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Ernst & Young

Ernst & Young
Type Member firms have different legal structures, USA and UK: Limited Liability Partnership
Industry Professional services
Founded 1989 through the merger of Ernst & Whinney and Arthur Young & Co. Oldest component from 1849[1]
Headquarters London, United Kingdom[1]
Area served Worldwide
Key people

Mark Weinberger (Chairman & CEO)[2]

John Ferraro (Global COO)[3]
Services Assurance
Tax Advisory
Financial Advisory
Revenue Increase US$ 27.4 billion (2014)[4]
Employees 190,000 (2014)[5]
Divisions Assurance, Advisory, Transaction Advisory Services, Tax

Ernst & Young (known as EY) is a multinational professional services firm headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It was the third largest professional services firm in the world by aggregated revenue in 2012 and is one of the "Big Four" audit firms.[6][7]

The organization operates as a network of member firms which are separate legal entities in individual countries. It has 190,000 employees and more than 700 offices in over 150 countries. It provides assurance (including financial audit), tax, consulting and advisory services to companies.[8]

The firm dates back to 1849 with the founding of Harding & Pullein in England. The current firm was formed by a merger of Ernst & Whinney and Arthur Young & Co. in 1989.[9] It was known as Ernst & Young until 2013, when it underwent a rebranding to EY. The acronym "EY" was already an informal name for the firm prior to its official adoption.[10]


  • History 1
    • Early history 1.1
    • Mergers 1.2
    • Recent history 1.3
  • Global structure 2
  • Services 3
  • Staff 4
  • Criticisms 5
    • Equitable Life (2004) 5.1
    • Bally Total Fitness (2008) 5.2
    • Anglo Irish Bank (2009) 5.3
    • Sons of Gwalia (2009) 5.4
    • Akai Holdings (2009) and Moulin Global Eyecare (2010) 5.5
    • Lehman Brothers (2010) 5.6
    • Standard Water (2013) 5.7
  • Sponsorship 6
    • Sports sponsorship 6.1
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


Early history

EY offices in Warsaw, Poland.

EY is the result of a series of mergers of ancestor organizations. The oldest originating partnership was founded in 1849 in England as Harding & Pullein.[11] In that year the firm was joined by Frederick Whinney. He was made a partner in 1859 and with his sons in the business it was renamed Whinney Smith & Whinney in 1894.[11]

In 1903, the firm of Ernst & Ernst was established in Cleveland by Alwin C. Ernst and his brother Theodore and in 1906, Arthur Young & Co. was set up by the Scotsman Arthur Young in Chicago.[11]

As early as 1924, these American firms allied with prominent British firms, Young with Broads Paterson & Co. and Ernst with Whinney Smith & Whinney.[11] In the year 1979, this led to the formation of Anglo-American Ernst & Whinney, creating the fourth largest accountancy firm in the world.[11] Also in 1979, the European offices of Arthur Young merged with several large local European firms, which became member firms of Arthur Young International.


In 1989, the number four firm Ernst & Whinney merged with the then number five, Arthur Young, on a global basis to create Ernst & Young.[12]

In October 1997, EY announced plans to merge its global practices with Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand. The merger plans were abandoned in February 1998 due to client opposition, antitrust issues, cost problems and difficulty of merging the two diverse companies and cultures.[13]

EY had built up its consultancy arm heavily during the 1980s and 1990s. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and members of the investment community began to raise concerns about potential conflicts of interest between the consulting and auditing work amongst the Big Five and in May 2000, EY was the first of the firms to formally and fully separate its consulting practices via a sale to the French IT services company Cap Gemini for $11 billion, largely in stock, creating the new company of Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, which was later renamed Capgemini.[14]

Recent history

In 2002, EY took over many of the ex-Arthur Andersen practices around the world, although not those in the UK, China or the Netherlands.[15]

In 2006, EY became the only big four to have two member firms in the United States with the inclusion of Mitchell & Titus, LLP, the largest minority-owned accounting firm in the United States.[16][17]

In 2010, EY acquired Terco, the Brazilian member firm of Grant Thornton.[18]

In 2013, EY agreed to pay federal prosecutors $123 million to settle criminal tax avoidance charges stemming from $2 billion in unpaid taxes from about 200 wealthy individuals advised by four Ernst & Young senior partners between 1999 and 2004.[19]

In 2013, EY changed its brand name from Ernst & Young to EY and tagline to "Building a better working world".[20]

On July 1, 2013, Mark A. Weinberger became Chairman and CEO succeeding Jim Turley who had retired.[21]

Global structure

EY is the most globally managed of the Big Four firms. EY Global sets global standards and oversees global policy and consistency of service, with client work being performed by its member firms.

Each EY member country is organized as part of one of four areas.[22] This is different from other professional services networks which are more centrally managed.

