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PricewaterhouseCoopers announced last month that it would acquire Booz
& Co. in the largest example of a recent trend by auditing firms to boost their
The price tag for the purchase was not disclosed but the Financial Times
speculated the acquisition to be worth more than the US$1 billion in revenues
that Booz & Co., the New York-based corporate advisory and management
consultant group, recorded in 2012.
The PwC move is believed to be in response to recent acquisitions by rivals
Deloitte, KPMG and EY. Acquiring Booz & Co. would boost PwC’s advisory
business, which is already its fastest-growing area.
PwC has made a number of strategic acquisitions over the past four years,
including that of Paragon Consulting Group and the commercial consulting
arm of BearingPoint, as well as niche consultants in media, technology and the
The Wall Street Journal noted that medium-sized consulting firms such as
Booz have struggled to compete with McKinsey & Co., Bain & Co. and other
larger rivals since the global financial crisis began in 2007.
PwC and Booz announced they had signed a conditional merger agreement
subject to approval by Booz’s 300 partners, who would vote next month.
According to the Journal, the deal is subject to antitrust regulatory approval in
the United States. New auditors would have to be found for Booz clients who
have their yearly audit undertaken by PwC, it added.
Booz & Co. is a separate company from Booz Allen Hamilton, the listed
consulting firm best known for its former employee turned secrets leaker,
Edward Snowden. Booz & Co. was split from Booz Allen Hamilton in 2008.
Grant Thornton U.K . to enter
Big Four’s auditing territory
The British arm of Grant Thornton expects to
double its FTSE 250 audit work by 2017 follow-
ing reforms by regulators, the firm’s chief execu-
tive said last month. Scott Barnes told The In-
dependent that the Competition Commission’s
demand that listed firms tender for audits every
five years will enable the firm to audit at least 15
FTSE 250 clients within three to four years.
Xero doubles forecast
for half-yearly earnings
Accounting software company Xero has nearly
doubled its earnings forecast for the first half of
the 2014 financial year. Xero now expects oper-
ating revenues to be NZ$30.3 million this year,
up from NZ$16.5 million for the same period last
year. Chief executive Rod Drury told Radio New
Zealand that the company is yet to make a profit.
240 candidates enrol for
Singapore’s own QP
Singapore’s first homegrown accounting qualifi-
cation programme drew 240 candidates for its
first course, the Singapore Accountancy Commis-
ion announced last month. Another 100 students
with non-accounting degrees have enrolled in a
foundation programme needed before they start
the Singapore QP course.
Banned KPMG ex-partner
settles over insider trading
Scott London, the former KPMG engagement
partner in the United States accused of insider
trading, has settled administrative proceedings
with the U.S . Securities and Exchange Commis-
sion. He faces sentencing on criminal charges
next month. Compliance Week reported that Lon-
don recently updated his status on the LinkedIn
professional networking website, writing that he’s
“looking forward to starting over again.”
Albania to hire Big Four
firm to audit state assets
Albania’s prime minister, Edi Rama, said last
month that an international accounting firm,
probably one of the Big Four, would be com-
missioned to audit the country’s finances, the
Tirana newspaper Gazeta Shqiptare reported.
Australian accounting bodies in
fight for New Zealand members
Australia’s two largest accounting bodies are competing to win members from
neighbouring New Zealand.
The 73,000 -member Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia, a member
of the Global Accounting Alliance, voted last month on a proposal to merge with
the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants, another GAA member, to
create a “trans-Tasman institute” of 90,000 members.
Meanwhile, CPA Australia, which has 144,000 members, last month offered
free one-year memberships to NZICPA members in a bid to persuade them to join
its organization instead.
ICA A president Tim Gullifer told the Sydney-based Business Review Weekly
that the merger would mean better ser vices for members. “Having a larger
organization allows us to have the financial capacity to deliver more education
products and ser vices for our diverse members,” he said.
A final announcement on the proposed merger is expected this month.
PwC acquisition of Booz & Co.
will extend its consulting reach
Merger plan is subject to partners’ vote next month
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