This paper reports the internationalization efforts of Dutch accounting firms from 1972 onwards. The two largest and most prestigious Dutch accounting firms in 1972 first built their own network of foreign offices. Their primary motive for doing so was to follow their clients who were spreading their activities internationally. These same two firms and the third largest firm became co-founding members of three European federations of accounting firms. They hoped it would block the entry into the European market of the large American accounting firms. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, these large Dutch firms found out that the American subsidiaries of Dutch multinational companies preferred to work in the US with one of the big American accounting firms. The Dutch firms realized that the only way to retain their domestic clients was to join one of the international networks set up by the big American accounting firms. Paradoxically, in order to become truly international (or part of an international network) they had to rely on contractual arrangements.