Sources for statistics on accountancy firms by number of employees
Sources for statistics on accountancy firms by number of employees.
Number of employees
United Kingdom: All firms
The National Statistics publication UK Business: Size, Activity and Location provides statistics on the number of firms in seven size brackets, depending on the number of employees (0 - 4, 5 - 9, 10 - 19, 20 - 49, 50 - 99, 100 - 249, more than 250).
The latest statistics for UK Business: Size, Activity and Location are available from the ONS. Data from previous releases can be accessed via the National Archives web site. If comparing figures from different releases, please note that various changes have been made to the coverage of businesses over the years. See the publication's methodology for details.
The figures for accountancy firms are published in dataset 'UKBBb Enterprise/local units by 4 Digit SIC and Employment size band'. The table shows statistics for a number of sectors and you will need to scroll right to find the appropriate UK SIC code for accounting, book-keeping and auditing activities; tax consultancy (6920 in UK SIC 2007).
The figures are published in Table B3.1: United Kingdom - Number of VAT and/or PAYE based enterprises in all industries by employment size band. The table shows statistics for a number of sectors and you will need to scroll down to the appropriate UK SIC code for accounting, book-keeping and auditing activities; tax consultancy (7412 in UK SIC 2003 - as used in the 2008 publication, 6920 in UK SIC 2007 - as used from the 2009 publication onwards).
These statistics record both VAT and PAYE based enterprises using the UK SIC code for accounting, book-keeping and auditing activities; tax consultancy. As such, they include all firms with this classification - not just the member firms of the CCAB bodies.
Older editions of this publication are also available but it should be noted that the 2008 publication was 'the first to include businesses based on PAYE employers that are not also registered for VAT, extending the scope from the previous VAT-based tables.' This means that the figures from earlier editions cannot be compared directly with the 2008 edition or any subsequent editions.
United Kingdom: Top firms
The Accountancy Daily Top 75 league table of UK accountancy firms provides a figure for the number of staff in each of the top 75 firms. The league table is published annually in Accountancy Daily.
Prior to 2019, the league table was published in Accountancy magazine. Recent editions can be accessed through the Accountancy Daily website at Top UK firms. Older surveys may be available from the ICAEW Library & Information Service which holds a complete run of Accountancy magazine.
International: Top firms
The journal International Accounting Bulletin from Timetric is published twice a month and includes a series of country surveys which provide statistics on top firms and networks (usually the top 8-10). The data available on these firms includes the total number of employees and a breakdown of the number of partners, professional staff and administrative staff.
To see an up-to-date list of countries covered by these surveys you should consult the magazine, but as an indication the countries surveyed in the past have included:
- South Africa
- South Korea
- United States
The ICAEW Library & Information Service holds a run of the International Accounting Bulletin from 1983 to date. The latest edition is available in the Library.
To find out more about the availability of older issues please see Library holdings: International Accounting Bulletin.
For information on obtaining copies of individual issues of the International Accounting Bulletin please contact the publishers, Timetric.
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