Following the announcement from EY yesterday (20 November) that its UK fee income grew by 1.5% to £2.45 billion during the financial year ending 30 June 2019, it’s worth taking a look at what the Big Four giant invested in technology over the last financial year – £32m in the UK. Globally, as part of its plan for combined investment of US$1b over two years in new technology solutions and capabilities, EY said it has been transforming traditional services and launching new offerings with technology.

EY’s investments include a globally integrated SAP programme called Mercury, which will improve how EY manages its client engagements. This IT transformation programme, said to be one of the largest of its kind globally, will help EY to plan, budget, resource and track the status of client projects by providing more accurate data and consistent, streamlined processes. It will also contribute to higher levels of audit quality by enabling more informed planning and pricing decisions.

Over the last financial year, EY has launched multiple new technology-enabled services and tools for its clients. For example, EY TaxChat is a new mobile, on-demand tax service to help individuals complete their UK Self-Assessment quickly, easily and cost-effectively. It combines a digital platform with advice from EY tax professionals.

In collaboration with Xantura – a data sharing and analytics company – EY is helping clients in the public sector to improve their ability to tackle social issues. By using technology to analyse data, EY is helping clients to make more informed decisions, target resources, and predict future trends. It is currently using the technology to support some local councils to address how they better provide early support for vulnerable individuals, whether that be in adult and children’s social care or homeless services.

EY has also developed a tool that helps healthcare providers and biopharmaceutical companies to create, manage and analyse their contracts. Using blockchain and cloud technologies, the tool collates data to evaluate the effectiveness of certain medical treatments and manage ‘Health Outcome Contracts’ which are widely used in the sector. Ultimately, this technology is designed to enable better decision making by healthcare professionals. The technology is currently being used in areas such as oncology.