HLB expands its global reach and welcomes HLB Tajikistan

18 September 2020

DUSHANBE – HLB expands its global reach as it welcomes HLB Tajikistan.

The firm – established in 2012 and previously part of BDO Tajikistan – is one of the country’s leading professional services firms with expertise in accounting, tax, legal, HR, accounting software implementation and other services. HLB Tajikistan’s client base covers a variety of industries including financial services, energy and natural resources, public sector, Agroindustrial complex, telecommunications, retail, transport and industrial production. The firm’s office is in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan.



HLB Tajikistan is led by Managing Partner, Kamol Rahmiov. Commenting on joining HLB, he says: “We are very proud to have joined HLB. When we saw the level of quality assurance that is undertaken to appoint firms, we realised that our decision to align ourselves was the right one for the direction of our firm. We are confident that the entry of HLB into the professional services market in Tajikistan will bring the services offered to a new advanced level, since HLB is not just a brand, but a professional team with many years of international experience and established business processes. We look with great optimism to the future.”

Marco Donzelli, CEO commented: “We are pleased to welcome HLB Tajikistan. Their level of experience and expertise within the Central Asia region is unparalleled and I am confident they will be of great service to clients not only within this region, but worldwide.”

The addition of HLB Tajikistan continues our transformation and moves us closer to achieving our Shaping our Shared Future objectives.





About HLB

HLB International is a global network of independent professional accounting firms and business advisers. Formed in 1969, we service clients through our member firms in 158 countries, with 29,363 partners and staff in 795 offices worldwide.

Learn more about us and tell us what matters to you by visiting www.hlb.global

HLB refers to the HLB International network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity. Please see www.hlb.global/legal for further details.

© 2020 HLB International limited. All rights reserved.

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Tackling unconscious bias is the key to driving greater diversity and inclusion within the professional services industry

2 September 2020

LONDON – A lack of diversity within leadership among professional services firms is a direct consequence of biased behaviours that exists within the industry. That is one of the key findings from HLB’s Unconscious Bias Awareness Study, launched today. Furthermore, unconscious bias constrains the career progression for certain groups of professionals and is becoming a bottleneck to diverse hiring.

Commenting on the findings, Marco Donzelli, HLB’s Global CEO, says: “Our industry is facing immense challenges, especially when it comes to attracting and retaining talent. For the industry to thrive, we need to explore what issues are currently holding it back. Addressing unconscious bias is a hard job but it’s a conversation we need to have now if we ever want to achieve greater diversity and inclusion.”    

The impact of unconscious bias on career progression
While the number of female public accountants has steadily increased, there is still a significant lack of female leadership within the industry. We discovered that several unconscious biases as the cause of this. One example is that the traditional career curve for women in accounting is rarely accommodating motherhood. Women of a certain age and/or working mothers can be seen as less preferential candidates for promotion due to the societal expectations placed on them as primary caregivers for their families. In addition, the pressure to deliver measurable results and clock in the billable hours is another core factor that eschews the career progression curve for female CPAs. Yet despite our research uncovering in some regions that female CPAs had higher success rates of closing client sales compared to their male colleagues, they were still being overlooked in succession planning in favour of their male colleagues who had the opportunity to demonstrate their commercial skills. As a result, many female professionals follow the pre-approved career routes, which often end at mid-level positions.

The diversity debate
In addition, the career progression curve for non-white candidates of both genders differs significantly to that of white professionals. Despite the increased number of graduates coming in from different backgrounds, CPA firms are still slow to embrace diverse hiring practices, with unconscious bias presenting itself in the recruitment process, through the practice of ‘cultural matching’ over candidates actual abilities. Our own findings suggest that even in richly diverse areas such as the UK, there are no shortage of diversity at entry-level, but few non-white CPAs progress up the ranks, with less than 10% promoted above the mid-level positions. In addition, structural reasons such as systemic barriers to education and access to opportunities can explain the lower rate of diverse candidates entering the industry.

Additionally, the unconscious biases displayed by clients’ is a concern. Our firms reported that their teams had experienced instances of clients’ own unconscious biases towards their diverse account teams. All of which raises serious questions for our profession: is the lack of diversity and trend of white males in leadership positions a result of client expectations, and does it affect which firms they are willing to work with? If yes, does that mean these biases should be reinforced or should we seek to challenge them? If clients are choosing firms based on their own biases, what steps can be taken to drive change? The first is through acknowledgement, with 92% of HLB leaders recognising that they must be at the forefront of providing equal opportunities to people of all genders and backgrounds.



