Top 50+50 Accountancy Firms 2023: PwC maintain top spot

Top 50+50 Accountancy Firms 2023: PwC maintain top spot

Celebrating excellence in the accounting profession, Accountancy Age's Top 50+50 2023 spotlights the top accountancy firms in the UK.

Brought to you in partnership with Source Advisors, previously known as GovGrant in the UK.

Top 50+50 Accountancy Firms 2023: PwC maintain top spot

The Top 50+50 Accountancy Firms 2023 have been revealed. 

Each year, we collate information on the top 100 firms, putting a spotlight on those shaping and defining UK accountancy. 

The table is based on voluntary submission of data and ranked by firms’ total UK fee income for the last financial year. 

Accountancy Age also gathers information on other key aspects of each firm, including the number of female partners vs male partners, investment in technology, ethnic minority representation and other factors. The data is used to provide a detailed snapshot of the industry, which we can compare with the previous year’s findings, with a research report based off the findings to follow shortly.  

PwC hold top spot   

In this year’s rankings, in partnership with Source Advisors, previously known as GovGrant in the UK, there was no movement in the top five firms. PwC maintains its position at number one having enjoyed another significant year of growth. It’s UK fee income rose by 16% to £5.8 billion this year.  

PwC currently employs a total of 1057 partners, 74% of which are male. The average remuneration of a UK partner is £906,000.  

Deloitte, also saw a similarly striking 13% increase, and remains in second position, with its fee income totalling at £4.8 billion. Deloitte has a significantly smaller pool of partners at 642 but disclosed a fee of £7.5 million per partner.  

Fellow Big Four contenders EY and KPMG have retained their third and fourth spots, with both experiencing a strong 16% increase in fee income to £3.75 and £2.72 billion respectively.   

BDO picked up the number five spot with a 11% increase in fee income to £808 million. Of those firms which disclosed how much they had invested in technology over the past 12 months, BDO ranked #1 having invested £167 million.  

Challengers  

Grant Thornton secured 6th position, surpassing Evelyn Partners, following an impressive year marked by a significant 12% increase in its fee income. The average profit each partner makes before tax at Grant Thornton was recorded at £579,000.  

RSM picked up the 8th spot, but it was Azets which managed to achieve the most significant percentage increase in fee income in the top ten, with an impressive 19% rise to £361 million.  This can be attributed to the firm’s completion of a series of transactions in 2023 as part of its ongoing multi-year strategy of acquiring and expanding.  

The firm’s swift expansion has been supported by Hg, a UK private equity investor specialising in European and transatlantic software and services businesses, since its establishment. 

Rounding out this year’s top-10 was Mazars. The company’s fee income amounted to £334 million, thanks to its notable 16% increase.  

Mid-market? 

There were 11 new entrants into the 50+50 this year. Highest ranked was Gravita in 29th – the firm recorded fee income £27 million. Gravita only entered the market in November 2022, after it was founded by European mid-market tech investor Tenzing.  

Beever and Struthers, Mitchell Charlesworth Alliot Global, Wilson Partners, SMH Group, Cottons Group, The Accountancy Partnership, Kirk Rice and RPG Crouch also made it back into the top 100. 

Wilson Partners secured 22nd position in Accountancy Age’s Mid-Tier Power Index in 2022. The Maidenhead-based firm experienced a substantial 90% growth in its fee income within the last financial year. 

A challenger firm which has enjoyed a terrific year of growth was TC Group. The firm rose five positions to 24th after a mammoth 85% increase in its income fees from the previous year.  

Over the last year, TC Group has been involved in several mergers, most recently with Murphy Salisbury. The firm’s expansion across the UK also saw them merge with London-based BSG Valentine and Baker Chapman & Bussey.   

In terms of diversity, 84% of firms noted they had a diversity and or/equality policy in place. However, only 26 firms have a dedicated diversity director in seat.  

Ellacotts and Thompson Wright boast the highest percentage of female partners at an even 50:50 split. They are followed closely by Henderson and Loggie (45%), Mercer and Hole (43%) and Ecovis Wingrave Yeats (43%).  

Of the 92 firms which responded to questions regarding their headcount, 86 forecast their UK professional headcount to rise this year.  The remaining 6 forecast it to stay the same.  

Interesting statistics from the survey  

  • 84% of firms stated that they have a diversity and/or equality policy in place currently.   
  • 33% of firms indicated that they have bought or sold a firm or part of a firm in the last financial year.   
  • 67% of firms said they expect the number of UK partners to increase in 2023. 

*This article has been amended to note Ellacotts has the highest percentage of female partners. The original article had stated C T (formerly known as Cheine + Tait) had the highest number due to incorrect information being submitted in their entry. 

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