International cooperation: meet, connect and share

International cooperation: meet, connect and share

Winter 2020/2021

To provide businesses with the best possible international support, Joanknecht is a member of PrimeGlobal, an association of independent accounting and business advisory firms around the world. This autumn, Joanknecht hosted a group of European colleagues. After a very long period of online communication, they were able to meet in person, connect and share best practices. There was plenty of positive energy, which was clearly felt during all sessions and activities.

Following on from the engaging presentation delivered by Thierry Delvaux, Executive Director of EMEA, exploring PrimeGlobal’s strategic themes for the upcoming year, we were keen to hear more about these topics, so we sat down with Thierry to discuss the strategy and the future of PrimeGlobal further.


”Our dream is to connect 27,000 professionals over the world that really know each other”


The past year has been an exciting time for PrimeGlobal, with the introduction of two major changes. “Firstly, we transformed our governance model to become a staff driven organisation,” Thierry explains. “Secondly, we started to build the PrimeGlobal Strategy 2021-2025, which was finalised in June this year. We used the broad input of our member firms and it was an extensive process but I am so proud that everything seems to work out so well: the decision-making process, the way we handle major projects, communication with our members, and the way we created the ability to listen to the needs of our member firms.”


”Understanding your company’s facts and story makes the difference. Investigate what you are, not what you want to be”


Building connections

What makes PrimeGlobal different from other worldwide associations is an easy question for Thierry. “People who choose PrimeGlobal consciously choose to do international business and to get engaged. They really want to go out there and build international connections.” There is one thing in this international cooperation that Thierry values a lot. “Working together with people from different cultures in such an environment is like receiving a gift. People change opinions and beliefs by listening to others. It is a learning process. Never pretend that you know the truth or think you are right. The more you listen to others, the more you start broadening your view.”

Cultural differences

For clients, it is extremely valuable to build and maintain a connection with the accounting and advisory firm they are using – it is not just about facts and figures. PrimeGlobal equips its members to build robust relationships with their clients across the globe, and to understand each one’s unique needs. “Through these cultur-al experiences, our members know how to deal with people, how to make people feel comfortable. At PrimeGlobal, we more or less highlight the beauty of cultural differences. Our members show their clients that they know how to deal with specific issues in that country. When members can make use of each other’s best practices, this supports their clients’ successes.”


”We share a common culture that supports each other’s success”


90 virtual events in 90 days

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an enormous impact on many areas of our lives, and it has been almost impossible to meet in person over the last two years. What was PrimeGlobal’s experience of the COVID-19 pandemic? “For PrimeGlobal as an organi-sation itself, the impact was low. The staff have already been working from home for many years. For our member firms, however, it has been a challenge.” There was only one way left to build connections: online. From March to May 2020, PrimeGlobal organised 90 virtual events in 90 days. “COVID-19 has sped up the trend of digitalisation. It forced many people to immediately do something that was planned for years ahead. That was amazing!” During the pandemic, PrimeGlobal were also delighted to be named Association of the Year 2020/21 at the International Accounting Bulletin Digital Accountancy Awards, recognising PrimeGlobal and their member firms’ collective effort to support business-es when they needed it most.

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