Homogeneous leadership teams – a standard due for change
The lack of diversity in leadership positions comes as a direct result of practices and unconscious bias which exists on the grassroots level within the industry. With a compromised career curve, fewer female and non-white candidates manage to make their way to leadership positions, with many giving up on either their professional growth or the industry. This has a direct impact on the attractiveness of the profession, with 67% of HLB managing partners agreeing that prospective employees look at the demographic make-up of the firm and leadership team when assessing an employer brand. Ultimately, homogeneous leadership structures are holding firms back from realising their full potential and driving outcomes for their clients. Our findings concurred that diversity encourages faster business development and drives opportunities.

Resolving the bias, one mental block at a time
Our research uncovered that unconscious bias stands at the foundations of many organisational practices. And while removing them all at once is not feasible, gradual adjustments will yield a substantial impact. 82% of our leaders believe that firms should use their influence to address inequality issues and drive a sustainable change agenda around diversity. Some of the ways we are seeking to achieve this are through compulsory unconscious bias training; challenging and addressing biased behaviours at the leadership level; revising hiring practices and being more deliberate in identifying existing gaps in diversity.

Ultimately, maintaining the status quo as it stands is not an option. Inaction will further heighten the issues of inequality and drive talent to other industries. The profession must recognise the impact unconscious bias has had, so we can achieve the necessary change





About HLB

HLB International is a global network of independent professional accounting firms and business advisers. Formed in 1969, we service clients through our member firms in 158 countries, with 29,363 partners and staff in 795 offices worldwide.

Learn more about us and tell us what matters to you by visiting www.hlb.global

HLB refers to the HLB International network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity. Please see www.hlb.global/legal for further details.

© 2020 HLB International limited. All rights reserved.

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HLB expands technology advisory services through the launch of HLB Digital

25 June 2020

LONDON– HLB, the global network of independent advisory and accounting firms, expands its technology advisory services through the launch of HLB Digital.

Playing a crucial role in HLB’s diversification plans, HLB Digital will be launched in emerging markets, with expansion plans on the horizon. With digital transformation playing a significant role in the rise of these economies, HLB Digital will provide new products and services to business leaders who want to capitalise on digital technology to transform their organisations, with a primary focus on cyber security.



Marco Donzelli, HLB CEO says: “The need for business leaders to be agile and adopt technological innovation has never been more important. Digital acceleration is one of the key strategic priorities identified in our Post-Pandemic Readiness Report, so the launch of HLB Digital is very timely. Through this new brand, we will collaborate with business leaders to help them embrace and utilise technology for business transformation.”

The launch of HLB Digital moves HLB closer to the vision of achieving our Shaping our Shared Future objectives and becoming a future-proof organisation.





About HLB

HLB International is a global network of independent professional accounting firms and business advisers. Formed in 1969, we service clients through our member firms in 158 countries, with 29,363 partners and staff in 795 offices worldwide.

Learn more about us and tell us what matters to you by visiting www.hlb.global

HLB refers to the HLB International network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity. Please see www.hlb.global/legal for further details.

© 2020 HLB International limited. All rights reserved.

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Business leaders still unprepared for the Post-Pandemic world

24 June 2020

LONDON – Global business leaders are still struggling to adopt greater agility to anticipate and mitigate the impact of COVID-19. That’s the key finding from HLB’s Post-Pandemic Readiness Report, which launched today.

At the dawn of the new decade, business leaders could not have foreseen the shock wave called COVID-19. Business transformation was not a priority, leading many organisations scrambling in the aftermath of the pandemic. As we move into the ‘New Normal’, companies are still not asking the tough questions needed to ensure they regain their competitive advantage. To drive this change, we identified five strategic priorities business leaders need to focus on to increase their post-pandemic readiness.

Commenting on the findings, Jim Bourke, HLB’s Global Advisory Leader, says: “The Post-Pandemic world will undoubtedly accelerate change. Re-writing the manual on how you do business is no longer an option. But for those business leaders that innovate and adapt quickly, and aren’t afraid to ask the tough questions, are the ones that will succeed in this new world.”

Digital Acceleration
COVID-19 forced businesses across all sectors to rapidly adopt technology-enabled processes to keep operations running remotely. Businesses that do not prioritise digitisation and the adoption of new technology will fall behind the competition and will not be able to keep up with the needs and demands of customers and employees alike. To succeed in the post-pandemic world, CEOs need to take a holistic approach to building a digital enterprise.

Workforce transformation
The future of work has changed forever and the well-being of your workforce now directly linked to business performance. In the post-pandemic world, interactions between people in both the physical workplace as well as via digital collaboration platforms must be adjusted to fit a more agile working model. CEOs must adopt and foster a flexible and open culture within their organisation for this to be successful.



