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Grant Thornton adds value to the business community of Azerbaijan by leading a two day seminar which provides actionable insights to FATCA.

Grant Thornton, a leading international assurance, advisory and tax firm hosted a conference on the 12th and 13th of May focused on Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), which set out to find how financial services institutions in Azerbaijan can meet the requirements of the new act.   The event which was hosted at the premises of the Central Bank of Azerbaijan brought together over 100 financial services representatives who were invited to attend the complimentary session which provided FATCA based insight.   Grant Thornton Azerbaijan facilitated and led the meeting which added value not only to their clients and people but also within the communities in which they live and work. This meeting was hosted as part of their corporate social responsibility initiatives.   The event highlighted the background and introduction to FATCA, definitions and classifications, requirements for foreign financial institutions, inter-governmental agreements, reporting, implications in Information Technology and Banking sector of Azerbaijan, key challenges in implementation by banks and the latest developments and IDES reporting.   Farouk Mohamed, Managing Partner of Azerbaijan stated “we as an organisation ensure that corporate social responsibility is at the heart of what we do. Adding value to our communities is extremely important and we are delighted to be hosting this two day meeting for the financial services community of Azerbaijan in collaboration with the Central Bank, Ministry of Tax and anti money-laundering authorities.”   The two day event concluded with the latest FATCA developments and with the audience taking away an influx of knowledge to further aid them in fulfilling FATCA compliance, policy, objectives and to further reduce the burdens on foreign financial institutions in Azerbaijan.

Family business and succession issues

Family owned businesses play a important part in the economy of Azerbaijan. In order for Azerbaijan to move forward it is essential for those family owned businesses to recognise how they can unlock the potential to grow.

Big name for a country with big ambitions

Azerbaijan’s high economic growth has been attributable to large and growing oil and gas exports, but some non-export sectors also featured double-digit growth,including construction, banking and real estate. Read further by viewing this insightful article.

Protecting the messenger: the vital role of whistle blowing in modern business

Corporate fraud and other business misconduct regularly hit the headlines worldwide; the CIS is not immune to such problems.

Time for a new direction: Fighting fraud in Construction

Fraud and corruption in the construction industry is so commonplace that it is often accepted as a cost of doing business. This is highlighted by a report that has been published by Grant Thornton following research carried out in Australia, Canada, India, the US and the UK.   The report suggests important lessons for many similar economies including those in the CIS. Urgent action is required to manage fraud and corruption risk in the construction sector. There are significant threats to both the finances of companies and their reputation, such threats also have the potential to hinder growth.

Grant Thornton named 'Best managed international firm'

The Managing Partners' Forum, a professional body that celebrates the value of leadership and management excellence, named Grant Thornton 'Best managed international firm.'  Judged by an independent panel of subject matter experts, the award recognises the strength of Grant Thornton’s global strategy and leadership, which has enabled Grant Thornton to lead the major global accounting networks in revenue growth the last two years. Ed Nusbaum, Grant Thornton global CEO, said, "I am delighted that we have been named 'Best managed international firm'. The award is a reflection of our clear focus on achieving our strategy, as well as the great work, collaboration and determination of everyone working for Grant Thornton globally. We have one clear strategy and I thank everyone at Grant Thornton for their commitment to making it a reality in each market." The award criteria focuses on six key areas: effective communication of the strategy; collaboration with external specialists and partners; positive impact on the client experience; enthusiastic employees living the firm's values; performance improvement and commercial success. The judging panel said, "Grant Thornton is faced with the formidable competition of the Big 4 accounting firms but has developed an ambitious five year strategy across 127 countries, with a view to both growing revenues and enhancing its reputation. In a difficult market the firm has achieved very significant levels of growth, a level of international co-ordination and integration and has now positioned itself as a strong and credible challenger brand in a very consolidated market." For a full list of award winners visit the MPF website. 

