The pdf is here
If anyone wants to use this smaller audience to knock about some ideas about the content of this document informally, you’re very welcome to add comments here.
31 Jan 2013
Baker Tilly International today reported annual revenues of US$3.3bn for the financial year ending 30 June 2012, a year-on-year increase of 3%.
“This is a strong performance in what remains an uncertain trading environment in many markets, and continues our impressive track record of growth over our 25 years of operations,” said Geoff Barnes, CEO and President of Baker Tilly International. “The results were affected by a number of factors including improvement in some mature markets, as well as in a range of developing economies.
“Despite on-going uncertainty and volatility in some markets, especially within the Eurozone, Europe performed well in 2012 with growth across a spread of countries. This contributed to a combined increase of 8% for EMEA.
“In 2012 – as in 2011 – emerging markets were the story. Asia Pacific led the way, reporting a 30% rise in revenues,” said Barnes. “Baker Tilly China was the stand-out performer, in part due to a large increase in the provision of audit-related services in response to the expansion of the Chinese capital markets.
“In Latin America, revenues rose 14% as our member firms responded to a surge in demand for a range of services from both ambitious domestic businesses and international companies looking for opportunities across the region.
“However, we are also excited by the potential in Africa, and continued development in the Middle East. We have welcomed five new members firms to the network last year from these areas. Increased investment – particularly in Africa – is very much on our agenda. We are continually assessing the changes that are occurring in the marketplace to ensure that we have the necessary resources and capabilities in locations that are of strategic importance to the future of our clients.
“We have an ambitious strategy to continue to grow and strengthen our operations across the continent, which is seeing increased activity by multinational businesses looking to capitalise on its enormous potential especially in sectors including the extractive industries, telecommunications and consumer products. They are looking for first class advice and help on the ground, and we are keen to meet that need.”
- Asia Pacific US$0.64bn (+30%)
- Latin America US$0.07bn (+14%)
- Europe, Middle East & Africa US$1.22bn (+8%)
- North America US$1.39bn (-10%)
Service line breakdown:
- Audit US$1.24bn (+8%)
- Accountancy US$0.53bn (+4%)
- Taxation US$0.87bn (+2%)
- Consultancy US$0.68bn (-4%)
- Drescher: Baker Tilly retracts key finding in UNC report (newsobserver.com)
- Baker Tilly names managing partner for Milwaukee (jsonline.com)
- Martin, Baker Tilly release new UNC documents (newsobserver.com)
According to page 2 of today’s UK Financial Times, a UK National Audit Office report shows over 6.5m people waited more than 10 minutes to get their calls answered by HMRC, adding £33m to customer’s phone bills and wasting £103m of their time last year.
This snippet of information triggered a few things that I wanted to say to you this morning. The first of these is, that, despite the fact that it is obviously pretty dire that people need to wait so long to get their calls answered by the service they are paying taxes to fund in the first place, at least in the UK there is a body which is concerened at the loss of time and places a value, in monetary terms, on that loss of time by the customer.
Anyone who has spent any time either in government offices, or even banks or supermarkets in this part of the world will probably confirm that the idea that the customer’s time is valuable and should be respected is a rather alien concept. Not so long ago it was an utterly alien concept, but even today it is still a concept which they find rather hard to grasp.
Not as bad as China, though, from what I heard and also saw. People being expected to queue all day outside the Chinese consulate for their visa and then at the very moment that the scheduled closing time of the office came the shutters come down like with Kiosk Keith and that was that. The spare time of the employees was utterly sacrosanct, that of the customer not at all. This of course shows an elitist mentality, which can be found in almost all state sector offices to one or another degree anywhere in the world. Expect it and try somehow to deal with it.
