7th December 2020
The most recent November edition of the International Accounting Bulletin (IAB) features valuable contibutions from a number of our accountancy network member firms in Germany and the Netherlands.
Audit independence and improved governance in Germany
The IAB interviews three of our Germany-based member firms regarding their thoughts on the country’s pressing for audit independence and improved governance.
Michael Grüne, tax consultant, auditor and partner at our network member firm Menold Bezler in Stuttgart, highlights key changes that would help increase the auditor’s independence: changing auditors more often; tightening of specifications for the separation of audit and advisory services for clients that are companies of public interest to avoid conflicts of interest; and making it a requirement for auditors to be liable in cases of gross negligence without limitation. Michael adds that “The maximum liability limit in cases of simple negligent conduct shall be raised from €4m to €20m in case of audits of PIEs.”
From our member firm RLT Ruhrmann Tieben & Partner, Partner Thomas Althoff discusses digitisation and how the coronavirus has accelerated a process that many firms were already beginning to embrace. “Many firms and individuals who were previously slow movers suddenly had to adapt and have embraced the new way of working.” He goes on to say how this will ultimately make firms stronger and help them survive the aftermath of the pandemic, at a time when the demand for budgeting and auditing services is high.
Concluding the discussion, Alexander Leoff, Partner at Frankfurt’s Votum AG refers to the strong demand for budgeting and auditing services but notes that a shortage of skilled workers could prove problematic. “The changeover in value added tax from 19% to 16% has caused considerable consulting and system implementation costs, although demand for M&A consulting services has come to a complete standstill.”
Pandemic support marks upturn in work in Netherlands
As Netherlands has been affected by a range of propsed and actual regulatory changes over the past year. Sjoerd Kuiper, Partner at member firm Verstegen auditors and consultants comments specifically on the way in which his firm’s involvement has increased considerably in the past months due to the required reporting obligations related to government support received by businesses during the March to May lockdown.
He points out that whilst his firm created a team to help clients apply for the support measures which were put in place, the biggest part of the work of accounting for subsidy funds is still to come. “When the coronavirus outbreak started in the Netherlands, we saw that business acquisitions were put on hold, so demand in our corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions department was somewhat lower.” Sjoerd concludes that fortunately, things recovered pretty quickly and it’s now back to business as usual, so he doesn’t envisage any specific changes in demand for services in the short term.
To read the full articles in November’s edition of the IAB, as well as past issues, log in to the Member Area of the website and click on Key International Organisations at the bottom of the left-hand menu.
MGI Worldwide CPAAI boasts impressive rankings in the Europe region!
The European rankings have been published by the IAB and we’re thrilled to confirm that MGI Worldwide CPAAI has been named in the top accounting associations across the countries where our member firms are represented!
In Germany, our 12 member firms rank in a fantastic 3rd position in terms of total fee income/growth and 4th in relation to staff data. Our 2 member firms in the Netherlands hold an impressive 5th position for the top international accountancy associations in the country in terms of fee income whilst our member firm in France is ranking brilliantly in 4th for both fee income and staff data. Finally, we’re pleased to share the news that our 6 member firms in Italy are also ranking highly, currently holding 7th position for fee income/growth and 6th position for staff data.
We would like to offer a huge congratulations to our MGI Worldwide CPAAI member firms in Germany, the Netherlands, France and Italy!
MGI Europe is part of MGI Worldwide with CPAAI is a top 20 ranked global accounting network and association with almost 10,000 independent auditors, accountants and tax experts in some 460 locations in over 100 countries around the world.