Business and Financial Advice Industry Guide

Day book, calculator and tablet

Here you will find sources of information such as market research (statistics, trends, developments), key companies, trade magazines, newsletters, and Internet sources.

This guide will be useful to anyone starting a business within the business and financial advice industry and also for those wanting to further their knowledge within this area.

Start-Up Information

COBRA logo
accessible via electronic databases
The Cobra database contains practical fact-sheets on all aspects of starting, running and managing a small business – including information on writing business plans, marketing, company structures etc.

It also covers the practical aspects of how to start and run particular types of businesses – outlining necessary skills, regulations, licences and legislation etc. and highlights other sources of information and advice available.

Business Opportunity Profiles (BOP) 

Accountancy Practice BOP124 
Bookkeeper  BOP075 
Business Adviser  BOP482 
Business Trainer  BOP492 
Debt Collection Agency BOP118 
Executive Coach  BOP496 
Management Consultant BOP442 
Marketing Consultant  BOP415 
Independent Financial Adviser  BOP113 
Insurance Broker  BOP551 
Loss Assessor  BOP559 
PR Consultant  BOP110 

Mini BOPs

Debt Management Firm MBP338 

Sector Guides (SEC)

Financial and Accounting Services  SEC032 
Fintech (Sector Update) SEC080 
Professional Services (Industry Snapshot)  SYN019 

Business Information Fact Sheets (BIF)

Applying for Authorisation as a Financial Services Provider  BIF033 

Market Research & Statistics 

If you are planning on starting a business you will need to be aware of the latest trends, developments and opportunities within your industry which can all be found from market research.

Market research also covers market size and forecasts, consumer demographics and attitudes, the key players and products and will often include SWOT and PEST analysis showing areas of strength, weakness, opportunities etc.

EMIS logo

  • United Kingdom - Management & Marketing Consultancy (MarketLine)
  • United Kingdom - Insurance Brokers (Marketline)
  • United Kingdom - Retail Savings & Investments (Marketline)

Similar reports, published by MarketLine, cover other countries, Europe and the global market and financial services reports, including UK banking, credit cards and insurance markets.

  • Financial Services Report: United Kingdom 1st Quarter 2021 (EIU - Industry Reports), 15 January 2021
  • Future Of Financial Advice (Oliver Wyman - Financial Services Reports), 21 January 2021
  • The Global Risks Report 2021 (Oliver Wyman - Financial Services Reports), 19 January 2021
  • Global Pension Funds Industry - Growth, Trends, and Forecast (2020-2025) (Mordor Global Industry Reports), 9 December 2020


IBISWorld logo

  • Accounting & Auditing in the UK
  • Bookkeeping in the UK
  • Financial Management in the UK
  • Insurance Agents & Brokers in the UK
  • Management Consultants in the UK
  • Market Research & Public Opinion Polling in the UK
  • Public Relations & Communication Activities in the UK
  • Tax Consultants in the UK
  • 28 reports on Financial and Insurance Activities

Mintel logo

  • Accounting and Financial Management
  • B2B Economic Outlook
  • Consumers and Financial Management
  • Consumers and the Economic Outlook
  • Fraud and Security in Financial Services 
  • Financial Services Disruptors 
  • The Impact of COVID-19 on Financial Services
  • Loyalty in Financial Services

Passport logo

  • Business Dynamics: The United Kingdom Similar reports and statistics, published by Euromonitor International, cover other countries and the global market.
  • Digital Consumer Survey 2020
  • United Kingdom reports on Financial Cards and Payments, Consumer Lending and Consumer Credit
Please note that many articles about the business and financial advice industry (from business journals and newspapers) are available from our electronic sources: Factiva, Business Source Complete (EBSCO), EMIS.

Also, contact details and individual reports of companies in the business & financial advice industry are available from our electronic sources: Fame, Orbis, Market IQ.

Business News & Journals

In order to find the latest news on your topic it is always worth searching Factiva, Business Source Complete and EMIS.

You will find articles from specialist business and academic journals, as well as newspapers and magazines. You may also find market research reports and case studies. As well as profiles of leading industry figures.

You will also find articles covering recent developments, and predicting future trends in your industry.

Trade Magazines and Newsletters

Useful for gaining inside knowledge, recent trends, industry news, company profiles, reviews of new products and services. Some contain annual reviews and company contact lists. Ordered via Explore the British Library (please ask for help).

Business Week (McGraw-Hill) [(P) AL 011 –E (4)]
In-depth coverage of the latest trends in technology, finance and management; offering insight and analysis on global business. 

Financial Times (London: Financial Times Ltd) [NEWS.REG191]
The latest UK and international business, finance, economic and political news, comment and analysis. 

