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Accounting contractors to be in high demand

If you’re a freelance accountant or one that works for an umbrella company, brace yourselves: you’re going to be quite sought-after in the coming months.

A new research study has just revealed that UK accounting firms have been dropping like flies recently. Over the last 12 months, there’s been nearly a 2 per cent drop in the number of accountancy companies on UK high streets; worse yet, the last five years have seen an eye-watering 1,335 firms shutter their doors permanently – a drop of 15.5 per cent!

There’s just not enough financial planning and accountancy experts to go around now, which means that there is a growing trend for businesses in need of those with finely-honed maths skills to turn to freelance experts or umbrella company contractors. A firm that can’t manage its money, after all, isn’t going to get very far if you ask me!

So what’s behind the sudden exodus from the accountancy sector? Well, experts think that the problem lies in audit laws. It’s not that they’re getting more stringent; no, that would have made accountancy firms stronger. Instead, the fact that small businesses are no longer required to undergo audits means that the market can no longer support the number of accountancy firms that it used to be able to.

Nearly three out of every four companies can breathe easy about not being subject to audits, according to the Financial Reporting Council, and this is roughly equivalent to no longer requiring the same number of drivers to no longer secure insurance cover for their cars before getting behind the wheel: it’s made the accountancy industry collapse.

The problem is that, those firms still in need of accountancy expertise have been suffering more and more. Over the last five years, for example, there have been 55 per cent more firms that have had to deal with fines and penalties for late account filing, which means there’s still a dire need for accountants – and means that anyone who works as a self-employed accountant is going to be more busy than a one-legged man in an arse-kicking contest if you ask me!

It’s not a bad problem to have, but it is still a shame that so many accountancy firms have permanently closed up shop over the last few years. Let’s hope that all those accountants have gone on to bigger and better firms – or have struck out on their own as a freelancer or contractor!

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