Accounting Firms » Top UK accountancy firms hit record £15bn fee income in 2018

The top UK accountancy firms hit a record £15.2bn in total UK fee income in the last financial year, according to figures released by Accountancy Age.

The Accountancy Age Top 50+50 2018 ranking, published today, revealed that fee income generated by the Top 50+50 firms was up £1bn on last year’s figures and £2.1bn up on 2016.

The ranking, compiled from data submitted by the top firms in the UK, demonstrated widespread growth in the industry, with 90 out of the 100 firms posting an increase in revenue in the past 12 months.

“This year’s Top 50+50 ranking demonstrates that accountancy firms are thriving in the face of uncertainty, with the majority of practices navigating compliance, technological and Brexit challenges to make gains on 2017,” said Emma Smith, managing editor of Accountancy Age.

“As we await further political and economic uncertainty in the coming months, I’m confident that we’ll see UK accountancy firms adapt and respond to ensure continuing growth in 2019.”

Retaining its place at the top of the table, PwC recorded total UK fee income of £3.6bn, followed by Deloitte on £3.4bn, EY on £2.4bn, and KPMG on £2.2bn. However, Deloitte registered the strongest growth at 11.18% up on last year’s fee income, compared with 5% for PwC, 9.2% for EY, and 3.8% for KPMG.

The ranking also highlighted a shake-up among the Top 20 firms, with Menzies falling one place to 21 on the 2018 list and FRP Advisory posting impressive growth of 30.26% to leap to 18, up from 21 in 2017. Elsewhere, UHY Hacker Young recorded a decline of -10.5% to fall from 15 to 19.

Raffingers capitalised on strong growth of 33% to rise to 80 in this year’s ranking, up 5 places from 2017. But it was Taylorcocks that made the biggest gains in the table, up 10 places to 65 with £13m in fee income.

UK accountancy firms have also invested in talent in the past 12 months with the number of partners across the Top 20 firms rising to 5131, up from 5078 in 2017.

Accountancy firms responding to this year’s Top 50+50 survey appeared confident about the future outlook. When asked by Accountancy Age whether they expected partnership profits to increase or decrease in the next year, 75% of firms said they would expect an increase, 22% said they would remain the same, while only 3% said they would fall.

When looking at professional staff, 79% said that they would expect headcount to rise, 20% said it would remain the same, and just 1% of firms said that they would expect it to decrease.

“These results are extremely positive. UK accountancy firms are expecting to further invest in people over the next year, signalling that the accountancy industry is ready to seize upcoming opportunities, generate profit increases, and secure new business opportunities,” said Smith.

View the full Top 50+50 2018 ranking.