UK firm Taylorcocks and French firm Soregor founded TCS Global, a new global accounting network, late last year.
TCS Global has member firms in 18 countries and is led by former HLB chief operating officer James Frost, who says the network is focused on supporting the international expansion of SMEs, with a strong emphasis on active business development for its independent members.
He said its biggest short-term priority is to secure a US and German firm to join the network, given the importance of those markets. "We already have strong firms in the UK, France, China, Hong Kong etc," he said, "but we’re looking for members across the world in order to ensure good global coverage."
Frost said one reason for setting up the network was because there are currently insufficient international networks in the market. "There are a lot of good firms in the market, or firms sitting within associations, that are looking to grow and be part of a network," he told International Accounting Bulletin.
TCS Global won’t adopt a single firm coverage principle in all the countries where it operates, said Frost, although a single firm coverage might be the best solution in some countries. "We’re looking to decide on the type of representation on a country-by-country basis and whatever suits a certain country most," he added.
Former BDO International chief executive Jeremy Newman has become TCS Global’s non-executive chairman.
Newman left BDO International in 2011 and has since worked with RSM Tenon as a special advisor when the firm hit trouble in early 2012. He’s also the current chairman of the UK Audit Commission, which is in the process of being scrapped following the government’s decision to move local audits to the private sector as part of its spending cuts.
Frost said: "To have someone like Jeremy Newman on board, with all his experience, knowledge and expertise is testament to the confident outlook we have at TCS Global."
Newman said he’s providing TCS Global with insight about how accounting firms operate around the world and how accounting networks have to be set up. "I’m a non-executive chairman so I see myself helping TCS Global and challenging them, involving my own experience for them to draw upon," said Newman.
"It’s for them to draw upon it and say how I can help. It’s for me to challenge and ask questions. If TCS Global had wanted to replicate what was in the marketplace already, I wouldn’t have been interested, because it is something I have already done. I got involved because it’s something new and I’m confident it will grow and develop."