continue to shape who we are today.
The Ties That Bind: William Welch Deloitte, Railroads and the Birth of Professional Accounting
Founder William Welch Deloitte became a leader in the burgeoning field of accounting just as the industrialization of England gave rise to the urgent need for financial discipline.
The Ties That Bind: William Welch Deloitte, Railroads and the Birth of Professional Accounting
Elijah W. Sells and the Intersection of Compassion and Action
Elijah W. Sells, a cofounder of Deloitte legacy firm Haskins & Sells, produced a detailed peace plan during World War I that shared similarities with the plan for the League of Nations
Elijah W. Sells and the Intersection of Compassion and Action
From Typewriters to AI: Deloitte, Governments and the Dockery Commission
Deloitte’s reputation as a consultant to governments on implementing new technologies dates back to before the founding of Haskins & Sells (Deloitte LLP predecessor) in the US .
From Typewriters to AI: Deloitte, Governments and the Dockery Commission
Building for the next 175: Deloitte’s Journey to Iconic
Deloitte Global CEO Punit Renjen challenges Deloitte professionals to break down barriers and work together to transform the organization from the largest professional services provider into an iconic one.
Building for the next 175: Deloitte’s Journey to Iconic
Becoming the Green Dot
Deloitte’s distinctive Green Dot emerged out of a period of transition for the organization, but has since become a beloved and iconic symbol that embodies unity and a shared purpose for people around the world.
Becoming the Green Dot
Citizens of the World: The Foundation and Global Growth of Deloitte’s Footprint
From its earliest days, Deloitte worked with clients around the world, embracing a global outlook that would lead to the international network of member firms serving 150 countries and territories today.
Citizens of the World: The Foundation and Global Growth of Deloitte’s Footprint
The Lincoln Proclamation and Deloitte’s legacy of multigenerational service
The Lincoln Proclamation, which records Lincoln’s decision for posterity, has become a treasured part of Deloitte’s history.
The Lincoln Proclamation and Deloitte’s legacy of multigenerational service
Planting the Seeds of Leadership
Deloitte’s tradition of growing leaders from within extends deep into the organization’s history and continues today with numerous internal initiatives dedicated to helping its talented professionals grow and realize their potential.
Planting the Seeds of Leadership
Leading the Way in Technological Innovation
Deloitte became the world’s foremost auditing and professional services provider due in part to its dedication to technological innovation.
Leading the Way in Technological Innovation
From Acceptance to Inclusion
Deloitte legacy firms have a long history of promoting diversity and inclusion around the globe. For Deloitte today, cultural inclusion remains a top priority amid the knowledge that it’s still a work in progress.
From Acceptance to Inclusion
A Role Model Founder: Empowering Lives for Generations
Founder William Welch Deloitte’s contributions to his hometown of Southall in the United Kingdom are still in evidence today.
A Role Model Founder: Empowering Lives for Generations
Deloitte and African Accounting
Akintola Williams founded the Deloitte predecessor firm Akintola Williams & Co. in 1952 in Lagos, Nigeria.
Deloitte and African Accounting
From One Room to an Entire Region: The Saba & Co. Story
Fuad Saba’s vision and hard work spurred Saba & Co.’s growth from a small, one-room operation in 1926 into the Middle East’s largest accounting firm and an important member firm of DTTL
From One Room to an Entire Region: The Saba & Co. Story
Tohmatsu, Awoki & Co. and the story of Deloitte in Japan
Tohmatsu, Awoki & Co. formed in 1968 in response to the Japanese government’s demand for financial discipline in the midst of major economic expansion.
Tohmatsu, Awoki & Co. and the story of Deloitte in Japan
Deloitte in India: Global Reach, Local Impact
Deloitte India developed from a group of longstanding local firms, founded and managed by Indians.
