The world is changing. This applies to us as auditors just as much as it applies to our clients. What has been taken for granted for decades needs to be reframed and thought from new perspectives. Digitization has arrived in virtually every area of work. New business models are emerging, others are disappearing altogether. At the same time, competition is getting tougher in our globalized world. COVID 19 will change this world, but it remains to be seen in what ways. Issues such as sustainability and environmental social governance are increasingly coming into focus for investors, customers and other stakeholders. More than ever, Heraclitus' quote applies: Panta rhei, or everything flows.
We are experiencing these changes first hand together with our large and medium-sized clients in Germany and abroad (e.g. South East Asia, South Africa, USA, China and Europe). Ultimately, change is also a great opportunity for all of us. That is why we stand firmly by your side as a reliable partner, because: Our heart beats for innovative and international large and medium-sized businesses. We are more than just auditors. Our partners have often been CFO/CRO/COO and CEO themselves. We therefore know what is important in this competitive environment - and also how you can use this change for your benefit.
In the end, it's people who make the difference. That's why, despite increasing digitalization, personal contact with our customers, to us, remains as important as ever.
As auditors, we have a responsibility not only to our clients but also to society, because investors, banks, suppliers, customers and other stakeholders rely on our expertise. That's why integrity, independence and transparency are high on our list of priorities.
Nobody likes to be audited, which is why we approach our audits in a very structured way. However, clear and direct communication, transparency and language are important success factors for this efficiency.
Our clients include the classic German medium-sized company as well as the international group that is listed on the stock exchange. That is why HGB and IFRS are just as much a part of our toolbox as the auditing of capital market-oriented PIEs (public interest entities) and the associated supervision by BaFin or APAS.
We work internationally and use our personal network for this. This means that we usually know the local auditors personally and can thus bridge the cultural differences. For this purpose, we are always on-site in the respective countries within the scope of international audits.
In addition to the traditional audit of financial statements, our services also include transaction-oriented audits. For example, we regularly perform pro forma audits or audit reviews in the context of IPOs (initial public offerings) or bond issues, issue comfort letters or review contributions in kind in corporate transactions.
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Through due diligence, we create transparency in corporate transactions. We always consider different perspectives, e.g. legal due diligence, tax due diligence and financial due diligence. This is the only way to evaluate the risks and opportunities of the transaction, whether you are the buyer or the seller.
Often, as a first step, we conduct a "red flag" or "pre-sale due diligence" to identify "deal breakers" at an early stage. The focus here is on identifying value drivers. The results from this initial assessment are an essential and important basis for deciding whether or not to enter into further negotiations. In this way, due diligence can help to avoid costs and a bad investment at an early stage.
Regardless of whether investors are entering or exiting startups, such as venture capitalists, or in the context of selling a company, it is usually a good idea to have the transaction object put through its paces beforehand. Such a vendor or also seller due diligence not only secures the purchase price because problems can be solved in advance, but it also shows in which areas the acquirer may demand concessions.
Often we also help in the context of vendor assistance or are available to the potential buyers as informants. On the one hand, we critically review the documents for the data room and filter out contradictions. On the other hand, we create an escalation level.
Based on the results of the due diligence, we prepare company valuations in accordance with IDW S 1.
Our services also include
- Fairness opinions according to IDW S 8
- Impairment tests according to IDW RS HFA 10
- Impairment tests according to IAS 36
- Company valuations in the context of disputes
It doesn't matter whether you turn on the TV, look in the daily newspaper or surf the Internet. It is highly likely that you will come across a case of white-collar crime. It is not only about the big cases of the past such as air bookings at Wirecard, Diesel-Gate at VW, corruption at Siemens or Cum-Ex at Warburg Bank. Often, medium-sized companies are also affected, e.g. those that have fallen victim to a hacker attack or where financial resources have inexplicably disappeared.
Today, white-collar crime is therefore more than accounting scandals, embezzlement and/or corruption. Today, cybercrime, competition and antitrust law, fraud, money laundering and insider trading are just as much a part of it.
This is a very sensitive issue not only for companies. However, from our experience of cases at the classic medium-sized business up to the stock exchange listed corporation, we know that it happens and that discretion, transparency and determination are important factors for a successful clarification.
As auditors of PIE's (public interest entity) we are aware of the organizational requirements for a publicly listed corporation. The Management Board is responsible for establishing a functioning and appropriate internal control system. The Supervisory Board must monitor its establishment.
Although we are only required to audit the accounting-related internal control system and early risk detection system as part of the audit of the financial statements, the step to internal auditing is not far away.
For smaller stock corporations, the establishment of an internal audit department is often a question of cost. On the one hand, the costs are out of proportion to the workload of the internal audit department. On the other hand, the range of investigations is still too small.
However, internal auditing can also be outsourced. This gives them the advantage that experts can take care of central and current issues in their company. In addition, they also benefit from best practice, as we always support several companies in this regard.