As the recession moves into memory, 24% of accountancy firms say they will take advantage of the new economic climate and increase client fees in the next year to boost profitability.
Representing a 7% increase on last year’s figures, Bloomsbury Professional says the boost indicates a growing confidence in the sector, which was hit but a period of lengthy stagnation.
Martin Casimir, managing director of Bloomsbury Professional, said that with many firms forced to freeze fees during the recession, signs now show a change in attitudes.
“The threat of corporate cost cutting and concern that clients would be unwilling to accept fee increases had previously discouraged firms – this now appears to be changing,” Casimir said.
“The prospect of fee rises suggests that there is less intense competition among firms; the improved health of the economy means more new businesses, more investment, more deals and so more work.
“However, there are still a large number of accountancy firms that are quite tentative about raising rates and a majority of firms are still looking at trimming unprofitable areas of their work.”
Similarly, 96% of respondents said they were unlikely to make redundancies this year, compared to last year when 17% of firms said that redundancies were likely.
Casimir said, “As business activity picks up, firms need to ensure they have the capacity to meet clients’ needs – thankfully that means that the threat of redundancies at all but a small minority of firms has disappeared over the horizon.”