Grant Thornton reports 8.1% growth rate

Growth rate leads six largest global accounting organisations for second consecutive year Grant Thornton International Ltd. today announced record combined global revenues driven by 8.1% growth in US dollars (8.9% in local currency) for the year ending 30 September 2013. Grant Thornton led the six largest global accounting organisations in reported revenue growth rate in 2012, and now again in 2013. “While we are pleased to report strong growth results, our focus as a global organization remains unchanged in first providing high quality services to our clients and helping them unlock their potential for growth,” said Ed Nusbaum, CEO, Grant Thornton International Ltd. Workforce Workforce grew by 7.6% to 38,543 people in 134 countries.  Service line growth Assurance services grew 3.3% Tax services grew 1.8% Advisory services grew 20.2% Outsourcing services grew 18.8% Regional revenue growth North America revenues grew 5.9% Europe revenues grew 12.4% Asia Pacific revenues fell 2.1% Latin America revenues grew 16.1% Africa revenues grew 23.6% Middle East revenues grew 19.9% M&A growth Eight new member firms in Bangladesh, Dominican Republic, Eastern Caribbean, Ethiopia, Kyrgystan, Libya, Nigeria,  Tunisia. Thirty additional member firm M&A expansions in South Africa, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway Paraguay, Senegal, Taiwan, US, and the UK. Investing in our Communities - Corporate Social Responsibility Grant Thornton member firms have gone to great lengths to support communities through educational, charity, environmental and healthcare initiatives.  These have included: Global: Eradicating Polio -- Grant Thornton is proud to support Rotary International, in its campaign to eradicate polio. Since 1979, Rotary has reduced by 99% the number of polio cases. Led by the Chicago office, Grant Thornton people have been fundraising in their local offices to provide support to this campaign. Mexico: Supporting vulnerable people -- Grant Thornton Mexico supports the charity 'Fundación Fraternidad Sin Fronteras', that helps improve the lives of children, adults and the elderly who are homeless and have mental disabilities. The firm has worked with this charity for over 20 years and gives regular donations from money, to goods, to pro bono accounting and marketing work. Ireland: Inspiring young people to reach their potential -- Grant Thornton Ireland helps over 100 young adults from Trinity College, Dublin, as mentors and teachers to inspire and motivate the students to grow and to embrace their potential. These young adults come from non-traditional backgrounds who face barriers to entering higher education and professional development opportunities. Vietnam: Supporting Operation Smile (OSV) – Operation Smile provides free surgeries for children and young adults with facial deformities such as cleft lips and palate. Grant Thornton Vietnam has been providing financial and logistical support, as well as volunteers to the charity for over 12 years. Their support has helped the charity run more surgeries and more training for medical practitioners who support OSV to fulfill its vision of 'changing lives one smile at a time.' India: Grant Thornton India supports the Autism Centre of Excellence (ACE), an initiative of The Special Child Trust to transform the autism education landscape in India by building a not-for-profit centre for high quality research based education that trains teachers and educates children.  Its goal is to create a world class facility for individuals with special needs of all functionalities focusing on Autism and other developmental delays, providing a holistic education based on sound scientific principles and preparing them for maximum independence in the social environment. Investing in our People - Workplace awards Grant Thornton Canada named for sixth consecutive year as Great Place to Work. Grant Thornton US named to Crain’s Business Best Places to Work,’s “Accounting 50,” and Working Mother’s Best Companies. Grant Thornton UK named Best Provider of Internships and Placements by the Rate My Placement Awards, and 'Global Firm of the Year' at the British Accountancy Awards. A survey of more than 200,000 business and engineering students from 12 of the world’s largest economies named Grant Thornton one of the top 50 most attractive global employers, placing 35th.  The survey was conducted as part of the Universum Annual Student Survey.  In placing in the top 50, Grant Thornton is “distinguished as an ideal employer in the professional services sector.”

Grant Thornton continues growth with expansion in Japan, Italy, Paraguay, Bangladesh and Ethiopia

