There was an interesting piece on growth and UK accountancy market trends in Accountancy Age on 13 January looking at the trends within top 100 accountancy practices (

The main points were:

  • There were 12 new entrants into the market – in some ways this is encouraging as it shows that there are great opportunities (and profits) but in other ways it is a warning that the competition is ramping up even further.


  • In the top 50 firms, income increased from £10.3bn in 2012 to £10.95bn in 2013 – a not very impressive 6% growth. But there were exceptions:


  • Zolfo Copper (insolvency) posted 54% growth
  • New entrant ClearSky Accounting (with Optionis aiming at freelancers and contractors) grew 42.7% with help from acquisitions
  • Bishop Fleming posted 23% growth (through acquisitions)
  • Francis Clark showed growth of 21% (including corporate finance growth)


  • RSM Tenon – acquired by Baker Tilly – saw a 12% decline
  • Begbies Traynor (insolvency) saw a 4.6% fall


  • One of the biggest reasons for the growth of the big four (combined income of £8.35bn – 75% of the top 50) is attributed to consultancy rather than traditional audit and taxation services. Growth here was 35%