The CEO’s perspective

Thank you for visiting our Impact Report! Whether you work with us or want to find out a bit more about our firm, this is where we tell the story of how we’ve made a difference for our clients, our people and broader society.

In June 2019 I took on the role as Senior Partner and Chief Executive of both Deloitte UK and Deloitte North and South Europe. It’s a true privilege to lead this firm and have the opportunity to shape its future.

But first, I’d like to take stock of where we are as a business – the challenges we face, the opportunities around us, and our successes big and small.

Trust comes first

This year there have been plenty of issues occupying the minds of business and political leaders. Beyond Brexit, one topic that has important implications for our profession but also the broader business community is the lack of public trust in institutions. In particular, recent corporate failures have raised concerns that go to the very heart of our business – about the quality and reliability of audits, and whether expectations of the role of an
audit are being met.

We have been consistent in our support for change in the audit market and recognise it needs to evolve to be a holistic, forward-looking analysis of a company’s health. Any future change imposed by regulators must address the concerns of various stakeholders as well as fulfil an essential overriding objective – that of improving audit quality. In addition to contributing to the relevant government and regulatory consultations into the audit market we’re also investing in developing an audit product that we believe will be fit for the future.

Ultimately, we believe that if auditors can hold businesses to account for their performance against broader social measures, as well as financials, they could play a key role in restoring confidence in not just the auditors themselves, but in business and the markets too.

Working to solve the big issues

From the climate emergency to the productivity puzzle, we have been working to help find solutions to some of the most pressing issues our country faces. Like our work to use technology to help improve healthcare waiting times and revolutionise transport planning. To support this, we’ve invested substantially across our business, including in areas like digital transformation, cloud and cyber.

In particular, we have continued our efforts to try and influence much-needed change in social mobility through our One Million Futures programme. Over the past three years we’ve helped over 890,000 people access education and employment through a range of partnerships with charities, schools and social enterprises.

The people that make it happen

The breadth of what we do as a firm never ceases to amaze me. The stories you’ll read in our report might make you think a bit differently about us. Did you know we supported the launch of the UK’s largest zero-waste supermarket? Created Abu Dhabi’s first social support authority? Pioneered Northern Ireland’s first robotics academy? And so much more.

It’s all down to our people. We have a fantastic variety of skills and experience and my responsibility as leader is to ensure that we nurture and invest in those talents. And we owe it to our people to foster an inclusive culture that embraces difference – a workplace where everyone feels able to be themselves.

What’s next?

This year saw the creation of Deloitte North and South Europe, with 13 countries (including the UK) and over 45,000 people. This gives us great access to an incredible range of knowledge and experience that we can use to make a difference for clients, for our people and for our communities. This will be ever more important in the months and years ahead as the UK departs the EU and in the face of changing global trading relationships.

As you can see, there’s lots happening in our firm and the world we work in. But as a new CEO, seeing our people put our purpose – to make an impact that matters – in action day in day out gives me a lot of confidence for what the future will bring.

Richard Houston

Richard Houston

Senior Partner and CEO, Deloitte UK and Deloitte North and South Europe