19 Dec 2023

Members from Verstegen in Netherlands, and from Redmark in Denmark, contribute to industry discussion

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Netherlands’ post-Covid recovery has been commendable, yet the local accounting market has grappled with a persistent skills shortage, leaving numerous clients struggling to secure auditors. The Nordic countries are blessed with a relatively calm business environment and strong customer demand, and while some might be looking at a more financially difficult year ahead, a boom in start-up and venture capital investment is injecting vitality into the region.

In the latest edition, MGI Worldwide members Sjoerd Kuiper, Partner at Verstegen auditors and consultants, in Netherlands, and Anders Hübertz Mortensen, partner at Redmark, in Denmark, take time out to speak with the International Accounting Bulletin, sharing their views on the accounting industry in their local markets.

Netherlands' new reporting requirements

The Netherlands faces a challenging landscape in its auditing sector, marked by concerns over fraud and increased demands related to sustainability reporting. Sjoerd emphasizes the necessity for auditors to expand their skill sets to meet the new reporting requirements, particularly in the context of sustainability reporting (CSRD), which has been designated a mandatory study subject for all accountants in 2023.

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Sjoerd Kuiper
“During and after the pandemic, requests for services increased because of all of the government grants that were given to companies and the requirement that the final declaration needed to be supported by an auditor’s opinion. Furthermore, because of the difficulty recruiting and retaining staff, expenses increased, which resulted in higher fees. Also, clients of the Big Four are searching the market for cheaper audit firms and firms that suit their expectations. Therefore, we are still growing in our client size.”

Despite the positive demand for services, the Netherlands is grappling with a severe skills shortage across sectors, prompting firms to adapt with flexible work arrangements and career development opportunities.

Denmark and the Nordics

The Nordic region is currently experiencing a relatively stable business environment, with strong demand for accounting services and an active M&A market contributing to vitality. Despite a skills shortage, the local accountancy sector remains shielded from the worst of the global economic downturn.

Anders emphasizes that the largest issue faced by Danish firms is recruitment, leading to increased fees.

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Anders Hubertz Mortensen

“Increased salary competition has forced many firms to raise their fees but, so far, clients have understood the need. [At the same time,] more and more clients want to outsource their accounting department and I cannot see this demand dropping off anytime soon.”

The mergers and acquisitions landscape in Denmark is robust, outpacing other Nordic countries, and the region anticipates a key focus on ESG with the implementation of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive.

In Sweden, significant regulatory changes, such as the revised version of ISA 315 effective from 2022, have heightened the focus on addressing IT-related risks in financial reports. Despite the staffing challenges, the accounting industry in Sweden remains robust, driven by strong customer demand.

Norway’s economy has been growing along with inflation. At 4.25%, it remains well above the bank’s 2% target and the labour market is still tight, but unemployment has risen and consumer price hikes are tapering off and even falling in some cases.

To read the full article in the December edition of the IAB, members can click here (login to the MGI Worldwide member portal will be required).

For more information about our contributing member firms visit Verstegen's website or profile page and Redmark's website or profile page.


MGI Worldwide, is a top 20 ranked global accounting network and association with almost 9,000 professionals, accountants and tax experts in some 400 locations in over 100 countries around the world.