Big Question: Finance directors split on openness

Last month the Office of Fair Trading announced an inquiry into the accountancy and legal professions, but Peter Owen, executive director of Professional Standards Office at the English ICA, said the profession was sufficiently open and accountants had ‘nothing to fear’ from the inquiry.

However a sizeable 25% of over 200 FDs interviewed in this week’s Accountancy Age/Reed Accountancy Personnel Big Question believed the profession should be made more accessible. Many of those felt the Big Five held an obvious monopoly.

R D Haley, financial director of Andrews Kent & Stone said: ‘The largest firms dominate the profession, therefore giving too narrow a view.’

‘There is almost an oligopoly at the top, it was better when there was a Big 8 not a Big 5,’ said one finance director who preferred not to be named.

But, almost 60% of FDs interviewed in this week’s Big Question say there is more than enough competition in the accountancy profession.

Sunil Patel, FD of Ovid Technologies said: ‘There is a lot of companies between the Big Five, competing for the world-wide business, but because of the very high fees they charge, this allows smaller firms to concentrate on the accountancy services for the smaller firms. This is fair competition.’

English ICA denies fat cat competition probe will worry accountants

Related reading