Latvian firm joins Baker Tilly
International

The addition of top ten Latvian firm MRI Revision SIA to Baker
Tilly International (BTI) is a big piece of the European jigsaw,
according to the network’s chief executive, Geoff Barnes.

The network admitted the former Moores Rowland International
member after a three-year search for a suitable Latvian firm. A
two-partner firm operating from Riga, MRI Revision provides audit,
accountancy, taxation and management consultancy services.

Barnes said finding a good firm of auditors in Latvia was very hard
and came after a number of potential recruits were interviewed.
“The firm we have found has two partners – formerly from the Big
Four – 25 staff, and has very Western thinking. They have
excellent, professionally structured offices and are very well
respected by the auditing community in Latvia,” he said.

The firm has clients in the real estate, retail, manufacturing and
engineering industries. MRI Revision had a fee income last year of
$600,000, which is forecast to grow to $800,000 this year.

Barnes said Baker Tilly International was attracted by the
ambitious, international attitude of the firm. “This is an
internationally focused firm. It may be small in UK and American
terms but in Latvia it is quite big. The big attraction to us was
its perception of where it wanted to be internationally and that is
what we want. We do not want blinkered firms, because [having a
global focus] is the way we will be moving,” he said.

He said there is potential for enormous growth in all the former
Soviet republics.

“[MRI] are looking after clients that have never had an audit and
also require financial advice on structuring and legitimate tax
implications. Companies that never really had audits now require
capital for expansion either from your existing shareholders, or
more likely in the short term from banks and other institutions.
Banks and other institutions want to see financial statements that
make sense,” Barnes said.

BTI also sees Latvia as a beachhead into other Baltic states.
“Finding Latvia is a big piece of the jigsaw, so we are excited by
Latvia. MRI Revision is now going to help us identify calibre firms
since they have connections in Estonia and Lithuania. Because for
people like me to go into an unfamiliar country and think they are
going to find quality people is frankly pie-in-the-sky,” said
Barnes.

Nicholas Moody