Deloitte in India: Global Reach, Local Impact
One Future at a Time: The Global Impact of WorldClass
As the world’s largest professional services organization, Deloitte aims to use its global reach to empower communities through education and skills development. WorldClass is the ultimate expression of that ambition.
One Future at a Time: The Global Impact of WorldClass
“Laying the Foundation for Actual Business Life”: Deloitte, Accounting and Education
Deloitte leaders and professionals have always been passionate about education, from founding, leading, and teaching at business schools, to promoting high standards for professional services to assisting schools and universities as they navigate the 4IR.
“Laying the Foundation for Actual Business Life”: Deloitte, Accounting and Education
Inclusion in our DNA: How Jennie Palen shattered stereotypes
Jennie Palen, the first woman in a management role at Haskins & Sells, had a long career marked by distinguished service and consummate professionalism.
“Inclusion in our DNA: How Jennie Palen shattered stereotypes
Happy Birthday(s), Deloitte: The Significance of 1845
William Welch Deloitte’s office on Basinghall Street in London, which he opened in 1845, also was his home for a number of years. Tribe, Clark & Co. grew from a practice founded by Josiah Wade in Bristol, England, in 1780.
Happy Birthday(s), Deloitte: The Significance of 1845
Guided by Conscience: Deloitte and the Pursuit of Independence and Objectivity
Haskins & Sells was instrumental in the creation of the peer review system for US accounting practices, with the firm’s Gordon Murray serving as chairman of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants committee that studied the issue.
Guided by Conscience: Deloitte and the Pursuit of Independence and Objectivity
Baseball and Beer, but Not Billiards: Quirky Deloitte at Work and Play
Despite the “touch of austerity” in his manner, William Welch Deloitte was a fastidious dresser, known for wearing a flower in his buttonhole every day, year-round.
Baseball and Beer, but Not Billiards: Quirky Deloitte at Work and Play
The Power of Integrity: Earning Clients’ Trust Since 1845
In 1856, William Welch Deloitte won what was arguably the highest-profile assignment of his career: investigating major fraud at the Great Northern Railway (GNR).
The Power of Integrity: Earning Clients’ Trust Since 1845
Built Upon Connections: Collaboration and the Multidisciplinary Business Model
At the pinnacle of his career, William Welch Deloitte faced a quandary. He had become the leading independent auditor of railroads in Britain. But the downside of this success was having to turn away new opportunities.
Built Upon Connections: Collaboration and the Multidisciplinary Business Model
Through wars, recessions, and pandemics: A story of resilience
Deloitte has a long history of helping clients, communities, and our people thrive during times of adversity. Resilience is an essential part of our DNA as we continue to live our five Shared Values and make an even greater impact in the age of COVID-19.
Through wars, recessions, and pandemics: A story of resilience
Deloitte University: Building a Global Culture
Deloitte University launched in 2011, offering Deloitte professionals and clients leadership and technical training at locations across the globe. It also functions as an important cultural unifier for Deloitte.
Deloitte University: Building a Global Culture
“The Future Is in Asia”: Deloitte Tilts East
Deloitte is building on its long history in the Asia Pacific region with a major investment. It aims to become the undisputed market leader in professional services in the region.
“The Future Is in Asia”: Deloitte Tilts East
Our DNA
Deloitte’s founders, alumni, and people today have navigated confidently through 175+ years of making an impact that matters to clients, to society and to each other. The following stories illustrate moments of impact and connection since 1845 and how Deloitte’s shared values continue to shape who we are today.
Building for the next 175: Deloitte’s Journey to Iconic
Deloitte Global CEO Punit Renjen challenges Deloitte professionals to break down barriers and work together to transform the organization from the largest professional services provider into an iconic one.
Building for the next 175: Deloitte’s Journey to Iconic
Deloitte and African Accounting
Akintola Williams founded the Deloitte predecessor firm Akintola Williams & Co. in 1952 in Lagos, Nigeria.
