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Accountancy Lacks Diversity, Who Knew?

The accountancy sector has been going through a tough time of late. Under the spotlight for auditing issues, IR35 a topic on everyone’s tongues, and now, it’s a matter of diversity. And we don’t mean that dance crew. 

For the large accountancy firms, it seems, are dominated by white men in the senior roles, pushing women and those of ethnic minorities down the ranks and into either client-side roles or within smaller businesses, such as our good friends here at Contractor Accountants.

The UK accounting regulator, the Financial Reporting Council, has accused the industry of significantly lagging behind their other-industry counterparts. In fact, women and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnicities (BAME), make up just 17% of partners at accounting firms, compared with 30% in other FTSE 100 companies. 

Meanwhile, smaller accountancy firms were doing a better job of promoting women, with over 50% of managers being female at companies with less that 200 employees, but still there were only a disappointing 11% who made it to partner level.

The pay gap is still problematic too, with the big four firms reporting a gender pay gap of anything from 28% (KPMG) to a slightly less poor Deloitte’s, with a 14% gap. In this day and age, we are beyond incredulous that this is still allowed to happen, yet happen it does. 

While women have it bad, it’s an even bleaker picture if you’re BAME and work in the big four accounting firms – EY is the best here, with an appalling 10% BAME members making up the board. That’s the best. While on the flip side, it may be argued that there simply isn’t the volume of BAME applicants to fill the roles, at some point the chicken/egg conundrum has to be challenged to wonder why, in as diverse a society as ours, whether the lack of very senior BAME accountants is due to a lack of people, or a lack of promotion and opportunity.

With all this lack of diversity and the raft of scandals the big accounting firms are currently suffering, it’s little wonder that more and more businesses are turning to the smaller companies, the good guys who keep the SMEs running and aren’t out to overcharge you or only hire the type of people who fit their outdated ideals. 

Do yourself a favour; take a look at our partners here on our website, request a quotethat could literally save you thousands, and find yourself a reputable accounting firm who will ensure the work gets done, without you being bled dry. And be sure to ask for a female account manager, while you’re at it. 

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