Firms face full cost of US tragedy.

As New York began its painful return to work this week, firms were left counting the human and physical costs of the terrorist atrocities.

Accenture, the management consultancy firm, said 12 of its staff, including two UK employees, were still unaccounted for.

PricewaterhouseCoopers confirmed five US employees were among the 264 passengers and crew who died on board the four hijacked US planes.

And it is believed one Deloitte & Touche employee is still missing in New York.

Other firms, including Ernst & Young, Andersens and KPMG have not reported any casualties.

Mid-tier firms PKF, BDO and Grant Thornton, which all have offices in New York, also confirmed they had not been directly affected by the attacks.

All would have had UK staff seconded to their New York operations.

An Accenture spokesperson declined to give any further details on the consultants lost in the attacks. In a statement, the firm said: ‘We will not release the names of these employees until we have unambiguous information about them. Until then, we are continuing to monitor the situation very closely.’

Deloitte’s main office in New York was destroyed when the two towers of the World Trade Centre collapsed an hour after the attack.

The offices were at 2 World Financial Centre and the 3,000-plus staff have now been relocated. The firm had moved out of the World Trade Centre after a bomb attack in 1993.

It is understood one employee is still missing, but a spokesperson would not confirm any casualties until a staff roll call had been completed.

The employee is not believed to be British.

In London, the International Accounting Standards Board said it had adjourned its meeting for a day last week as a mark of respect.

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