With effect from Monday 8th September 2014, Foulger Underwood Associates Ltd and KATO Consultancy merged their businesses to help a growing number of accountancy firms and other professional service firms needing to assess their options in a changing UK market. 

As a result of this merger we can offer accountancy practices an increased amount of management support;  addressing their challenges and repositioning their firms. The combined business now trades as FOULGER UNDERWOODKATO. 

The growth profile of the profession is clear from the 2014 released league table ranking the Top 100 firms. Half of the firms listed in the table have posted less than 5% growth and many have experienced no growth at all, or even a contraction in fee income. The typical practice will have to refocus, possibly giving up parts of the business. As a result, fee income will probably fall but profits improve on the back of a more stable business base. Significant growth will, in general, only be achieved through mergers and acquisitions that are carefully managed and have rigorous integration.

This background is a powerful driver for the FOULGER UNDERWOODKATO merger. The market has, and will demand, more management support to address these challenges whatever the cause. Accountancy firms seeking to manage change or restructure their practices will undoubtedly benefit from the two major ‘all-service’ consultancies joining forces. A combination of niche focus and variety of services on offer has cemented the well-established reputations of Foulger Underwood and KATO in creating practical and innovative solutions that play to partners’ and managing partners’ strengths and improve the value of  their businesses.

The merged consultancy can call on an experienced and knowledgeable team.  It will be led by Foulger Underwood Managing Director, Keith Underwood, KATO co-founder
Phil Shohet and Foulger Underwood Senior Consultant, Derek Smith who was formerly Managing Partner of Mazars Neville Russell. 

KATO co-founder Andrew Jenner will be retiring, but will remain available on a consultancy basis. 

Keith Underwood had said: “We are very excited about KATO joining Foulger Underwood. Phil’s extensive experience, knowledge and contacts enhance the practice consultancy offering and together we will provide a broader range of consultancy services and customised M&A solutions to all practices - whether they are accountants or professional service businesses. By pooling our resources, experience and specialisms we feel we are well placed to address the challenges that practices will face over the next 5 to 10 years. Our fully integrated service of change management consulting, research, analysis, M&A advisory and succession planning is of value to all practices from smaller independents to Top 100 firms.”

Phil Shohet had added: “With the market forces now at play in an emerging economy and to continue offering a high level of commitment to the delivery of a personal, quality and proactive service it is the right time to become part of a like-minded and progressive business, such as Foulger Underwood.”