“Up-normal” level of growth for accounting firms.

Damian Wild over at Accounting Age wrote about growth for accountancy firms. And as far as the big firms are concerned I agree with him. He writes:

(….) Yes, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that a slowdown is underway (comments from PwC chairman Kieran Poynter, less-good-than-previously financials from a big recruiter etc.) (….)

and then carries on:

(…) Deloitte’s chief executive John Connolly says: ‘ “Calling” the market in the year ahead is challenging. (…)

I think this may be true for several reasons. In my discussions with big firms so far I always got the “It’s our way, or the highway” for SOHOs who want to do business with them. Because of their size, the bigger firms find it difficult to deal with “all these small business needs“. In fact often they do not want to get involved, and that is very bad for SOHOs.

One other reason my be, that the large medium size market is more and more saturated. So the business that is there for the taking is not serviced correctly (IMO), and the business that could be serviced is no longer growing fast enough.

But for the small firms I see a very different picture, since the SOHO sector is largely untapped. Small firms locking after SOHOs are in for a period of growth and long term customer relationships.

Why do I believe that? Because small firms or sole practitioners are:

  • closer to their clients needs,
  • often more cost-effective,
  • willing to offer “special” services.

For reasons of relevancy and financial importance to the accounting firm, it is also better for a SOHO to use a sole practitioner or small firm.

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