Big Question – FDs on harm of consolidation

More than half of all finance directors believe consolidation among medium-sized firms is bad for business, writes Nick Huber.

This week’s Big Question survey, carried out by Accountancy Age and Reed Accountancy Personnel, found that 52% of the 200 FDs questioned believed consolidation in the mid-tier accounting market will not benefit clients.

Last week, Group A rivals Moores Rowland and Kidsons Impey revealed they were in merger talks to create the UK’s ninth largest accountancy firm. Rakesh Gulati, FD of vehicle rental firm Churchfields, said: ‘Consolidation within the practices is just a synonym for the elimination of competition. Does the Monopolies and Mergers Commission have a view on this?’

Lars Maynard, FD of recruitment consultancy AMH Holdings, added: ‘Users will have to pay for the costs of consolidation and the reduction in competition will add to the upward pressure on fees.’

Yet 29% of those FDs questioned said consolidation would benefit business.

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