UK needs further 80,000 accountants in 35 years

THE UK will need a further 80,000 accountants by 2050 to meet demand for qualified finance professionals across the country, a specialist recruiter has said.

Compared to the UK population, Ranstad Financial & Professional forecasts that the accountancy sector would need to be 101,000 strong by 2013, if it is to meet the long-term goal of 156,000 qualified accountants by 2050.

However, there were just 76,000 accountants by 2013. The number of qualified accountants is actually decreasing, with 94,000 qualified accountants in 2008, a 19% decline to 2013. 

The sector will find it increasingly difficult to meet long term demand following historic changes to visa rules which are restricting the sector’s available pool of skilled talent. 

Tara Ricks (pictured), managing director of Randstad Financial & Professional, said: “The UK has shut the door on the skillsets that the financial and professional services sectors need and a key part of people’s professional fulfilment – the opportunity to work abroad is starting to become a thing of the past.” 

She added that visa changes to make it stricter for people from South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. There is also the drain from Singapore and Shanghai, which “suck talent out” of the country, Ricks explains.

The figures are based on 2008 estimates from the Office for National Statistics and the European version, Eurostat’s population projections. 

Related reading


  • Mike Page

    I’m unimpressed. The target can easily be filled by good stundents coming out of accounting and business degrees in the universities, or even good A level students, if employers want to give them jobs. If there is a problem, it lies in the barriers to entry erected by the professional institutes.

  • San

    I am doubtful about the analysis. It may have some resemblance with a US article issued about a year ago. If there is a shortage, then why lots of qualifieds are still looking for work these days in UK? You have to be interviewed by a company to know that supply is more than demand for accountants. Hence, it will be a surplus rather than a shortage.

  • Preet

    For people in this country itself,it is difficult to get a job or to change jobs in the accountancy sector.Now we are talking about Visa changes?