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  • 16 Feb 2024 11:00 | Katharina Rottenbacher (Administrator)

    Lexan & Associates CPA, one of the firms of certified public accountants in Kenya, operates as a collaborative and nimble firm. Engaging with consultants abroad, they establish a unique presence in neighboring countries through sustainable partnerships that provide essential support during audit assignments. Notably, the firm's footprint extends to the hub of Eastern and Horn of Africa, in particular, Kenya, Tanzania, Somalia, South Sudan, Uganda and Ethiopia.

    Their mission centers on becoming the "go-to" firm, delivering exceptional professional accounting and advisory services while prioritizing client success and continuous team development. At Lexan, the core values emphasize honesty, professionalism, integrity, and respect, with a commitment to recognizing and rewarding team members who consistently demonstrate excellence across all aspects of the organization.

    “We are delighted to welcome Lexan & Associates to IECnet,” said Vincent Domon, IECnet Chairman. “We are confident that our new member firm in Kenya will be an invaluable asset for us and our clients, and we look forward to partnering with them to provide the best possible services for our clients.”

    For more information about Lexan & Associates CPA and its services, please visit https://lexancpa.com/

    Contact Person 1: Godfrey Kamau  [email protected]
    Contact Person 2: Alexander Njeru [email protected]
    Office: 3rd Floor, AACC Building, Waiaki Way (Opposite Safaricom), Nairobi, Kenya

  • 14 Feb 2024 11:00 | Katharina Rottenbacher (Administrator)
    Specialization emerges as an intriguing avenue for accounting/audit firms, both in emerging and developing markets, offering profitable opportunities, yet significant challenges. Following is a brief overview of the advantages and opportunities on one hand, and the obstacles and limitations on the other, that come with specialization for accounting professionals.

     ADVANTAGES AND OPPORTUNITIES OF SPECIALIZATION:

    •  Market Differentiation: Specialization allows accounting/audit practices, as with any service provider, to stand out by highlighting specific skills, offering significant differentiation in an increasingly competitive market. This is particularly relevant in emerging markets, where the accounting profession can be is subject to unfair practices (price dumping, illegal pratices..), when it comes to “classic” missions (bookkeeping, monthly assistance, etc.).
    •  Enhanced Credibility: market recognition of any specialized service will enhance the credibility of the firms, demonstrating a commitment to excellence and expertise in a particular area. This can take the form of certificates issued by authorities to professionals who have completed specific training, or simply reference letters obtained by clients in a particular sector.
    •  Increased Profitability: In niche markets, with less fierce competition, accountants can offer higher value-added specialized services. Optimized team performance, and specific know-how naturally allows for better margins, even by employing more "senior" profiles.
    •  Response to sector-specific needs: Specialization allows for a more precise response to the specific needs of a sector, an industry or a client-type, by offering services tailored to their specific issues. Sector-oriented service can be developed withing a practice for tourism and hospitality specialists, for example, renewable energy, construction, or for healthcare professionals, leading to a

     OBSTACLES AND LIMITATIONS TO SPECIALIZATION:

    •  Market Size and Economic Diversity: In small markets, economic diversity can limit specialization opportunities, making some areas less viable or insufficiently structured to benefit from specialized service. This is even more relevant when services are delivered while heavily relying on technology tools, leaving only little room for specialization added-value.
    •  Underdeveloped Recognition Process: The lack of recognition can be a significant obstacle, as firms wishing to focus on a particular niche may risk not being able to highlight the added value offered, resulting in longer delays in implementing specialization, while s
    •  Resource Constraints: Firms wishing to specialize will have the burden to invest in training, specialized technologies, and partnerships that might be necessary for successful specialization. This can however be compensated by a progressive specialization that comes along gradually with “organic” market recognition.
    •  Seasonality Risks and Economic Sensitivity: Some specialization areas may be exposed to seasonality risks or heavily depend on specific economic conditions, increasing vulnerability to economic fluctuations. This can particularly happen for specialized audit firms that, in the event of a new legal provision concerning entreprise-specific audit treshholds, would see its turnover drop, due to less demand.

     RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ACCOUNTING PROFESSIONALS:

    •  Pre-Evaluation: Before embarking on specialization, it is crucial for any firm to conduct a thorough evaluation of the risks & opportunities attached to going niche. This should take into account market size, diversity, relying on technology, as well as potential extra cost of staff.
    •  Strategic Investment and ROI: To ensure successful specialization, firms must budget sufficient strategic investments, including recruitment, training, and acquisition/transformation of necessary technological tools, while estimating the Return on Investment and associated feasibility.
    •  Partnerships: Collaboration across firms, with recognized experts, or with other stakeholders can expand the reach and capabilities of the firm to specialize prudently, offering a holistic approach to meet the specific needs of the target clientele.
    •  Clear Communication: Transparent communication about the fields of specialization, their advantages, and the benefit for clients is essential to inform the market. It serves to establish trust and legitimacy, and consolidate the firm’s specialization strategy.