Deloitte and African Accounting
From One Room to an Entire Region: The Saba & Co. Story
Fuad Saba’s vision and hard work spurred Saba & Co.’s growth from a small, one-room operation in 1926 into the Middle East’s largest accounting firm and an important member firm of DTTL
From One Room to an Entire Region: The Saba & Co. Story
Tohmatsu, Awoki & Co. and the story of Deloitte in Japan
Tohmatsu, Awoki & Co. formed in 1968 in response to the Japanese government’s demand for financial discipline in the midst of major economic expansion.
Tohmatsu, Awoki & Co. and the story of Deloitte in Japan
Deloitte in India: Global Reach, Local Impact
Deloitte India developed from a group of longstanding local firms, founded and managed by Indians.
Deloitte in India: Global Reach, Local Impact
“The Future Is in Asia”: Deloitte Tilts East
Deloitte is building on its long history in the Asia Pacific region with a major investment. It aims to become the undisputed market leader in professional services in the region.
“The Future Is in Asia”: Deloitte Tilts East
Our DNA
Deloitte’s founders, alumni, and people today have navigated confidently through 175+ years of making an impact that matters to clients, to society and to each other. The following stories illustrate moments of impact and connection since 1845 and how Deloitte’s shared values continue to shape who we are today.
Planting the Seeds of Leadership
Deloitte’s tradition of growing leaders from within extends deep into the organization’s history and continues today with numerous internal initiatives dedicated to helping its talented professionals grow and realize their potential.
Planting the Seeds of Leadership
From Acceptance to Inclusion
Deloitte legacy firms have a long history of promoting diversity and inclusion around the globe. For Deloitte today, cultural inclusion remains a top priority amid the knowledge that it’s still a work in progress.
From Acceptance to Inclusion
Inclusion in our DNA: How Jennie Palen shattered stereotypes
Jennie Palen, the first woman in a management role at Haskins & Sells, had a long career marked by distinguished service and consummate professionalism.
“Inclusion in our DNA: How Jennie Palen shattered stereotypes
Our DNA
Deloitte’s founders, alumni, and people today have navigated confidently through 175+ years of making an impact that matters to clients, to society and to each other. The following stories illustrate moments of impact and connection since 1845 and how Deloitte’s shared values continue to shape who we are today.
From Typewriters to AI: Deloitte, Governments and the Dockery Commission
Deloitte’s reputation as a consultant to governments on implementing new technologies dates back to before the founding of Haskins & Sells (Deloitte LLP predecessor) in the US .
From Typewriters to AI: Deloitte, Governments and the Dockery Commission
Leading the Way in Technological Innovation
Deloitte became the world’s foremost auditing and professional services provider due in part to its dedication to technological innovation.
Leading the Way in Technological Innovation
One Future at a Time: The Global Impact of WorldClass
As the world’s largest professional services organization, Deloitte aims to use its global reach to empower communities through education and skills development. WorldClass is the ultimate expression of that ambition.
One Future at a Time: The Global Impact of WorldClass
Happy Birthday(s), Deloitte: The Significance of 1845
William Welch Deloitte’s office on Basinghall Street in London, which he opened in 1845, also was his home for a number of years. Tribe, Clark & Co. grew from a practice founded by Josiah Wade in Bristol, England, in 1780.
Happy Birthday(s), Deloitte: The Significance of 1845
The Power of Integrity: Earning Clients’ Trust Since 1845
In 1856, William Welch Deloitte won what was arguably the highest-profile assignment of his career: investigating major fraud at the Great Northern Railway (GNR).
The Power of Integrity: Earning Clients’ Trust Since 1845
Deloitte University: Building a Global Culture
Deloitte University launched in 2011, offering Deloitte professionals and clients leadership and technical training at locations across the globe. It also functions as an important cultural unifier for Deloitte.