Much less acceptable is the wasting of the customer’s time in business. If the customer is paying then they have a right to have their matters expedited and people who keep people waiting ought either to invest in more infrastructure to avoid it or to wonder if they are in the right business. Read more…
Writing in the UK Guardian today, (page 31 – if you cannot buy the paper, you’ll find it among the related articles below assuming it is still available if you are reading this in a few weeks), Polly Toynbee accuses the Big Four of being “at the heart of almost every tax-avoiding scheme”. She proceeds to comment on their grip of the audit market and that, despite grave failures in auditing the banks they have not been disciplined by professional bodies.
Thank you, Ms Toynbee! We at Quoracy.com would just add that their immense lobbying power at the level of governments and regulatory institutions – their virtual control as a cartel of almost every regulatory insitution for audit in the EU – has made them almost impossible to punish. At the same time the middle tier audit Firms, with far fewer blemishes on their records, are bearing a proportionately greater brunt of the reforms that these Big Four governed or influenced “independent” bodies have enacted or are in the process of enacting.
No doubt they hope that they can pass their latest trick of raising the audit thresholds, in which the hidden agenda is to weaken the next tier down from the Big Four even more in the hope that some of the firms disappear (already appears to be happening to PKF from what was spoken about at their recent Cuba conference, and the merging into BDO of three already of their G20 firms) and that others will tone down or give up their audit offer. After which time, of course, they will no doubt be ready to lower the thresholds once again, in order to grab what they can from the reduced state of their mid-tier competition.
You heard it here first. Or maybe you know it already. If you’ve been running a mid-tier audit firm, you probably know it only too well…
- Tories at half-time: cruel and inept, with worse to come | Polly Toynbee | Comment is free | The Guardian (dralfoldman.com)
- Should tax-avoiding companies be named and shamed? – video (guardian.co.uk)
- Britain could end these tax scams by hitting the big four | Polly Toynbee (guardian.co.uk)
- Be bold, Labour, and expose Osborne’s skivers v strivers lie | Polly Toynbee (guardian.co.uk)
CPA Trendlines have recently run a few articles highlighting a rather brisk upturn in the fees taken by audit firms in the States, and together with that an increase in salaries as well as movement in the market for hires in audit in that country.
Europe may or may not follow the trend in the USA – on the one hand we all went down together in 2007, so hopefully we will start to rise together also, but on the other hand Europe is author of some of its own problems. The Euro crisis is far from over, credit is still not flowing in the way people had become accustomed to in those halcyon pre 2007 days, and even where there is talk about green shoots of grass out on the Eastern European green fields, it seems to be a case of “two steppes forward, one steppe back”.
Europe has been discussing the Barnier proposals for audit reform which would have given more teeth to the profession as well as reduced the oligopolistic effect of the Big Four, who seem to be using their oligopoly so as to sour the market for the middle tier and thus cement their place as fairly unthreatened by competition from the mid-tier audit firms. In this, the smaller firms with low audit quality are their natural allies, and in places like Poland where the Big Four took effective control of the local audit chambers, the previous initiatives to force the small pensioner firms to either level up or get out of the market have been unravelled and tiny micro firms of auditors manned by geriatric owners still get to pronounce on the financial statements of even listed companies in exchange for fees which simply guarantee that they cannot possibly have done the work required to be able to make such pronouncements and back them up. Should they ever land in court they will probably not need to worry as they will be too old to get into trouble or endure sanctions for long. Even though this status quo means that governance is largely bogus, the Oversight boards don’t seem to care and the Companies themselves are not complaining, as they save money and also don’t need to put themselves to the trouble of a proper audit, where they might actually need to answer questions and furnish documents to an auditor following a proper audit plan. And behind all this is the Big Four, knowing that this state of affairs squeezes hardest on the mid tier, as the largest companies simply must use the Big Four, and they are fighting the mid-tier for the medium sized business since the recession started and every euro counts.
Before 2007, they tended to bother less with mid-tier clients as they themselves are aware that they are not really geared up to give them what they want, and that is what the mid-tier audit firms are designed for.
The Barnier proposals initially struck hard at the Big Four, and they responded by sending armies of lobbyists to Brussels and to national governments. As a reesult of this, the European Commission is already arguing over a watered-down version of Barnier, and there is the opposing threat that has appeared from nowhere of upping the audit thresholds again.
