HLB network with top result in 2023

29. April 2024

HLB, one of the top 10 international networks of independent tax consulting and auditing firms and one of the three largest networks in Germany, has drawn a positive balance in its global annual report 2023 and continues to navigate its growth course: total revenue increased by 23 per cent to almost USD 5.5 billion and the number of employees worldwide to more than 46,750. This consolidates HLB's international standing among the major players in the industry: in the annual ranking of the International Accounting Bulletin (IAB), HLB has risen two places to 8th position this year.

The German HLB network, headquartered in Düsseldorf, is also recording significant growth for 2023 with annual sales of EUR 320 million (est.) compared to the previous year (EUR 270 million). Secretary General Malo David Kröning emphasises: "This very positive development of sales figures in Germany and the renewed top ranking among the top 10 in the industry are largely thanks to our highly qualified member law firms and the outstanding work of each individual." As part of the global network, the company is also able to advise clients individually and with the highest level of expertise on complex and complicated individual cases, extensive global developments and special issues. According to Kröning, this intensive exchange and sharing of resources is the greatest added value of the network.

The importance of qualified and specialised advice is also shown by the figures in the annual report. According to the report, consultancy services rose by 50 per cent last year, while tax services, accounting and auditing "only" increased by 10 to 16 per cent. "This trend can also be observed here in Germany," confirms Kröning. The proportion of total turnover generated by the consultancy sector is growing strongly at the member firms across Germany and is now around one third. "Complex issues such as sustainability with all its obligations for companies, numerous legislative changes at national and EU level as well as international issues challenge companies and their consultants in many ways," says Kröning.

At an international level, it says: "The Annual Review brings to life the innovative global community that HLB embodies, emphasising the commitment to sustainable impact as the network leads through ingenuity." The excellent position in the IAB ranking also reflects HLB's commitment to performance, innovation and a people-centred approach.

A major topic last year - both nationally and internationally - was the recruitment of qualified employees, as the network's member law firms are feeling the effects of the shortage of skilled labour on a daily basis. "Bright minds and specialised expertise are a rare commodity," says Kröning. With cross-firm measures such as the HLB Academy for training and further education, a professionally and attractively produced career film, numerous professional and training branches as well as intensive promotion of young talent at universities and universities of applied sciences, HLB is on a promising path here. The network currently has around 2,600 employees in Germany and is one of the top 3 networks operating in Germany.

In the coming period, HLB intends to help shape and advance extensive challenges in Germany, such as digitalisation and the field of AI, sustainability and international developments and reforms. Specialised expert groups on various topics and cross-location exchange between experts are intended to accompany the law firms and their clients into the future. "The constant professional exchange within our network, including at an international level, and the satisfaction of our clients remain the basis for our growth," concludes Kröning.