Gravita targets rapid growth in SME audit market

02 December 2022 Consultancy.uk 2 min. read
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As the UK’s audit and accounting market faces huge regulatory changes, three entities have combined to launch a new challenger firm in the sector. Gravita sees Jeffreys Henry, Arram Berlyn Gardner and Propel join forces to offer an alternative to traditional accounting industry consolidators.

Britain’s accounting industry is currently undergoing a period of transformation. Following mounting pressure from the public, Parliament and industry regulators, the Big Four of PwC, EYKPMG and Deloitte are turning their backs on SMEs, reducing the services they offer to small and medium businesses in recent years.

Responding to this, Gravita is looking to meet the demand now left unserved by the Big Four, offering its own audit and advisory services to SMEs across the UK. Backed by Tenzing, Gravita is significantly investing in building a new kind of consolidator that combines the best of breed from high-quality professional services firms to support ambitious SME leaders in realising their growth goals.

Gravita targets rapid growth in SME audit market

So far, that has seen the firm combine experienced specialists from Jeffreys Henry, Arram Berlyn Gardner and – most recently – Propel. In September, Gravita acquired Propel from Deloitte itself, aiming to provide clients with easy access to full-service finance. Deloitte’s sale of Propel followed KPMG shuttering its cloud-based bookkeeping offering for small businesses in 2019.

New challenger

Gravita CEO, Caroline Plumb, commented, “Our ambition is to build the UK’s leading tech-enabled accounting firm focussed on SMEs, and the launch of Gravita marks a key milestone in our growth journey. Accountancy is an increasingly crowded sector, and the industry landscape has been shifting for some time, with a new wave of consolidators entering the fray. At Gravita, we take a highly collaborative view on consolidation in the market and have a carefully considered approach to finding the right firms who share our future vision.”

This illustrates how Gravita will operate going forward – using organic and acquisitional growth to build a group that can support SMEs with financial worries, whether relating to resource or significantly complex business challenges. But the firm in its present form will already benefit clients with a full-service firm, offering audit, tax, accounts, financial outsourcing, payroll and advisory.

Speaking on the formal launch of Gravita as a combined entity, Christian Hamilton, Co-Founder of Tenzing, noted that the investment firm was “delighted to see” the roll out of the new challenger brand. Tenzing has long been a supporter of innovation and evolution in the sector, and hopes Gravita will prove capable of challenging “the current status quo.”

He added, “This is a significant step in Gravita’s strategy to transform how small and medium businesses receive accounting services and through its approach of leveraging technology to meet evolving client needs, it offers a unique proposition in the market.”