Grant Thornton announced expansion in Japan, Italy, Paraguay, Bangladesh and Ethiopia, following a number of additional successful mergers and acquisitions around the world in 2013. "We welcome these firms to Grant Thornton, joining more than 35,000 people in over 120 countries in our mission to help dynamic companies unlock their potential for growth," said Grant Thornton global CEO Ed Nusbaum. "We will continue to look for opportunities to better service clients, including future mergers and acquisitions with high quality organisations.” In Japan, Grant Thornton merged with Kasumigaseki Audit Corporation, previously the core audit service provider for Baker Tilly Japan, strengthening its audit capabilities in the country. The Kasumigaseki Audit Corporation is well established in its local market and brings a strong client list. In Italy, Ria Grant Thornton merged with the audit and assurance operations of local audit firm, Prauditing Srl, previously with the Moore Stephens network.   The merger adds more than 20 professionals to the firm, including two new partners, and revenues of around $1.9 million. The merger will also increase the geographical coverage of Ria Grant Thornton, adding offices in Verona and Vicenza. Grant Thornton Paraguay doubled in size following its merger with a former Baker Tilly member firm with strong experience in audit for the agribusiness, industrial and financial sectors. This was a strategic move which aligns with plans for Grant Thornton to be one of the top 5 accountancy firms in the region in future. In Bangladesh, a joint venture between Grant Thornton Pakistan and Howlader, Yunus & Co. has established an advisory services practice bringing together over 100 staff spanning two offices and offering services to a variety of industries including major banks, financial institutions public corporations and family businesses. Building on an already strong presence across Africa, Grant Thornton firms in Oman and Yemen merged with AW Thomas, a leading Ethiopian accountancy firm to create a new firm in the region. The new firm offers audit primarily with some tax and consultancy services. Earlier 2013 Grant Thornton expansion:  Grant Thornton US acquired the Oracle solutions business unit of Marketsphere LLC, an advisory firm with a team of 160 staff specialising in process and technology solutions. Grant Thornton UK acquired the financial services advisory arm of Navigant, enhancing its strength in the retail banking arena, and acquired the Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) business of Money Debt & Credit Group. Grant Thornton Canada acquired Breakwater Accounting Advisors LLP. The new team is well respected in its market and brings with it strong expertise in the mining sector. New member firm in Libya, operating under the name of Badi Chartered Accountants and Auditors, providing audit, tax and advisory services. PKF George office in South Africa merged with Grant Thornton South Africa.  The office has a history dating back more than 30 years and offers a wide range of audit and accountancy services that are provided by a team of 43 staff and four directors. Grant Thornton Luxembourg merged with PKF, effectively doubling the size of the Grant Thornton presence in the country. The combined firm will bring together 190 people and rise to number six in local market rankings. Grant Thornton Netherlands merged with consulting firm, ConQaestor offering a wider range of quality advisory services that will be delivered by a team of 400 specialist consultants. Grant Thornton Indonesia agreed to a strategic alliance with PT GNV Consulting Services, increasing strength and capabilities in Indonesia. Grant Thornton Senegal merged with Excellence Consulting Group, strengthening the firm's advisory capabilities and further establishing their position as a leader in the local market. Grant Thornton South Africa merged with Fintis and Rebahale to create an enhanced service offering for clients in the South African professional services industry. PKF Johannesburg merged with Grant Thornton Johannesburg, doubling that office size to more than 500 professionals and raising South Africa annual revenues 98 to 546 million South African Rand. Ria Grant Thornton (Italy) merged with TickMark, formerly with the Moore Stephens network.  The merger increases the geographic coverage of the firm, adding offices in Bergamo and Novara. Grant Thornton was named International Accounting Bulletin’s Network of the Year, largely based on leading the major global accounting organisations with growth of 10.4%, as well as strong thought leadership in the profession on critical global accounting issues such as lease accounting, revenue recognition, EU auditor reform, corporate governance and improving the auditor’s report.

Grant Thornton Azerbaijan's award-winning status

At Grant Thornton Azerbaijan we have been focused and dedicated on delivering value and success for our clients whilst supporting the development of the Azerbaijani people and economy. As a firm we are passionate towards our commitment for corporate social responsibility, which we will continue to invest in.   It gives me great pleasure to announce Grant Thornton Azerbaijan’s award-winning status as the 2013 winners of the ‘National Award for Corporate Social Responsibility’.

Grant Thornton named one of the Top 50 Global Business Employers

A survey of more than 200,000 business and engineering students from 12 of the world’s largest economies named Grant Thornton one of the top 50 most attractive global business employers, placing 35th.  The survey was conducted as part of the Universum Annual Student Survey. “We are honored by this award, and it is a testament to the 35,000 Grant Thornton people working in 120 countries who make Grant Thornton the firm that it is,” said Grant Thornton CEO Ed Nusbaum.  “One of our ambitions is to provide a workplace where our people can unlock their potential for growth at work, and also at home and in their community.” In placing in the top 50, Grant Thornton is “distinguished as an ideal employer in the Professional Services sector.” The rankings are based on the opinions of business and engineering students from top universities in the world’s 12 largest economies: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, UK and USA. The research was conducted by Universum, a leading global research and employer branding consultancy. To be considered in the World’s Most Attractive Employer Ranking, an employer must be in the top 90% of the Universum Ideal Employer ranking in at least 6 of the 12 largest economies. The results are then weighted based on the GDP of each market. Farouk Mohamed, Managing Partner of Grant Thornton Azerbaijan said, “this is a great accomplishment which supports our ambition to retain and attract the best people who can continue to add value to our dynamic clients.” Earlier this year, Grant Thornton was named International Accounting Bulletin’s 2013 “Accounting Network of the Year,” largely based on leading the major global accounting organisations with growth of 10.4%, as well as strong thought leadership in the profession on critical global accounting issues. 