Deloitte University: Building a Global Culture
Our DNA
Deloitte’s founders, alumni, and people today have navigated confidently through 175+ years of making an impact that matters to clients, to society and to each other. The following stories illustrate moments of impact and connection since 1845 and how Deloitte’s shared values continue to shape who we are today.
The Ties That Bind: William Welch Deloitte, Railroads and the Birth of Professional Accounting
Founder William Welch Deloitte became a leader in the burgeoning field of accounting just as the industrialization of England gave rise to the urgent need for financial discipline.
The Ties That Bind: William Welch Deloitte, Railroads and the Birth of Professional Accountin
The Lincoln Proclamation and Deloitte’s legacy of multigenerational service
The Lincoln Proclamation, which records Lincoln’s decision for posterity, has become a treasured part of Deloitte’s history.
The Lincoln Proclamation and Deloitte’s legacy of multigenerational service
“Laying the Foundation for Actual Business Life”: Deloitte, Accounting and Education
Deloitte leaders and professionals have always been passionate about education, from founding, leading, and teaching at business schools, to promoting high standards for professional services to assisting schools and universities as they navigate the 4IR.
“Laying the Foundation for Actual Business Life”: Deloitte, Accounting and Education
Guided by Conscience: Deloitte and the Pursuit of Independence and Objectivity
Haskins & Sells was instrumental in the creation of the peer review system for US accounting practices, with the firm’s Gordon Murray serving as chairman of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants committee that studied the issue,
Guided by Conscience: Deloitte and the Pursuit of Independence and Objectivity
Our DNA
Deloitte’s founders, alumni, and people today have navigated confidently through 175+ years of making an impact that matters to clients, to society and to each other. The following stories illustrate moments of impact and connection since 1845 and how Deloitte’s shared values continue to shape who we are today.
Elijah W. Sells and the Intersection of Compassion and Action
Elijah W. Sells, a cofounder of Deloitte legacy firm Haskins & Sells, produced a detailed peace plan during World War I that shared similarities with the plan for the League of Nations
Elijah W. Sells and the Intersection of Compassion and Action
Built Upon Connections: Collaboration and the Multidisciplinary Business Model
At the pinnacle of his career, William Welch Deloitte faced a quandary. He had become the leading independent auditor of railroads in Britain. But the downside of this success was having to turn away new opportunities.
Built Upon Connections: Collaboration and the Multidisciplinary Business Model
Our DNA
Deloitte’s founders, alumni, and people today have navigated confidently through 175+ years of making an impact that matters to clients, to society and to each other. The following stories illustrate moments of impact and connection since 1845 and how Deloitte’s shared values continue to shape who we are today.
Citizens of the World: The Foundation and Global Growth of Deloitte’s Footprint
From its earliest days, Deloitte worked with clients around the world, embracing a global outlook that would lead to the international network of member firms serving 150 countries and territories today.
Citizens of the World: The Foundation and Global Growth of Deloitte’s Footprint
Becoming the Green Dot
Deloitte’s distinctive Green Dot emerged out of a period of transition for the organization, but has since become a beloved and iconic symbol that embodies unity and a shared purpose for people around the world.
Becoming the Green Dot
A Role Model Founder: Empowering Lives for Generations
Founder William Welch Deloitte’s contributions to his hometown of Southall in the United Kingdom are still in evidence today.
A Role Model Founder: Empowering Lives for Generations
Baseball and Beer, but Not Billiards: Quirky Deloitte at Work and Play
Despite the “touch of austerity” in his manner, William Welch Deloitte was a fastidious dresser, known for wearing a flower in his buttonhole every day, year-round.
Baseball and Beer, but Not Billiards: Quirky Deloitte at Work and Play
Through wars, recessions, and pandemics: A story of resilience
Deloitte has a long history of helping clients, communities, and our people thrive during times of adversity. Resilience is an essential part of our DNA as we continue to live our five Shared Values and make an even greater impact in the age of COVID-19.
Through wars, recessions, and pandemics: A story of resilience

Join the Conversation