As we begin to emerge from the pandemic, the call for a more sustainable future has never been stronger. Businesses are – rightly – under pressure from everywhere to change how they grow: corporate social responsibility is not optional anymore, and it is time to walk the talk. Responsibility and sustainability have become important foundations of business performance and are vital to build confidence and trust in markets, corporations and public institutions.
Sustainability must be at the centre of our business models. Real progress will depend on our ability to put operational detail and data behind plans, and to execute these plans. Europe’s corporate sustainability reporting directive (CSRD), which is on the EU’s legislative and regulatory agenda, lays down the necessary framework for the full integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria into the overall long-term performance of companies. In other words, performance will depend on the ability to drive responsible and sustainable growth models.
As auditors and advisors in tax, corporate finance, risk, compliance and business performance management, we have a pivotal role to play in setting the economic foundations of a new growth and trust contract.
Growing with purpose: Mazars’ balanced and long-term strategy
2021 was an excellent year for Mazars in terms of our business and financial performance. All our service lines and geographies progressed well, and we won significant new business across large and listed companies as well as privately owned businesses of all sizes, including major international corporations. Our double-digit growth confirms the strength and resilience of our unique integrated model. It is well balanced between regulated and non-regulated services, which reflects our long-term strategy to invest in a suite of core, high-quality audit, tax and advisory services that help our clients grow confidently and responsibly.
Mazars remains, more than ever, committed to deliver high-quality audits to companies around the world. In 2021, we continued to grow our audit practice: today we audit 2,400 PIEs worldwide, 1,200 headquartered in Europe, 960 listed on a regulated market, and more than 480 listed in Europe. Mazars is ranked 5th in the European audit market for large and listed European companies. Beyond audit, we grew significantly in financial advisory, which reflects a vibrant transaction market globally. Our growth in consulting reflects our focus on services that are consistent with our core mission to serve the public interest: we help our clients navigate a complex regulatory environment and mitigate the risks so that they can operate and grow with transparency and confidence.
Beyond financials: the new foundations of business performance
Today, expectations on businesses go beyond financial performance to encompass sustainability criteria and the role of auditors increasingly goes beyond financial transparency. In this context, Mazars’ core mission has never been more compelling and we want to play our full part, as a leading auditor and advisor, to help our clients transform and grow responsibly. We have dedicated experts contributing to the European CSRD effort, have developed sustainability training courses for our staff and are working with clients to help them prepare for ESG reporting and integrate sustainability strategies into their business models. At the same time, we are working to transform our own business and operations and the way we work to ensure we meet the ESG standards. In all our countries, and at the Mazars Group level, we have appointed leaders and teams to drive our own corporate, social responsibility (CSR) strategy.
Walking the talk, investing in what matters
Mazars has always been guided by its founding principles: to act responsibly, in the public interest and for future generations. We take this commitment seriously, walking the talk, innovating and transforming ourselves, continuously learning and developing along the way. In 2020, the international partnership voted in the firm’s next four-year strategic plan and confirmed our priority investments in key areas that matter for our people, our clients and society:
- Growing a diverse pool of talented professionals. Our aim is to make Mazars a school of excellence, nurturing empowered, caring leaders that lead by example.
Serving our clients
- Delivering high-quality financial audits that meet the highest professional standards.
- Enhancing our sustainability capabilities to provide ESG audits and advisory services.
- Expanding our financial advisory and consulting services to help clients with critical matters such as transactions, performance management, risk and compliance, data governance and security, or tax transparency, and providing tax and payroll outsourcing services to secure global compliance.
- Significantly increasing our CSR investments, to support our communities, to foster an inclusive and flexible workplace for our talent and to protect the planet: we use a science-based targets approach to reduce our carbon emissions and become net zero by 2030.
- Contributing to defining the standards (such as CSRD) and conditions for a healthy audit industry able to deliver quality financial and ESG audits, at scale.
In 2022 and beyond we will continue to invest where it matters for our people, our clients and society, growing responsibly and moving forward with renewed purpose and confidence. I am very optimistic about the year ahead. There are opportunities everywhere. We are seeing an upturn in the industry as well as in the world economy, and, most importantly, we have talented and committed professionals across the world to do what’s right to achieve our mission and ambitions.
Hervé Hélias CEO and Chairman, Mazars Group
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