PracticeConsultingTop 50 – Small firms bloom

Top 50 - Small firms bloom

A cocktail of consolidation, merger, rapidly advancing technology and a growing red-tape burden has meant a taxing pace of life for accountancy firms at the lower end of the Top 50 league table.

And they face more change. The audit threshold is set to rise from £350,000 to £1m with a government pledge of a further hike to the European maximum of £4.8m next year. Government and business have grasped technological advances with both hands over the last year, meaning internet access, e-business knowledge and an up-to-date website is essential for smaller firms.

Faced with these developments, firms have shown increasing signs of a shift from traditional services like audit to consultancy and other business services. With the exception of tax advice firms have had to adapt and invent new services to keep pace.

Growth in income from tax is robust in most cases. Morison Stoneham saw a 29% growth rate, and Morgan Brown & Spofforth reported a rise in tax income of 17.2%, compared to last year’s hike of 11.5%.

As with the upper-tier firms, consultancy work among smaller firms is blooming.

Wilkins Kennedy’s consultancy services grew from £0.47m to £1.08m, a rise of 129.8%. Larking Gowen saw its consultancy grow from £0.4m to £0.6m, a change of 50.4%.

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