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Global Trader Magazine: Oleg Gladkikh comments on the Russian audit market

HLB has a good presence in the Russian Federation with four member firms in Moscow and St Petersburg — HLB Prime Advice Consulting Group, HLB PACC Audit, HLB Univers Audit and HLB Vneshaudit — and a fifth one of considerable size joining soon who will stretch the network’s presence to other Russian cities.

Oleg Gladkikh, Partner and Head of Audit Department at HLB Prime Advice (St Petersburg), who has witnessed dramatic change in the Russian audit market since the firm’s creation in 1996, tells us more about his firm, the Russian market and regional opportunities.

“HLB Prime Advice was created 17 years ago — that’s a long life for the Russian market,” he says. “We started as an audit-only company but now offer a full range of audit and tax, legal and consulting services in order to answer all the needs of our clients — mostly mid-tier companies (holdings) with total turnover up to $2bn. We work for all types of industries except for the banking sector and insurance companies. “The audit market in Russia is very young and constantly reforming, as is currently the case with the implementation of international accounting and audit standards. IFRS will be compulsory for many firms in 2015 which is a great opportunity for us as many firms are now preparing themselves for it and need our support.

“However though the Russian market offers numerous opportunities, we still face problems such as regulators’ pressure with the government using us to control cases of money laundering and corruption. There is also a dumping issue especially with companies with government ownership superior to 25% — these are tenders we try to avoid. “Doing business regionally is an opportunity for us as there are no language barriers and in some cases even custom unions in place. We can rely on our HLB counterparts in Eastern Europe and CIS countries to help us make the most of this regional potential.”

© Global Trader Magazine
Issue 8: Spring 2013