Top 50+50: Further growth as top firms smash £16bn barrier

Top 50+50: Further growth as top firms smash £16bn barrier

Latest 50+50 Accountancy Firms ranking shows growth across the sector has accelerated.

Top 50+50: Further growth as top firms smash £16bn barrier

Despite – or maybe because of – economic uncertainty, the Brexit factor and new regulations, growth among the UK’s top accountancy firms has accelerated in the last year.

The results of the Accountancy Age Top 50+50 2019 has found that that the top UK accountancy firms recorded fee revenues totalling well over £16bn in the last financial year – just a year after breaking the £15bn barrier.

The good news for the sector is that this year’s ranking showed widespread growth across the table – from the Big Four through to the smaller firms in the listing – despite the multitude of challenges faced and the uncertain climate.

Movers and shakers

PwC retains the top position in the 2019 ranking, posting fee income of £4.2bn, a 12% rise year-on-year. The rest of the big four remains unchanged, although it’s interesting to see EY posting more positive growth than a year ago.

Outside of the Big Four, BDO leapfrogged Grant Thornton into fifth place, due in no small part to merger with Moore Stephens LLP. The firm reported fee revenue growth of 25%. PKF UKI entered the top ten for the first time, rising two places. A number of new entries made it into the ranking, which resulted in a reshuffle of positions.

While we’ll be publishing a number of articles analysing the full results in due course, here are some of the other key findings from the survey that underpins the ranking:

  • Two thirds of firms (66.3%) expect growth to be higher next year
  • Well over half (57%) of firms expect to add new partners in their next financial year
  • 70% of firms are now part of an international network
  • Consultancy/advisory and corporate finance fee income showed a faster revenue increase than other accounting services
  • Average investment in technology by the 50+50 passed £150k for the first time
  • Only half (52%) of firms offer advice on accounting software investment

Strong and positive results

This year’s Top 50+50 ranking demonstrates that accountancy firms are thriving in the face of uncertainty, with the majority of practices navigating compliance, technological and Brexit challenges to make gains on 2018.

As we await further political and economic uncertainty in the coming months, it seems likely that we’ll see UK accountancy firms adapt and respond to ensure continuing growth in 2020.

We discussed the findings and key learnings of the Top 50+50 Ranking in a recent webinar. Register here to listen to the webinar on demand


View the Top 50+50 Accountancy Firms 2019.

Get involved in the discussion by joining us on Twitter @AccountancyAge and using #AATop50.

The Top 50+50 is compiled based on data submitted by UK accountancy firms. Only firms that submitted data are included in the rankings.

*Please note that year-on-year figures may be affected by the move in publication date in 2019 versus 2018, from September to October, which was requested by firms.

View the Top 50+50 Accountancy Firms 2018.

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