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April 30, 2008

Horwath International expands audit presence in Greece

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

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