The survey, conducted by KATO Consultancy last week revealed a majority of respondents, who were over 46, wish to remain independent and over 85% wish to recruit within their firms.
But firms are also experiencing difficulties in recruiting appropriate professional staff.
The second most popular alternative means of recruitment was merging or acquiring another firm, with recruitment from another practice or industry and commerce viewed as other options.
Phil Shohet, managing director of KATO, said the issues of succession and constant demands from clients must be resolved quickly because many practices wish to remain independent.
He said: ‘The accountancy profession, because of age difficulties, is at a crossroads at the moment.’
Shohet added that although many firms wish to remain independent, ‘some will be driven into the arms of other firms because they cannot cater to their top end clients.’
The survey also showed a majority of respondents are also concerned about funding partners’ retirements.
The survey was conducted during a conference on retirement and succession organised by the ICAEW’s Accountancy Business Group and KATO.
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