The Audit, Advisory & Tax Specialists – An Interview with Dennis Gauci from KSi Malta
KSi Malta has established itself as one of Malta’s leading audit, tax, and advisory firms, boasting a wide range of services and a portfolio of both local and international clients
Being tech savvy is very important in the iGaming industry, but it is equally important to make sure that your company is legally compliant with tax laws. We sat down with Dennis Gauci, Partner at KSi Malta, to get an insight into how his firm operates and its connection in the industry.
KSi Malta advocates for a participatory relationship between all of its team members and clients, so as to involve all relevant parties in all the processes that directly contribute to a client’s business objectives.
The company is also a member of a number of recognisable international networks. These include Morison KSi, a global association of leading professional service firms, and IAG International, a non-profit worldwide network of accountants and lawyers.
Dennis Gauci joined KSi Malta in February 2008, and was appointed as a partner in 2010 where he manages all information and communication technology related matters. Having graduated in Information Technology from the Malta College of Arts, Science, and Technology, Dennis has also received certifications from renowned companies such as Microsoft, CISCO, and Linux.
Like many successful firms, KSi Malta can trace its origins to humble beginnings in the early 80’s, when founder Mr Joseph Gauci obtained his warrant as a CPA (Certified Public to become one of the first warranted auditors in Malta. Mr Gauci then quickly and successfully managed to become a Director at Deloitte (UK), and subsequently a Partner at Grant Thornton (Malta). He was also appointed to various roles by several local companies including Enemata and Malta Drydocks, and also as a consultant to government departments and ministries.
Later on in his career, Mr Gauci set up KSi Malta, which is a member rm of Morison KSi, a global association with members present in 80 countries that generate a turnover in excess of $1 Billion. Mr Gauci wanted to foster the notion of family values within the firm, by placing this at the forefront of the code of conduct. According to Dennis, KSi Malta continues to have the same approach to its clients now as it did when it was founded.
“We treat clients as members of our extended family, and our directors are available to them on a 24/7 basis. KSi Malta has been a successful rm as it listens attentively to the needs of its clients, advising and tailoring our work to suit their requirements wherever possible. This has given KSi Malta a very competitive edge over its contenders, allowing us to build long-lasting relationships with every client that we make.”
With over 30 years of experience, the rm has been developing its services in a sustainable manner, and in response to market opportunities which other major competitors were not fulfilling. In fact, Dennis indicated that this growth “has resulted in outgrowing our premises capacity twice due to the firm’s growth in its client portfolio. In fact, we are currently in the process of refurbishing new premises to include state-of-the-art facilities for both staff and clients alike. It is likely that this will coincide with the second generation of this family run firm, that includes myself and my brother Bernard Gauci, both current partners at KSi Malta”.
Regarding his work at KSi, Dennis joined the firm in 2008, and has since changed roles to now become the main person that is in charge of various sections within the firm that include iGaming. This constituted the firm’s ongoing relations with the iGaming industry, which they had already been servicing in 2008 through the provision of various local services including auditing of financial statements and tax planning, and by providing assistance to foreign multinationals that wanted relocate to Malta.
“It came naturally that the firm’s services evolved to offer a one stop shop solution to gaming companies, and I happened to gain more interest in the subject itself. In fact, we now offer legal, licensing, payroll, secretarial, company formation, Tax, Auditing, VAT, assistance with Banks, PSP’s, Data Centre’s, and hardware procurement amongst many other services.”
“Presently, my job mainly consists of assisting clients in getting licenses to operate from Malta and other jurisdictions. I act as a point of reference for our clients in relation to other services they might require, and I also lead a team of 4 people within the Compliance and Risk section.”
Over the years, KSi Malta has acquired considerable expertise in Financial Crime, Anti Money Laundering, and Banking Relations which are indeed the greatest challenges this industry is facing and for which the company is constantly updating itself in order to be able to service its clients in the best possible way.
The iGaming industry has changed significantly in the past decade, and Dennis has also noticed this shift ever since he started working at KSi Malta. In fact, accounting for the fact that this industry now constitutes around 10% of Malta’s overall GDP, Dennis feels that it is a clear sign that the MGA is constantly adapting to changes and consulting with all stakeholders to keep Malta at the forefront of this sector.
In terms of challenges, according to Dennis the greatest ones his clients face include VAT Laws, 4th AML Directive, and Cryptocurrencies, as well as the competition Malta is facing from new emerging jurisdictions. However, this is also a positive for KSi Malta, as “clients are using our expertise and international network to assess target markets, profitability, and growth.”
“Advice that we always give to new clients is to have a solid business plan with sustainable growth. We also suggest to them to invest heavily in human resources, especially within research and development departments. This would allow them to have that competitive edge in their products, improve their services, come up with effective marketing, and last but not least improve customer retention.”
But while KSi Malta is already an established firm, they still operate in a very competitive sector. Asked about his company’s specialisation, Dennis advocated for KSi Malta’s focus on services that include Forensic Accounting, Accounting, Auditing, Compliance, Payroll, VAT and Tax, including cross-border implications.
“We also take complete of personnel’s on-boarding process to Malta. Therefore, we can assist clients on contract drafting, work permits, residence application, Tax registration, and so on. Assisting clients in relation to such obligations enables them to shift their focus on expanding their operations and improving the quality of their product. This has proven to be successful with our current client portfolio, and in fact KSi Malta is investing heavily in personnel training and in business intelligence software to be able to meet current and future demand.”
When it comes to looking ahead, KSi Malta is also considering a proactive approach towards Blockchain and Cryptos, especially one the new government policy is launched.
“KSi Malta firmly believes that a proactive approach is necessary to ensure success in any eld, and this is even more important when new instruments such as Blockchain and Cryptos are involved. Our firm’s involvement in the gaming industry is obviously piqued by the upcoming legislative changes to handle the introduction of cryptocurrencies such as ‘bitcoin’.”
Furthermore, Dennis argues that KSi Malta also has an added interest since it operates in the field of financial services, so they also give their input to local institutions from a professional point of view. All the company’s personnel regularly attend conferences related to this subject to help them keep abreast with changing procedures and to be prepared once the policy is legalised.
“We truly believe that if Malta manages to legalise such services and find the right balance between gaming and financial services, it will retain its position as the number one gaming jurisdiction in Europe whilst retaining its position as one of Europe’s best financial centres.”