Integra Membership - FAQ
How old is the association and how did it develop?
Integra began as two completely autonomous groups unbeknownst to each other – one in Europe and the other in North America. The motivation for its inception was the need for local accounting firms to provide an alternative to the big 4 as their clients grew in the expanding international world of commerce. In addition, independent practitioners needed a forum to discuss their operations in a noncompetitive arena. However, most existing associations already had member firms in the major business centers, thus colleagues started contacting friends who contacted other friends until a nucleus was formed and an organizational meeting was held.
The European and North American groups heard of one another at similar stages of development. They decided to explore cooperation and eventually formal links. Both associations agreed in 1996 to adopt the same name and the Atlantic Ocean was spanned. The group has continued to expand with members in South America, Asia, India, Africa and Australia/New Zealand, as the need for a more global business vision and environment continues to grow.
What does it cost to join?
A one time membership fee applies as follows;
• AAA section: USD $1,000.
• EMEIA section: EURO €1,500.
What are the annual dues?
• AAA section: USD $4,000 (billed in advance each January and June; prorated upon initial membership).
• EMEIA section: EURO €2,000 (billed in advance each January).
What are the requirements to be a member?
• Each firm must have at least 6 professionals (North America only) wherever possible. Some market areas have either only smaller firms or the big 4, in which case exceptions are made. Member firms generally do not exceed 150 employees, most are about 30 employees.
• Each firm must agree to actively participate in the association by attending at least one conference each year and by responding promptly to any requests from other members.
• Each firm must pay the annual dues on time.
Does Integra conduct peer reviews?
Many of our members are registered as qualified peer reviewers in the USA. It is permissible to have one Integra member review another but it is not mandatory.
How does Integra ensure only quality firms are allowed to join?
Upon receipt of an application form, the executive committee assigns an existing member the responsibility of performing a due diligence review which includes a visit to the applicant's office, interviews with the partners, and a review of a sample of working paper files. Upon completion of the due diligence, the responsible member reports his findings and makes his recommendation to the executive committee.
Does Integra provide any training?
Formal professional development remains the responsibility of each firm. All members are encouraged to meet the standards of their respective governing body. At each conference a significant portion of time qualifies for professional development and certificates for continuing professional education are issued.
Does Integra provide any marketing material?
Each firm is supplied with a supply of our Members' Handbook and International Directory which has been designed and written so that it can be used whenever Integra's international connections may have an influence on the client proposal being presented. An initial supply of 15 books is supplied upon admittance to membership.
Also available at no cost is a power point presentation that highlights the advantages of joining Integra. It is meant to be used whenever a member is assigned a due diligence review of a prospect new member or at trade shows and conferences.
Integra has its own web site www.integra-international.net and each member's individual web site is linked to it. The opposite is also true – each member's web site is linked to the Integra International web site that immediately demonstrates the international capacity of each firm. The web site is maintained at no additional cost to each firm.
Does Integra have any referral fees?
All referrals of business between members are done directly between firms, with the firms agreeing to specific arrangements.
How does each member know the services that the other members provide?
Each member firm has their services listed in our directory.
What is the Integra Intranet?
It is our "World wide communications and productivity tool" available at no cost to all members. It is used for polls, discussions, e-mail, web links, tasks, appointments etc. It provides instant communication amongst members. Guests can visit our intrAnet to view certain non-confidential features by clicking on www.integra-international.webexone.com.
Does Integra provide technical assistance in terms of Auditing & Accounting Standards?
Technical assistance is available at any time from other members. The expertise of each member is listed in our database. In addition, ample time is available at each conference for firms with special interests to meet and discuss technical issues.
Does Integra have its own code which must be followed by the members?
No, each member firm remains independent and conducts it's professional affairs as it always has provided professional standards for it's jurisdiction are maintained.