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August 18, 2008

Number of UK audit firms and auditors on the way down

The number of audit firms and qualified auditors in the UK continues to decline despite the overall growth of the accounting industry, according to new figures released by the UK’s oversight body.

The Professional Oversight Board (POB), part of the Financial Reporting Council, found a 23.5 percent decline in the number of registered audit firms from 11,211 in 2002 to 8,754 in 2007.

The sixth edition of Key Facts and Trends in the Accountancy Profession also highlighted some positive trends for the industry. The six chartered bodies have grown their membership to more than 275,000 members and 165,000 students in the UK and Republic of Ireland.

POB director Paul George said larger registered audit firms now consistently generate more income from non-audit clients than their audit clients. He added: “While the Big Four firms continue to dominate the audit market for the largest listed companies, it is interesting to note the increased market shares of non-Big Four firms for listed companies outside of the FTSE 350.”

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