UK accountancy start-ups growing three times faster than economy

Number of new accountancy businesses now at its highest rate since the 2008 recession

The number of new accountancy businesses is increasing at three times the rate of the UK economy and at its fastest rate since the recession, according to research by SJD Accountancy.

The report reveals that there are currently 44,025 accountancy firms in Britain; a 15.5% increase since 2008 when there were 38,115 accountancy start-ups. In comparison, the UK economy as a whole has seen the number of businesses in all sectors increase by just 5.3% over the same period, from 2,325,770 to 2,448,745.

The number of jobs in the accountancy sector increased from 157,000 roles in 2009 to 177,000 by the end of 2014. In the same period the number of jobs in the financial services sector decreased from 1,178,000 to 986,000.

SJD Accountancy attributes the increase in new firms to practitioners leaving larger firms and starting their own businesses in light of the recession, slow pay growth and fewer promotion opportunities.

Simon Curry says: “Demand for accountants is often said to be counter-cyclical. While it is true that in bad times you still need an accountant, the profession clearly benefits from an uptick in economic activity.

“Accountants were focused on cost-cutting and reducing headcounts during the recession, but the emphasis is shifting so that accountants with strong resource planning and change management skills are increasingly in demand as businesses grow.”

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