B.C. Led Accounting Industry Growth in 2005
In the cautious words of a Statistics Canada report, the nation's accounting industry "continues to be very healthy." This after the sector's 2005 operating revenues of $9.9 billion grew by 13.9 per cent over last year. That growth was more than twice the 5.7 per cent experienced in 2004 and the 5.0 per cent of 2003.
Strong growth took place in all provinces, but it was B.C. accounting businesses that enjoyed the largest annual increase in 2005 of 19.0 per cent. The next largest annual increases were in Saskatchewan (17.5 per cent), Manitoba 16.6 per cent, and Nova Scotia (15.0 per cent).
Ontario businesses accounted for 45 per cent of industry operating revenues, followed by Quebec (20 per cent), B.C. (13 per cent), and Alberta (12 per cent).
In 2005, as in past years, the bulk of industry revenues came from traditional accounting services. Audit and assurance services accounted for 29.4 per cent of total industry operating revenues, followed by taxation services (24.1 per cent), compilation and review services (16.5 per cent) and bookkeeping and payroll services (13.5 per cent).
Among less traditional accounting services, revenues from consulting services generated 7.4 per cent of industry operating revenues while revenues from insolvency and receivership services accounted for 2.4 per cent.
Other findings from the StatsCan survey included:
- The accounting industry employed 81,100 workers in 2005, a jump of 11.6 per cent over 2004.
- In 2005, the 20 largest businesses generated 50 per cent of industry operating revenues, up from 49 per cent in 2004.
- The operating profit margin before taxes was 30 per cent in 2005, unchanged from 2004
Wages, salaries and benefits are the industry's largest expense. In 2005, that expense reached $3.5 billion and accounted for just over half of total industry operating expenses-without including the remuneration of about 11,500 partners and proprietors in the figure for wages.