Corporate Social's much more than good-will

Farouk Mohamed, Managing Partner of Grant Thornton Azerbaijan discusses Corporate Social Responsibility in Consulting and Business Magazine. 

Driving economical growth in Azerbaijan

Farouk Mohamed, Managing Partner of Grant Thornton Azerbaijan discusses driving economical growth in Azerbaijan in Impact Magazine.

Global survey finds reversal of fortune in superpower business sentiment

Global survey finds reversal of fortune in superpower business sentiment.  New research from Grant Thornton’s International Business Report (IBR), a quarterly global business survey of more than 3,200 businesses in 44 economies, reveals a dramatic reversal of fortunes for business leaders in the world’s two largest economies. While US businesses are feeling more confident about growth in their operations and the economy, optimism amongst peers in China has slumped to the lowest level recorded in IBR history. The IBR reveals that US business optimism climbed to net 55% in Q2, up from 31% in Q1, and the highest level recorded since 2005. This improving sentiment flows through to US business growth expectations; net 59% expect to see revenues climb over the next 12 months, up from 46% in Q1, and 48% expect profits to grow, up from 42% three months previously.   By comparison, business optimism in China fell to just net 4% in Q2, down from 25% in Q1 and the lowest level since 2006 (when businesses were first interviewed in China for IBR). Chinese businesses are less confident about increasing revenues (down from net 72% in Q1 to 60% in Q2), exports (29% to 15%) and profitability (69% to 42%) over the next 12 months. Ed Nusbaum, global CEO at Grant Thornton, commented: “The divergence in the data is relative in that China is coming off a big high and the US off a deep low. Ultimately global growth prospects would be best served by a strengthening of both markets but broader macroeconomic trends are feeding into business sentiment. "In the US, the Federal Reserve recently suggested it could wind up its programme of quantitative easing by this time next year if the economy keeps improving. Meanwhile rising house prices, increased construction starts and continuing strong stock market performance are helping to boost both business and consumer confidence. "By contrast, China's economy is slowing. Exports grew by just 1% in May due to weakness in key markets such as the EU. And the new leadership appear eager to rein in credit growth with fears that a housing bubble is building. The downside of course is that this reduces the spending power of businesses and consumers and the People’s Bank of China has since had to inject liquidity into its banking system last month to stave off a credit squeeze."  Global business optimism holds as Japan and UK rally  An improvement in G7 business confidence in Q2 balanced out a slide in that of the BRIC economies. In the UK, business optimism climbed from net -1% in Q1 to 34% in Q2, whilst sentiment in Japan turned positive for the first time in IBR history, rising to net 8% fuelled by the stimulus and reform measures of the new leadership, dubbed 'Abenomics'.  Eurozone business confidence remains fragile however, sliding to net -8% in Q2, down from -2% three months previously. Mirroring China, business sentiment dropped in the other three BRIC economies, meaning G7 business optimism (32%) climbed above the BRIC average (23%) in Q2 – another first in IBR history.    Sample IBR is a survey of both listed and privately held businesses. The data for this release are drawn from interviews with 3,224 chief executive officers, managing directors, chairmen or other senior executives from all industry sectors conducted in May 2013.

Grant Thornton named International Accounting Bulletin's Network of the Year

Grant Thornton has been named the International Accounting Bulletin's 'Network of the Year' at an award ceremony held in London. Ed Nusbaum, global CEO of Grant Thornton, said of the award win, "I am proud of this award, but all credit goes to over 35,000 Grant Thornton people in more than 120 countries for their commitment and hard work in providing high quality services to our clients and in helping them unlock their potential for growth.” 2012 saw Grant Thornton grow faster (10.4%) than the other largest global accounting networks and provide thought leadership on critical global accounting issues such as lease accounting, revenue recognition, EU auditor reform, corporate governance and improving the auditor’s report. The award, which was judged by an independent panel, was based on a firm's ability to demonstrate their strength across a number of key areas including: evidence of top-level network-wide audit quality; a strengthened position in strategically important markets; and strong industry leadership. Farouk Mohamed, managing partner of Grant Thornton Azerbaijan, said "Grant Thornton has a strong reputation globally for helping dynamic businesses and this award demonstrates our consistent and high level of expertise across key areas such as evidence of client satisfaction and strategic positioning." “In Azerbaijan our personal services are tailored to each client's needs as we strive to help them unlock their potential. We offer services such as Tax, Advisory and Assurance and provide clients with hands-on support and actionable advice."

