Research released today by Passle, the content marketing platform for professional services firms, ranked Grant Thornton UK as the best for showcasing its expertise online and distributing it via social media. It was followed by Mazars, and Kingston Smith, in second and third place respectively.  

At the other end of the rankings were Silver Levene, ASE, and Scott-Moncrief. 

Passle's detailed research of the UK’s top 50 accounting firms, excluding the Big Four, identifies how accounting firm engage online, focusing on the knowledge pieces produced, social media activity, and Klout scores. The aim was to determine which accounting firms have been the most effective at both building their presence and demonstrating their expertise online.  

Passle reached its results by ranking each firm against twelve criteria and coming to an overall ‘Passle Score’. They are: the number of ‘knowledge pieces’ published in 2015, defined as an insight, blog, article or any other piece that demonstrates knowledge and expertise by someone at the firm (excluding news); the number of knowledge pieces per accountant; the number of Twitter followers; a LinkedIn and Facebook rank based on followers; YouTube subscribers and number of videos produced; the number of tweets; the number of tweets retweeted, the number of Twitter followers per accountant; the number of tweets per accountant; and finally each firm’s Klout score.  

UHY Hacker Young was actually the firm that produced the most knowledge pieces, followed by Baker Tilly (RSM) and Mazars, while Mercer & Hole managed the most knowledge pieces per accountant.  

The report says: "In 2015, we found that accountants produced 3294 knowledge pieces per year. This only amounts to 0.29 knowledge pieces produced per staff per year. This figure is a third of what law firms managed to produce in 2015."  

A report is now available free to download at accounting.rankmyfirm.com. Accounting firms, whether in the top 50 or not, can also request a personalised report benchmarking them against the top 50 from the same website.  

Passle offers a way for accountants to share their knowledge online in an easy-to-use format, allowing busy experts to comment on breaking industry news and regularly share their views with clients and prospective clients.  

Co-founder Tom Elgar says: “The accountancy industry is not yet, as a body, anywhere close to demonstrating its true expertise online, but in our experience those who do are seeing the benefits in terms of attracting clients and networking opportunities.”  

“The reality is that in a market as competitive as accountancy, firms need to seek every advantage to make themselves stand out from the crowd. Sharing your knowledge in an accessible way is a major element of doing this in the social media era.”