National accounting and advisory network UHY Haines Norton has added a new Melbourne office, with local firm Cohen Fasciani joining the Australian and New Zealand network.

UHY Haines Norton chairman, Michael Coughtrey, said Cohen Fasciani had a strong synergy with the member network and would strengthen the firm’s national and international offering.

“In such a competitive marketplace, mid-tier accounting networks are finding it difficult to attract new members who can underpin the expertise of the wider group while aligning with the core values of our firms.

“It’s testimony to the strength of our UHY Haines Norton brand and our UHY International network that we’ve attracted such an outstanding Melbourne firm.”

Managing Partner of Cohen Fasciani, Selwyn Cohen, said the firm had expanded significantly since it began in 1994 and had been exploring opportunities to extend the strengths of the growing Victorian practice for some time.

He said networks consisting of mid-tier firms with a strong localised presence offered a competitive advantage against bigger rivals because clients still want the benefits of a closer relationship with their advisors.

“We were looking for a network that matched our offerings in a number of areas, including personalised client service and outstanding technical expertise.

“Our clients will benefit from the knowledge and resources of the UHY Haines Norton firms, as well as having access to international offices in the countries where our clients operate.”

Mr Coughtrey said that the new Melbourne office was the beginning of further expansion plans for the UHY Haines Norton network across Australia and New Zealand in 2017.