Smaller practices are reporting fees per partner in excess of #200,000, a figure that puts many mid-tier firms in the shade. One in three members of the CharterGroup, a network of 55 independent accountancy firms in the UK, generate more than #150,000 profit per partner with earnings at many firms topping #200,000 per partner. With fewer partners among whom to divide income, average total fees per partner top #400,000 among CharterGroup practices, beating more than a third of Top 50 firms. Stephen Raznick, head of CharterGroup, said: 'If the Top 50 were drawn up on the basis of fees per partner we would have 20 to 30 members in there.' Members claim the group is also helping them beat off competition from regional offices of the Big Five. Patrick Phelan, managing partner at Pole Arnold in Leicester, said CharterGroup offered access to knowledge and skills which was helping the firm retain clients in the face of Big Five competition. 'We are aware of the threat from them. By being members we have learned a lot of skills which would have been difficult to find and we would have had to pay for it,' he said.
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