HR, outsourcing and management consultancy offerings will be the most common new services provided by accountancy firms over the next five years, reveals new research from CaseWare UK Ltd, one of the sector’s leading auditing and financial reporting software providers.
CaseWare currently provides solutions to 50% of the top 100 accountancy practices, including 75% of the top 20 and many of the major International auditing networks.
Its research was conducted in March and April 2015 and is based on 32 responses. Over two-thirds (69%) said their firm plans to diversify their range of services in the future.
Specific services they expect their firm will provide include:
- Wide range of outsourcing, HR or other management consultancy services (34%)
- Financial advice to private clients or investments and/or pensions (25%)
- Private client legal services (15%)
- Property valuation (13%)
- Commercial legal advice e.g. contracts or employment law (9%)
The research found that almost 72% plan to increase their specialisation in particular services they already provide, for instance audit and tax. While about 59% expect to increase their specialism in particular industry sectors, for example manufacturing, retail etc.
Only 28% of firms expect to maintain the same services they provide to clients in 5 years’ time.
Shez Hamill, Sales & Marketing Director at CaseWare, commented: “The research demonstrates that many of the firms in the Top 100 have a clear strategy of broadening the range of services they offer into other professional areas such as property, law and consulting. They are firmly following the path set by the Big Four, of accountancy firms becoming much broader business advisory practices.”
Shez Hamill added: “Like CaseWare itself, the message from our clients appears to be one of increasing specialisation, ensuring their services are of the highest possible standards and focusing on the value add to clients. To paraphrase Darwin, it is not the strongest or most intelligent that survive, but those most adaptable to change. This research is evidence of a thriving and dynamic industry reacting to changing market conditions and customer expectations”.