PKF in Eastern Africa

About Us

History of PKF International

PKF stands for William Henry Pannell, Erroll Kerr and William J. Forster. Between 1869 and 1923 they established their own companies in New York and London, merging to form PKF in 1969.

P” stands for William Henry Pannell. Born in England in 1843, Pannel was apprenticed to the London-based partnership Hart, Brothers & Co. In 1869 he set up his own accounting firm, W.H. Pannell & Co.

K” designates Errol Kerr. After emigrating to New York from his native Scotland, Kerr teamed up with the British businessman William Harris in 1911 to found the accounting firm Harris, Allan & Co. (later known as Harris, Kerr & Co.). The original office was located in the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Madison Avenue.

F” stands for William J. Forster. Born in New York, Forster worked briefly for Harris, Allan & Co. before setting up his own firm, W.J. Forster & Co, in New York. In 1933 Forster amalgamated with Harris, Kerr & Co. to form Harris, Kerr, Forster & Co.

August 1869 William Henry Pannell sets up his own accounting firm, W.H. Pannell & Co, in Girdlers Hall, London
March 1885 Now a qualified legal clerk, Pannell goes into partnership with William Hardy.
May 1942 Pannell & Co. amalgamates with two other firms (Crewdson, Youatt & Howard and Lewis, Hardy & Co.) and later adopts the name Pannell, Crewdson & Hardy.
December 1948 The first overseas office is opened – in Belize, Central America.
May 1963 Pannell, Crewdson & Hardy merges with Fitzpatrick, Graham & Co. In 1967 the company’s name is shortened to Pannell, Fitzpatrick & Co.
October 1969 The four accounting firms Pannell, Fitzpatrick & Co. (UK), Harris, Kerr, Forster & Co. (USA), Campbell, Sharp, Nash & Field (Canada) and Wilson, Bishop, Bowes & Craig (Australia) amalgamate to form an international network which is open to additional member firms.
September 1980 Member firms around the world agree to use the name “Pannell Kerr Forster” for the network.
January 2000 Pannell Kerr Forster is renamed “PKF International”. The company’s registered office is in London.
November 2000 Pannell Kerr Forster decides to abbreviate its name to “PKF”, as these three letters have become firmly established in the marketplace.
November 2001 UK turnover exceeds £100 million for the first time.
January 2003 PKF International virtually doubles its business volume following the announcement that Polaris North America is joining the network.
January 2008
PKF becomes a full member of the “Forum of Firms”
Today The PKF International (PKFI) network has member firms and correspondents in 385 locations in around 125 countries providing accounting and business advisory services. PKFI member firms have around 22,500 staff.

Since its inception the network has grown continuously and reported an overall turnover of $2.52 billion aggregate fee income (year end June 2013).