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Accountancy industry

Research guide

Published: 07 Mar 2019 Updated: 30 Jan 2024 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.

Access to articles is provided subject to suppliers' terms of use.

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.

The 2016 IFAC Global SMP Survey Report and Summary is also available.

Market research

SWOT analyses 

SWOT analyses examining the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for major companies operating in this sector are available exclusively for ICAEW members and ACA students through the Library & Information Service.

If you experience any problems accessing these resources, please see our online resources troubleshooting FAQ.

Other sources

The accountancy profession in the UK and Ireland
Report produced by Oxford Economics for the Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies (CCAB) in January 2024. Includes sections on the structure of the profession in the UK and Ireland and its direct economic contribution in terms of GDP, employment, tax revenues and purchase and export of accounting services. Previous reports were published in 2018 and 2017.

Key facts and trends in the accountancy profession
Latest edition of the Financial Reporting Council’s annual survey of the profession, published in August 2023. Provides detailed data on:

  • members and students of accountancy bodies
  • accountancy bodies income and resources
  • oversight of audit regulation
  • audit firms.

An archive of previous editions is available through the FRC website.

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


Finding accountancy statistics
Guide from the ICAEW Library highlighting 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 persons employed.

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


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.

Can't find what you're looking for?

The ICAEW Library can give you the right information from trustworthy, professional sources that aren't freely available online. Contact us for expert help with your enquiries and research.


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