As of 2020, the global accounting services market has been experiencing a steady growth, with particular emphasis on the increasing demand for chartered accountants. Despite country-specific regulations such as GAAP in the US or the Plan Comptable Général in France, the global market for chartered accountancy firms mainly services companies within their own country borders. In Spain, even though the title of chartered accountant isn't officially recognized by the state, the number of professionals in this field rose by 53.84% between 2016 and 2023. The sector demonstrated resilience post the COVID-19 crisis with a sales increase of 13.78% between 2019 and 2021. A significant demand driver for chartered accountants comes from SMEs (Pymes), with 55.7% of such businesses undergoing audits in 2020; 71.7% did so out of compulsion, while 28.3% acted voluntarily. Regulatory changes, the growth of digital tools, and the presence of French companies are also shaping the dynamics of the market. Notably, the Big Four accounting firms dominate the Spanish market, holding 60.34% of the total audit sales in Spain as of 2021..Market Dynamics and Trends in the Spanish Accounting Sector The Spanish accounting sector, though not officially recognized by the state, has seen remarkable growth in the presence of chartered accountants. With the adoption of international accounting standards like IFRS, the global market for accountancy services has expanded significantly, and Spain is no exception. The number of chartered accountants in the country saw a substantial increase of over 50% from 2016 to 2023. Despite the growth, the profession remains somewhat compartmentalized within national borders, with firms primarily servicing domestic companies. Nevertheless, the evolution of legislation is prompting businesses to seek out qualified professionals to ensure compliance and accuracy in their financial reporting. From a global perspective, accounting services have seen a steady rise in demand, moving from approximately $488 billion to well above $570 billion over several years. The anticipated compound annual growth rate is set to skyrocket over the coming years, potentially reaching a staggering value between $1200 billion and $1300 billion by the end of the decade. In Spain, the market has demonstrated resilience, recovering from a sales dip caused by the Covid-19 crisis to experience an impressive growth rate of over 13% between 2019 and 2021. Notably, the audit sector within the country has prevailed, suggesting a robust future for the industry. When delving into the different clientele of chartered accountants, we find that large companies are frequently compelled to perform audits due to regulatory mandates, especially if they align with certain financial thresholds or conditions. In contrast, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), or Pymes as they are referred to in Spain, represent a critical segment that often chooses to audit voluntarily. In 2020, close to 2 million SMEs underwent audits, whether due to obligation or choice. The primary draw for SMEs to engage in auditing services is to comply with legal mandates. However, many firms also recognize the value in demonstrating transparency to financial institutions or enhancinc their market perception through audited accounts. Regarding the French presence in Spain, it's particularly noteworthy in the corporate sector. Over 2,000 French entities are spread across Spain, contributing significantly to employment and the local economy. The economic distribution varies, with a significant French corporate presence in Madrid and Barcelona. Additionally, the French population had surged by almost 20% between 2017 and 2022, after a period of decline linked to political uncertainties in Catalonia. Looking into the structure of the Spanish accounting sector, there's been a slight increase in.### Prominent Players in the Spanish Accounting and Auditing Landscape The Spanish accounting and auditing market boasts a dynamic array of established and emerging players that cater to a diverse set of industries and clientele. Navigating through the market, one encounters a handful of companies that have carved out their niche and command considerable attention. Among the titans that dominate the sector, known colloquially as the Big Four, stand Deloitte, EY (Ernst & Young), KPMG, and PWC (PricewaterhouseCoopers). These multinational giants not only hold substantial market share in Spain but also worldwide. They're acclaimed not just for their auditing prowess but also for their extensive range of professional services, including advisory, taxation, and consulting, serving the top echelons of public and private enterprises. The landscape also features specialized firms like ETL Global, which extends its professional services through various cities in Spain. With a keen focus on localized expertise, ETL Global caters to a broad spectrum encompassing industries such as finance, legal, and tax advisory, making them a versatile choice for businesses. We also see Bové Montero y Asociados, a firm known for its tailored approach to auditing and consulting services, making significant strides in Madrid and Barcelona. They leverage local insights and industry expertise to offer nuanced services that resonate with regional business needs. Soreco, another notable firm, distinguishes itself through its international presence. With offices in strategic locations like Madrid, Milan, Lisbon, and Barcelona, they provide cross-border accounting expertise that appeals to businesses with a global footprint. Furthermore, the Spanish market is enriched by entities such as Michael Page, which specializes in recruitment and strategic human resource services, reflecting the inherent connectivity between financial expertise and talent acquisition. Other prominent names such as Welex and Brugueras & Garcia Bragado Abogados add to this diverse professional ecosystem. Welex, with a stronghold in Marbella, is a beacon for legal and financial advisory, while Brugueras & Garcia Bragado Abogados offers comprehensive legal services, reinforcing the importance of legal prowess in financial matters. For those seeking a French connection, there are firms like Llobet y Beirat Abogados and C. Torres A., which offer services that bridge the gap between the Spanish market and French-speaking clientele, highlighting the growing internationalization of the industry. As a whole, the Spanish market for accounting and auditing is characterized by its breadth and depth, with a mix of global behemoths and niche
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Introduction

