Other congress

• Dutch Baker Tilly International member firm Berk has initiated
some aggressive tactics in the war for talent. At the third annual
European SME/SMP congress in the Netherlands this month, managing
partner Hans Koning said Berk hired a portable video wall and
visited Big Four firms during office hours to play a video
advertisement in an attempt to entice people to work for the
mid-tier firm. Koning said about 80 percent of new Berk staff come
from the Big Four. “I tell you, the people that come from the Big
Four are very well educated and we thank them for that,” he

• As long as liability is how it is now, there will be no
innovation within the industry, Deloitte Netherlands chief
executive Roger Dassen told the SME/SMP congress. The president of
the Koninklijk Nederlands Instituut van Registeraccountants, Willem
van Wijngaarden, concurred. “I want to be able to do my job, I want
to accept some risk, but not at the risk of bankruptcy,” he

• European Grouping of International Accounting Networks chair
David Maxwell told the SME/SMP congress that by the time they meet
next year the term ‘network’ might have a regulatory meaning. “Or
several,” he quipped. In a workshop on networks and networking,
there was widespread uncertainty as to what constituted a network.
“One regulator may say you’re not a network, another may say you
are,” Maxwell said, adding that ‘network’ has to do with liability.
FEE SME/SMP working party member Jens Poll suggested the issue is
not so much the network definition, as how a firm presents

• Delegates at the SME/SMP congress were asked to voice their
agreement or disagreement on several statements. The suggestion
that just because they are small, SMEs should not be automatically
exempt from the expectation that they should have to demonstrate
they are responsible corporate citizens, was met with widespread
support; only two delegates disagreed. Most delegates disagreed
with the suggestion that auditors working for SMEs cannot compete
with other financial service providers because of too many
restrictions. The suggestion that SMEs need advisers, not auditors,
met with a mixed response – about half agreed and half

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