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Accounting services, 2016

Released: 2017-12-07

The accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping and payroll services industry generated $18.8 billion in operating revenue in 2016, up 3.4% from 2015. Operating expenses rose 3.5%, resulting in a profit margin of 27.8%.

Bookkeeping, financial statement compilation and payroll services replaced auditing and other assurance services as the primary source of revenue with a share of 28.1%. Auditing and other assurance services came in second at 27.6%, down from 29.3% in 2015. The third largest source of revenue was taxation preparation and presentation services (26.7%). Businesses generated 12.0% of their sales from management consulting services. The remainder of the industry's sales resulted from other sales of goods and services (3.0%) and insolvency and receivership services (2.5%).

Most of the industry's revenue came from firms operating in Ontario (43.1%), followed by Quebec (19.1%), British Columbia (14.4%) and Alberta (13.5%). The remaining provincial and territorial shares of industry revenue were relatively stable compared with previous years.

The largest expenditures within the industry were salaries, wages and benefits, accounting for 53.8% of total operating expenses. Additional expenditure categories included subcontracts (6.6%), rental and leasing (5.6%), professional and business fees (4.7%) and all other costs and expenses (10.7%).

Sales to businesses (70.1%) remained the largest type of sales to clients, followed by sales to individuals and households (15.8%). The proportion of sales to governments, not-for-profit organizations and public institutions edged up to 8.5%. The remaining 5.6% of sales were to clients outside Canada.

  Note to readers

Data for 2014 and 2015 have been revised.

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