UANI's "Accounting Campaign" highlights the practices of international accounting networks and associations with member or correspondent firms in Iran. The provision of accounting, auditing, risk and other professional services often creates a veneer of credibility and transparency that encourages foreign investment and masks the substantial risks for businesses entering the Iranian market.
In addition to lending a false sense of security that masks the kind of serious fiduciary and reputational risks that responsible businesses would otherwise refuse to accept, these Iranian service providers also commonly provide services for the Iranian government and blacklisted Iranian entities associated with the IRGC.
UANI’s 2016 letter-writing campaign has led to confirmations or announcements that the following accounting firms/networks are not active in Iran: Crowe Horwath, Nexia, Moore Stephens, GGI Geneva Group International. However, following the JCPOA, leading international accounting firms are considering renewed business in Iran. For example, in March 2016 it was reported that the ‘Big Four’ have been holding “discussions over either setting up offices in Tehran or otherwise commencing operations in the country.”
UANI began this campaign in the spring of 2010 by engaging the “Big Four” accounting firms reportedly active Iran at the time. In response to UANI’s campaign, KPMG severed ties with its Iranian member firm, and PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ernst & Young informed UANI that they had previously discontinued their business relationships in Iran.
In 2012, UANI’s campaign also succeeded in pressing the mid-tier international accounting firms Grant Thornton, RSM, Crowe Horwath, and Nexia to end their business in Iran.
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In June 2016, GGI confirmed to UANI that it does not have any members in Iran.