Accountants bid for influence at World Economic Summit.

ICAEW president Graham Ward has predicted increasing globalisation will force tax harmonisation up the political agenda, but will bring problems for businesses and individuals.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, at the weekend, Ward said the process would mean root and branch reform to national tax regimes which could take up to 20 years, leading to problems caused by uncertainty.

Ward and other accountants were out in force at last weekend’s meeting of senior global business leaders.

Rubbing shoulders with the likes of Microsoft’s Bill Gates, pictured above with Sony’s CEO Nobuyuki Idei (right) and Vivendi’s Jean-Marie Messier, senior figures from Big Five firms took the opportunity to launch initiatives and lunch dignitaries.

As protesters took to the streets in nearby Zurich having been barred from Davos, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu chief executive Jim Copeland spoke of the ‘frightening development’ of public protest against business globalisation.

The firm also took the opportunity to unveil its research on new management concepts.

KPMG’s international chairman Steve Butler led a five-strong delegation.

Senior partners from Arthur Andersen, Ernst & Young and PricewaterhouseCoopers also attended.

For details on Deloitte’s relationship portfolio research see

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