Our history

Our history 2011 – 2021



Despite setbacks posed by the global financial crisis of the noughties, the 2010s marked a decade of success for Kreston. Significantly, the board decided to transition from an association into a network, joining the Forum of Firms. The move was driven by industry landscape changes and the need to drive quality through the audit profession. With significant technological disruption, demonstrated by the emergence of AI and cloud computing as tools regularly utilised by accountants, the network continued to embrace innovation – as demonstrated by the creation of a website. The network cemented its international status with significant growth in Africa, as well as new member firms joining stretching from countries such as Albania, Bolivia Ghana Israel, Kyrgyzstan, Tanzania, Thailand, Vietnam and Yemen. At the latter end of the decade, the network moved to new headquarters and announced new global leadership, with the appointment of Liza Robbins as Chief Executive.

Forum of Firms

The Kreston Board decides to transition from an association into a network and join the Forum of Firms. The formation of the FOF was driven by industry landscape changes and the need to drive quality through the audit profession. Kreston is named as a full member of the Forum of Firms, after reporting it has implemented a globally coordinated quality assurance program, committed to the use of International Standards on Auditing (ISAs) and met other specific ethics requirements.

Andrew Collier

“It was a big decision for Kreston to be a network and share a brand, share resources, have a quality review programme in place – there was a big focus on the quality of our member firms and ‘transnational’ work.”

The Arab Spring

A wave of pro-democracy uprisings takes place in countries across the Arab world, leading to the overthrow of the governments of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. Social media played a large role in the Egyptian and Tunisian protests in particular.


New Chair

Franck Parker, CEO of Exco France, takes up the role of Kreston Chair, a role which he held until 2015. Bent Kofoed from Kreston Denmark subsequently held the role from 2015-2018, before Rich Howard from CBIZ & MHM took up the post.

Kreston launches new brand identity

Kreston CEO at the time Jon Lisby explains “Our new logo underlines what the Kreston brand stands for. The strength at the logo’s centre is created from convergence and is a visual representation of the exceptional service available to clients from the cohesive collaboration of our Member firms around the world.”

Kreston 41st Annual World Conference

Kreston announces that its 41st Annual World Conference “Momentum” will be held in Beijing in September 2012. Kreston’s recent development in China was very impressive – in the past twelve months, the aggregate fee revenues of the Kreston China member firms has grown by 80% – a combination of 26% organic growth and 54% from the attraction of additional member firms. Kreston now has 13 independent member firms in Mainland China.

The Kreston Academies Benchmark UK Report launched

Kreston’s joint annual publication assesses the finances of almost 1,400 academy schools in 300 academy trusts. The initiative demonstrates the benefits that clients can derive from the collaboration and cohesive approach of Kreston’s member firms whether national, as in this instance, regionally or globally.

Andrew Collier

“Kreston UK’s academies work and benchmarking report has also been a strong success – it’s great to see how the firms have worked together to see a new opportunity and really run with it.”


Kreston holds its first Middle East Conference in Dubai

Hosted by Kreston member firm Kreston Awni Farsakh & Co. Delegates from all Kreston firms across the Middle East attend, as well as members from India and Jersey.


New Kreston Chair

Bent Kofoed from Kreston Denmark subsequently takes up the role of Kreston Chair until 2018, before he is succeeded by Rich Howard from CBIZ & MHM.

Leading firms adopt the Kreston brand

Leading firms in the major markets of the UK (Kreston Reeves and James Cowper Kreston), Germany and the Netherlands adopt the Kreston brand, giving greater impetus to the growth of the brand globally.


The United Kingdom votes to leave the European Union

The United Kingdom votes to leave the European Union following a nationwide referendum. The succeeding government initiated the departure process in 2017 with the UK leaving the bloc of now 27 countries in January 2020.

Andrew Collier

“Tax will always continue to be an international battle ground, so as businesses operate more internationally, that’s going to be more important that they can navigate that complexity.”

Kreston unveils a new website

Kreston unveils a new website that matches the network’s ever-growing ambitions as a professional services firm of the future. The new website is dynamic, mobile optimised and global in outlook. It is the first vehicle for Kreston’s new brand positioning, which capitalises on the unique mix of expertise and empathy the network prides itself on. The new website is just the start of a structured programme for Kreston as it begins to live its new brand proposition.

Continued focus on geographical coverage

Continued focus on geographical coverage in order to enhance the network’s service line capabilities. This was achieved by welcoming new member firms in Albania, Australia, China, Ghana. Israel, Italy, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Serbia, Singapore, Tanzania and Thailand.

Donald Trump

Republican Donald Trump wins the 2016 US presidential election following a bitterly fought and divisive campaign. His tenure is characterised by, amongst other things, a low-tax low-regulation platform, two failed impeachments and an escalating trade war with China.


Growth in Africa

Growth in Africa, as Kreston welcomes colleagues in Algeria, Cameroon and Congo. The network also cemented presence in Bolivia, Cambodia, Italy, The Philippines, Vietnam, and Yemen.

