Merger places local accounting firm among 'big four'

BY SHAMILLE SCOTT Business reporter scotts@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

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LOCAL accounting firms UHY Dawgen Chartered Accountants and Paul Goldson and Company have merged.


The union will provide value-added consultancy and auditing services to both companies' customer base, according to Dawkins Brown, managing partner at UHY.


"It is common practice in the accounting profession for firms to merge to achieve economies of scale and to acquire new talent that gives them an immediate coverage in the marketplace," said Brown.


UHY is currently in the mid tier in the accounting market, in terms of size.


A merger of this nature will put them among the "Big Four" which includes PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte and Touche and KPMG, according to Brown.


Though both are chartered accounting firms, Paul Goldson primarily offers auditing services while UHY provides services such as corporate restructuring, business and share valuation.


Combined, the firm will have four partners and 60 employees. And unlike many mergers, the arrangement won't lead to a reduction in staff, but rather 17 new employees will be hired within the first 12 months.


Paul Goldson will operate under the UHY Dawgen brand and will be a member of UHY International, a network of independent accounting and consulting firms in 82 countries with locations in the United States, South America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, and Africa as well as Asia Pacific.


"Our Jamaican entity will be significantly bigger in size, with more efficient staff training," said Brown.


Paul Goldson's office on Oxford Road will be kept in addition to UHY's existing offices in Kingston, Mandeville, Ocho Rios, and Montego Bay.


Partner at Paul Goldson, Lisa Cousins said, the merger with UHY Dawgen will lead to the combination of complementary sets of audit and tax-led specialist skills, giving additional breadth and depth to our service offering.


"We will offer our clients access to a wider range of services across Jamaica, and internationally," she said.


Paul Goldson and Company's existing partners, Denis Goldson and Lisa Cousins as well as an associate, Prunella Vassell, will remain with the merged entity.


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