Non-audit clients provide largest fee growth for firms

FEES FROM WORK conducted for non-audit clients provided firms with the largest growth in income for 2012-2013, according to FRC figures.

PwC, KPMG, EY and Deloitte saw 5.8% growth in this area, while their overall growth slowed to almost half that of the previous year, at 3.9%. This compares to a total increase in fees of 7.7% in 2011-2012.

The largest firms outside of the Big Four had their best performance in the last five years in 2012-13, with a 2.6% increase in total fees, Key Facts and Trends in the Accountancy Profession revealed.

Fees from non-audit clients climbed by 5.7% for mid-sized firms, offsetting a reduction in audit fee revenue of 1.7% and a 0.5% decline in non-audit work conducted for audit clients.

The Big Four continued to dominate across all areas, with a 2.8% increase in revenue from audit work.

However, the group saw a 3.2% fall in income from non-audit work for audit clients, following debate over conflicts of interests in audit contracts.

Elsewhere in the report, the FRC found membership of accountancy bodies continued to grow, rising 2.7% from 2009 to 2013 to 327,000 members in the UK. The number of students increased by 1.6% in 2013 to 167,000 UK-based trainees.

FRC executive director for conduct Paul George said: “It is clear from the report that the profession remains attractive with the number of students and new members indicating there is a good flow of bright, young accountants coming into the profession who will be able to support our economy in the years to come.”

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