Transition to full Kreston branding

Kreston’s network in Spain, Portugal and Andorra, Kreston Iberaudit, completes the transition to full Kreston branding in 2017 after adopting all elements of the brand platform portfolio. Completely embracing the Kreston name, they say “We want to be More Kreston, Knowing you.”

Rich Howard

“Around 2016-17, there seemed to be this evolution away from consolidation and globalisation, to more country-focused efforts. This changed the global dynamic. A focus more on ‘me’ happening around the world, which was a bit of a pull away from those convergence projects. I think it will start to come back, with changes in administration – and in fact the pandemic, there’s been a lot less ability to do things globally (travel, commerce). There’s a huge demand for those to go back to normal, which will drive the need for us to converge again globally.”


Africa growth

Kreston significantly adds to its coverage in Africa after admitting a network of six independent members that will sit under the umbrella brand Kreston South Africa. Each firm will also take the Kreston name. The offices, located in Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Durban, Jeffrey’s Bay, Johannesburg, Mafikeng, Pretoria and Stanger, comprise 18 Partners and over 300 professional and support staff.

Kreston has significantly added to its coverage in China

Kreston has significantly added to its coverage in China with the admittance of new members. Shantou Shante CPAs, a seven-partner firm ranked number one in Shantou City, and Hunan Jianye CPAs, headquartered in Changsha and with six provincial branches and 250 staff in Hunan Province.

Liza Robbins

“I believe Kreston is one of the most commercial groups out there. We also have that cohesion – we really know each other. Shall I call my friends in Singapore or Belgium? I have their numbers in my phone. We’re the go-getting entrepreneurs who service go-getting entrepreneurs.”


New headquarters

Kreston announces the move to new headquarters in the City of London. The news reflects the network’s growing prominence and the desire of its members to have a central office that matches the forward-thinking image of the network itself.


Black Lives Matter

The murder of George Floyd by US police officer Derek Chauvin sparks worldwide protests against police brutality and institutional racism. The protests were a continuation of those arising from the murder of Trayvon Martin in 2012.

Kreston gains representation in Mozambique

Founded in 1995, Kreston Mozambique (ex-Grant Thornton Mozambique) is a full-service audit, tax and advisory service including outsourcing, payroll and secretarial work.

Liza Robbins

“Adding Mozambique to the Kreston network demonstrates our commitment to expanding our presence and offering across Africa, with new firms in Tanzania and Zimbabwe joining us in the last year.”

The Covid-19 virus

The Covid-19 virus, first identified in late 2019, spreads, causing widespread disruption and trillions of dollars of losses as countries all over the world enter successive lockdowns.

Rich Howard

“We’re less concerned today about pins on a map, more concerned with the cohesion of members and the business they generated. And we’re focused today more
(especially in light of recent circumstances) on adding value to clients and being much more advisory — a real big area of growth for Kreston and the industry as a whole, particularly in areas such as ESG, where a lot of things are evolving.”



2021 benchmark: 170 firms, 120 countries

Alnoor Bhimani

“What we’re confronted with today in terms of digital technologies far exceeds what we’ve seen before” / “the relationship evolving between digital technologies and accounting today far exceeds anything that we’ve encountered before. It’s essentially the biggest transformation in the history of business.”

Andrew Collier

“I think it’s going to be carrying on the legacy of firms and relationships –focusing on serving clients, increasing use of technology across distances. There are likely to be fewer international networks, perhaps more consolidation in the profession, which is why our strategy is so important in terms of profile and communications, doing business between members and across borders – because that’s what you need to be able to flourish in the future. Clients will always be looking for that ease of access, rapid response, quality of relationships amid the ongoing regulatory challenges. The seismic change that could happen is if governments actually agree on an international framework for professions, not just accounting, then you would see the pressure for firms to merge on a global basis, rather than the concept of a network – but I can’t see that happening soon!”

Edmond Chan

“The future of Kreston certainly is bright. We have a proactive central office management team lead by Liza Robbins, the board and the special interest groups leaders are very enthusiastic. We will keep our pace with the changing world, maintain our professional integrity and persist to provide better services to our clients, the next 50 years will be bright.”

Rich Howard

“I would say that at each point in time, we were where we wanted and needed to be – and had the right players in place. The fact that we changed and moved in a different direction is not a reflection of where we had been or how we got here. We needed to go on this journey to get to this point. This is the springboard for the next part of the journey.”

Liza Robbins

“There are lots of great people in the accounting profession, but I believe where we are today is not just about the accounting industry. It’s about society and the global conversation. Greta Thunberg, Marcus Rashford – I admire people like this. They make us all answerable and they make people listen. We are connected to a much wider society.”

“We continue to refine and refine. We will always have cohesion and closeness, but you have to be careful not to become static. As a network we are constantly developing, just like our clients. And while we have always aimed to be visionary, now clients expect no less. We are globally connected, both to each other and to our clients, always supporting them as they evolve.”