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November 19, 2008

Praxity establishes working groups

Praxity has set up a series of working and special interest groups in order to improve collaboration between members. Firm representatives recently took part in technical and special-interest working group meetings at Praxity’s second annual meeting in Paris.

Working groups formed on technical issues, including the IFRS/US GAAP convergence project and international tax. Delegates also established special interest groups on sectors such as automotive, real estate and manufacturing.

The aim of these groups is to improve communication channels globally, including the sharing of best practices.

Praxity management board and governing council vice-chair Jos van Huut stressed that the working groups were focused on business and client development, and not on bringing firms together in an operational sense. Praxity has a very strict policy of member firm independence.

“The alliance is there to see how we can develop our services and so on in the global environment. We are not seeking close co-operation to develop common work methods, manuals or methodologies. That is done by each member firm itself,” he said.

“Each of our firms has their own business units that focus on particular services, or a sector, or a combination of the two. The alliance, going forward, will bring those people together and we have set up how we can do that. We have set up best practices or code of conducts on how these working groups can organise themselves in an efficient way.”

Most Praxity members, with the notable exception of Mazars, operate as large domestic players. van Huut says it is his vision that some of the larger Praxity members should expand their brands internationally.

Praxity is poised to report combined global revenue growth of between 10 to 12 percent for the financial year ending in 2008, van Huut added. The alliance was the largest association of independent firms in last year’s International Accounting Bulletin world survey with fee income of $2.8 billion. Praxity has added new members in Germany and Sweden recently.

Arvind Hickman

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