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Accountancy industry

Research guide

Published: 07 Mar 2019 Updated: 27 Jan 2021 Update History

Exclusive content
Access to our exclusive resources is for specific groups of students and members.

Use our industry guide to find key background information, market research, import and export guidelines, statistics, legislation, trade bodies and trade publications.

The Business & Industry Guides series is produced by the Library & Information Service for ICAEW members and ACA students.

We can compile tailored key players reports, mailing lists, market reports, benchmarking reports and industry news. Our enquiry team can also research other industry-specific information, such as taxation, for you. Call us on +44 (0)20 7920 8620 or email library@icaew.com.

Trends and forecasts

Online articles

The library provides full access to articles from leading business, finance and management journals.

Articles are available to logged-in ICAEW members, ACA students and other entitled users.

Useful links

IFAC Global SMP Survey: 2018 Summary
Summary of the 2018 survey by IFAC of practitioners operating in small-and medium-sized practices (SMPs) around the world. Includes SMP performance in 2018 and key issues, trends and developments impacting the sector. Free registration is required to view the publication.

The 2016 IFAC Global SMP Survey Report and Summary is also available which contains data for and analysis of the following areas:

  • challenges facing SMPs
  • external factors impacting SMPs over the next five years
  • membership in networks, associations or alliances
  • business advisory and consulting services
  • SMP performance in 2016
  • SMP outlook for 2017
  • challenges facing SME clients
  • international activities of SME clients
  • change in SME client revenue from 2015 to 2016.

European SMP survey 2015
The Federation of European Accountants (FEE) published a separate report giving more in-depth commentary and data from the responses of its members across Europe to the IFAC global survey.


Brexit - impact on ICAEW members
A range of resources from the ICAEW to help members navigate Brexit including articles, checklists and technical guidance.

The impacts of EU exit and COVID-19 on UK trade in services: November 2021
Analysis from the ONS of UK trade in services in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the end of the EU transition period on 31 December 2020. Sectors covered: Government; Personal, cultural and recreational; Other business services; Telecommunications; Intellectual property; Financial; Construction; Travel; Transportation; Maintenance and repair; Manufacturing. Published 22 November 2021.

Beyond Brexit: trade in services
House of Lords select committee report on the future UK-EU relationship on trade in services. Considers the crucial elements in the TCA affecting trade in services between the UK and the EU, together with areas where further agreement is required. Sectors covered: financial services; professional and business services; data and digital trade; the creative industries; research and education. Published 24 March 2021.

Further resources

Accounting for UK companies
Guidance published by GOV.UK from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy on accounting and reporting requirements for UK companies from 1 January 2021.

Accounting for EEA organisations
Guidance published by GOV.UK from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy on how EEA companies and groups with a presence in the UK can comply with UK accounting and reporting requirements from 1 January 2021.

Auditing for UK auditors and audit firms operating in the EEA
Guidance published by GOV.UK from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy for UK audit firms, UK auditors, and those with UK audit qualifications operating in the EEA from 1 January 2021.

Auditing for EEA auditors and audit firms operating in the UK
Guidance published by GOV.UK from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy for EEA audit firms, EEA auditors, and those with EEA qualifications operating in the UK from 1 January 2021.


Brexit - impact on ICAEW members
A range of resources to help ICAEW members navigate Brexit including articles, checklists and technical guidance.


Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19): Offices and contact centres
Guidance from GOV.UK for those who work in or run offices, contact centres and similar indoor environments in England on how to work safely while minimising the risk of spreading COVID-19.

Market research

We offer access to market research on the accountancy industry from a number of specialist sources. Reports include national and regional accountancy industry profiles for Asia, Europe and North America, and SWOT analyses of major companies operating in this sector.

Report from Mintel covering the UK accounting and financial management market. The website includes a summary and the option to view a contents listing.


Knowledge Guide to statistics on the accountancy profession
We highlight key sources of data and information on the accountancy sector, covering:


Eurostat, the EU statistics hub, collates detailed Structural Business Statistics giving the latest figures for industry, construction, trade and services by sector and country. The indicators available include:

  • number of enterprises
  • turnover
  • value added at factor cost
  • personnel costs
  • number of employees
  • number of part-time employees
  • number of persons employed.

Statistics within the database are available for Accounting, bookkeeping and auditing activities; tax consultancy (M692) – see the database section ‘SBS – services’ and ‘Business services statistics’.


Salary surveys

We link to the latest annual salary surveys and reports on remuneration and pay across the financial sector for accounting professionals, directors and executives.

Office for National Statistics

UK average employment costs within this sector are available from Table 14 of the Office for National Statistics publication Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE). Average employment costs are provided for full-time employees, part-time employees and all employees.

The data includes average employment costs for:

  • financial managers and directors
  • chartered and certified accountants
  • taxation experts
  • financial and accounting technicians
  • financial accounts managers.

Other regions

Please see individual country profile pages for links to sources of national statistics.

Business guides

Practice resources
For ICAEW's members in practice, this area brings together the most up-to-date thought leadership, technical resources and professional guidance to help you in your professional life. Guides cover practice management, practice regulation, support, IT and how to set up a practice.

Practice management
We have compiled more resources for accountants in practice, including:

Trade bodies

The websites of trade bodies in this sector are a useful source of industry overviews, contacts and statistics.

We have a listing of major accountancy bodies in the UK and Republic of Ireland and a listing of international accountancy bodies, including regional organisations and networks across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, the Americas, the Middle East and Eurasia. See our pages on accounting by country for national professional bodies and organisations.

Trade journals and publications

Trade journals, B2B magazines and specialist consumer magazines are another useful source of news and statistics. We have an extensive collection of journals and magazines on accounting, including many available online.

Further reading

Articles and books in the Library collection

To find out how you can borrow books from the Library please see our guide to book loans. You can obtain copies of articles or extracts of books and reports through our document supply service.

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