Now it seems crazy that exactly at a time when many European governments are going to be increasing tax burdens in order to fund their return to lower sovereign debts, and therefore the motivation for taxpaying companies to cheat will be intensified, governments at the same time are talking about reducing seriously the percentage of the economies which are subjected to proper audit.
It makes no sense, but it seems that they don’t appreciate at all the value of the audit system. They are aware of the failures when they occur and concern themselves with the 1% of audits that have gone astray and ignore and legislate in an adverse way for the 99% of audits that have not gone astray. As a result the markets for audit firms have been skewed and more pressure on our prices occured and more and more pressure on time available for audits, which in turn doesn’t do much to improve auditors’ chances to spot abuses and irregularities.
So we hope that the situation will be on the mend in Europe as well, but the politicians need to wise up in order for this to happen. They need to understand that an audit profession that is choking to death in this continent is not in anybody’s interests, and least of all in their own.
- Video: Why Does the IRS Audit People? (turbotax.intuit.com)
- Top 10 Reasons to be an IT Auditor (itauditsecurity.wordpress.com)
- Auditor General probing “most controversial” projects (kaieteurnewsonline.com)
Polish Legal Alert: Annual General Meeting (AGM) for 2011; Mandatory Filing of a Company’s Annual Accounts with the Company’s Court of Registration (“KRS”)
Our friends in TGC Corporate Lawyers sent this briefing regarding Poland in. The usual caveats apply (see the caveats section of this blog)
Dear Quoracy.com subscribers,Statutory Filings of a Company’s Annual Accounts with the Company’s Court of Registration (“KRS”) and Tax Office for 2011You may be aware that a Polish company’s management board is required to convene an annual general meeting of shareholders (“AGM”) within six months from the end of the company’s financial year. If the financial year of your company ended on 31 December 2011, the deadline for submitting your Corporate Income Tax Declaration (CIT-8) with the tax office expired on 31 March 2012 and the deadline for holding your AGM is 30 June 2012.1. AGM DocumentationThe documentation for the AGM includes:
- Financial statements;
- Directors’ report on the activities of the company for the financial year, which is subject to approval by the shareholders of the company;
- Supervisory board report (if applicable);
- Minutes of a meeting of the management board;
- Minutes of a meeting of the supervisory board (if applicable);
- Minutes of the AGM; and
- Application to the KRS for registration of the filing of the company’s annual accounts.
2. Audit Requirements
Do you need an audit? The requirements for an audit are as follows:
- Banks, insurance companies, and joint stock companies (S.A.) are all required to have an annual audit.
- Limited liability companies (sp. z o.o.) are required to have an audit for 2011 if they exceeded two or more of the following criteria at 31 December 2010:
- The average number of persons employed for the year was 50 or more;
- Total assets at the end of the financial year were 2.5 million euro or more; or
- Net sales plus financial income for the financial year were 5 million euro or more.
If your company had an audit carried out, the financial statements must be published in the gazette “Monitor Polski B”.
3. Notifying the Company’s Court of Registration
Within fifteen days after the AGM is held, the company’s management board must file the annual accounts, the directors’ report, and the AGM minutes, with the KRS.
4. Notifying the Relevant Tax Office
The AGM minutes must also be filed with the tax office handling the tax matters of the company within ten days of the AGM being held.
5. Next steps
If you wish to receive any further information on this matter or a cost estimate, or require any assistance in relation to your AGM, please contact:
Director, Head of Company Department
Tel.: +48 22 295 33 45
Partner, Company Department
Tel: +48 22 295 33 00
TGC Corporate Lawyers
ul. Hrubieszowska 2
01-209 Warsaw, Poland
T: +48 22 295 33 00
F: +48 22 295 33 01
- Humble pie is on the menu with the AGM sandwiches (thisislondon.co.uk)
- Annual General Meetings of PR Agencies (vikypedia.in)