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What is the accounting world thinking?

The UK accountancy profession is facing a period of profound change with industry-specific threats and external challenges. GovGrant, in partnership with Accountancy Age, has dip tested opinion among over 150 accounting professionals, to hear directly from them on their hopes and challenges.T

Tomorrow’s accountancy firm – time to change or be forgotten

We’ve called on some of the best writers around to help make sense of it all. We reflect on the findings of our survey, consider the impact of the Digital Firm and explore some alternative revenue opportunities offered through innovation, R&D and Intellectual Property incentives. You can read the whole thought leadership report online and view and download as a printable pdf.

The research

The GovGrant accountant survey, promoted in association with Accountancy Age, took the temperature of the accounting profession in Autumn 2018. 155 responses from a cross section of accounting practices, corporate accountants, sole traders and others included consultants, government, academics and students, people with an interest in the industry.

Optimism v. pessimism

Optimism leads over pessimism amongst accountants.

Optimism v. pessimism

Growth over next year

For an industry beset by challenges, this paints a very rosy picture of prospects in the profession.

Growth over next year


Key challenges (with the short term exception of Brexit) are all technology-related. Either being replaced by tech, or tech making for commoditisation/ falling prices and a race to the bottom.

Challenges chart

Will accountants be with us in 2030?

Realistic about change but most see the business model evolving, with nearly 25% believing accountancy will be virtual.
Will accountants be with us in 2030?chart

Tax credit services for innovation and R&D

Over 50% aren’t taking advantage of the opportunity through ignorance, lack of skills and/or inertia.
Tax credit chart

Optimists v. cynics

Paradoxical view – as many optimists (strategic partner) as cynics (necessary cost).
Optimists v. cynics chart

Opportunities for accountants to redefine their service

Providing value added services will allow accountants to continue to thrive and remain relevant to their clients. Accountants should have more confidence in the role they play in their clients’ business lives and accept the fact that if they want to be treated as trusted business advisers, they need to start moving a bit further out from their comfort zone.

There are opportunities out there right now for accountants to start redefining the services they provide and the interactions they have with their customers. Offering a service to support innovation and R&D tax credits will show clients that there is more to their accountant than they might have expected. It’s an added value service that can directly impact a client’s bottom line and could start to redefine the whole working relationship.

Comments from the report

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