UK faces shortfall of 10,200 accountants by 2050

Ageing workforce could leave the UK with a huge accountancy black hole

22 Jan 2013 Accountancy Age

By Rachael Singh

Tara Ricks

THE UK WILL FACE a shortfall of about 10,200 qualified accountants by 2050, according to a study by a specialist recruiter.

Ranstad Financial and Professional estimates the shortfall will mainly be due to an aging workforce.

Using data on the European population from Eurostat, the statistical office for the European Union, the recruiter predicts a huge gap between employment demand and workforce supply.

The analysis showed that, with a predicted population of 74.5m in 2050, the UK will require a workforce of about 35.4m to meet demand. However, an aging population will leave the UK with just 32.3m people in employment.

Tara Ricks, (pictured) managing director of Randstad Financial and Professional, said: "If the UK economy is to grow and overcome the difficulties of the last few years then it requires a strong workforce capable of meeting demand.

"Our projections are conservative but they still portray a worrying scenario for the country over the coming decades. With an aging population, we need to ensure we are open for business and welcoming talent from around the world to bolster our workforce. Unfortunately, with a stagnant economy and crippling work-related migration policy, the UK represents a much less attractive option for both domestic and overseas talent."

In a bid to stop talent moving abroad, average salaries for accountants has increased 7.5% since 2006, outstripping directors and chief executives who have seen their average salaries increase 1.3% over the same period.

Visitor comments

The new brain drain

The aging population and crippling work-related immigration policy is a problem, certainly, but it's not the whole story.

The number of people emigrating from the UK is creeping steadily upwards. It's not just the retired off to sunnier climes, as Nick de Bois, a Conservative MP, points out in today's Daiy Telegraph.

The vast majority of Britons who choose to pack their bags are in the prime of their lives – and are taking with them the skills that this country so badly needs.

The financial services industry is of vital importance to our economy - however much Vince Cable focusses on manufacturing. We cannot afford to be left with a shortfall of qualified finance professionals.

Posted by James Staunton, 23 Jan 2013

What a shame it isn't 2050 then.

I am sure I am not alone in wishing it was 2050 if is is anticipated that there will be a shortage of accountants then. I have struggled to find employment during the recession and never expected to be in this situation when I qualified. I am not alone in this, so how do we find these roles now? Equally I see many school leavers planning to have a financial career and wonder how they will find gainful employment.

Posted by Yvonne Nicholson, 23 Jan 2013

Simplify the systems, therefore need less accountants

I don't see us needing 10,200 more accountants, not unless we have a Chinese 8% growth rate and consequent increase in number of real trading companies.

I see this more about a) the systems and processes being old and in need of update and b) its all going to be online and self service, so you dont need more people.

I'd say that the UK has too many accountants already, we need more people out there selling what we've got to sell - that actually creates GDP growth and adds value back into the country.

Posted by Peter, 23 Jan 2013

UK Faces Shortfall of Accountants by 2050

I think there are more factors than aging accountants;for example am British and Zambian national with a degree in Business,ACCA ,MSC in Forensic Accounting and starting MBA distance learning at Wariwick -have searched for accounting job in UK for 10 yrs now but nothing comes up,felt marginalized and have decided to go back to Zambia.Racism in the accounting is also 1 of the factors.

Posted by Charles Chanda, 29 May 2013




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