The Big Question: Would you switch to a consolidated brand?

More than two thirds of finance directors demonstrated a sense of loyalty to their accountants this week, and said they would not switch to a different firm in favour of a consolidated UK brand. The vote of confidence for the firms was voiced in this week’s Big Question survey conducted by Accountancy Age with Reed Accountancy Personnel. FDs said the main attraction for remaining with their present accountancy firm was that they were already happy with the quality of service they received. John Day of Miletrian Group interior builders, said: ‘There are two aspects of using an accountancy firm which are important to me – the relationship with them and the fact they are specialists in the type of industry we are in. Switching to a consolidated brand would have no positive effect at all.’ But one in six respondents said they would consider swapping firms. Many cited cost, service and the feeling that the level of advice would be more proactive from a larger brand. ‘If they can show professionalism I’m all for it and I’m all for free enterprise. The Big Five is not very good for competition. If there is somebody with a good commercial edge, let them in!’ said John Thew of furniture and bedding specialists Millbrook Industry. The responses from the FDs follow an exclusive report in Accountancy Age that found London-based stockbroking firm Raphael Zorn Hemsley is planning to float a new £50m company in the Spring which will become the basis for a major consolidation of mid-tier firms.

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