The annual benchmarking data of its accountancy firm members has been released by The Corporate Finance Network at its recent national conference.
Nicholsons Chartered Accountants is the local representative firm of The CFN which is the largest alliance of its kind in the UK. It provides tools and resources to selected accountancy practices, to offer more successful sell-side, acquisition and fundraising cases to their clients so that they always have access to the latest research and best practice. It carries out this study each year to chart the impact of corporate finance for SMEs across the UK.
Key findings of the member firms for 2021/22 are:
- Corporate finance services have grown this year by a staggering 19.9% as the post-pandemic fallout continues and business owners look to grow fast, or conversely sell their business
- 92% of firms continue to experience an increase in the demand for sell-side services, including exit planning advice and disposals; but only 50% are seeing a growing appetite from potential purchasers in the small business market
- Accounting firms are experiencing so much demand that their current pipeline as at the start of this year is already at 102% of target
Kirsty McGregor, Chairman of The Corporate Finance Network commented “I am not surprised at these statistics at all, given I have witnessed how busy our accountancy firms have continued to be over the past twelve months.
“I’m delighted that our specialist support, unique tools and market-leading resources are continuing to provide our member firms with these specialist insights, so that their clients can consider acquisition as a means of growth or plan for a successful ultimate exit of their business.
“However, the biggest challenge remains that of the possible work exceeding the available capacity, as the accounting profession continues to battle with a skills gap. Business owners should seek advice early, if they want to ensure that they have a trusted relationship with experts in their market, so that they are available to support when the time is right.