From the 21st through the 24th of June, WS+B made a historic trip to Cuba to meet and work with accountants from our firm’s HLB affiliate in Cuba, Interaudit, S.A., and to learn about business opportunities emerging from the broadening of commercial contacts between the Republic of Cuba and the United States. The trip was a first for a Mid-Sized, American accounting firm and came about as a result of an invitation that was extended to our firm by Interaudit’s parent, Cuba’s Ministry of Finances & Prices.
Those Traveling to Havana were Dave Springsteen, head of the firm’s National Tax Practice, Kimberlee Phelan, head of the firm’s International Services Group and Richard Ingunza, staff accountant with our New York office.
While in Havana, the group held a day and a half of working sessions with manager’s from Interaudit’s audit and tax groups. The team learned about Cuba’s system of accounting, reporting and taxation and taught our Cuban counterparts about the auditing and tax business in the United States. The group also had the privilege of meeting with economists from the highly respected Center for the Study of the Cuban Economy during a lunch arranged by Interaudit at Cuba’s iconic Hotel Nacional.
The team held meetings with Canadian businesspeople and Canadian businesses during the remainder of their trip. The group met with officials at the Canadian Embassy, bankers from Republic Bank Limited and National Bank of Canada, real estate professionals from CEIBA Property Limited and the managing partner for EY’s operations in Cuba.
Most remarkable was the graciousness of the group’s Cuban hosts and, of course, the sea of historic cars; many times more spectacular than what was expected.