The four areas are:

Ernst & Young, Saudi Arabia (Riyadh Office at Al Faisaliyah Tower, Riyadh).

Each area has an identical business structure and one management team that is led by an Area Managing Partner who is part of the Global Executive board. The aim of this structure is to effectively cater for an increasingly global clientele, who have multinational interests.


EY has four main service lines and share of revenues in 2014:[23]

  • Assurance (41%): comprises Financial Audit (core assurance), Financial Accounting Advisory Services, Fraud Investigation & Dispute Services, and Climate Change & Sustainability Services.
  • Tax (26%): includes Transfer Pricing, International Tax Services, Business Tax Compliance, Human Capital, Customs, Indirect Tax, Tax Accounting & Risk Advisory Services, Transaction Tax.
  • Advisory (24%): consisting of four subservice lines: Actuarial, IT Risk and Assurance, Risk, and Performance Improvement.
  • Transaction Advisory Services (TAS) (9%): deals with companies' capital agenda – preserving, optimizing, investing and raising capital.


EY was ranked No. 1 in the Forbes Magazine's "The Best Accounting Firms to Work For" in 2012, claiming that EY treats its employees better than other large firms. It was ranked 57 overall.[24]

The firm was ranked No. 1 in BusinessWeek's annual list of "Best Places To Launch a Career" for 2008.[25]

The firm was ranked No. 44 in the Fortune list of "100 Best Companies to Work For", and the highest among the "Big Four", for 2009.[26]

EY was ranked 4th in Universum's America's "Ideal Employers" list 2011[27] and 3rd in its Global Top Employers list.[28]

The firm was No. 34 in ComputerWorld's "100 Best Places To Work For In IT" for 2009.[29]

The firm was also placed among the top 50 places in the "Where Women Want to Work" awards for 2007.[30]

The firm was named as one of the "10 Best Companies for Working Mothers" by Working Mothers magazine in 2012 for the 7th straight year.[31]

In April 2009, Reuters reported that EY launched an initiative encouraging its staff in China to take 40 days of low-pay leave between July 2009 and June 2010. Those who participate get 20% of regular salary plus benefits of full-time employee. It applies to employees in Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China where the firm employs 8,500 in total.[32]

In early 2012, it was reported that EY has 10,000 staff in mainland China and Hong Kong, which has quadrupled in a decade. It has about 11,200 staff in the UK.[33]

In 2012, the firm was ranked number 1 in the "Stonewall Top 100 Workplace Equality Index", a list of Britain's top 100 gay-friendly employers. In 2013, the firm was ranked number 6 in the same Workplace Equality Index.[34]

In the year 2013, EY earned 100% rating on the "Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index".[35]

In the year 2013, EY was named one of DiversityInc magazine's Top 50 companies for diversity.[36]

In the year 2013, EY was ranked 4th in "Universum Top 100 IDEAL™ Employer".[37]

In the year 2014, EY was ranked 2nd in Universum World's Most Attractive Employers.[38]


Equitable Life (2004)

In April 2004, Equitable Life, a UK life assurance company, sued EY after nearly collapsing but abandoned the case in September 2005. EY described the case as "a scandalous waste of time, money and resources for all concerned."[39]

Bally Total Fitness (2008)

Following allegations by the Securities and Exchange Commission that EY had committed accounting fraud in its work auditing the books of Bally Total Fitness, EY reached two settlements in 2008, including a fine of $8.5million.[40]

Anglo Irish Bank (2009)

In 2009, in the Anglo Irish Bank hidden loans controversy, EY was criticised by politicians[41] and the shareholders of Anglo Irish Bank for failing to detect large loans to Sean FitzPatrick, its Chairman, during its audits. The Irish Government had to subsequently take full ownership of the Bank at a cost of €28 billion.[42][43] The Irish Chartered Accountants Regulatory Board appointed John Purcell to investigate.[44] EY said it “fundamentally disagrees with the decision to initiate a formal disciplinary process" and that "there has been no adverse finding made against EY in respect of the audit of Anglo Irish Bank."[45]

Sons of Gwalia (2009)

In 2009, EY, the former auditors of Sons of Gwalia, agreed to a $125m settlement over their role in the gold miner’s collapse in 2004. Ferrier Hodgson, the company's administrator, had claimed EY was negligent over the accounting of gold and dollar hedging contracts. However, EY said that the proposed settlement was not an admission of any liability.[46]

Akai Holdings (2009) and Moulin Global Eyecare (2010)

