While the major international accounting firms no longer do business in Iran, the country’s own accounting firms have been faring well, according to a new report.

A survey by U.K.-based Timetric’s global magazine The Accountant found that Iranian accounting firms have grown since 2003 and are ready to do business internationally if sanctions are lifted.

There may even be some business going on with larger firms abroad, albeit unofficially. An Iranian practitioner told the researchers, “The relationships between national and international firms have started, but there have been no official agreements.”

The researchers surveyed business leaders about how the trade embargo has affected Iranian accounting firms, and one of them said, "It may have made local firms stronger, because they have learnt to find ways out. They might have become savvier or take a bigger share of the business."

Interest in pursuing a career in accounting remains a top choice among young Iranians, but competition to enter the profession has increased, according to the report. Accounting is one of the most sought-after degrees at universities, and is even more popular than law and medicine due to its low unemployment rate.

The survey found that more than 200,000 students enter accounting programs every year at the undergraduate level. Some private universities are considering aligning their curricula with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants’ program. The report predicts that demand for skilled financial professionals in Iran will increase if sanctions on Iran ease in the near future as a result on ongoing negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program.

However, the negotiations over lifting the sanctions between Iran, the U.S., Russia, China, the United Kingdom and Germany are also facing stiff opposition from many members of Congress, especially Republicans. This week, a group of 47 Republican senators sent a letter to the Iranian regime warning that any agreement between the Obama administration and the Iranian government could be overturned by a future president or Congress.