Deloitte and Touche
Deloitte and Touche
Deloitte is one of the world’s leading professional services firms, operating throughout many countries across the globe and focussing on making an impact that matters. As part of the CIS practice, Deloitte operates from offices in four major cities in Kazakhstan and is one of the few firms there, aiming to provide a full range of services to public and private companies spanning multiple industries, including audit, tax, legal, consulting and financial advisory services. In addition to being the managing partner of Deloitte for the Caspian Region, Mr. Mark Smith is also the Chairman of the European Business Association in Kazakhstan.
Deloitte Kazakhstan is predominantly locally staffed and of 390 employees, only 10 are expats. “We invest a lot of time and money into our staff to ensure we turn them into leaders. The purpose of us being here is to train them with the aim of eventually eliminating the need for expats,” as Mr. Smith explains. Deloitte also has several CSR initiatives in Kazakhstan and more recently completed a large-scale project on environmental studies, in which the tax and legal team were employed to analyse the effects of environmental damage and the implication it can have on taxes.When it comes to volume of business, audit comes top, as Mr. Smith explains, “We audit many of the major companies in Kazakhstan.” This includes the state rail company ‘Kazakhstan Temir Zholy,’ as well as the leading four banks in the country. Other high-profile services provided by Deloitte include tax and legal support for a number of oil and gas companies. “We tend to be strong in the advisory services in the gas industry and even stronger in audit services towards the financial services industry, the transportation industry and mining,” explains Mr. Smith. The audit and valuation services do most of their business with local companies. Other service lines, such as tax, accept more work from international clients. Mr. Smith adds, “I would say about 80% of companies are local companies”.
The long-term objectives for Deloitte are to continue to grow and have a stronger presence in Kazakhstan. Mr. Smith expects that there will be greater demand for niche, customised services, “higher value services and level of sophistication of our clients have changed and will continue to change. This has already been the case, particularly in the last 8 years as our clients have begun to seek internationally based services.”
Mr Smith concludes, “The country is starting to realize that it has to play on its strengths, which are logistics, agriculture and massive amounts of fertile land. There is potential and the right steps are being taken by showing that Kazakhstan is open for business.”