The history of auditing probably began about 3,000 years ago in Babylon. During excavations, archaeologists discovered audit ticks on stone tablets, which were presumably intended to document the audit of an inventory. Even at that time, the target value according to bookkeeping was compared with the actual inventory in reality. For 75 years now, we have been committed to this comparison of the target and actual situation.

The target situation indicates the optimum, whether it is a legal requirement or an optimum that corresponds to personal circumstances and ideas. The subsequent comparison of this target state with the actual state has, since the establishment of our firm, opened up the question: How can the best possible state be achieved for our clients? Thus, the question always arises from legal and regulatory framework conditions, but also from the ideas of our clients in the field of auditing and tax legislation: How can we achieve the best possible results for our clients?

Prof. Otto Heinrich Zacharias already followed this maxim in Cologne, when it was influenced by post-war confusions. During that time, he founded a tax consultancy firm in which, from the very beginning, personal, competent and trusting client care was the focus of activities.

The admission of Josef Demmer as a partner resulted in the current name of the firm, Zacharias & Demmer. In line with the requirements of the time, the range of advisory services was expanded continuously and Willi Engels joined the firm as a further partner.

The firm – as well as the entire profession – faced new challenges in the mid-1980s when the Accounting Directive Act, which transformed EU directives into German law, came into force. Auditing had arrived in Germany’s small and medium-sized companies, and the auditing profession as we know it today began to develop. In personal conversations, it is repeatedly reported that auditors were desperately needed at that time. Employees began to use calculators, pencils, sharp scissors and glue to check the annual financial statements in the companies and write reports on them. Due to the requirements of mandatory auditing, the firm continued to grow under the leadership of Josef Demmer and Willi Engels and successfully followed its path.

The increasing complexity and new requirements for auditing and tax consultancy led to a further expansion of the firm, which was accompanied by the question of succession. This question was answered by the arrival of the next generation in person of Hans-Josef Demmer in 2000. In 2010, Kai Arnold followed into the partnership. After Willi Engels left the firm for reasons of age after many years of successful work, Anke Nuppeney joined the firm as partner in 2019 to continue the successful past into the future. With these partners, other professionals and competent staff, the firm is well prepared for the future.

Our consulting approach is still determined by the entrepreneurial way of thinking, how to define one’s target and which measures have to be taken in order to create the target state from the actual state. Although we don’t use audit ticks on stone tablets any more, the good feeling of doing the right thing for our clients remains.

In this spirit, we would like to thank all our clients, employees and business partners who have given us their trust over the past 75 years, and remain

with best regards,

Josef Demmer
Hans-Josef Demmer
Kai Arnold
Anke Nuppeney