Tax in the city

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Global accounting now sexy!!! – Official

By Chris Devonshire-Ellis 

As we mentioned last week, Dezan Shira & Associates are the China members of The Leading Edge Alliance, a US$1.3 billion turnover global accounting network with members who are the most important non-Big 4 firms within their respective regions. Last week was the Alliance’s annual Managing Partners Meeting, held this year in Rome (last year Miami, next year Boston, it alternates between the U.S. & Europe) and we got to discuss issues such as client billing, partners remuneration, practice management, global tax consolidation, IT, and then all go out and have superb meals and drink part of our profits on bottles of fine Chianti, which is of course a splendid thing to do in Rome.

One of the great meetings though every year is marketing. Now, the marketing of professional services is awkward. Quite rightly, there are codes of conduct, and even regulatory restrictions in place over what can and cannot be said in promoting your firm. Law firms have long had the upper hand in the in the “sexy” stakes over the past 20 years with the development of U.S.-based sitcoms loosely based on law practices such as “The Practice,” “Boston Legal,” “Sex & the City,” and so on. Accountants and auditors have generally been considered boring and dull. No longer.

As the financing of global expansion gathers apace, accountants are the Gods of money men when it comes to working out where it should flow to. Greasing the wheels of global commerce, the U.S. dollar and the Euro attract glamour, and pizzazz – and it’s the accountants who direct this flow of mammon around the world, parking it here, spending it there. Auditors too, especially the investigative ones, lead challenging and occasionally downright dangerous lives – if not being threatened by the Mafia, then dying from Chinese banqueting as one unfortunate found to his cost when being “entertained” by the clients whose finances he was checking as a result of drinking too much baijiu. Tax is now sexy, on the edge stuff. It exudes wealth, power and an element of darkness – its ties to the “root of all evil” adding the necessary spice to routine tax filings.

So much so has this been the case, that our Leading Edge Alliance partner firm in Austria, the prestigious practice of Hübner & Hübner has just released this video to assist them with staff recruitment and to well, have a bit of fun. Already the largest firm in Vienna, this practice’s billings runs into hundreds of millions of Euros. As a sign of the new wave and new positioning of global tax practices, we think you’ll enjoy it.

And you read it here first: accounting is “taxy!!!!”

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