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The history of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu in Australia

Deloitte Australia today and in the past

The history of Deloitte


Reflections of Deloitte CEO, Giam Swiegers
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Giam Swiegers discusses the future 
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The global history of Deloitte
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Impact Day 2012 - Helping a different type of client
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Deloitte Australia today

Deloitte Australia’s revenue growth in recent years has been strong, with full-year results of $1.1 billion for the year ended 31 May 2012, an 18 per cent revenue increase on the previous year. 

As part of our commitment to innovation in our work, our goal is to generate 30 per cent of revenue from innovative new products and services we did not offer two years before, and we are close to achieving this goal, with 24 per cent of revenue coming from such innovations in our most recent financial year.

At Deloitte, we find that clients are asking us for insights to help them respond to their complex business challenges. This is why, in 2011, Australia’s leading economic forecasting group, Access Economics, joined Deloitte Australia. This allows us to offer a broader and richer client service experience and tailored insights informed by a wealth of economic data on macro- and microeconomic trends.

Deloitte is a leader in the digital field, with a full-service, in-house digital consulting capability offered by Deloitte Digital. As part of this offering, Deloitte is helping corporate Australia to respond to the increasing challenges of ‘digital disruption’, as outlined in our Digital disruption: Short fuse, big bang? thought leadership paper.

At Deloitte, we believe that the future of Australia’s competitiveness depends to a great extent on the quality of our nation’s physical and digital infrastructure. That is why Deloitte recently broadened our financial and commercial advisory offerings in the infrastructure advisory area, with specialist infrastructure advisory SAHA International having joined Deloitte Australia in 2010 to strengthen our capacity to advise clients in the public and private sectors.

“We said we would find solutions for clients that are different and that’s what we’ve done”, said Deloitte Australia CEO Giam Swiegers, “It’s why we’ve outgrown the other Big Four players since the GFC.”

Find out more about the history of Deloitte

Learn more about the global history of Deloitte Learn more about William Deloitte, George Touche and Admiral Tohmatsu Learn more about the Australian Firm Leadership Read, download and share Deloitte's news, publications and thought leadership

The history of Deloitte Australia

Deloitte Australia has grown from a firm known as Yarwood Vane and Co. Established in 1891 it won work in Sydney and elsewhere and became a leading entrepreneurial firm.

Up until 1979, partners used to sign reports on Yarwood Vane letterhead, Deloitte letterhead or Haskins and Sells letterhead depending on the nationality of the work. Dulhunty Grant and Co, Irish Young and Outhwaite and other well known firms merged into Yarwood Vane and by 1980 the name of Deloitte Haskins and Sells was being used.

In 1989, Deloitte Haskins and Sells Australia became a member firm of Deloitte Ross Tohmatsu International and the Australian firm took the name Deloitte Ross Tohmatsu. It wasn't until March 1993 that the partnership adopted the name, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. Although Touche Ross Australia decided not to become a member of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu International, many of its partners and staff chose to leave Touche Ross and join our firm.

In December 1993 Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu merged with Duesburys, then the largest second-tier firm in Australia. This merger occurred in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

In July 1994, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu merged with BDO Nelson Parkhill in Western Australia, strengthening the Perth office of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. In July 2005, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu merged with PKF in Adelaide, Darwin, Alice Springs and Katherine. In July 1994, we merged with Haly and Co in Brisbane and Kidsons-DFK in Papua New Guinea.


Through the Duesburys line, our firm had its origins in 1870 through a connection with the firm of Kennedy Smail and Middlemiss. Kennedy Smail and Middlemiss was originally commenced by Mr Laurence Paterson in late 1870. Mr E W Smail eventually took over the practice in 1891 upon Mr Paterson's retirement. In 1931, the firm carried on as Herbert Kennedy and Smail.

In 1946 Mr A Middlemiss joined the firm and it became known as Kennedy Smail and Middlemiss. In July 1967, there was a merger with the firm of Alexander Boehme, a firm founded in 1925.

Another antecedent firm was the practice of LB Wallace. This firm originated in 1920 and expanded to L B Wallace and Son in 1949. In 1970, this firm merged with McMullin Heale and Company to become Wallace McMullin and Partners.

In 1974, the practice of Leane and Crozier, with origins back to 1926, joined the firm of Wallace McMullin and Partners, bringing with it two new partners and an audit and consultancy client, Murray Goulburn Cooperative Co Limited.

In 1975, Kennedy Smail, as it was then known, merged with Wallace McMullin and Partners and certain other firms, including Law Saywell and Commins, forming the national firm of Wallace McMullin and Smail.
1984 saw the joining of Wallace McMullin and Smail with Duesburys.

Duesburys was a Sydney-based practice which was started in 1914 by FW Duesbury. Duesburys then expanded its Melbourne office presence in 1989 when it joined forces with the Melbourne office of Bentley and company.

In 1993 Duesburys merged with Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu in Australia.

In 2006, well-known mid-market accounting firm Horwarth’s NSW practice joined Deloitte Australia.

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