A chartered accountant is a professional accountant. In Spain, unlike other countries such as France, the profession of chartered accountant is not recognized or regulated. " El registro de expertos contables" (Register of Chartered Accountants, henceforth abbreviated as "REC") was created in 2008 and by 2023 boasts over 4,000 members, making it the country's professional network. The network was created to harmonize standards for accountancy professionals within the European Union.

In the interests of regulation and harmonization, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Spain offers several ways for established professionals to become chartered accountants. Chartered accountants, business graduates or economists who are members of the official register of account auditors (Registro oficial de auditores de cuantas - ROAC ) and have professional experience in auditing the accounts of large companies may apply for membership of the REC without taking an examination. Non-practicing auditors can apply for accreditation following a 20-hour training course. Other professionals must pass an examination after demonstrating a minimum of three years' professional experience.

Obtaining official status for Spanish chartered accountants from the government is a priority for the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Spain. However, given the growth in the number of chartered accountants since the creation of the register in 2008, it's easy to see that the profession is bound to expand, in a move similar to the harmonization of standards within the common market represented by the European Union.

1.2 The global market

The profession of chartered accountant is governed by standards specific to each country (***) in Canada. At the very least, you need to be familiar with the legislation in force in the country where you will be practicing.

Despite the development of IFRS standards, the profession of chartered accountant is still relatively ...

1.3 The Spanish market

given that the title of chartered accountant is not recognized by the Spanish state, there are few auditors with this private title. Nevertheless, the number of chartered accountants rose between **** and ****. This increase of **.**% between **** and **** is in line with the ICJCE's efforts to obtain recognition of this private title from ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 The different clients of chartered accountants

First of all, it is compulsory for certain types of company to carry out audits. This is the case if a company meets two of the following * conditions for at least * consecutive accounting years:

If the company's total assets exceed €*,***,*** If net annual sales exceed €*,***,*** If the number of employees exceeds ...

2.2 Demand drivers for SMEs

Large companies meeting the conditions outlined above are therefore subject to regular auditing. SMEs - known as Pymes in Spain - arethose categories of company that do not necessarily require systematic auditing. In order to understand the interest of these consumers in auditing, and therefore of chartered accountants, it is necessary ...

2.3 Why use a chartered accountant?

Auditing is compulsory for large companies, but not for Pymes. A study carried out by "el Instituto de los censores de cuentas de España" among Spanish Pymes tells us more about why these companies use auditors. The obligation to do so appears to be the main reason for auditing, with ...

2.4 The French in Spain


The French Embassy in Spain reported in **** that the French economic presence in Spain is reflected in the presence of more than *,*** French companies, employing over ***,*** people, not to mention the many French start-ups, the vast majority of which are based in Barcelona and number *** according to Les Echos.

While ...

2.5 French companies in Spain

Of the more than *,*** French companies based in Spain, **.**% operate in a wide variety of sectors. Companies specializing in new technologies account for **.**%. Banking and insurance are the *rd most represented sector, with *.**% of French firms in Spain. Finally, auditing and accounting firms, where French chartered accountants or Spanish auditors are ...

3 Market structure

3.1 The Spanish audit and accounting network

Evolution of CNAE code **** :

In Spain, the CNAE code groups together auditors, accountants, accounting professions and tax and advisory consultants. The graph below shows that the number of people working in this professional category remained relatively stable between **** and ****, with an increase of *.***% in the number of auditors. Nevertheless, these professions ...

3.2 A concentrated market :

This market concentration is further illustrated by an analysis of the market shares of the various Spanish players. Of the *,*** companies in Spain in ****, the Big Four (***) accounted for **.**% of total audit sales in Spain. Groups of companies with sales in excess of €* million account for **.**% of market share, although they ...

4 Offer analysis

4.1 Services offered by chartered accountants

The following table lists the different services offered by auditing firms, where auditors and certain auditors who have obtained the private title of chartered accountant in Spain work:

Source: ****

Some accounting firms also offer consulting services within specific industries. Below is a non-exhaustive list of these services:

Source: ****

4.2 Accounting services prices

The cost of an accounting audit - which represents the work of a chartered accountant - is difficult to estimate, as it is tailor-made to suit different company characteristics. The average hourly rate charged by auditing firms, however, is €**, although this varies according to the following points:

Company size. Company status ...

