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Report highlights worrying decline of qualified UK auditors

The number of audit firms and qualified auditors in the UK continues to decline despite the overall growth of the accounting industry, according to figures released by the UK’s oversight body.

The Professional Oversight Board found that in 2007, 13,238 students became members of the UK’s six accounting bodies. Yet only 623 members were awarded the recognised professional qualification for audit.

This mirrored a general decline in the number of registered audit firms from 11,211 in 2002 to 8,754 in 2007 – down 23.5 percent.

The sixth edition of Key Facts and Trends in the Accountancy Profession also highlighted some positive trends for the industry.

Worldwide, the six UK chartered bodies now have more than 370,000 members – compounded annual growth of 3 percent since 2002. Student numbers grew even faster – more than 390,000 students in 2007 represented 8 percent compounded annual growth since 2007.

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