The former head of the Polaris accounting association has started a new association of independent accounting, legal and consulting firms known as Abacus Worldwide.

The association does not have any members yet, according to president and CEO Julio Gabay, but he is looking to attract small firms. Gabay was formerly executive director of Polaris International until last year, when it merged with IGAF Worldwide and Fidunion to form IGAF Polaris, which is now known as PrimeGlobal (see 3 Accounting Associations Merge to Form IGAF Polaris and Firm Association IGAF Polaris Now PrimeGlobal).

“I formerly ran Polaris International and worked with them for 10 years, and then it merged with IGAF,” Gabay told Accounting Today in an interview Thursday. “I worked with them for a year to make sure the merger went smoothly, and I wanted a new challenge. I decided to venture off and start my own association. I just launched the Web site, the name, the Twitter, but I have zero members.”

“It’s a strange launch,” he admitted. “The major difference is that we’re not just coming out with accounting firms, but also law firms.”

He estimates that there are somewhere in the neighborhood of 40,000 small firms that could be enticed to join his new association. “That’ a market we’re looking at,” he said. “Some markets like New York, Los Angeles, Miami and London will attract much larger firms, but there some locations that the firms may not be able to get into, so I think there’s room for us to expand. That’s why I created this thing.”

The group’s mission is to focus on developing lasting connections to build a trusted network of like-minded quality firms. The association will facilitate referrals, benchmarking and growth to its members. The goal is to assist member firms in meeting client needs locally and internationally.

Abacus is seeking accounting and law firm members in the U.S., Canada, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and the Asia Pacific region.

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