In 2009, EY agreed to pay US$200m out of court to settle a negligence claim by the liquidators of Akai Holdings.[47] It was alleged that EY falsified dozens of documents to cover up the theft of over US$800m by Akai's chairman, James Ting - in some cases documents had been painted over with correcting fluid and then written over by hand.[48] In a separate lawsuit a former EY partner, Cristopher Ho, made a "substantial payment" to Akai creditors in his role as chairman of the company that had bought Akai just before it went bust in 2000.[49] Police raided the Hong Kong office and arrested an EY partner who had been an audit manager on the Akai account from December 1997, although audit documents had been doctored dating back to 1994.[48] The EY partner for the Akai account between 1991 and 1999, David Sun Tak-kei, faced no charges and went on to become co-managing partner for EY China.[48] A few months later EY settled a similar claim of up to HK$300m from the liquidators of Moulin Global Eyecare, an audit client of the Hong Kong affiliate between 2002 and 2004.[47] The liquidators described the Moulin accounts as a "morass of dodginess".[47]

Lehman Brothers (2010)

The Valukas Report issued in 2010[50] charged that Lehman Brothers engaged in a practice known as repo 105 and that EY, Lehman's auditor, was aware of it. New York prosecutors announced in 2010[51] that they have sued the firm. EY said that its last audit of Lehman Brothers was for the fiscal year ending 30 November 2007 and that, Lehman’s financial statements were fairly presented in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.[52][53][54]

Standard Water (2013)

EY Hong Kong resigned from the audit of Standard Water when it emerged that although they had signed off the audit, it had been effectively outsourced to the affiliate in mainland China, who had received 99.98% of the fee.[55] This was important because shareholders have less confidence in mainland auditors, and audit papers on the mainland are subject to state secrecy laws and can be withheld from outside regulators.[55] EY's quality and risk management leader (Greater China) even testified in the Court of First Instance that he was not sure if there was any formal agreement covering the relationship between the two EY entities.[55] The court case in 2013 came as US regulators were taking an interest in similar cases of accounting fraud in mainland China.[55]


EY's publicity activity includes its World Entrepreneur Of The Year program, held in over 60 countries.[56]

EY UK also publicizes itself by sponsoring exhibitions of works by famous artists, such as Cézanne, Picasso, Bonnard, Monet, Rodin and Renoir. The most recent of these was Maharaja: the Splendour of India's Royal Courts at the Victoria and Albert Museum.[57]

In addition, EY publicizes itself by sponsoring the educational children's show Cyberchase on PBS Kids under the PBS Kids GO! television brand, in an effort to improve mathematics literacy in children.[58]

EY in the UK sponsors the ITEM club.[59]

EY in the UK has set up the National Equality Standard, an initiative developed for business which sets clear equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) criteria against which companies are assessed. The National Equality Standard (NES) is currently the only industry recognised national standard for EDI in the UK.[60]

EY in the UK has set up EY Foundation, a new UK charity set up to support young people and entrepreneurs.[61]

