International Associations to Form Larger Alliance

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Two major international accounting organizations, Mazars and Moores Rowland International, have agreed in principle to merge in 2007 as a larger, global association.

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Members of both organizations, which enable firms to practice overseas, are eligible to apply to PRAXITY, according to the U.S. CPA firm BKD, a member of Moores Rowland International (MRI). MRI is U.S.-based, while Mazars has been European-based.

The new alliance will operate under Belgian law as a not-for-profit specific foundation. This legal status, granted by royal decree, is expected to be in place by early 2007, when PRAXITY is formally introduced, BKD said. The non-profit foundation will own and register the name PRAXITY. William E. Fingland Jr., managing partner of BKD, and Jos Van Huut, a member of Mazars' executive board, will be PRAXITY chair and vice chair, respectively, according to BKD.

BKD, with headquarters in Springfield, Mo., one of the ten largest CPA firms in the US, is the largest member of MRI, and also owns Mazars Central, LLC, which provides services for the American divisions and subsidiaries of clients served by European-based Mazars.

MRI members have voted to dissolve MRI before March 31, 2007, which enables members to apply to PRAXITY. Mazars' application to PRAXITY is expected in early December, following a decision consistent with the organization's internal rules.

Van Huut said the new alliance will broaden opportunities for member firms. "The unique concept of the PRAXITY alliance offers significant and exciting additional opportunities to Mazars and the other quality firms within the alliance to cooperate and develop quicker and further,” he said.

Mazars has approvals to operate in 58 countries, with an integrated partnership in 38 countries. MRI's member firms have more than 560 offices in 87 countries.

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