Accountancy: more growth, more diversity

diverse workforce
By Eva Mrazikova | 17th August 2022 | 2 min read

More industry growth, a rise in diversity and an increase in students joining the profession.

These are a few headlines taken from the Financial Reporting Council's (FRC) 20th edition report, which broke down facts and trends in the accountancy industry.

Industry growth: memberships continue to increase

The report found that accountancy bodies have seen memberships grow by 2.8%, with total members reaching an all-time high of nearly 390,000.

At the front of the pack is the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) with a whopping 135,681 members, while the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) is gaining ground with 106,561 members.

Positive signs of student intake were also highlighted in the report, finding a total of 161,337 students, which is an increase of 0.3% - perhaps a glimmer of hope amidst the current recruitment crisis.

Changing demographics: diversity improvements

Another notable trend from the report was an increase in female members within accountancy bodies.

While accountancy has historically been a male-dominated profession – and there’s still a way to go in further promoting diversity – the report shows accountancy bodies worldwide have seen an increase in female members, with numbers rising from 36% in 2017 to 37% in 2021. 

Additionally, the report found that firms with 200-2,000 employees had the highest percentage of females in senior management positions with 50.4% at manager levels and 41.7% at director levels.

See the full report here for a breakdown of all the findings.

Are there too many fish in the sea?

While some may view this industry increase as a potential threat to their business, I see it as a great opportunity.

Now more than ever, businesses around the UK need the support of their accountant to navigate the challenging economic environment.

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows the accountancy sector’s turnover increased by 3.7%, from £3.41bn in May to £3.54bn in June, suggesting that the sector as a whole is growing.

Bottom line: competition is fierce and showing no signs of stopping, but accountants who adapt their services and mindset have a fantastic opportunity to thrive in a growing market.

Taking your firm to the next level with advisory

Time is the calling card of the accountant and, as such, should be priced accordingly.  

Over the last two years, many accountants went above and beyond to support clients through the worst of the pandemic, highlighting that they’re so much more than just ’number crunchers’.

The advice and support accountants provide can be the difference between a business surviving or thriving; it’s now time to capitalise and monetise this support, fundamentally shifting the accountant's role to that of a business advisor.

If you’re looking for support on transitioning to an advisory approach, check out our recent blog, which covers concepts such as the holy trinity of pricingread the blog here.

For those concerned that time is an issue holding back their firm from pursuing advisory, read this blog to see how cloud integration can help.