Our history

Our history 2001 – 2011



The turn of the millennia marked a tumultuous time for the accountancy industry, particularly with the collapse of Enron, a scandal which also brought down their auditors Arthur Andersen LLP, and the dotcom bust. Across the globe, but particularly within the US, new laws followed the scandal, with stricter compliance measures and closer scrutiny over accounting firms’ ethical conduct. Despite this, and the global financial crisis of 2008, the decade was one of significant growth for Kreston. Notably, Kreston’s revenues grew by 21% in 2008. Clients were larger and more internationally orientated, requiring coordinated, global services. In response, Kreston member firms increasingly collaborated to assist clients with cross-border issues. The size, growth and potential of the network necessitated a continuing programme of recruitment to ensure extended geographical coverage and a complete service line offering in all key cities. Between 2001-2011, Kreston built a strong network in mainland China with nine member firms in 30 different locations. Meanwhile, key members, Exco France and CBIZ & MHM (US), joined the network.

Dagmar Brösztl-Reinsch

“As our firm started to grow, our clients tended to become larger and more international and the international connections became more important for our clients.”

2001 - 9/11


On September 11 2001 al-Qaida terrorists hijacked two aircraft and crashed them into the World Trade Centre towers in New York, as well as the Pentagon. The USA declares war on terrorism.


First Kreston member firm in mainland China

The first Kreston member firm in mainland China, Nanjing Gongzheng CPA, is admitted.

Rich Howard

“Many times change is driven by scandal and issues that have come up that have shaken public trust in what we do and the services we offer. There were significant efforts over the last two decades to converge the accounting and audit standards around the world – so that everyone was operating under the same set of rules and investors could rely that they were getting the same information out of one location or exchange as another.”


First Kreston SEAFA conference

The first Kreston SEAFA conference took place in Nanjing, China.


Largest-ever expansion of the EU

Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia are admitted to the European Union as member states in the largest-ever expansion of the EU.


Kreston saw a number of personnel changes

Jon Lisby took over from Chris Flint as CEO in late 2005. Clive Stevens, Chairman of Kreston Reeves UK, begin serving as Kreston Chairman, a role which he held until 2012.


Kreston launches a modern new website

Kreston launches a modern new website, alongside an evolved Global Portal for members.

Rich Howard

“We embarked on a project to set up an audit network within Kreston’s [then] association. When we got to present it to the Kreston board, the response was rather than one service line let’s do it with the whole network. We set out to change from association to network. We hired a quality control director, joined the Forum of Firms, did all the things that we needed to be a network – including allowing and encouraging firms to adopt the Kreston brand.”


Continued strong growth for Kreston

A strong year sees aggregate fee revenue increase by 30%, to $1.7bn. The year’s growth follows on from a very successful 2006, which saw fee revenues grow by 50% over two years. At this time, Kreston’s membership includes 250 firms in 78 countries with a total resource of 18,000 professional and support staff.


Financial crisis

A financial crisis triggered by a lack of confidence in bank solvency, and a lack of credit availability, leads economies around the world into recession. Central banks provide trillions of dollars of fiscal stimulus and bailouts. The 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in the US would attempt to deal with many of the issues behind the crisis.

Revenues grow

Kreston revenues grow by 21% in 2008. Network-wide announcement celebrates exceptional growth over the past three years, moving from US$1.142bn in 2005 to US$2.065bn in 2008 an increase of 81%.

A key arrival

Kreston welcomes Exco France as a member. Exco is a network of 23 independent firms, located throughout France and employing 2,000 professionals and support staff. In addition, Exco’s correspondent members in 11 French-speaking African countries also join Kreston as full members. As well as France and Africa, the network adds additional locations in Poland, West Indies, New Caledonia and Reunion. Kreston also welcomes Exco’s CEO, Franck Parker to the Kreston Board.

Andrew Collier

“The two really big changes that really accelerated the growth of the network were when CBIZ & MHM from the US joined us – they were acquiring firms and growing significantly. And when Exco from France joined us, which came off the back of one of the big changes in the industry – the demise of Arthur Andersen.”

Costa Rica is added to Kreston’s Central America group

With this recruitment, Kreston now has a presence in each of the major countries in Central America during 2008 – Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.


The age of smartphones

With improved 3G networks the use of mobile phones and smartphones become more widespread, leading to an explosion in apps and feeding into the already rapid growth of social media giants. By 2021 3.8 billion people or 43% of the world’s population would have a smartphone.


Dr Gabriel Brösztl retires

The co-founder of Kreston in 1971, announces his decision to retire as Managing Partner of Bansbach Schübel Brösztl & Partner GmbH (“BSB”) after a remarkable period of sixty years.

Clive Stevens [then Chairman of Kreston]

“Without Gabriel Brösztl there would simply be no Kreston. It was Gabriel’s early vision, leadership and drive that created our organisation 39 years ago. Kreston continues to thrive on the culture that Gabriel established “of doing business with people we know like and trust”. He is and remains one of my ‘accounting heroes’”.

An active role in regulatory reform

Kreston UK comments on The Future of Financial Reporting in the UK and Republic of Ireland – Kreston UK comments UK Accounting Standards Board’s (ASB) proposals to change the basis of UK GAAP and bring it in line with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Sue Almond, Kreston’s Director of Quality and Professional Standards says: “The members in Kreston UK agree that change is needed to the overall framework for financial reporting in the UK. We welcome ASB’s proposals and support global convergence to international standards, but we do not feel that the time is right to withdraw the FRSEE – it is fit for purpose, our member firms’ clients like it, and stakeholders such as the tax authorities and lenders appear happy with it. SMEs are critical to the UK economy and should not be burdened by unnecessary change at such a sensitive point of the economic cycle”.

Kreston supports overhaul of audit policy in Europe

In its official response to the European Commission Green Paper Audit Policy: Lessons from the Crisis, Kreston welcomed the wide-ranging consideration of the audit market but urged caution to make sure that actions can be successfully implemented without placing unnecessary burdens on the critical SME market.

Embracing technology

Embracing technology with global reach, Kreston launches an iPhone and iPad app, giving members, clients and contacts mobile easy access to Kreston’s global network.

Kreston launches tri-lingual website

Kreston launches tri-lingual website, incorporating all the previous features together with Chinese and Spanish versions.