Understanding the US market: Russell Bedford attends AICPA Engage in Las Vegas

June 2019

Russell Bedford's raison d'être is to support our members’ global business objectives. Enhancing our brand presence is critical to achieving this goal and to the success of our growth strategy and delivering upon our promise to take our members further.

As the world’s largest market, developing our business in the US is always high on our list of priorities. In an effort to enhance our presence in North America and in support of our growth strategy, Russell Bedford attended one of the largest accounting conferences in the world, AICPA Engage, held in Las Vegas, USA in June. 

With around 4,000 attendees, in an exhibition hall of around 92,000 square feet, featuring the profession’s best technology and services, AICPA Engage is the place to be for reaching ambitious firms with aspirations to go global but remain independent.

Business development in a market as large and as competitive as in the US is not easy. Speaking with firms the length and breadth of the US, the resounding feeling that we found from listening to firms is a belief that their client base is mainly contained in the US, with little international focus. But are they right?

Why should a client tell you about their business aspirations in Australia if they know you only perform locally? Wouldn’t it be more likely for a client to engage with a firm who they know can help them in a particular area of specialism or in the region in which they need support? And most importantly, are firms losing business by not having the capability to support their clients when they do need international support, and a marketing opportunity to acquire new clients, by not being part of an international network?

Having surveyed and talked to several firms at AICPA Engage we learned two important lessons:

  1. Firms realised that they are in fact losing current clients who are present in and/or expanding into other countries because they don´t have the option of grabbing the phone and calling a colleague from another part of the world for support, and
  2. That they are losing potential new clients to firms who do have international capabilities and an existing international brand presence.

Talking about the event, Russell Bedford CEO, Stephen Hamlet, said: “It’s all about connections. The relationships built enable sharing of knowledge and learning that promotes growth and, above all, TRUST in people who can assist with any client’s global needs.” 

He added: “With increased globalisation, relationship building becomes essential. Without those connections, you won’t be able to adequately serve those clients who are expanding and will be in danger of losing that relationship to a bigger international firm. You may not realise the real need to belong to an international network until it’s too late!” 

If you’re a CPA firm and would like to learn about the benefits of belonging to our network, please contact us at

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