FTI Consulting and Desai Haribhakti take on Big 4

29 December 2014 Consultancy.uk

Business consultancy firm FTI Consulting is teaming up with India’s home grown auditing giant Desai Haribhakti, joining forces to give the Big Four more than just a run for their money in corporate investigations.

FTI Consulting and Desai Haribhakti are joining forces in forensics, or corporate investigations. Competition is fierce, as it stands, the Big Four - EY, KPMG, Deloitte and PwC - are leaders, both globally and locally in India, while smaller operations, like BDO, Kroll and, Grant Thornton, further developing their presence in the Indian niche market.

The move by FTI Consulting and Desai Haribhakti to consolidate their international and local expertise is in part a response to a wider change in the Indian accounting landscape, with India’s new Companies Act introducing a law that all Indian companies must change their auditors every 10 years. This means Indian companies will be looking to improve their corporate governance and looking to employ forensic service providers to check on their businesses health, over the coming years.

FTI Consulting and Desai Haribhakti take on Big 4

"The Indian forensics market is growing rapidly and would only expand from here, given the government's stress on corporate governance. The risk of fraud is increasing and private equity players, which invest in Indian companies, are increasingly asking for a forensic audit before an investment," says Anuj Bugga, managing director at FTI Consulting. It is not only FTI and Desai Haribhakti responding to the changes, with international peers like Grant Thornton and BDO too looking to consolidate their presence in India’s changing business advisory environment.

For Desai Haribhakti this is the second team-up in as many years, formed in April last year from Haribhakti & Co and DB Desai & Co – then India’s two largest accounting firms. Now with the combination of the local knowledge of Desai Haribhakti's with FTI Consulting’s international outlook, the joint business will be able to set its sights on competing with the Big Four at their level. With the introduction of the Companies Act and the increase in competition for the resulting demand, year-on-year growth for forensics is estimated to exceed 15%, thus being well situated locally and internationally in the market will be important for the long term profitability of both companies.

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