Horwath International expands
audit presence in Greece

Horwath International has admitted Greece’s largest audit firm
in a move that will help the network greatly expand its capacity in
Eastern Europe.

SOL is an independent audit firm with total revenue of $57
million and 700 staff, including 320 certified public
accountants.

Horwath’s global chief executive Frank Arford said the network has
been pursuing SOL for quite some time. “We’ve talked to them off
and on over the years and when they expressed an interest we were
very anxious to approach them and work out an arrangement for them
to join us,” Arford said. “The things I appreciate the most is that
they are the largest firm in Greece. They are a very well-known
firm with excellent audit capabilities.”

Arford described SOL as an “anchor firm” that should prove
attractive to potential clients with cross border
requirements.

He said: “They strengthen our position in Europe. In 2006, the
International Accounting Bulletin had us [placed] as
number 15 in Europe (see IAB 395) and we very much want to
build our presence in Europe. It helps us do that because they are
a good size firm themselves. They add some always appreciated audit
resources to help build the strength of our audit practice.

“I think geographically they present a nice link between [our
firms] in Turkey and some good firms in Slovenia, Hungary and
Austria. Greece fits in the middle and helps us fill out that part
of Europe.”

Founded in 1993, SOL is headquartered in Athens and has offices in
Thessaloniki, Patra, Iraklio-Crete, Corfu, Kavala, Larissa and
Ioannina. The firm provides audit and consulting services to more
than 5,000 clients, including the Greek Parliament, the National
Bank of Greece, Olympic Airlines and the recent 2004 Athens Olympic
Games.

SOL partner Rodoula Roussou told IAB that Horwath offered
the firm avenues to grow. “SOL is the leading auditing firm in
Greece, its reputation is generally known and accepted, it
independently operates and holds the largest market share,” she
said.

“Our aim is to provide the best service as always to our clients,
Greek enterprises that continuously expand in the Balkans and all
over the world, and that is the major challenges we focus on. We
are of the opinion that our relationship with the Horwath network
will mainly give us a support to assist our clients outside Greece
and from such collaboration both SOL and Horwath expect bilateral
benefits.” 

Arvind Hickman