On 19 June the Professional Oversight Board published its seventh edition of “Key Facts and Trends in the Accountancy Profession”. The main highlights were:  

  • In 2008 the six Chartered Bodies reported a total of 286,000 members and 169,000 students in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, growth by 3% and 0.8% respectively.  
  •  The number of registered audit fi rms has been gradually declining. The number in 2008 (8,179) is 25.7% lower than the number in 2003 (11,006). The decline has been less steep in recent years - a fall of 4.6% was reported for 2008.  
  •  Over the past fi ve years, the Big Four have experienced a steady increase in the proportion of fee income from non-audit work for non-audit clients but a steady decrease from nonaudit work to audit clients.  
  • Total fee income continued to grow in 2007-2008. The growth rate of non-Big Four fi rms was higher than that of the Big Four. There has been a small increase in the proportion of listed companies audited by non Big Four fi rms.