This Key Note Market Update provides an overview and analysis of the market for accountancy and related services in the UK. For the purposes of this report, the market is divided into four sectors: audit and accounting; tax and legal services; corporate finance and business recovery; and consultancy services. The first three sectors are the ‘core’ of the market and the longest-standing sectors; however, the consultancy sector is by far the largest and fastest-growing sector of the market, despite being the newest.
Between 2011 and 2015, the UK market for accountancy and related services increased by 16.3% in terms of fee income. Consultancy recorded the strongest growth, far outstripping the other three sectors of the market and being the major driving factor behind growth in the sector as a whole. This has followed significant, ongoing investment in consultancy services in recent years, which has included high-profile mergers and acquisitions. Fee income for consultancy grew by 29.6% between 2011 and 2015.
After consultancy, the tax and legal services sector saw the highest level of growth, rising by 9.5% in the 5 years to 2015 and driven largely by considerable increases in fee income from legal services. The trend towards alternative business structures (ABSs) has been behind this, which has seen many of the largest firms in the market diversify into offering legal services thanks to the deregulatory effect of the Legal Services Act 2007.
The corporate finance and business recovery sector noted...