Consumer acumen
Findings from HLB’s Global Survey of Business Leaders revealed that pre-pandemic, just 24% of business leaders planned to focus on customer acumen in 2020 to strengthen their business. But in a post-pandemic world, the wants and needs of customers is vastly different. With consumer spending in decline, B2C businesses, in particular, need to make sure their products, sales channels, customer service and brand messages meet the new demands of their customer base.

Cost management
The pandemic shed light on the importance of cash preservation and cost control. During times of change, the key to continued survival is the ability to quickly adapt to unanticipated disruption. Tough questions need to be asked about cost management and efficiency in order to optimise efficiency and productivity.

Supply chain reinvention
The pandemic has uncovered a variety of issues and inefficiencies in global supply chains. One common challenge is replacing or augmenting manual processes which are dependent on the action of individuals. Data analyses to inform procurement processes and decision-making on inventory requirements can be made more efficient through the use of digital technology.





About HLB

HLB International is a global network of independent professional accounting firms and business advisers. Formed in 1969, we service clients through our member firms in 158 countries, with 29,363 partners and staff in 795 offices worldwide.

Learn more about us and tell us what matters to you by visiting www.hlb.global

HLB refers to the HLB International network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity. Please see www.hlb.global/legal for further details.

© 2020 HLB International limited. All rights reserved.

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HLB expands its global reach and welcomes HLB Grenada

11 June 2020

ST GEORGE – HLB expands its global reach as it welcomes HLB Grenada.

Established in 2011, HLB Grenada is one of the county’s leading professional services firms with expertise in Audit, Tax and Advisory services. Its client base covers a variety of industries including hospitality, food, manufacturing, and construction. The firm’s office is in St George, the capital of Grenada.

 



HLB Grenada is led by Managing Partner, Hyacinth Jeremiah. Mr. Jeremiah is a forensic accountant and has over 30 years’ experience in the field of auditing, finance and business consulting. He says “I am excited to be a part of HLB and looking forward to working with everyone, especially in the aftermath of COVID-19. I believe that being part of a strong and dynamic international organisation is an important facet in delivering high quality service to our clients. HLB has the commitment, quality and international support to position HLB Grenada as the premier auditing and advisory firm in Grenada.”

Marco Donzelli, CEO commented: “We are pleased to welcome HLB Grenada. They share our commitment to providing tailored solutions to clients’ needs, so their expertise will not only benefit clients across the Caribbean region but worldwide.”

The addition of HLB Grenada continues our transformation and moves us closer to achieving our Shaping our Shared Future objectives.





About HLB

HLB International is a global network of independent professional accounting firms and business advisers. Formed in 1969, we service clients through our member firms in 158 countries, with 29,363 partners and staff in 795 offices worldwide.

Learn more about us and tell us what matters to you by visiting www.hlb.global

HLB refers to the HLB International network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity. Please see www.hlb.global/legal for further details.

© 2020 HLB International limited. All rights reserved.

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A message from HLB CEO, Marco Donzelli

2 June 2020

For the past few days, I’ve been thinking of the right way to express my concerns about the latest events of racial violence that have taken place in the USA and the undeniable wave of international responses following it. Racial inequality is wrong. It impacts all of us, regardless of our background or the country we live in. Division, uncertainty, misinformation, and misunderstanding are driving forces for disruption in today’s society.

At HLB, we practise a ‘together we make it happen’ philosophy. And while the global make-up of our organisation by default makes use divers, I recognise that we are not doing enough to be truly inclusive. So what can we do?

True to our philosophy, I believe we need to stand together to address the issues of our time and discuss what our role is in driving change within our organisation, our profession and our communities. How can we drive sustainable change around diversity at HLB and in our industry?

This week, I’ve held multiple conversation on inequality issues within the global team and I’ve reached out to managing partners within the HLB network to speak up and share their support. We stand together with our staff, clients and community to fight racial injustice and inequality.







About HLB

HLB International is a global network of independent professional accounting firms and business advisers. Formed in 1969, we service clients through our member firms in 158 countries, with 29,363 partners and staff in 795 offices worldwide.

Learn more about us and tell us what matters to you by visiting www.hlb.global

HLB refers to the HLB International network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity. Please see www.hlb.global/legal for further details.

© 2020 HLB International limited. All rights reserved.

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Leading technology consulting firm joins HLB

1 June 2020

MEXICO CITY – HLB, the global network of independent advisory and accounting firms, continues its strategic transformation with the recent appointment of its newest member firm, Grupo Cynthus, S.A de C.V.