    Redouane Stoti (Audigroup/Morokko)

    February 2024

  • 5 Feb 2024 09:00 | Katharina Rottenbacher (Administrator)

    IFAC Nominating Committee is actively seeking dedicated volunteer leaders to contribute to the IFAC Board, Nominating Committee, Education Panel, and Advisory Groups (SMP, PAIB, and PAO Development). The IFAC Call for Nominations for 2025 released details the available roles, goals for diversity, and the qualifications needed for each group.

    Particular attention is to be drawn on the vacancies on the International Panel for Accountancy Education (IPAE) – these are open for nominations from the Forum of Firms, including the IPAE Chair position.  For the IPAE, the Nominating Committee is looking to fill up to eight vacancies, including the Chair vacancy. The targeted regions emphasized in the Call include Latin America-Caribbean, Asia, Europe and Africa-Middle. Female candidates are also strongly encouraged.

    Please refer to the attached IPAE extract from the Call for more information – IFAC is asking for applications to be submitted online by 7th February 2024.

  • 5 Feb 2024 09:00 | Katharina Rottenbacher (Administrator)

    Some members are already planning a longer stay in Mauritius before or after the AGM in October. The AGM will take place from 9-13 October 2024 at the beautiful Tamassa in Bel Ombre. 


  • 2 Jan 2024 09:00 | Katharina Rottenbacher (Administrator)

    ALPHA AUDITORS, established in December 2022 by partners Mr. Timotheos Vlachopoulos and Mr. Dimitrios Plastaras, specializes in auditing and tax consultancy. The firm, comprising ten employees alongside the partners, is dedicated to upholding high operational standards. With extensive experience dating back to 2000, both partners and additional staff, including former collaborators from BDO Greece, contribute valuable expertise to the company.

    As a growing firm, Alpha Auditors focuses on audit, advisory, and tax services, serving private and public companies across diverse sectors of the Greek economy. Members of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Greece (SOEL), Registered with the Hellenic Accounting and Auditing Standards Oversight Board (HAASOB).

    The decision to join IECnet reflects ALPHA AUDITORS' commitment to operational excellence and an interest in the network's regular internal quality assurance reviews. This move aligns with the firm's objective of providing top-quality audit services. Through participation in the network's internal quality reviews, ALPHA AUDITORS aims to ensure continuous improvement and uphold high standards for its clients.

    IECnet Chairman Vincent Domon is delighted with the new member. "We have been looking for a suitable member in Greece for a long time and are very happy to have found such a committed company in Alpha Auditors. We are looking forward to the exchange and cooperation!”

    For more information about ALPHA AUDITORS and its services, please visit https://alpha-auditors.gr/


    Contact Person 1: Timotheos Vlachopoulos  [email protected]

    Contact Person 2: Dimitrios Plastaras  [email protected]

    Office: 23, Vassileos Irakliou Str, 546 24 Thessaloniki, Greece


  • 1 Dec 2023 10:00 | Katharina Rottenbacher (Administrator)

    Please find here the latest IECnet Newsletter:

    Newsletter November 2023


  • 10 Nov 2023 12:00 | Katharina Rottenbacher (Administrator)

    In November 2023, Daniel Ziska was elected to the ASEFiD Board.

    The Swiss Association of Certified Tax Experts (ASEFiD) is a professional organization with headquarter in Bern, founded in 1985. The association has around 700 members.
     
    One of the ASEFiD's main areas of activity is the defense and promotion of its members' professional and political interests.

    Congratulations, Daniel!




     
  • 5 Nov 2023 12:00 | Katharina Rottenbacher (Administrator)

    The last Forum of Firm (FoF) meeting held in London on 31 October 2023 focused on sustainability related financial information disclosure and on sustainability assurance.

    IFRS for sustainability

    On June 2023, the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) of IFRS Foundation issued the IFRS 1 and IFRS2:

    • IFRS S1 General Requirements for Disclosure of Sustainability-related Financial Information
    • IFRS S2 Climate-related Disclosures

    For more information please check https://www.ifrs.org/

    Exposure Draft 5000 “International Standard on Sustainability Assurance”

    International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) of IFAC disclosed on August 2023 the Exposure Drafts and Consultation Papers related to “Proposed International Standard on Sustainability Assurance 5000”. Comments collect is still open till 1 December 2023.

    The IAASB’s aim was to develop an overarching standard to provide an appropriate global baseline for high-quality sustainability assurance engagements that can be applied for:

    • sustainability topics and reporting mechanisms
    • suitable criteria (framework neutral)
    • intended users
    • Limited and reasonable assurance engagements; and
    • assurance practitioners (profession agnostic).

    In Europe, Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) has been adopted and is already transposed in 5 countries and isunder transposition process in 10 other countries. According to European Accounting Association (EAA), European Commission decided to adopt a limited assurance standard on CSRD by year 2026 and reasonable assurance standard by year 2028.

    This is being a major change in the audit profession for the next years, IECnet members are warmly invited to check the standard project and provide their comments on the following link:

    Proposed International Standard on Sustainability Assurance 5000, General Requirements for Sustainability Assurance Engagements webpage (ISSA 5000)

    For more information please check:

    Wassim Turki, IECnet Chairman of the Committee on Auditing

  • 5 Oct 2023 12:00 | Katharina Rottenbacher (Administrator)

    Please find here the latest IECnet Newsletter:

    IECnet Newsletter September 2023

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