Financial News (London: eFinancialNews Limited) [REG2130]
The latest UK and international business, finance, economic and political news, comment and analysis.  

Harvard Business Review (Harvard University) [(P) AQ 00 -E(16)]
Brings its readers original research and first-hand perspectives from leading business thinkers around the world. 

Money Management (FT Finance) [(P) AM 02 -E(6)]
The professional's independent adviser, including renowned fund statistics, unique surveys and more. 

The Banker (London Financial Times Ltd) [(P) AL 37 -E(1)]
The Banker's primary focus is global financial comment and insight, featuring opinion pieces, profiles and interviews with leading banking and finance figures.   


Contain lists of companies and industry contacts. Some have annual industry reviews, and specialist articles.

Consultancy guide: the definitive guide to UK professional consultancy and engineering (Association for Consultancy and Engineering, 2013) [(B) DIR 658.4602541 BUS]
Member listings and profiles, affiliated profiles, member geographical listings and consultancy classification tables. 

Consultants and consulting organizations directory (Gale Research Co., 2019) [(B) DIR 658.46 BUS]
A reference guide to nearly 28,000 firms and individuals engaged in consultancy for business, industry and government, and operate in the U.S. and Canada.

Marketing manager's yearbook (AP Information Services, 2012) [(B) DIR 658.8 BUS]
Alphabetical list of the top 5,000 major UK companies, including profiles of marketing departments and providers of marketing services.

Internet Sources

Websites containing free sources of industry statistics, information and contacts.

Association of British Mentors (ABM)

The trade body for business mentors and business mentoring in the UK and Ireland. 

Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)

The global body for professional accountants, with centres across the United Kingdom.  

Association of Professional Financial Advisers (APFA) 

Represents professional financial advisers; membership benefits include a listing on the APFA's searchable database, access to training and guidance on regulatory compliance.  

Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE) 

The largest association of independent professionals in the EU, representing freelancers, contractors and consultants from every sector of the economy.  

British Insurance Brokers' Association (BIBA) 

A leading professional organisation representing brokers in the UK. 

Chartered Accountants Ireland

A membership body in Ireland representing 23,000 influential members throughout the globe, with the role to educate, represent and support its members.  

Chartered Insurance Institute (CII)

The national body representing the insurance industry in the UK, with a separate faculty for insurance broking.  

European Federation of Management Consultancies Associations (FEACO)

Assists in the promotion and development of the profession of Management Consultancy in Europe, providing support to its constituent National Association membership, including 14 national member associations.  

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) 

A UK financial regulatory body, operating independently of the UK government and financed by charging fees to members of the financial services industry.  

Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)

A world leading professional membership organisation that promotes, develops and supports over 144,000 chartered accountants worldwide.    

Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS)

The professional body for more than 20,000 world class business men and women who work in the UK and in more than 100 countries around the world.  

Institute of Consulting

An organisation within the Chartered Management Institute (chartered professional body, dedicated to management and leadership) with a core focus towards consulting professionals.  

Institute of Directors

Membership to IoD has access to a range of resources - including access to business information, training, professional expertise, networking opportunities and flexible working spaces - all of which are designed to help you strengthen and build on your own success. 

International Council of Management Consulting Institutes (ICMCI) 

An international membership organisation and network of the management advisory and consultancy associations and institutes worldwide.  

London Stock Exchange Group

Access to world financial markets, data and resources, new and statistics. 

Management Consultancies Association (MCA)

Represents management consultancy firms in the UK; its members comprise around 60% of the UK consulting industry, employ around 30,000 consultants and work with over 90 of the top FTSE 100 companies and almost all parts of the public sector.   

Office for National Statistics (ONS) – Businesses

Provides UK business-related statistics, including business demographics; activity, size and location, research and development.  

Office for National Statistics (ONS) – Business services

Provides UK statistics for business services, including summaries, publications and data tables. 

Personal Finance Society (PFS)

Represents financial planning professionals; sub-group of the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII), a professional association for the insurance and financial industry.  

Small Business Federation

Offers members a wide range of vital business services including advice, financial expertise, support and a powerful voice heard in government. Their mission is to help smaller businesses achieve their ambitions.

Please note that every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, however some recently acquired items may since have been added to the collection. Please ask for help at the enquiry desk or check the online catalogue Explore the British Library for more details.

Images by CSM Customer Satisfaction Monitor by WilliamTeutoburger (Own work); licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons. 
Business Day Book by EraserGirl (Own work); licenced under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons. 
Analyzing Financial Data by Dave Dugdale from Superior, USA; licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.