4.3 Development of digital tools

Digital transformation and the mastery of new digital tools is a major challenge for the development of the accounting and auditing sector in Spain. The following table summarizes the benefits that these new tools could have on the accounting profession:


The challenge for the profession remains to learn about these ...

4.4 Directories of French-speaking accountants in Spain

Below is a non-exhaustive directory of auditing companies with franchises:

5 Regulations

5.1 Regulations governing the profession of chartered accountant in Spain

Originally, the"Real Decreto Legislativo */****, de * de julio" regulated auditing activities in Spain. This activity is now regulated by the following legal texts:

The Law of **/**** on Audit of Accounts The Development Regulation of the Law of **/**** on the Audit of Accounts. Regulation (***) N°***/**** of the European Parliament on specific requirements ...

List of charts

  • Trends in the global accounting services market
  • Change in the number of chartered accountants since the creation of the REC in 2015
  • Growth in auditing sector figures
  • Percentage of auditors holding the private title of chartered accountant in Spain
  • Percentage of Pymes having carried out an Audit exercise in 2020
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Latest news

Accountancy: CAP 21 joins RSM - 22/02/2024
  • - The RSM Group is the world's sixth-largest audit, accounting and consulting network, present in 120 countries.
  • - CAP 21, which recently joined RSM, employs 17 people - including five chartered accountants and an asset manager - and supports around 300 executives.
  • - CAP 21 has sales of €2 million.
  • - CAP 21 is based near Strasbourg, Germany.
  • - RSM France has sales of 155 million euros and 1,350 employees.
For KPMG, hourly billing of consultants is no longer relevant - 16/01/2024
  • KPMG has invested 5 billion euros in tool development and training in the field of big data and AI worldwide over the past five years.
  • KPMG France's overall sales grew by 7% in 2023, to €1.47 billion.
  • KPMG's consulting business grew by 14% to 482 million euros.
  • KPMG's support services for mid-sized companies increased by 12.9%.
  • KPMG expects the value of audit mandates to double over the next three years.
  • KPMG's recruitment rate maintains the same annual pace of over 7%, with 2,700 new hires by 2023.
Mazars expands into the United States - 17/11/2023
  • The Forvis audit firm generates $1.7 billion in revenues in its home market.
  • The new "Forvis Mazars" entity, resulting from the merger between Mazars and Forvis, will be worth almost 5 billion euros.
  • Until now, the United States accounted for 10% of Mazars' revenues.
  • 1,200 Mazars partners and 600 Forvis partners have given their 95% approval to the merger.
  • Forvis Mazars will employ over 36,000 people worldwide.
  • The Mazars group, now part of Forvis Mazars, is ranked among the world's top 10 audit and advisory firms.
  • Consulting represents more than 25% of Mazars' business.
  • Forvis Mazars' activities are divided into one third consulting, one third audit and one third tax services.
  • The Mazars Group grew by 15% in its last financial year, August 2023.
Consulting: PwC downsizes in turn - 08/11/2023
  • PwC is to launch a retirement plan involving 500 to 600 people.
  • These departures will affect up to 2.4% of the PwC group's 25,000 employees.
  • Deloitte has announced plans to cut around 800 jobs in the UK.
  • EY and KPMG have both launched voluntary redundancy programs, each affecting hundreds of employees.
  • McKinsey plans to make 2,000 people redundant.
  • PwC's attrition rate has fallen by 5 points and is now hovering around 10%.
  • PwC partners received an average of 1.04 million euros in the last financial year.
  • Employees hired less than a year ago are not expected to be affected by this voluntary departure program, nor by the redundancies.
June partners: Consulting firms: the raid by the big on the small continues | The great predation continues - 14/09/2023
  • June Partners, a small French structure, has 80 employees and 11 partners, and generates sales of €20 million.
  • BDO France has carried out 10 external growth operations, equivalent to 50 million euros in sales.
  • In two years, BDO France's sales have risen from 140 to 220 million euros. The Chairman of BDO France, Arnaud Naudan, is aiming for sales of 300 million euros within five years.
  • Consulting accounts for 50 million euros in sales for BDO France.
  • BDO claims the number one position in the mid-market segment for SMEs and ETIs worldwide.
KPMG strengthens its position in digital consulting - 16/03/2023
  • Acquisition of Censio Karamba , an information software expert from SAP
  • 80 consultants and sales of 12 million euros
  • KPMG: sales of 1.37 billion euros in France - 10.6% growth in consulting - 2,500 consulting staff

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Deloitte France
KPMG Expertise et Conseil
PwC Audit
EY Parthenon
Mazars Forvis Groupe
Grant Thornton France
Alpha Groupe
ETL global edit
ETL Global- European Tax and Law

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