Qualified Accounting Companies in the United Kingdom - The Big Five header graphic

Accounting Companies in the United Kingdom - The Big Five

Theres no doubt that the UKs Top 50 firms have had another very successful year. With more than 1bn on top of last years combined revenues, total combined revenues are now up to 8.7bn. A huge figure, though that is, it is of course dominated by the Big Four. And audit, despite sometimes appearing like the Cinderella service line, is still the Top 50s biggest money spinner. But our survey reveals much more. On average women make up only 9.7% of partners within a firm and the number of female qualifieds has dropped year on year by two percentage points.

Partners from ethnic minority groups still only make up 5.9% of the total. And partners are growing older. But does that mean there are huge succession problems looming on the horizon? Some observers do and believe the trend will lead to greater consolidation in the marketplace.

Five big accounting and consultancy firms dominate the UK. These firms all have Web sites that act partly as marketing tools for the services and products they offer and partly as distribution channels for the useful materials the firms generate and give away.

All of the Big Five accountants (KPMG plus those cited below) have Web sites that rival each other for useful content and accounting related data but, in the case of some of the Web sites, the bias is clearly non-European.

KPMG is the better of the accounting firm Web sites at the time of writing, as it has focused UK/European content and is well designed and maintained. The site is split up in the same way as the firm is, into specialisms, though the regional nature of the businesses that make up the national partnership do not come across very strongly. There is a lot of marketing and advertising material on the site as well as freely downloadable copies of many of KPMG's reports and press releases.

PWC - Price Waterhouse Cooper's ambition is to be increasingly recognised as the UK's leading professional services firm by bringing real value to clients, investing in people, supporting local communities, and helping to shape the industry and rebuild public trust in corporate reporting. With about 15,000 partners and staff in offices around the UK they are able to draw on the knowledge and skills of their people in the UK and of others in the global network of firms. Sticking to a simple winning strategy: leading in the markets  choose to serve based on quality and being a great place to work for all their people.

Deloite member firms have in the past focused on achieving size, scale and global reach. However, todays challenges and opportunities call for a new strategic direction. Their  vision and strategy for the decade 2010, developed in collaboration with leadership and member firm partners from around the world, focuses on Deloitte becoming the standard of excellence in all of the businesses and services the member firms provide.

"The vision is realized by being highly respected by our broad community of stakeholders, and by being: The First Choice of the worlds most coveted talent, drawn by our eminence, culture and diversity The First Choice of the most sought-after clients, attracted by the breadth and depth of our world-class service in each market segment"

For an organization of member firms committed to delivering measurable valueand for a brand striving to be the standard of excellencewe have put in place specific success measures to help assess our collective performance. It takes vision to create meaningful measures of success. It also takes courage to share the results. Our leadership is committed to being open about the progress toward our global goals. We know that with our member firm people leading the way, anything is possible. Our member firms, partners and employees are all united in the effort to collectively achieve these goals and help turn a shared vision into exciting new eminence for the Deloitte brand.

Development of this vision and strategy as a continuum of the strong business planning processes that exists across the organization. It is not a single event. Rather it will continue to evolve alongside future member firm, function, industry and other planning activities.

ERNST & YOUNG

Today, there is a growing dialogue among the different stakeholders about corporate governance and how it should evolve to cope with the increasingly dynamic and global nature of our capital markets. This dialogue is taking place against a background of legislative and regulatory change; the implementation of International Financial Reporting Standards around much of the world; an increase in the scope of audit and other internal control and risk management activities; and increased public scrutiny.