Consulting arm of KPMG Kuwait accepts its first payment in Bitcoin

05 January 2018 Consultancy-me.com

KPMG Kuwait has accepted its first engagement in bitcoins. KPMG’s Digital Consulting Services group provides a range of services focused on new technology including Digital Customer Experience, Data and Analytics, Robotic Process Automation, and BlockChain technology which enables cryptocurrencies to function.

Global professional services giant KPMG has announced that its office in Kuwait will now accept bitcoin payments in return for a number of services. The Big Four firm currently provides audit, tax, and advisory services in the Middle East region, while the firm’s Digital Consulting Services Group provides a range of services focused on new technology including digital customer experience, data and analytics, robotic process automation, and BlockChain technology, which enables cryptocurrencies to function.

Cryptocurrencies have become increasingly popular among the major professional services world in recent months, with KPMG being the third member of the Big Four to accept bitcoin. EY Switzerland was believed to be the first advisory firm in the world to accept the currency in its Swiss banking office, even installing a bitcoin ATM in its facilities in the European nation. The firm was swiftly followed by competitors PwC, who began accepting bitcoin payments in their Hong Kong practice.

Consulting arm of KPMG Kuwait accepts its first payment in Bitcoin

Bitcoin’s actual value remains in a tumultuous state of flux, but generally seems to be increasing, following a staggering recent price rise to another all-time high of almost $18,000 on the Bitstamp exchange on 15th December. The cryptocurrency’s worth clambered upward by almost 80% in December alone, putting it on track for its best month in percentage terms since December 2013 – and leaving it a hot-topic for many investors at the turn of the year.

KPMG’s Kuwaiti office took its first payment in the topical currency from ‘Yallabit.com’, a cryptocurrency enabled customer and online bitcoin trading platform. The client is typical of a new generation of creative local business enterprises who are making use of new technology to differentiate themselves in the market. By beginning to accept the currency, KPMG believes it has demonstrated its commitment to assisting local entrepreneurs through various customised solutions.

“KPMG is a customer-centric organisation that seeks to adopt solutions that match the evolving business models of our clients,” said Donald Teale, Head of Management Consulting at KPMG.

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ACCA hosts conference on technology in the Middle East finance sector

29 March 2019 Consultancy-me.com

The ACCA has hosted a regional conference on technology and innovation in the Middle East finance sector, with the inaugural event featuring leaders from Grant Thornton, Accenture, and Deloitte among a range of speakers.

Following its recent women in finance forum in Dubai, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) has hosted its inaugural Techovate Regional Conference, bringing together senior ACCA members and key stakeholders to discuss the impact of technology and innovation on the finance sector in the Middle East – with some of the region’s leading consultants among the speakers.

“In a bid to eradicate the myth and preconception of technology, we have been working on distilling the impact which technology will have for our members and wider commercial society, alongside aligning our approach to the regional innovation strategy which will see the UAE become the smartest in the world by 2030,” said ACCA Middle East director Lindsay Degouve de Nuncques.

Degouve de Nuncques’ opening address was followed by a keynote presentation from Accenture’s MENA digital lead Xavi Anglada (who also appeared at the recent World Mobile Conference as well as last year’s Artificial Intelligence Week in the Middle East) – who prior to joining Accenture served as the CEO of Cash Credit, a Delta Partners-backed fintech start-up providing micro-finance services.ACCA hosts conference on technology in the Middle East finance sectorOther speakers from the consulting realm included Deloitte Middle East senior Audit & Assurance partner Cynthia Corby (last year named by Forbes as one of the 100 most influential women in the Middle East), and Grant Thornton Transformation Advisory Partner George Stoyanov, who spoke on unlocking value through tech transformation and big data, AI and analytical benchmarking.

A near twenty-year consulting veteran in the region, with extensive experience in corporate governance, risk management and internal audit serving the financial services industry, Stoyanov prior to joining Grant Thornton in 2017 was a director in EY’s financial services advisory division out of Abu Dhabi, before which he served as a director with PwC’s Risk Assurance Services practice in Kuwait.

Attendees also heard from Joy Ajlouny, who together with BCG alumnus Idriss Al Rifai co-founded Fetchr, as well as Pierre Arman, Market Development Lead for Tax and Accounting with Thomson Reuters, Mansoor Sarwar, a director with enterprise software firm Sage, and Sayd Farook, a doctor in behavioural economics and adviser to the office of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

“Great discussions on how technology and digital are disrupting the financial services industry at ACCA Techovate Conference in Dubai,” wrote Anglada in a follow-up post on LinkedIn. “From an inspiring and personal view from Joy Ajlouny throughout her entrepreneurship journey, to the visionary PoV on innovation from Sayd Farook, helping shape Dubai's future, to many other key leaders in the banking space.”