PracticeAccounting FirmsTop 50: what they don’t want you to know

Top 50: what they don’t want you to know

We know more about the Top 50 UK accountancy firms than we ever did

A quick glance at our
2007
survey
will tell you what they are earning and from which service lines. We
know how well audit is doing against tax and about the profitable return the Big
Four are making from the consultancy arena.

What leaves us surprised, however, is how little the firms are willing to
reveal in other areas. Our survey this year asked the firms how they pool
profits, but few would let on. We also asked about the number of qualified staff
from ethnic minorities, but many firms were reticent to open up. The same goes
for how many refused, or could not say, how many female qualifieds they
employed.

Also, at a time of heightened awareness of the environment and the damage
we’re doing to it, only a handful could tell us whether they had instituted a
policy on reducing carbon emissions.

We live and work in a time when corporate social responsibility is driving
much of the progress in transparency and company reporting. In fact, CSR is fast
creating a new business landscape in which we will all have to work. With that
in mind, it is essential that we do have reliable figures for the profession on
how many women and people from ethnic minorities are being employed, and
information detailing just exactly what the profession doing on the environment.

The Big Four will tell you that they expect advice on non financial reporting
to be a major generator of revenues in the future. The other firms will follow,
but they must practice what they preach if they are to enter this new business
environment and be trusted.

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