Accounting leaders discuss the advantages of joining a network

April 13, 2023

In a recent Accounting & Business magazine feature, leaders from Kreston Global offered their insights on the benefits and factors to consider when joining a network, such as a larger group or association. The article includes comments from Kreston Global’s CEO, Liza Robbins, Modern Mutumwa, managing partner at Kreston Zimbabwe, and Sudhir Kumar, senior partner at Kreston Menon in the UAE.

When considering whether to join a larger group, such as an association or network, many accountancy firms weigh the advantages of being an independent operator against the benefits of being part of a larger entity. Joining a larger group can provide opportunities for extending the reach and expanding the knowledge base, as well as staff development and professional bonds across borders.

In addition, these groups offer support through annual conferences and online events, knowledge sharing, and work referrals that can lead to revenue growth. However, it is important to actively invest time in building relationships with other group members for these benefits to accrue.

Liza Robbins, chief executive of Kreston Global:

‘What I always say to firms is really think about what you’re trying to do. Don’t just say it’s the next stage of your development – boil it down. Broadly, if you’re a firm wanting to develop, you’re looking for resources – you may be looking for a technical person because you don’t employ one yourself – so you might be looking more towards the networks that have that sort of resource. Across the world, there’s a challenge with identifying and retaining staff. One of the things our firms are saying to us is that staff perceive an international link as very positive. They enjoy the interaction we can give them from being part of something bigger.’

Modern Mutumwa, managing partner at Kreston Zimbabwe in Harare, Zimbabwe

‘I wanted a brand I could rely on to be competitive in the local market. We have also seconded staff to Kreston Reeves in the UK. They learned new things and gained exposure to larger clients. Some were able to lead assignments, which strengthened their technical skills and opened them up to interact with staff from a global perspective.’

Sudhir Kumar, senior partner at Kreston Menon in the UAE

‘We are on the Forum of Firms list, which is recognition for us, for the quality of our work. Everyone is very happy that the organisation has changed culturally because Kreston talks to everyone, not only the top management. Everyone is part of Kreston.’

Over the past 15 years, the terms “network”, “association”, and “alliance” have become less interchangeable. “Network” now refers to practices that are members of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) Forum of Firms, meaning they comply with the International Standard on Quality Control (ISQC 1), International Standards on Audit, and the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants’ code of conduct. This membership is important as many banks, governments, and not-for-profits will only work with auditors who are Forum members. Networks may also have stricter rules than associations regarding systems, processes, branding, and marketing. Some networks enforce a common brand, while others do not.

To learn more about joining the Kreston Global network, click here.