Challenges facing the accounting industry: Decisions with key industry players reveal the ongoing concerns with respect to traditional accounting and tax-based work becoming more commoditised and price driven.
Top three challenges for accounting firms: negotiating price with clients, finding quality staff, and keeping quality staff
Accountants are experiencing significant difficulty in passing on cost increases to clients and charging for compliance work.
How the is industry expected to evolve
Top 3 areas of increased expenses over the next 6 months: Staff training and development, IT, and Marketing and business development.
Expected revenue increase from non accounting services
Top service lines to grow or enter



The December 2015 Accountant Market Pulse survey, conducted by Beaton Research + Consulting in partnership with CommBank, captures a cross-section of 100 accounting and restructuring firms.

Discussions with key industry players reveal the ongoing concerns with respect to traditional accounting and tax-based work becoming ever more commoditised and price driven. This comes as no surprise as negotiating price with clients still remains in the top three challenges facing accounting firms. However this aspect (negotiating prices with clients) has continued to ease when compared to the previous financial year1. Firms are addressing the issue in various ways. There is a constant challenge to cross-sell higher margin services as a way to maintain revenue and remain profitable. Firms are also exploring new revenue streams, with the larger firms leading the way in expanding into non-traditional areas.

The clear trend is for firms to pursue diversification in the form of non-accounting services. The shift was further evidenced by the fact that 76 per cent of firms surveyed expected revenue from non-accounting services to increase over the next 12 months2. This figure grew to 89 per cent of firms over the next two years. The industry is expecting to see this grow with more than half of firms expecting to enter and grow business advisory and management consultancy service lines in the next 12 to 18 months2.

CommBank’s Accounting Market Pulse captures the industry’s latest trends and nuances so it serves as a tool for business planning and benchmarking. Access the full report here.

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1 CommBank Accounting Market Pulse, July 2015.

2 CommBank Accounting Market Pulse, December 2015.


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