KARACHI, July 27: Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (DTT) – one of world's remaining 'big four' accountancy firms – has entered into an affiliation agreement with M. Yousuf Adil Saleem & Co. – Pakistan's fifth biggest firm of chartered accountants , Dawn has learnt from knowledgeable sources.
The arrangement is effective from July 17 and the agreement, all prepared, sealed and signed by the local partnership firm was on its way on Saturday, to the DTT's offices that manage the Asia Pacific region. DTT is 150 years old accounting and management consulting firm that operates in over 130 countries.
The world's three biggest accountancy firms are already in affiliation with Pakistan's 'big three' firms – perhaps, in that order: PricewaterhouseCoopers is affiliated with A.F.Ferguson & Co; Fordes, Rhodes, Robson, Morrow with Ernst & Young and Taseer Hadi Khalid with KPMG.
Another local auditing firm: Khalid, Majid, Husain, Rehman & Co. was previously the independent firm associated with Deloitte & Touche. And that relationship seems to have lasted until now, even though the original partnership firm had disintegrated.
Like people in many other professionals, accountants are loathe to discuss matters concerning their business. Information gleaned from various sources suggest that M. Yousuf Adil Saleem & Co, which began business in 1972 is a representative firm of Hodgson Landau Brands (HLB) International, UK – the 12th largest accounting group worldwide.
Yousuf Adil is also one of the 16 firms in category-I of the Panel of Auditors maintained by the State Bank of Pakistan. The firm is run by 10 partners who sit in offices in five cities: Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore, Faisalabad and Multan (the other big four maintain offices in first three cities). Besides audit & accountancy, Yousuf Adil, has dealt with clients' matters relating to taxation and other advisory and consultancy services. But following the fall of Enron – the US energy giant, Regulators here had recently asked accountancy firms to separate audit & taxation from consultancy.
According to sources, Yousuf Adil has in all, 363 clients, including 70 listed companies; 257 private enterprises and 36 public sector units.
While the investors' mistrust of corporate accounting is intense and there is a big question mark on the role of auditors in US and Europe, big accountancy firms in Pakistan are jostling to be bigger. In a first institutional merger of its kind, Fordes, Rhodes, Robson, Morrow (FRRM) is believed to be currently in advanced talks to combine business with Sidat Hyder Qamar & Co.- one of some half a dozen big accountancy firms in the country.
By virtue of this tie-up FRRM would be scaling up its size, while Sidat Hyder would have an additional benefit of restoration of its 'global branding' image, which it had lost with the fall of the fifth 'global big' – Arthur Andersen. Sidat Hyder was an Andersen member firm, before that firm fell apart in the wake of Enron bankruptcy and WorldCom scandal.