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CASE STUDY 5

CASE STUDY 5
THE CLIENT

Our client is an internationally-known brand in the beauty industry.

THE CHALLENGE

While this company is headquartered in the United States, their parent company is still based in Australia – and they have a growing presence in Europe and Asia as well.

They require an Australian firm with extensive international reach to audit their operations in America and sign off on their global accounts. And they need an accounting firm that can understand the complexities of a client turning over tens of millions of dollars all over the world.

WHAT WE DID:

As members of Kreston International – the world’s 13th largest network of accounting firms – we have close relationships with our network member firms throughout Europe, Scandinavia, Asia and the US. Kreston is also a member of the exclusive Forum of Firms, qualifying us to perform transnational audits.

So we are able to coordinate our client’s international audits each year, giving them one convenient point of contact.

Before Coronavirus, senior members of our auditing team travelled to the US twice a year to audit our client’s American operations in person. Other firms sometimes send junior people – our approach is to have the best people on the ground to resolve any issues faster.

While travel restrictions apply, we use sophisticated technology to audit the company virtually, including counting stock in their warehouses, which is tricky! Again, we’re able to call on our American counterpart, CBIZ, to support us on the ground.

We’ve also provided comprehensive advice on tax and advisory issues, how to make their financial systems more robust, how to structure their contracts and even helped them value the company. This is, of course, with appropriate safeguards in place to maintain auditor independence.

This is a fast-evolving, global business so we’re keen to always add value.

WHAT THE CLIENT SAYS:

“We’ve just been through a corporate restructuring, which is an enormous project. We also have very aggressive growth plans for the next five years. Kreston Stanley Williamson has been an invaluable, objective source of advice on how to change the way we operate and be efficient from a tax perspective.

“In fact, we frequently talk to them about our business decisions, from structuring future acquisitions to liquidation of companies. When you’re closely involved there are lots of emotions involved, and they take all the emotion out of it. They are a very trusted advisor.

“One of the most useful things about working with Kreston Stanley Williamson is their international reach. Their Kreston partners currently do the audits for all our companies across the globe. When you have a disjointed audit team it can be very difficult. It’s far more efficient to deal with one firm, and it makes working much easier.

“Recently we had Kamal and one of the European Kreston firms on the same call. It’s not often you can have those discussions so freely if you’re using separate firms.

“They’re able to provide the quality of work of a Big 4 firm, but are a lot more personable, approachable and flexible in how they work. Case in point: Kamal and his team used to come to America to conduct our audits in person, but when COVID happened, they audited us digitally at short notice. It wasn’t easy to do, but it shows their flexibility.

“Working internationally has never been a barrier – they’re happy to jump on calls at different hours of the day. They are a great group of people to work with, and we’re excited to have them as our partner for the future.”

 

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