Our Top 50 table shows Grant Thornton leapfrogging BDO Stoy Hayward into the number six position with a total income of £163.7m, and that’s before you add the £68.3m added by Kidsons. The enlarged firm will establish itself as the biggest accountancy practice outside the Big Five.
Competition for work with owner-manager businesses and SMEs is hotting up, and Grant Thornton has stated that it aims to win in this sector – rather than try and compete with the Big Five.
Managing partner David McDonnell said: ‘The reason that we do not want to perceived as a relative of the Big Five is that we can’t be a leader in that market and we don’t want to be.’
He added: ‘We want to select market sectors where we can genuinely aspire to leadership and achieve leadership and not be compared unfavourably with anybody.’
The other major move has been made by Baker Tilly which, after taking over Fraser Russell, has moved up four places from 14 to 10 with a growth in fee income of £49.2m to £70m.
With all the talk about e-business consulting, traditional auditing and accounting still provides the larger part of work for the mid-tier firms. By far the largest consultancy in the mid tier, according to the survey, is Pannell Kerr Foster with total income of £15.4m – but as yet no figures exist for the newly merged Grant Thornton which may well eclipse that sum.
However, nearly all the mid-tier have developed well with most scoring percentage growth rates between 10 and 26%.
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