PKF (Pannell Kerr Forster) was the first company to offer specialized consulting services for the hospitality industry and conduct relevant financial surveys and benchmarking.
P stands for William Henry Pannell, who founded his own CPA firm in London, W. H. Pannell & Co, in 1869.
K stands for Errol Kerr. Together with his partner William Harris, he founded the New Yorker CPA firm Harris, Allan & Co in 1911 which was later renamed Harris, Kerr & Co. The first office was located in the Ritz-Carlton-Hotel on Madison Avenue.
F stands for William J. Forster who founded the company W. J. Forster & Co in New York in 1923. In 1933, the company merged with Harris, Kerr & Co to form Harris, Kerr, Forster & Co.
In the 1920s, William J. Forster developed the Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry (USALI), thereby substantially influencing the hospitality industry. This department-oriented accounting system is still in use in all large hotel companies worldwide and also increasingly by small, private hoteliers. As the undisputed industry standard it provides the basis for almost all financial statements and forecasts in the hospitality industry.
The following summary gives a brief overview of the history of PKF: