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October 12, 2011

Baker Tilly, Nexia Intl join Forum of Firms

Baker Tilly International and Nexia International have  joined the Forum of Firms (FoF), a group of global accounting networks that promote consistent and high-quality transnational auditing practices.

Baker Tilly International was previously a member of the FoF but pulled out in 2009 because it did not perceive a value in membership at the time. Aside from meeting FoF criteria, annual membership fees are not cheap. 

A perceived benefit of membership is that firms who are FoF members will be considered more favourably for transnational audit work than firms who are not. Forum of Firms chairman Robert Dohrer told International Accounting Bulletin in April that “various regulators and organisations” view FoF membership as a prerequisite to bidding for audit work.  

The fact that Baker Tilly International decided to reapply is at least a sign the FoF’s perception as a kitemark of quality has improved.

“Although we believe that some of the issues which led to our decision to resign remain valid, there have been changes,” Baker Tilly International chief executive Geoff Barnes said. “One of these is that membership of the forum is now recognised, by certain international institutions as being a sign of commitment to quality.”

Nexia International executive director Kevin Arnold said that FoF membership demonstrates the network’s commitment to high-quality assurance and ethical standards.

“It is a reflection of the financial and resource investment we have made in recent years in supporting this quality ethos throughout our organisation,” Arnold said.

To be an FoF member, networks must maintain quality control standards in accordance with International Standard on Quality Control (ISQC 1), conduct internal quality reviews of member firms, have transnational audit methodoligies that are based on ISAs, conform to global standards on ethics and produce an annual report to the FoF.

The addition of the two networks means there are now 24 full FoF members.

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