Compiled by the Accountancy Age editorial team, the Financial Power List 2019 ranks the 50 individuals who we believe will make the biggest difference in the accountancy industry over the next 12 months.  Individuals considered for the list span government, practice and business. Their status or role does not guarantee their position in this ranking, but rather we have chosen individuals who we think will have an impact in one way or another based on what changes they are predicted to spearhead and what influence they will have, whether that be in government policy, tax changes, regulation, firm growth, or industry diversity.

Make sure you check back to view the full rankings, which will be released on 15 February, with five individuals announced every day between now and then.

Here, we reveal the individuals who have made positions 50 to 46 on this year’s list.

46. Michael Davidson, Group Managing Partner of Haines Watts

Michael Davidson, group managing partner at Haines Watts, oversaw the firm’s incredibly impressive rate of expansion in 2018, where the firm grew by 16 percent. In our Top 50+50 Rankings, this resulted in Haines Watts becoming the fastest growing firm of the year. Davidson has been with the firm for 27 years, working his way up the ranks before reaching his high-profile role of today. Previously in an Accountancy Age interview, Davidson highlighted that he plans to continue the process of expansion.

47. Sarah Churchman OBE, Chief Inclusion, Community and Wellbeing Officer at PwC

Churchman has been a vocal advocate of inclusion in the workplace since she was first given the task of helping with work-life balance issues in PwC in the early 2000s. Nevertheless, she has her work cut out for her this year. PwC reported a mean gender pay gap of 43.8 percent last year, the largest of the Big Four. Diversity is not an easy challenge to solve, and the disparity was explained by the lack of women and BAME individuals in senior roles. The launching of PwC’s Woman in Tech programme and a scheme to tie bonuses for partners to targets for female recruitment, promotion and retention should go some way towards addressing these challenges this year.

48. Bruce Cartwright, Chief Executive Officer, ICAS

Since his appointment last year, Bruce Cartwright has highlighted his intention to continue driving the accounting body forward. His innovative leadership style was never more emphasised than when he launched the Challenging Conversations initiative: through thought-leadership, the initiative aims to create a secure platform in which industry insiders and policymakers can debate the biggest issues of the time.

49. Prem Sikka, Professor of Accounting, University of Sheffield

Sheffield University accounting professor Sikka has been instrumental in devising Labour’s policy on audit reform. His radical proposals include breaking up the Big Four, and creating an independent body to appoint and remunerate auditors. Sikka’s report for Labour also recommends that offering services other than audit to clients should be a criminal offence. His ideas have provided a focus for growing public anger with the audit system. It may also become policy should Labour get elected in a snap election following Brexit.

50. Richard Murphy, Founder, Tax Research UK

With audit reform on the cards for 2019, tax campaigner Murphy’s views on the need for an end to Big Four dominance will be welcomed by many inside the industry and in the public at large. Last year, he formed an alliance with a group of influential academics and campaigners to call for a more transparent and independent system. As Brexit looms ever closer, Murphy will remain an important voice in an uncertain, and often unfair, environment.

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