KPMG Finds its Name Brings Unexpected Rewards

Back in 1987, KPMG's leadership team chose to name the firm KPMG in recognition of its principal founding members (Klynveld, Peat, Marwick and Goerdeler). Little did they know that fifteen years later, this same name would help open doors in India, thanks to a registration sought by a local group of Indian chartered accountants named Kapadia, Perrera, Makhijani and Girish.

The Indian nationals want to use the trade name KPMG, and they want to work as an associate of KPMG Consulting. According to the New Delhi Financial Express, the registration must be approved by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI). A decision is expected this month, but it will be a difficult one with unexpectedly high stakes.

If the registration is approved, it may provide the global KPMG with access to markets that have for decades been dominated by local firms, explains the Financial Express. Under ICAI's rules, only Indian accounting firms can practice in India, and the firms are supposed to bear the names of the proprietors or partners of the firm. The registration sought by the Indian nationals complies with the letter of the law, but not the spirit of the law. If ICAI approves the registration, KPMG will become the first global audit firm to get an indirect entry into the auditing profession in India since 1984. Alternatively, if ICAI rejects the trade name, it could face litigation before a high court.

KPMG's Web site says that KPMG India was established in September 1993 and has offices in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kolkata. The Web site also says KPMG India offers its clients a full range of services, including assurance, tax and regulatory, consulting, and financial advisory services. However, the Financial Express reports that KPMG's existing presence in India is through KPMG India Pvt Ltd (investment banking activities) and KPMG Consulting (management and consulting), while chartered accountancy firm Bharat S Raut (audit and tax) is a part of its domestic and international network for auditing.

-Rosemary Schlank

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