Our history 2011 – 2021
2011 – 2021 DIGITALISATION
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.
“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.”
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.
“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.
“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.
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.”
“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.”
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.
“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.”
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.
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.
“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.”
“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.”
THE FUTURE OF KRESTON
2021 benchmark: 170 firms, 120 countries
“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.”
“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!”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”