Top 25 Accountancy Practices In The UK & The Job Search

Top 25 Accountancy Practices In The UK & The Job Search

Following my post about jobs in the Accountancy Profession last week, roles in practice are certainly one of the growth areas within the wider Finance & Accounting sector.

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Whether you are currently looking to move roles from one practice to another, or are looking to start your career in this area, this post will hopefully help you with what roles are currently available and being recruited for.  Between the Top 25 Accountancy practices in the UK there are over 2,000 jobs currently available, but as I mentioned last week, securing a role within practice is both highly competitive and very sought after.  It is certainly as competitive as trying to find a new position in Commerce & Industry, and the criteria that employers set out can be very strict.

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In my own experience working at McGinnis Loy, some practices will only accept CVs from candidates who come from a red brick university and have attained a 1st class honours degree, and would shy away from those who have studied at other universities or achieved a 2nd / 3rd class degree.  The same strict criteria is commonly applied to professional experience too – if the request is for someone who has worked within a Top 10 practice, then experience in accounting firms outside the Top 10 would not be acceptable (even if it was relevant!), so it can be very tough fitting ALL the job criteria.

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Below I have listed the Top 25 Firms in the UK by fee income, and the links will take you to their home page and career/jobs page where they have one.  For all those on the list I have provided other information such as partner numbers, office locations and revenue figures simply to give a flavour of how big / small they are compared to each other, as some people may prefer to work for a Top 10 firm and others a smaller practice.

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Top 25 UK Accountancy Firms (ranked by 2010 Fee income)

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PricewaterhouseCoopers has 858 UK partners (the largest number of all UK practices) with fee income in 2010 of £2,248m.  With a large number of job opportunities available across all specialisations, they have their own career site which lists their open roles.  Currently they have over 320 job vacancies in the UK from graduate to senior management level

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Deloitte has 681 UK partners, with fee income just short of £2b (£1,969m) in 2010.  Like with PWC, there are a large number of job vacancies available through their online job portal, supported by a large internal recruitment team.  As varied as those with PWC, they are currently looking to fill over 500 finance posts.

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KPMG has 569 UK Partners, with total fee income of £1,630m for 2010.  You can visit the career section of their website here, and they are currently looking for nearly 300 accountants in a range of roles from school leaver/graduate roles to experienced professionals across their UK offices.

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Ernst & Young have 515 UK partners, with UK fee income last year of £1,383m.  Like with the rest of the Top 4 practices, they have a large online job presence, and all current vacancies are listed on their job portal.  They are currently looking to fill nearly 600 accounting and finance roles across their UK offices

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Grant Thornton with 225 partners here in the UK managed fee income of £381m in 2010, a mere £1billion+ less than the Top 4, but ranked at number 5 it is the leading 2nd tier provider.  For all open jobs across their 27 UK Offices, you can visit the career pages of their website where they are advertising for over 60 roles.

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BDO Stoy Hayward saw a 5% decline in fee income for 2010 compared to the previous year, but ranked now at No 6 in the UK, it was still a healthy £335m.  With 201 partners, they have 13 offices across the UK and all their current jobs can be found by visiting their career pages here

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RSM Tenon Group saw a near 50% rise in fee income for 2010, helping it secure 7th place in the rankings from 9th place the previous year.  With fee income of £225m, it has a range of job opportunities all across the UK, and you can browse  all 60+ of them online

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Baker Tilly had a 7% decline in fee income for 2010, but at £190m it still made it within the Top10 and with 117 partners, had the highest fees per partner of those firms outside the Top4.  For anyone interested in joining Baker Tilly, you can find a list of their current job vacancies here

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Smith & Williamson has slipped from No 8 in the last twelve months, but with a business bringing in £175m fee income for 2010 they are still a prominent force within the profession.  With 10 offices across the UK, they have a range of current job opportunities from Graduate to Corporate Finance Manager.

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PKF (UK) maintains its 10th position as it did last year, and managed to secure £140m fee income for 2010.  With just 94 UK partners, fees per partner were a healthy £1.49m and they have an online job portal for anyone interested in working across their 23 offices

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Moores Stephens UK keeps its 11th slot in the rankings like it did last year, and achieved nearly £139m revenue.  They are currently looking to fill 9 jobs (all in the London offices) although they do have 23 UK offices.  The jobs are listed on the career pages of their website

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Mazars  just managed to top £100m income in 2010 at £103.8m and they are currently looking to fill 11 jobs within the business.  With just over 100 partners, they operate across 16 offices

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Vantis has gone into administration since the 2010 figures were released

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Begbies Traynor is a specialist business rescue & recovery firm, and saw one of the strongest growth rates in 2010, improving revenues 13% to £70m.  Having just checked, 2011 though has not been so great and they are not currently looking to recruit

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Haines Watts Group managed a £55.7m income figure for 2010, slightly down on the previous year, and for anyone interested in joining the business they operate from 63 offices, many more locations than most in the Top25.  They are currently looking for 9 members of staff, and the jobs are listed on their career pages

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Saffery Champness has just 3 experienced and 2 graduate jobs currently available on their careers website and are a £52m business with 61 partners

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Crowe Clark Whitehill which rebranded from Horwarth Clark Whitehill is a £47m business across 9 offices, and has 69 partners.  They were ranked 18th last year, and are currently looking to fill 3 vacancies – view their jobs here

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UHY Hacker Young Group is currently recruiting for 5 finance positions, most of which are for their London office, although they do have 20 offices across the UK.  They achieved just over £34m fee income in 2010 and with 92 partners, average fees per partner reached just shy of £½m

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Kingston Smith managed a near 5% improvement in revenues over 2010, making just over £43m across its 7 offices which are based in and around London.  It has 61 partners and they are currently recruiting for two Business Development roles and a number of graduates for the 2011 intake

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MacIntyre Hudson are a £31m revenue business with 10 offices from the Midlands into London and the South East.  Having seen just a 1% change from 2009 figures, they only have roles currently for trainees

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Chantrey Vellacott – getting to the sub-20 list means all are now regional practices and with 10 offices, CVDFK operate from Leicester down to London.  A £27m business in 2010, they are currently looking for 6 new members of staff to join them via their career pages here.

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Wilkins Kennedy is a London & Home Counties practice with 11 offices, and made just over £27m in 2010.  They have 47 partners in the business, and are currently looking for 4 new finance staff to join them – here are details of the roles and job descriptions

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Menzies have 6 offices across London, Surrey & Hampshire and in 2010 managed to secure £26.6m worth of fee income.  A truly regional practice, they are currently looking to fill 13 trainee accounting roles

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Johnston Carmichael saw revenues improve by 8% in 2010 to over £26m, the 4th largest increase amongst the Top25 practices.  They are a Scottish accounting firm with 10 offices, and are currently looking for a CF Executive and Audit Senior

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Rawlinson & Hunter just makes it into the Top25 at £23m in fee income.  With 4 offices in the UK and 6 internationally, they have 14 partners but have no open vacancies currently

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Best wishes

Leslie Fearn

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Leslie has over 15 years Recruitment experience helping blue-chip corporates to SME businesses recruit for their Finance teams.  As one of the founding Directors of McGinnis Loy, a Specialist HR and Finance Recruiter across the Thames Valley and London, he is still actively recruiting in the marketplace today.  Follow his helpful tweets on Twitter: @McGinnisLoy

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