A survey conducted by recruiter Marks Sattin found that 40 per cent of senior figures at the UK’s largest companies have an accounting or financial background.
The number has more than doubled from the 1990s when only 14 per cent of chairmen and chief executives were qualified accountants.
Tim Hedger, deputy managing director of Marks Sattin said: “Accountants hold strategic insight into a business because they have exposure to all of its parts. They are at an advantage for that reason.”
Meanwhile, Marks Sattin found that of the 1,500 accountants it polled, all said career development, new challenges and interesting work were more important than money.
Thirty per cent of accountants moving jobs said better career development was the main reason for change, while 23 per cent signalled new challenges as the motivation to switch jobs.
Diversity, however, remains a key issue for the accountancy profession as the majority of senior roles continue to be held by white males.
Ethnic minorities represent 30 per cent of the accountants surveyed by Marks Sattin.
Similarly, only 9.1 per cent of women currently retain a senior role within a FTSE 100 company.