Profits bring 24% pay rise for BDO partners

PARTNERS AT the accounting firm, BDO Stoy Hayward, enjoyed a 24 per cent rise in their average earnings in its last financial year as profits rose strongly at the firm, one of the largest in the UK outside the Big Five.

The accountants today report financial results which showed that the average earnings of its 234 partners rose to pounds 130,000 in the year to 31 March. Fees increased by more than 14 per cent to pounds 122m.

BDO attributed the profits rise to a clear focus on serving growing entrepreneurial businesses. The company also said that audit income had increased by 13.5 per cent to pounds 62m despite intense competition and low pricing. The rise had been achieved in part because of the development of a "value-added audit service delivering enhanced customer-oriented advice".

The rise of more than 31 per cent in tax consultancy fees, to pounds 32.7m, was attributed to the combination of a buoyant market for company sales and demand for tax advice in the wake of the phasing out of Capital Gains Tax retirement relief.

Adrian Martin, managing partner, said he was pleased by the firm's progress in recording its 17th successive year of overall growth, but he said there was still room to do better. "The improvement in our profitability over the past three years has enabled us to make some significant investments for the long-term benefits of our clients and the firm," he added.

Mr Martin said that the coming year looked to be challenging, but he was optimistic about the firm's prospects of attracting clients away from the Big Five firms. He said that a number of growing businesses had approached BDO because the large international practices they were using were increasingly ill-suited to this type of work.

BDO, which launched its biggest-ever advertising campaign during the year, is the seventh-largest UK accountancy practice, with 2,000 staff operating from more than 30 offices.

The firm, a group of regional partnerships, is part of the BDO group, which with more than 16,000 partners and staff is the world's sixth-largest international accountancy network.

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