Joining as part of the HLB Mexico Federation, Grupo Cynthus, S.A de C.V. is a leading provider of the following services: IT audit and assurance; Information security management, Business continuity, Risk management and Business analysis, with offices in Mexico City.

 



Gustavo Solis, CEO said: “We are very excited about our incorporation to HLB. This gives us the possibility to create important synergies and strengthen our service portfolio in the market. We consider it a strategic breakthrough of our trajectory and the beginning of a new and promising stage in our Firm”.

Abu Bakkar, HLB’S Chief Innovation Officer says: “We’re pleased to welcome Grupo Cynthus, S.A de C.V to HLB. As a firm at the forefront of technology-based consulting, they provide data-driven insights so clients can reach their maximum potential. Their expertise will not only benefit our clients in Mexico, but across the world.”

Ranked among the top 25 of leading IT consultancies in Mexico, Grupo Cynthus, S.A de C.V is a significant addition and moves HLB closer to its Shaping our Shared Future objectives.





About HLB

HLB International is a global network of independent professional accounting firms and business advisers. Formed in 1969, we service clients through our member firms in 158 countries, with 29,363 partners and staff in 795 offices worldwide.

Learn more about us and tell us what matters to you by visiting www.hlb.global

HLB refers to the HLB International network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity. Please see www.hlb.global/legal for further details.

© 2020 HLB International limited. All rights reserved.

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HLB and Validis announces strategic technology partnership

4 May 2020

LONDON – Continuing in its strategy of putting technology at the heart of its transformation, HLB announces a new strategic partnership with Validis – a leading accounting integration platform.

Validis provide an intelligent data pipe which digitally moves accounting data from SMEs to the advisors that service them. With digitization such a key focal point for the industry, this innovative platform is needed by accounting firms and their clients more than ever. This exciting new partnership will facilitate HLB firms in their continued digital transformations and aligns perfectly with the network’s strategy of transforming to a future-proof organisation.



Marco Donzelli, HLB Global CEO, says “We’re seeing how now more than ever the world is embracing digital technology. With things like remote working becoming the new normal, the efficiencies and impact technology can have on improving the quality of work is undeniable. For HLB firms, having the ability to access and manage business financials intelligently gives them a deeper insight into their clients and allows them to truly stand out as trusted advisors.”

Jim Bourke, HLB’s Global Advisory Leader, commented “This partnership will allow HLB firms to be in a better position to understand the stories that are embedded in the massive amount of data that we are currently exposed to. More importantly, we believe the use of Validis, in conjunction with the audit process, will help to improve the overall audit quality around the globe.”

James Foster, Business Development Director at Validis, says “We’re excited to support HLB. Given the current economic and social environment it is more important than ever that firms adopt digital ways of working. Our technology allows HLB firms to easily and instantly interrogate client financials without the need for manual preparation or on-site visits. A huge time saving for both the business and the firm and a large step forward on their digital transformation journey.”





About HLB

HLB International is a global network of independent professional accounting firms and business advisers. Formed in 1969, we service clients through our member firms in 158 countries, with 29,363 partners and staff in 795 offices worldwide.

Learn more about us and tell us what matters to you by visiting www.hlb.global

HLB refers to the HLB International network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity. Please see www.hlb.global/legal for further details.

© 2020 HLB International limited. All rights reserved.

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HLB appoints member firm in Bolivia

20 April 2020

LA PAZ – HLB, the global network of independent advisory and accounting firms, continues its growth with the recent appointment of its newest member firm, HLB Bolivia.

HLB Bolivia has its main office in La Paz and will soon open another office in Santa Cruz de la Sierra. While established in 2019, the partners of HLB Bolivia have over 20 years of experience in audit, outsourcing, Transfer Pricing, tax and legal consulting services. The firm is a member of the Forum of Interamerican Firms (FFI), InterAmerican Accounting Association (AIC) and its managing partner is a member of the Quality Control Commission of this international organisation.



Juan Carlos Tacachira, Managing Partner, says: “I believe that the positioning of a Firm depends on commitment, quality and international support. HLB has distinguished itself by its constant growth, and after 50 years of work it positions its brand with a good accompaniment of technology. Together we will make it happen. Our commitment is to integrate into the region and create collaborative relationships that contribute to the growth and development of the global network.”

With the addition of this new firm, HLB is continuing its strategic transformation and focus on the future. HLB Bolivia will strengthen the network’s expertise and coverage across the key economic market of Latin America.





