Our history

Our history 1981 – 1991



During the 1980s, huge economic growth brought immense prosperity to the accountancy profession. During this time, the social upheaval of previous decades had paved the way for a less male-dominated accounting industry. Technology at this time was also progressing, with PCs a part of everyday working life. In line with the impressive economic growth of the 1980s, Kreston grew from 30 firms, to 80 firms. Major events at the end of this period, including the birth of the world wide web and German unification, provided significant new opportunities for the network to grow into the 1990s.

Dagmar Brösztl-Reinsch

“For me it was always important to have members in all the places where our clients were. And this was when we saw a lot of expansion and the need to grow further globally.”

Dagmar Brösztl-Reinsch

“When expanding further, the most important thing was to find quality and trusted firms. These have always been crucial values – introducing your client to another country, you want them to experience the same trusted and high quality services.”


A series of major mergers

A series of major mergers lead to the formation of KMG in 1979, AMSA (later Arthur Young Europe) in 1980 and KPMG in 1986. Further mergers over the course of the 1980s mean the ‘Big Eight’ become the ‘Big Six’.

Intensified market competition

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) amends the rules to permit advertising and soliciting clients, leading to intensified market competition.

Harmonisation of accounting

In Europe, directives in 1978, 1983 and 1984 lead to wide harmonisation of accounting practices within the European Community.


The name Kreston is born

Having gone through a series of early names, after an official association of six European firms, from the UK, Netherlands, West Germany, Denmark, France and Sweden.


Opportunities to grow

Kreston’s founding firms continue to discuss the international brand name and opportunities to grow the association. In a letter to Rene Chenieux [of Groupe Fiduciaire Kreston], Mike Ross compares UK and international names and indicates Kreston’s position in the table of next 15 UK firms outside of the ‘big eight’.


Microsoft Word launches

Developed by Charles Simonyi and Richard Brodie for Microsoft, it remains the world’s most popular word processing programme to this day.

Schengen I

The Schengen I Agreement, limiting border checks within the European Community, comes into force. Schengen II continued the process in 1990 with the complete abolition of systematic border controls and a common visa policy.


Big Bang

The deregulation of the London Stock Exchange allows a range of measures including the abolition of fixed commission charges and computerised share dealing. The sudden changeover led to a dramatic increase in market activity and significant changes within the London financial markets.


Black Monday

A sudden stock market crash hits 23 major world markets, with worldwide losses estimated at US$1.71 trillion. Investors surveyed afterwards report a mindset of fear linked to “too much indebtedness”.


Fall of the Berlin Wall

Five days after half a million people gather in East Berlin in a mass protest, the Berlin Wall crumbles and thousands flock over the border. In subsequent months revolutions sweep through the last of the Iron Curtain countries.

Dagmar Brösztl-Reinsch

“One event that was really important for me was when Germany reunited and the opening to the east. And I would say almost every medium-sized German firm went to East Germany and further on to eastern European countries.”

Birth of the World Wide Web

While working as an information technology engineer at CERN in Switzerland, Tim Berners-Lee implements a successful communication between a hypertext transfer protocol (http) client and server via the internet.