Sloan Partners now has a global feather in its cap, thanks to membership in a prestigious international network, KS International. KS International is an association of independent professional service firms located around the world who provide clients with a range of accounting, consulting, legal and taxation services.
The network brings worldwide members firms’ technical skills and expertise within easy reach of each other. But the real upside is for Sloan clients. Anyone doing business (or contemplating doing business) outside Canada can benefit from accessing country-specific accounting and tax expertise, business contacts and connections, by tapping into KSI firms around the world.
How does KSI work?
“Let’s say there’s a Sloan Partners client who is a business owner in Toronto. He wants to establish a branch in Latin America or wants to expand into the Brazil market,” explains Sloan Partner, Chris McFetridge. “Maybe he wants to become familiar with tax laws, registration and regulatory laws in Brazil. Rather than him hunting for a local accountant on his own, we can find him a KSI partner and get recommendations of specialists in Brazil… Similarly, businesses who want to expand in Canada can be referred to Sloan Partners through KSI. It’s an excellent way to link professionals in other countries with each other.”
Chris, for one, knows all about international business. He has lived all over the world, from Perth, Australia to Hong Kong and all across Canada, from Vancouver, British Columbia to New Brunswick, finally settling in Toronto. And so, over time, he came to realize that his interactions with various nationalities required some cultural navigating. By way of example, newcomer business people in Canada are sometimes unaware of Canadian bureaucratic practices, and often perplexed by how we do things.
“They’ve come from the other side of the ocean where governments work differently, for example, and they’re sensitive about the amount of information disclosed in the files, and that takes getting used to. That’s probably a function of what they’re used to in their home country.”
The KSI connection means that Sloan Partners can help international clients understand how to do business in Canada.
“KSI gives us global representation, so we could service clients that have international aspirations. They need to find out what’s going on in other countries that they might do business with, or expand to,” adds Sloan Partner, Jerry Paskowitz.
Sloan Partners can now also facilitate connections for a Canadian company seeking to do business in another country, when a local “hands-on” expert is needed for financial and business matters.
“Let’s say a Canadian business is investigating a foreign partner, supplier, for potential acquisition or investment. We might be able to have somebody on the ground, in that foreign country, who could do some background checking, find out a little more about the company, who runs it, who owns it, how it does business. Our affiliate can facilitate that due diligence, and provide services to them in that country.”
Not just anyone can join KSI, cautions Jerry. There were many criteria that Sloan Partners needed to fulfill in order to be accepted to the network. Qualifications included the size of the office, the number of staff, expertise available and the breadth and depth of services.
“Being an accountant isn’t enough. They want to know about your practice, what kinds of clients you have. They want to know the industries you service, education and qualifications of partners.”
Sloan Partners holds the distinction of being the only Canadian accounting firm in the KSI network.
“It gives us a point of differentiation,” adds Jerry, “We’re players on a larger stage. If you do need international connections we have them available.”
Jerry Paskowitz and Chris McFetridge are partners at Sloan Partners LLP with over 50 years of combined experience in accounting, financial and tax matters.