PKF hotelexperts
PKF hotelexperts Munich

About us


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:

  • 1869 W. H. Pannell & Co. founded in London
  • 1911 Harris, Allan & Co (later Harris, Kerr & Co) founded in New York
  • 1923 W. J. Forster & Co founded in New York
  • 1933 Harris, Kerr & Co merges with W. J. Forster & Co
  • 1935 Start of hotel consulting operations in New York, later also in other cities of the USA
  • 1948 The first foreign branch opens in Belize
  • 1968 Merger of Harris, Kerr, Forster & Co. (New York)
  • 1969 Merger of the four international accounting firms Pannell, Fitzpatrick & Co. (England), Harris, Kerr, Forster & Co. (USA), Campbell, Sharp, Nash & Field (Canada) and Wilson, Bishop, Bowes & Craig (Australia), and foundation of a joint venture open for further member firms
  • 1974 Hotel consulting office opens in Toronto, later also in Vancouver
  • 1974 Hotel consulting office opens in London
  • 1976 Hotel consulting office opens in Munich
  • 1980 Member firms world-wide change their name to Pannell Kerr Forster
  • 2000 Pannell Kerr Forster changes its name to PKF
  • 2003 PKF grows by almost 100 % including the Polaris network
  • 2003 Hotel consulting office opens in Shanghai
  • 2004 Hotel consulting office opens in Vienna
  • 2005 Hotel consulting office opens in Dubai