PracticeConsultingSmall practitioners warned of bleak future

Small practitioners warned of bleak future

In the next five years, half of all small accounting firms in the UK will fall by the way side, was the bleak prediction of one speaker at this year's National Accountancy Exhibition.

Ron Goldsmith, managing director of accountancy firm service provider the Goldsmith Group, painted a picture in which the accounting landscape was dominated by large national practices.

‘While the national firms will continue to grow, acquiring accountants from smaller rivals, small practices would struggle to survive,’ he said.

Latest figures from the ICAEW year book, show there are 2,883 firms comprising between 2 to 5 partners operating in the UK, with a further 327 firms made up of between 6 and 10 partners.

‘Within the next five years, a large proportion of these small practice owners will be reaching retirement age. But these owners are reluctant to hand the reins over to junior partners, while at the same time they are not attracting interested buyers,’ Goldsmith said.

But Goldsmith believes large accounting firms will thrive because of the range of services they offer and are best suited to servicing the SME market.

Small firms have difficulties attracting or retaining quality employees, with graduates favouring the national firms, and their most talented staff are often lured across to big players.

But Peter Mitchell, chairman of the Small Practitioners Association, was sceptical. He told AccountancyAge.com the SPA had not noticed any change in the general trend for small firms.

‘These claims are just a guess. Our evidence suggests that there is no slackening in the number of small practices. If this is happening then it is something we are unaware of,’ he added.

Links

Goldsmiths online

SPA online

Related Articles

5 tips for SMEs to protect cash flow

Accounting Software 5 tips for SMEs to protect cash flow

5m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
Tyrie on Finance Bill 2017: ‘Making Tax Policy Better’

Consulting Tyrie on Finance Bill 2017: ‘Making Tax Policy Better’

11m Stephanie Wix, Writer
Managing partner Q&A - the year ahead: Richard Toone, CVR Global

Accounting Firms Managing partner Q&A - the year ahead: Richard Toone, CVR Global

12m Kevin Reed, Writer
Deloitte 'self-imposes exile' on government contracts to defuse PM row

Accounting Firms Deloitte 'self-imposes exile' on government contracts to defuse PM row

12m Kevin Reed, Writer
Managing partner Q&A - the year ahead: Julie Adams, Menzies

Accounting Firms Managing partner Q&A - the year ahead: Julie Adams, Menzies

12m Kevin Reed, Writer
Friday Afternoon Live: Deloitte's tech thing; PAC wants HMRC 'contingencies'; and Sports Direct

Business Regulation Friday Afternoon Live: Deloitte's tech thing; PAC wants HMRC 'contingencies'; and Sports Direct

1y Kevin Reed, Writer
Friday Afternoon Live: HMRC complaints rise; Deloitte scoops big audits; and corporate reporting woes

Audit Friday Afternoon Live: HMRC complaints rise; Deloitte scoops big audits; and corporate reporting woes

1y Kevin Reed, Writer
New head of equity capital markets for KPMG

Accounting Firms New head of equity capital markets for KPMG

1y Stephanie Wix, Writer