Managing Partner of PKF MEF on joining PKF International network
20 Oct 2017
October 2017, Moscow: "The Russian Newspaper", one of the major business and politics newspapers in Russia, publishes an interview with Ekhtibar Mustafayev, managing partner at PKF MEF.
RG: This year your organization has become a member of the global audit network PKF International, which improved your status in the audit market and is an indication of the quality of services you provide. What are the goals of this membership and what benefits of this strategy can you highlight?
Ekhtibar Mustafayev: PKF International is a globally renowned audit network; it ranks 15th in the 2016 International Accounting Bulletin. According to this respected publication, the income from the core activities of the PKF network companies amounted to more than $ 1 billion in 2016, and its growth rate was 3%.
PKF International was founded in 1969. It is represented in 150 countries. Joining the international network with such a reach allows us to expand professional boundaries and the range of services, as well as to ensure comprehensive servicing. It is very important for us, because our clients include many large companies and holdings. By joining PKF we have had an opportunity to expand our expertise by learning from the experience of our foreign colleagues.
RG: How long did it take to join the network and what were the main stages of this procedure?
Ekhtibar Mustafayev: This a serious decision for both prospective member and the network, so I cannot say it was "quick and easy". Negotiations with the PKF representatives started in the last fall. We presented our company to the Board of Directors at the General meeting for the EMEI region, which was held in Brussels. Then, our activities were carefully reviewed by PKF International and the decision about our membership and status was made. The license agreement on joining PKF International was signed in mid-July 2017. Consequently, the company gained the right to use the international brand, uniform internal standards, as well as significant geographic coverage and international experience acquired by PKF International during the half century of its existence.
At the moment, we are in the process of re-branding adapting our brand identity to the PKF image. My team has a goal to complete the above-mentioned re-branding by the end of October 2017, which is the time for the global meeting of the network members.
RG: Starting this year, the International Standards on Auditing (ISA) are mandatory for Russian audit organizations to follow. In your opinion, what is the reason of this transition to the International Standards on Auditing and what are the benefits of the ISA compared to the equivalent national standards? How does the consumer benefit from the transition to the foreign standards?
Ekhtibar Mustafayev: The ISA ensure a higher quality of audit work. Due to the fact that the whole international audit community participates in the elaboration of the ISA, the experience of different countries is taken into account and there are no restrictions imposed by the mindset of any one country. The transition to the International Standards on Auditing and International Financial Reporting Standards is a natural process given the integration of Russia into the international community and the process of globalization.
The Federal Standards for Auditing Activity (FSAA) used previously were based on the ISA and largely complied with the latter (however, there are some ISAs for which the FSAA cannot provide analogues). However, the introduction of the new standards, even though not radical, is a kind of a revolution, which forces us to take a fresh look at our experience, approaches and methodology and ensures change for the better.
RG: In your opinion, are Russian audit organizations and individual auditors ready to follow the ISA? Do they need any professional training or educational centers? Is anything changing in the external audit quality control in regards to this?
Ekhtibar Mustafayev: The procedure for recognition of the International Standards on Auditing in the territory of the Russian Federation was approved in June 2015. Since then, self-regulatory organizations and learning centers have been actively training people according to the ISA programs. In 2016 this training became mandatory for all auditors. Self-regulatory organizations provide a good methodological support, produce and publish the samples of documents, which are consistent with the ISA. I believe that auditors and audit organizations had enough time to study the Standards. Our company keeps on improving the implementation of the international standards, including through the PKF internal methods. Representatives of PKF International work closely with the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) and the independent association of international audit networks Forum of Firms, which, by the way, is headed by a representative of PKF, Theo Vermaak.
RG: How do current economic conditions affect the demand for voluntary audits? Is the demand in this sector growing? What categories of consumers (large, medium or small business) and industry sectors express the most interest in voluntary audit and why?
Ekhtibar Mustafayev: Our Audit Department employees have considerable experience not only in the area of "classical" audit, but also in other audit services - reviews, Due Diligence, tax audit, TFA, etc., so we don’t experience falling demand for our services. I would say that the demand is growing and we expect that in the near future this trend will continue.
For the full interview in Russian please visit "Russian Newspaper" website.
For more information about PKF MEF in Moscow, please contact Larisa Vikhlyaeva, Head of PR at PKF MEF, at firstname.lastname@example.org.