Two of the Big Four accounting firms are leaving Russia and Belarus. PwC’s Russian clients would be Sberbank, Gazprom and the Central Bank of Russia.
PwC and KPMG announced they were halting operations in Russia and Belarus amid ongoing attacks on Ukraine.
The two accounting giants both announced the decision on Sunday. Deloitte and EY – the other two “Big Four” accounting giants – have not yet said whether they are leaving Russia.
PwC and KPMG are both global networks of individual firms that are separate legal entities, a structure required to comply with laws stipulating that audit firms must be locally owned and independent.
“Following the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian government, we have decided that under these circumstances PwC should not have a member firm in Russia and therefore PwC Russia will leave the network,” said PwC. statement says. PwC Russia has approximately 3,700 employees across 11 cities in Russia.
Sberbank and Russia’s central bank have both been targeted by Western sanctions, aimed at hampering the Russian economy. PwC did not immediately respond to Insider’s question about whether these companies were among its clients.
PwC is also pulling out of Belarus, where it has a team of 25 employees, according to the Financial Times.
PwC said it would undertake an “orderly transition” and focus on the welfare of its staff at PwC Russia. His Russian company noted in her own statement that although she was leaving the PwC brand, she was “confident” in her business.
KPMG said in a declaration that its businesses in Russia and Belarus, which together have more than 4,500 employees, would leave the KPMG network. He told the Financial Times it would be finalized within days.
KPMG said ending its working relationship with these employees was “incredibly difficult” but that “this decision does not affect them – it is a consequence of the actions of the Russian government”.
“We are a purpose-driven, values-driven organization that believes in doing the right thing,” he added.
Severing ties with their Russian partners allows accounting giants to avoid falling under sanctions against Russia due to the work of their Russian partners, who could have been targeted by the Kremlin had they complied with the sanctions, reported the Financial Times.
McKinsey and company said on Thursday that its Russian offices would remain open but that it would not take on new clients and that it would stop working with government and public entities.
“After the end of our remaining engagements in Russia, all customer services in the country will be suspended,” he said.
Accenture said on Thursday he was ceasing operations in Russia, where he has 2,300 colleagues, as Boston Consulting Group said Friday it was suspending work with Russian clients but its Moscow office was still open.
Deloitte and EY did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment on whether they were pulling their operations in Russia and Belarus.