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April 30, 2008

Mid-tier association extends global membership

Kreston International significantly expanded its association during the past month by adding new member firms in Belarus, India, New Zealand and Venezuela.

Belarusian firm AXIUM Group has 30 staff and annual turnover of $600,000 in its most recent financial year. The firm offers audit, administrative consulting, tax planning and accounting services, and specialises in IFRS.

Belarus is an emerging market with an increasing number of foreign investors entering the country each year, according to AXIUM Group marketing director Catherine Tarasyuk.

She told the International Accounting Bulletin that as the investment climate improves, AXIUM hopes to use Kreston’s global partners to extend its range of services, client base and projects.

The main problem the firm faces is finding professional staff as the influx of investment companies has driven a growing demand for qualified professionals.

“Unfortunately there is a lack of qualified professionals in Belarus especially when it concerns IFRS. We do not have any higher educational organisations that provide IFRS education, just some short courses,” said Tarasyuk.

Kolkata firm JF Dastoor & Co has joined the association and increased Kreston’s geographical coverage in India. The firm has four partners, 20 staff and annual turnover between $40,000 and $50,000.

In Latin America, the association now has 27 independent member firms in Mexico following the addition of Vazquez y Ordoñez based in Tapachula Chiapas, Southern Mexico. The new member is part of Kreston’s national development strategy in the emerging market.

Kreston executive director and international secretary Jon Lisby said the association’s global strategy is to win more assignments and help member firms work more proactively in targeting the needs of their clients.

Kreston is currently building a specialist transfer pricing team as part of the new strategy and recently admitted a Venezuelan firm that specialises in transfer pricing. Brito Darrigo Martinez & Asociados has 24 staff and an annual turnover of $1 million.

New Zealand audit firm Campbell Forbes has ten staff and an annual turnover of NZD$850,000. The firm has joined the association to work in conjunction with an existing Auckland member firm that specialises in consulting.

Both firms will also participate in the strategic plans of Kreston Australia and New Zealand.

Lisby said that Kreston has rapidly expanded over the past two years, increasing its fee income by 30 percent last year and 15 percent in 2006.

Lisby added that although several firms recently admitted were smaller in size, the association is in negotiations to admit larger firms.

Nicola Maher

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