8668.0 - Accounting Practices, Australia, 2001-02  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/05/2003   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All


May 28, 2003
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)

Accounting profession employs 81,000 people

Accounting practices in Australia employed 81,000 people and earned $7,700 million in income during 2001-02, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Accounting practice activity accounted for 0.8% of total Australian Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for 2001-02.

Over two-thirds of the 9,860 accounting practices were sole proprietor/principal businesses. On average, these businesses employed 3.5 people, (including the proprietor), comprising 1.7 practising accountants and 1.8 other staff. Sole proprietor practices employed 29% of all accounting practices workers, and accounted for 19% of the total income earned. Their average income was $217,100.

At the other end of the scale, the largest practices (those with 20 or more principals or partners) employed an average of 1,824 people each, or 1,263 practising accountants and 561 other people. They earned an average income of $278m per practice.

Male accountants were found to outnumber females, with 1.7 males employed for each female accountant. Female practicing accountants were more likely to be found in larger practices; 44% of the accountants working in practices with 10 or more principals/partners were female, compared with 34% in practices with only one or two principals/partners.

Main sources of income included; business taxation (37% of all income), personal accounting and taxation work (18%) and auditing and assurance work (17%), however these were augmented by significant income from fields of work such as management and business consulting (12%) and financial planning and investment advice (2.8%).

The importance of business taxation work and personal accounting and taxation work differed markedly according to the size of the accounting practice. These two fields of work accounted for 78% of all income earned by sole proprietor/princial practices, but only 30% of the income of practices with 20 or more principals/partners. Larger practices earned significant portions of their income from auditing and assurance work (32%) and management and business consulting (18%).

Further details are found in Accounting Practices, Australia, 2001-02 (cat. no. 8668.0).