About HLB

HLB International is a global network of independent professional accounting firms and business advisers. Formed in 1969, we service clients through our member firms in 158 countries, with 29,363 partners and staff in 795 offices worldwide.

Learn more about us and tell us what matters to you by visiting www.hlb.global

HLB refers to the HLB International network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity. Please see www.hlb.global/legal for further details.

© 2020 HLB International limited. All rights reserved.

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HLB appoints member firm in Mexico

8 April 2020

BAJA CALIFORNIA – HLB, the global network of independent advisory and accounting firms, continues its growth with the recent appointment of its newest member firm HLB FFA Consultores, S.C.

Joining as part of the HLB Mexico Federation, HLB FFA Consultores, S.C. is an accounting firm with offices in Tijuana Baja California. Founded in 2010, the firm has expertise in Financial Audit, Tax Consulting, Business Consulting, Payroll & Accounting Outsourcing, Tax Refunds, Transfer Pricing Advise and Social Security Advice.



Francisco Garate Estrada, Managing Partner said: “We are a group of professionals with over 25 Years of experience in diverse areas that form our professional consulting practice.
Being located along the Mexico border with the USA has allowed us to have a broad perspective in understanding our local and international client’s needs. We believe that this is what makes us different from the rest.”

With the addition of this new firm, HLB is continuing its strategic transformation and focus on the future. HLB FFA Consultores, S.C will strengthen the Mexico federation and enhance the network’s expertise and coverage in this key economic market.





About HLB

HLB International is a global network of independent professional accounting firms and business advisers. Formed in 1969, we service clients through our member firms in 158 countries, with 29,363 partners and staff in 795 offices worldwide.

Learn more about us and tell us what matters to you by visiting www.hlb.global

HLB refers to the HLB International network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity. Please see www.hlb.global/legal for further details.

© 2020 HLB International limited. All rights reserved.

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Marketing technology company, Brandworkz, partners with HLB to deliver global brand management platform

6 April 2020

LONDON – HLB, the global network of independent advisory and accounting firms, has selected marketing technology company Brandworkz to implement its global brand management solution. This exciting new partnership will enable HLB to continue establishing its global brand presence.

Strengthening the HLB brand is a key objective of HLB’s new strategy, Shaping our Shared Future, and Brandworkz will allow HLB to create greater brand consistency and provide meaningful experiences to its global community of stakeholders.



Marco Donzelli, HLB Global CEO, says: “Our brand reflects our commitment to not only our clients but to our people and its an important part of our new strategy. Since its launch, we’ve focused on creating opportunities to encourage the seamless adoption of the new brand throughout the network. Working with Brandworkz will further empower our people to take greater ownership of delivering the HLB challenger brand experience we have become synonymous with.”

Jens Lundgaard, Brandworkz CEO, said: “HLB were looking for a solution which would be easy for their member firms to adopt in order to implement the new brand and brand assets; we are thrilled to have been chosen to help deliver their mission of ensuring a consistent, high-quality client experience across their global network. We are very much looking forward to working with all the HLB teams and welcoming them as members of the Brandworkz client family.”





About HLB

HLB International is a global network of independent professional accounting firms and business advisers. Formed in 1969, we service clients through our member firms in 158 countries, with 29,363 partners and staff in 795 offices worldwide.

Learn more about us and tell us what matters to you by visiting www.hlb.global

HLB refers to the HLB International network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity. Please see www.hlb.global/legal for further details.

© 2020 HLB International limited. All rights reserved.

Get in touch

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HLB response to COVID-19

16 March 2020

With the number of COVID-19 cases increasing and responses from governments across the globe escalating rapidly, the wellbeing of our people is our priority. Last week, we decided to close our Executive Office and the HLB global team is now working 100% remotely. We are actively providing guidance and support to HLB firms on business continuity. To our 795 offices around the globe – regardless their geography – we recommend to offer staff the option to work from home where possible, suspend travel unless absolutely necessary, closely monitor advice from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and local authorities and respond accordingly.



This pandemic has a big impact on our network and our clients. As the situation will continue to unfold in the coming weeks, HLB firms will use collaborative technologies to continue to serve clients and help them navigate the current situation.





About HLB

HLB International is a global network of independent professional accounting firms and business advisers. Formed in 1969, we service clients through our member firms in 158 countries, with 29,363 partners and staff in 795 offices worldwide.

Learn more about us and tell us what matters to you by visiting www.hlb.global

HLB refers to the HLB International network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity. Please see www.hlb.global/legal for further details.

© 2020 HLB International limited. All rights reserved.

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