By Ian Lavis on behalf of Praxity Global Alliance
Ambitious plans have been unveiled to drive greater collaboration and better working within Praxity Global Alliance to solve client challenges around the world.
In an upbeat Global Conference address on 19 October, Praxity chairman Gordon Krater underlined the Alliance’s “stable and strong” position and revealed the latest initiatives being rolled out worldwide to reinforce Praxity’s award-winning approach to cross-firm, cross-border business.
The focus in the year ahead will be:
- Closer collaboration between member firms worldwide
- Greater insight for accounting firms and their clients
- An inclusive approach, with greater ethnic and gender diversity
- Identifying champions
- Challenging poor performance
- Showcasing success
- Better value membership
The Conference – the first to be held online during the Covid-19 pandemic – brought together professionals from around the world to share thoughts and plans for the future of the world’s largest alliance of accounting and consulting firms.
Support in unusual times
In his State of the Alliance opening address, Gordon Krater underlined Praxity’s position as one of most collaborative membership organisations in the world.
“These are unusual times,” he told delegates, adding: “I am impressed and gratified at how firms have been helping each other…and because of that, we have kept client service at an extremely high level.”
Praxity’s collaborative, knowledge sharing approach has been stronger than ever during the Covid-19 crisis. Despite furloughing staff in the UK and making £300,000 in savings, the Praxity Executive Office launched an extensive programme of support for member firms and their clients, including a guide to government support packages in G20 countries, regular webinars and exclusive interviews with Managing Partners on their firms’ Covid-19 responses.
These measures helped Praxity earn the Thought Leadership Initiative of the Year Award in the recent International Accounting Bulletin awards. “I am extremely proud of that,” Gordon said. “I think we have done an excellent job of offering true value.”
And there’s more to come: plans are underway to launch a new podcast series and a ‘social media wall’ for member firms to share knowledge, expertise and news.
Praxity is in a great place
Commenting on another year of record revenues for the Alliance (up 9.3% to US$6.38 billion), the chairman stressed the importance of quality rather than quantity of member firms, highlighting the strict controls to limit membership to the best accounting and consulting firms. He said the Alliance was “in a great place”, adding: “We have worked hard to grow the right way, with the right firms.”
This focus on selecting only those firms with the knowledge and expertise to truly add value in specific geographies and specialties has helped Praxity achieve 13 consecutive years of growth, In the last four years alone, growth has more than doubled, further strengthening Praxity’s position as the world’s largest alliance of accounting and consulting firms.
Looking forward, Gordon said the objective was to build a stronger presence in regions where Praxity is less represented, especially in Latin America. He also stressed the need to do more to ensure greater ethnic and gender diversity on the Governing Council and Management Board.
A more inclusive approach is a key priority for the Alliance and Gordon acknowledged more needs to be done. He suggested the forthcoming elections of new Board and Council members will provide an ideal opportunity to take positive action in this area.
Keeping relationships strong
Above all, he said it was important that firms continued to forge closer ties to deliver cross-firm, cross-border client solutions, adding: “Praxity is not just a brand, it’s a way to do business.”
And while virtual networking may have largely replaced face-to-face meetings for the time being, the CEO urged accounting professionals in member firms to stay true to the Praxity ideal, concluding:
"Praxity is only as strong as the individuals and relationships we have between each other in our member firms. If you have been thinking I haven’t heard from someone or I am going to miss them at the conference this year, pick up the phone, have a discussion, keep networking, keep those relationships strong because that way Praxity will be strong. It will allow us to continue to provide seamless service and let us enable business globally."