Sports sponsorship

On 8 September 2011,

  • Official website

External links

  1. ^ a b "Facts & Figures". Ernst Young. 30 June 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2011. 
  2. ^ Mark Weinberger. Ernst & Young. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
  3. ^ John Ferraro. Ernst & Young. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
  4. ^ "EY Global Revenues 2014". Retrieved 26 September 2014. 
  5. ^ EY announces 675 new partners worldwide.
  6. ^ Aubin, Dena (2012-10-01). "Ernst's revenues rise 6.7 percent on advisory growth".  
  7. ^ Roxburgh, Helen (2012-12-13). "Tax and advisory boosts KPMG global revenues". Economia ( 
  8. ^ "EY at a glance". EY. Retrieved 2013-07-03. 
  9. ^ "A timeline of our history". EY. Retrieved 2013-07-03. 
  10. ^ Reddan, Fiona (2013-07-01). "Ernst & Young re-brands".  
  11. ^ a b c d e "Ernst & Young – History". Ernst & Young. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
  12. ^ "Reports Say Arthur Young and Ernst May Merge". The New York Times. May 1989.
  13. ^ "Accountancy Merger Off". BBC News. 23 February 1998. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
  14. ^ "Cap Gemini to Acquire Ernst & Young Consulting Business". The New York Times. March 2000.
  15. ^ "Ernst & Young Acquires Anderson India". Findarticles. 8 April 2003. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
  16. ^ "Maintaining a Diverse Culture". Ernst & Young. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
  17. ^ "Mitchell & Titus Joins Ernst & Young Global as a Member Firm". Prnewswire. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
  18. ^ Grant Thornton confirms departure of Brazilian member firm Grant Thornton, 3 August 2010
  19. ^ Bowers, Simon (3 March 2013). "Ernst & Young to pay US regulators $123m over tax avoidance schemes". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 March 2013. 
  20. ^ EY is committed to doing its part in building a better working world.
  21. ^ New at the top: Mark Weinberger, chief executive-elect of Ernst & Young Washington Post, 5 February 2012
  22. ^ "Ernst & Young Consolidates Global Structure". Webcpa. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
  23. ^ EY Global Revenues 2014. Retrieved 26 September 2014.
  24. ^ "The Best Accounting Firms to Work For". Forbes. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  25. ^ "BusinessWeek: The Best Places to Launch a Career". BusinessWeek. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
  26. ^ "Ernst & Young LLP Named to Fortune's '100 Best Companies to Work For' List for the 12th Year in a Row". Ernst & Young. 21 January 2010. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
  27. ^ "America's Ideal Employers 2011". Universum.
  28. ^ "The World's Most Attractive Employers 2010". Universum.
  29. ^ "100 Best Places to Work For in IT". Computerworld. 26 June 2008. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
  30. ^ "Where Women Want to Work". The Times. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
  31. ^ For the seventh straight year, Ernst & Young LLP ranks among the top 10 companies for working mothers.
  32. ^ Chen, George (16 April 2009). "Ernst & Young China Staff to Take Low-Pay Leave".  
  33. ^ Jones, Adam (25 January 2012). "China Headcount to Overtake UK at Top Firms". Financial Times.
  34. ^ "Stonewall Workplace Equality Index 2013". Stonewall.
  35. ^ Corporate Equality Index.
  36. ^ Ernst & Young LLP named to the top 10 of The Diversity Inc Top 50 Companies for Diversity for the fifth-consecutive year.
  37. ^ Universum Global Undergraduate rankings.
  38. ^ World's Most Attractive Employers.
  39. ^ "Equitable Drops High Court Action". BBC News. 2005. Retrieved 26 August 2006.
  40. ^  
  41. ^ "Where Were the Auditors?". Shane Ross. 12 January 2009. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
  42. ^ "The Cost of Anglo-Irish Bank". The Irish Times. 12 August 2010. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
  43. ^ "Anglo's board and auditors criticised at egm Shareholders Told Kyle Swartzlander Owed Bank a Total of €129M in 2007". The Irish Times. 1 January 2009. Retrieved 9 July 2011. 
  44. ^ "Drumm Resigns as Chief Executive of Anglo Irish". The Irish Times. 12 December 2008. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
  45. ^ "E&Y Faces Probe on Anglo Irish Bank Audit". Financial Times. 14 September 2011.
  46. ^ "Ernst & Young Agrees to $125m Sons of Gwalia Settlement". The West Australian 4 September 2009. Retrieved 4 September 2009.
  47. ^ a b c Rovnick, Naomi (27 January 2010). "Ernst & Young pays up to settle negligence claim". South China Morning Post. 
  48. ^ a b c Rovnick, Naomi; Lo, Clifford (30 September 2009). "Raids, arrest as fraud police probe Akai files". South China Morning Post. 
  49. ^ Duce, John; Tan, Andrea (5 October 2009). "Akai Liquidator to Receive Payment in Settlement With Grande". Bloomberg. 
  50. ^ "Lehman Directors Did Not Breach Duties Examiner Finds". DealBook (blog of The New York Times). 11 March 2010. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
  51. ^ "Attorney General Cuomo Sues Ernst & Young for Assisting Lehman Brothers in Financial Fraud". New York Attorney General. 21 December 2010.
  52. ^ "Lehman Cooked Books before Collapse, Report Finds". CBS News. 12 March 2010. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
  53. ^ Court-Appointed Lehman Examiner Unveils Report. DealBook (blog of The New York Times). 11 March 2010. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
  54. ^ "Lehman Smoking Gun Leaves E&Y Facing Questions". Accountancy Age. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
  55. ^ a b c d Yam, Shirley (18 May 2013). "E&Y's outsourced auditing raises eyebrows in court".  
  56. ^ EY Entrepreneur Of The Year. Ernst & Young. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
  57. ^ "Maharaja: The Splendour of India's Royal Courts". Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK. 20 July 2009. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
  58. ^ Cyberchase – PBS Kids Official PBS Kids website with corporate sponsorships.
  59. ^ Ernst & Young Item Club appoints new Chief Economist. 16 June 1997. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
  60. ^ "Hope that National Equality Standard (NES) will turn tide for D&I". The HR Director magazine. 
  61. ^ "EY Thanked At Launch of EY Foundation". Retrieved 14 October 2014. 
  62. ^ "Rio 2016 Unveils Ernst & Young as Tier 2 Sponsor". Retrieved 8 December 2011. 
  63. ^ "EY announces partnership with The 2012 European Ryder Cup Team and The 2014 Ryder Cup". Retrieved 27 August 2012. 
  64. ^ "Ernst & Young renews relationship with Cadel Evans". Retrieved 17 October 2014. 


See also

EY also has a longstanding relationship with the 2011 Tour de France winner Cadel Evans.[64]

EY has also been an Official Partner to The 2012 and the 2014 Ryder Cups.[63]


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