PracticeAccounting FirmsCome on you BDO

Come on you BDO

As Deloitte unveils its football survey, and we unveil our Top 50, a PR asked me last week: are the Big Four in accounting the same as the big four in football?

On the face of it, there are many similarities between accounting and
football.

It seems like a long time since anyone challenged Manchester United, Chelsea,
Liverpool and Arsenal for a Champions’ League place.

There are those clubs, like Andersen, which have disappeared off the face of
the earth, despite their earlier prominence. Leeds United spring to mind.

The average earnings in the Premiership are not so different to those of a
partner in a firm. And in both cases, many would say they’re overpaid.

Once you’re stuck with one accountancy firm, you can’t swap colours, no
matter how much they infuriate you.

E&Y, like Arsenal, are fourth, and both have foreign managers. John
Connolly of Deloitte likes to refer to himself as The Special One, I hear (oh,
OK, I made that one up).

But there are differences too. Accountancy is bigger in the US than football
is.

There are lots more foreign players in UK football than there currently are
in the UK accountancy market.

A Russian billionaire is unlikely to come in and plough hundreds of millions
into a firm.

The FA always seems like a mess, unlike our beloved FRC.

If you write about football, people are interested. I don’t always get the
same response when I tell people what I do.

Qualifying for something is regarded as a good thing in football. But the
biggest difference, in my view (and I speak as a Spurs fan) is that BDO and
Grant Thornton have no real chance of breaking into the Big Four in the next
year, whereas Tottenham do.

Come on you Spurs!

Alex Hawkes is the news editor of Accountancy Age

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