UK accountancy M&A market heats up in the January edition of the IAB: Joanne Kingsnorth, Joint Managing Director at Seymour Taylor comments

10th February 2022

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It’s always exciting for us at MGI Worldwide to see the positive impact our members are making in contributing to global accounting publications, sharing knowledge, setting themselves up as thought leaders in their market, and proudly representing MGI Worldwide on major international forums.

We are therefore thrilled to share the news that Joanne Kingsnorth, Joint Managing Director at Seymour Taylor, has been featured in the January edition of the IAB, discussing the hot merger and acquisition market and the impact of the Big Four on how smaller, and mid-sized firms have to differentiate to survive.   

The need to invest heavily in new technology

The article discusses the dominance of the Big Four and the likely impact they will have on smaller auditing firms. The UK is undergoing a period of change, with a skills shortage and a demand from clients to invest heavily in new technology meaning that many will struggle to keep up with their larger competitors. This poses difficulties not just for smaller firms, but also those of a mid-size, who find themselves competing with larger firms than before, even though they themselves may be acquiring some of the struggling smaller firms. Joanne highlights this point.

Joanne Kingsnorth
Seymour Taylor

"In recent years, we have seen significant consolidation activity in the accounting industry. We have ourselves acquired another practice within the last three months to aid our growth and indeed within our local area, we have seen the number of competitors reduce significantly as consolidators have acquired local practices where partners are retiring, with the result being that whilst we now have fewer competitors, our competition is now with a number of larger firms. This looks set to continue into 2022."

Changing how accountancy firms interact with their clients

Standing out is crucial to survive in a marketplace dominated by the larger firms. As such, the approach of auditing firms seems to be changing, with an emphasis on technology and custom-built applications dovetailing with client's increased focus on IT. Joanne goes on to explain how Seymour Taylor has been following this trend and developing its own application over the last year.

"We have seen increased demand for our outsourced accounting services, which is essentially the provision of some or all of the finance function from bookkeeping to outsourced finance director services.”

The future of accounting

Joanne concludes by sharing her thoughts on the future of accounting, sharing that Seymour Taylor will continue to involve automation linked to third party apps designed to make processes easier and more streamlined.

To read the full articles in January’s edition of the IAB, click here.

For more information visit the Seymour Taylor website here or view their firm profile here.

MGI Worldwide with CPAAI, is a top 20 ranked global accounting network and association with almost 9,000 professionals, accountants and tax experts in some 410 locations in over 100 countries around the world. 

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