Research by the ICAEW has revealed the extent to which globalisation has
impacted on UK companies. Of those companies surveyed, 77% were involved in
markets or operations outside the UK. This percentage increases as the size of
The findings came from the latest ICAEW Enterprise Survey Report,
which was conducted in the summer of this year.
Manufacturing and engineering sectors are more likely to have a global focus
than others, with 90% having global operations of some sort – almost two-thirds
ran part of their operations from overseas. Interestingly, companies with fewer
than 1,000 employees were just as likely to outsource to post-2004 EU accession
countries (11%) than they were to India (14%) or China (11%). The original 15 EU
member states (53%) and the US (33%) account for the majority of overseas
The types of foreign activity the companies are involved with is of interest
(see graph), with supply of materials topping the list and ownership and
top-level management coming next. IT and financing are also strongly
represented, but just 8% of companies currently source internal accountancy
functions from abroad – something they see doubling in the next five years.
The survey also found that 90% of businesses believe they can grow turnover
in the next two years and 25% believing they can grow by more than 15%.
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