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40% rise in payroll forecast

French Duncan prepares for technology revolution

Graeme Finnie, managing partner French Duncan, with audit partners Nicola MacLennan and Stephen Hughes

Graeme Finnie, managing partner, with audit partners Nicola MacLennan and Stephen Hughes


Accountancy and business adviser French Duncan is forecasting a 40% increase in staffing levels – equal to about 80 people – as it plans for big changes in the sector over the next five years.

The 117-year-old firm has just expanded its Finnieston offices in Glasgow to 20,000sq ft, taking on a third floor to house the projected increase in the payroll.

It now has five offices across Scotland with 15 partners and almost 200 staff. Over the last few years the firm has grown strongly and will achieve a turnover of over £12m in the current year. However, the commitment to new office space reflects not only a growth in the core accountancy market but also a diversification of the business’s activities.

Graeme Finnie, managing partner of French Duncan, explained: “There can be little doubt that accountancy, like all businesses, is currently facing a transformation due to technological innovation.

“Traditional working practices are changing, and the needs of our clients are changing. For example, ‘Making tax digital’ is simply one, high profile, change in the way in which technology is transforming our sector. Data, and the insights IT can unlock, means that no business, no profession is immune from the changes which have occurred, and which will occur over the next five years.”

Mr Finnie continued: “As accountants, we believe that if we aren’t pushing boundaries using technology, then we won’t survive this revolution in the way business operates. These technological innovations will undoubtedly produce casualties within the accountancy community but those firms which invest now for the future will benefit from satisfied clients and improved balance sheets.

“Over the last six months we have been recruiting heavily and have employed 24 people.”

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