In order to grow and keep up with the times, you need to keep learning so that you are able to serve businesses in increasingly specialised sectors, which usually have specific needs. For example, Grant Thornton Baltic has got its foot in the door in auditing the financial statements of companies seeking to go public. Although the first time often doesn’t go as well as you would like it to, the opposite was true for Grant Thornton.

Mart Nõmper explains: “Starting to serve listed companies had been part of our strategic plan for a number of years. For both the audit firm and the company going public, this means additional due diligence. That’s why we also had to make changes to our own organisation so as to be ready to serve listed companies. Then we got a lucky break: one of our clients, the property developer Hepsor, decided to list its shares on the main list of the Tallinn Stock Exchange and entrusted us with auditing its reports. Hepsor’s successful debut on the stock exchange in November 2021 also drew attention our way and helped us find other similar clients.”

Another advantage of this was that cooperation with leading Estonian law firms which began as a result of the Hepsor project paved the way for tandem continuation on similar work in the future.

Grant Thornton Baltic contributed to the stock exchange debut of property developer Hepsor by auditing the company’s financial statements. Pictured: Kaarel Ots, Head of Nasdaq Tallinn and Andres Pärloja, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Hepsor, on Hepsor’s first day on the stock exchange in November 2021. Photo: Andras Kralla / Äripäev / Scanpix

Several heads are better than one

Since the early days, the principle of the audit services at Rimess and later Grant Thornton Baltic has been that every client is dealt with not only by the auditor and their team, but also by a partner with considerable experience.

That doesn’t mean the partner will do substantive audit work with every client; it would not be possible to do so in terms of time, given that there are four audit partners and Grant Thornton Baltic carries out 500-600 audits per year, which means that there are around 150 audit projects per audit partner. However, a partner attends the meeting with the client’s management, keeps abreast of the most important issues as the work progresses, gives advice and support to the audit project manager and their team of two or three members, and finally issues the auditor’s decision.

But one thing is certain: working collectively gives greater assurance that the auditor’s decision is correct and that nothing has been overlooked: several heads are always better than one.

The audit team at a Christmas party at the former NO99 theatre on Sakala Street in January 2020.