Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Accounting firms show stiff growth - Paul Gillis

Paul Gillis
+Paul Gillis 
Accounting is one of the industries that almost had to start from scratch, as China started to open up economically in the 1980s. But a annual growth of 22% shows that China keeps on investing in account, writes financial analyst Paul Gillis at his weblog.

Paul Gillis:
(What the figures show)  is that over the last ten years, revenue of accounting firms in China has grown at an average annual rate of 22%. Big Four and local firms have grown at the same average rate, but their annual performance varies quite widely. GDP growth during this period averaged 10%, meaning that the invest-ment in accounting services was more than double the GDP growth. That is great news. Not only has investment in accounting kept up with the growth in the economy, there has been additional “catch-up” investment. Clearly, the catch-up investment is needed and it probably needs to continue for another decade at least. 
The difference between Big Four and local firm growth rates is telling. Big Four firms had a higher growth rate than local firms until 2009, when the financial crisis hit. The Big Four actually shrunk by 12% in 2009. Local firms also slowed down in 2009 but still grew at 24%. The Big Four returned to growth in 2010, but have not been able to match GDP growth since. I think that is the future for these firms in China. The Big Four will struggle to find growth equal to GDP growth, while local firms will grow faster. 
But I see a continued investment in accounting, and that is good.
More at the China Accounting Blog.

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