More women making it into senior management roles - but mature economies lagging behind

To mark International Women’s Day 2013 on 8 March, new research from the Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR) reveals that globally, more women are making it into senior management roles than at any time since 2010. However, progress is slower in the G7 group of developed economies, where economic performances have been stuttering, than in the high growth economies of Asia and the Far East. Grant Thornton urges businesses in developed economies to emulate emerging market counterparts and reap the benefits of having more women in senior positions. IBR data shows that globally, 24% of senior management roles are now filled by women. This is up from 21% in 2012 and 20% in 2011. However, the G7 economies are at the bottom of the league table with just 21% of senior roles occupied by women. This compares to 28% in the BRIC economies, 32% in South East Asia and 40% in the Baltic States. Farouk Mohamed, Managing Partner of Grant Thornton Azerbaijan commented: “The pioneer economies where economic growth is high have greater diversity in their senior management teams. Women are playing a major role in driving the world’s growth economies, bringing balance to the decision making process and the smooth running of their companies. In comparison, the mature economies of the G7 are now playing catch up. They need to wake up to gender disparity and add this crucial ingredient to long-term growth and profitability.” Japan (7% of senior roles occupied by women, the worst performer), the UK (19%) and the USA (20%) are in the bottom eight countries for women in senior management. These economies are also experiencing low levels of growth, with GDP in Japan (1.9%), the UK (-0.1) and the USA (2.2%) in 2012 all modest. In contrast, top of the table for women in senior management is China, with 51%. GDP growth for 2012 there is expected to be between 7-8%. The top 10 also contains the growth economies of Latvia, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines.   About the International Business Report (IBR) The Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR) provides insight into the views and expectations of more than 12,500 businesses per year across 44 economies. This unique survey draws upon 21 years of trend data for most European participants and 10 years for many non-European economies. For more information, please visit: Sample IBR is a survey of both listed and privately held businesses. The data for this release are drawn from interviews with 6,627 businesses from all industry sectors across the globe conducted between November 2012 and January 2013. The target respondents are chief executive officers, managing directors, chairmen or other senior executives.

Grant Thornton reports 10.4% growth rate, leading the six largest accounting organizations in revenue growth for 2012.

Grant Thornton announced record combined global revenues of US$4.2 billion driven by 10.4% growth in US dollars (18.8% in Euros, €3.2 billion) and 13.2% in local currency for the year ended 30 September 2012. Grant Thornton led the six largest global accounting organizations in reported revenue growth for 2012. “While we are proud of this accomplishment, I know our people will say the true measure of our success is how well we served our clients,” said Ed Nusbaum, CEO, Grant Thornton International Ltd. “By this measure, I am confident in saying it was a very good year and something we will build upon. Our continued ambition going into 2013 is to be recognised as the leading provider of high quality, professional services to dynamic organisations, helping them unlock their potential for growth.” Workforce Workforce grew by more than 14% to 35,809 people in 124 countries.  Service line growth Growth was strong across all key service lines, with assurance growing 11% to US$1.9 billion, tax growing 9% to US$0.9 billion and advisory growing 18% to US$1.1 billion. Regional revenue growth Middle East revenues increased 18% to US$30 million. Asia Pacific reported revenue growth of 33% to US$579m, boosted by significant M&A activity in Australia and China. India reported strong organic growth of 25%. Latin America reported revenue growth of 20% (26% in local currency), to US$146 million. Brazil reported 38% growth. North America growth was 7% (8% in local currency), with revenues of US$1.77 billion. European revenues grew 8% (13% in local currency) to US$1.58 billion, with Austria, Denmark, Germany, Greece, and Poland, all reporting growth of 20% or more. Grant Thornton UK reported 13% growth.


Grant Thornton Azerbaijan is a member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd (Grant Thornton International) which is one of the world's leading organisations of independently owned and managed accounting and consulting firms. These firms provide assurance and specialist business advice to privately held businesses and public interest entities. Services are delivered independently by the member and correspondent firms within Grant Thornton International, a non-practicing, international umbrella entity organised as a private company limited by guarantee incorporated in England and Wales. Grant Thornton International does not deliver services in its own name or otherwise. Grant Thornton International and the member firms are not a worldwide partnership.