You can add Mazars to the list of global accounting firms with offices in both Ukraine and Russia that have denounced Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and pledged to support their colleagues in Ukraine—financially and via other means. But unlike PwC, KPMG, EY, Deloitte, Grant Thornton, and BDO, Mazars doesn’t seem to be planning a move out of Russia in protest of the invasion anytime soon, saying in a statement, “We are also conscious of the concern and distress of our 500 staff in Russia, also victims. They face dreadful uncertainties, and we continue to support them.”
In the firm’s statement, Mazars Group CEO Hervé Hélias said:
It has been over a week now that we have been horrified by the dramatic and shocking events following the invasion of Ukraine by Russian state troops, which have led to a serious war situation in Europe. A week where we have watched our staff running from their bombarded office or homes to find a shelter; or escaping with their children and families to reach neighbouring countries where other Mazars colleagues offer hospitality. We are appalled by the humanitarian tragedy and the major threat this violation of international law poses to peace in Europe and beyond.
Throughout the week, we have kept in contact with our Ukrainian teams and tried to help them in every way that we can. Mazars stands strongly against an indefensible war, which brings only death, fear, pain, uncertainty, and distress. Everywhere.
As many other companies, we are trying to navigate the devastating consequences of this war and to do the right thing.
Protecting our staff and their families was and remains our priority. We have set up a permanent direct line of communication to our 120 local staff based in Ukraine. We immediately provided them with finance and are working with Mazars colleagues in neighbouring countries to welcome and support those who have escaped: organising transportation, accommodation, providing psychological and legal support, helping families with job searches, and providing spaces in our offices for our staff to work. And we have made the commitment that our group will support our Ukrainian staff whatever it costs.
We are also conscious of the concern and distress of our 500 staff in Russia, also victims. They face dreadful uncertainties, and we continue to support them.
Ensuring the continuity of our clients’ vital operations. Amazingly, despite the terrible conflict, our Payroll Outsourcing team in Ukraine organised to deliver pay to all of our clients’ staff, so that each and every individual has some resource for immediate needs. They have been heroic, and we cannot express our admiration enough; we truly admire their courage and professionalism. Others in the team have also sought to continue their services wherever they can.
Internationally, Mazars complies with all applicable sanctions and we have taken the appropriate actions. We also assist our international clients to assess the impact of this war on their operations.
But Hélias concluded his statement by saying the firm’s status in Russia could change as Mazars is “learning and making critical decisions every day, always with the aim of supporting our people and continuing to serve our clients the best we can; willing to do the right thing.”
Is this enough? Certainly not. This is not a situation we predicted, nor one we are used to dealing with. We are learning and making critical decisions every day, always with the aim of supporting our people and continuing to serve our clients the best we can; willing to do the right thing. The world will not be same after this tragic escalation. The consequences on international business are huge and not easy to foresee. There will be decisions to make. We will try to make the right ones, and at all times put the wellbeing of our people first.
Mazars opened in Russia in 1995 and has offices in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and Togliatti. The firm has two offices in Ukraine—one in Kyiv and the other in Lviv—and has had a presence in that country since 2003.