Categoryato xchange

ATO Spotlight: CA Trust PAC

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Innovative SMPs like CA Trust PAC are offering potential Candidates of the Singapore Qualification Programme (QP) fresh new career pathways. Are you ready to take the path less travelled?

Those new to Singapore’s accountancy sector are often surprised by its diversity of firms and talents. While the Big Four firms often take much of the limelight, following hard on their heels are the mid-tier firms. Smaller, fleeter and punching above their weight class, Small and Medium-sized Practices (SMPs) play an equally vital role: not only do they provide crucial services to a range of companies and organisations, they also serve to nurture the next generation of accountancy professionals.

Strategic leadership
Among the standout firms performing this role is CA Trust PAC. Formed in 1995, CA Trust PAC operated as several different entities before amalgamating into one firm in January 2013. The SMP currently has about 45 staff and is also a member of the global TGS Global accountancy network.

Leading the firm into its next phase of growth is its Director, Mr Paul Tan. Noting the depth of CA Trust PAC’s senior management team, Mr Tan explains how this has contributed to the firm’s success.”We endeavour to provide a comprehensive suite of professional services,” he says. “And because we come from diverse backgrounds, our management team gives very good value to our clients, both to the big MNCs as well as the smaller SME clients.”

 Training and development
In order to provide a high level of service excellence, all staff of CA Trust PAC undergo a regular programme of technical training and professional development. During engagements, partners and seniors are also constantly on hand to offer guidance and advice. Says Mr Chen Shih-Kuang, one of the firm’s directors: “Our reporting structure provides a more efficient way for us to impart our technical knowledge and experiences to our staff.”

Another attraction of working at an SMP is the exposure it offers. Within a relatively short period of time, staff of CA Trust PAC can expect to work with companies across many different industries. They also get exposed to multidisciplinary training as well as accounting; audit and assurance; and taxation, among other subjects.

For young professionals eager to learn the nuts and bolts of accounting practice, this can be an exceptional experience. All staff of CA Trust PAC (even relatively new hires) can also look forward to overseas engagements – a fantastic way to boost their management skills and cultural literacy.

We endeavour to provide a comprehensive suite of professional services. And because we come from diverse backgrounds, our management team gives very good value to our clients, both to the big MNCs as well as the smaller SME clients.
– Mr Paul Tan, Director, CA Trust PAC

Nurturing talent
Embodying the firm’s focus on developing homegrown talents is Ms Chua Soo Rui, another director of CA Trust PAC. Having interned with the firm as a polytechnic student, she joined it after her graduation. In recognition of her abilities and many contributions, Ms Chua was appointed a director in January 2013 – seven years after she first stepped into CA Trust PAC.

CA Trust PAC has also embraced its role as an Accredited Training Organisation of the Singapore QP by offering fresh career pathways to potential Candidates. “We want to create the environment for them to learn the various subjects they are expected to be competent at,” explains Mr Lim Lian Soon, the firm’s Training Principal: “If possible, we will assign Candidates jobs that will fulfil this requirement.”

It’s an approach that is already reaping dividends. Among the beneficiaries is Ms Carmen Lau; a graduate of SIM Global Education and former optometrist, she joined CA Trust PAC in September 2013 as its very first Singapore QP Candidate. “I’ve been here for one month and am enjoying the experience very much,” she says. “I’m glad I made the switch to accountancy and to doing the Singapore QP with CA Trust PAC!”

 

Future forward
As the Singapore QP redraws the contours of accountancy in Singapore, progressive SMPs such as CA Trust PAC are remaking themselves for tomorrow’s challenges. By offering higher-value services, boosting their human capital policies and offering Candidates solid opportunities for learning and growth, they are leading the way towards a brighter and more exciting future for all accountancy professionals – and that’s something to be applauded.

In 2014, CA Trust PAC was renamed from its original firm name “CPA Trust PAC,” a rebranding that reflects the firm’s singular commitment to the Chartered Accountant of Singapore designation. For Mr Tan and his team, the sky’s the limit! #

To learn more about CA Trust PAC, visit the firm’s website and this dedicated page on the Singapore QP website.

 

 

Ato Spotlight RT LLP

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ATO Spotlight: RT LLP

For 2013, one of Singapore’s leading mid-tier accounting entities has taken on a fresh identity and is charting a new course to success

Posted on 18 October 2013 in ATO Xchange

 RT = Rapid transition

2013 has been a landmark year for accountancy in Singapore, and among the Small and Medium-sized Practices that embody this new spirit of change is the boutique accounting entity RT-LLP.

Led by CEO and Managing Partner Mr Ravi Arumugam, RT LLP is one of the top mid-tier accounting entities in Singapore. It also happens to be the largest homegrown independent (as well as a member of the global BKR International network). Among the entity’s offerings are: audit and advisory services; investigation and litigation support; taxation services; business set-up, incorporation and corporate secretarial support; outsourced and managed services; corporate advisory and corporate finance services; and risk advisory services.

RT LLP draws its 70-plus professional staff from across the region. In addition to its main premises at One Raffles Place, the entity has a second office at South Bridge Road.

 RT = Raising the bar for talent

In order to provide its clients with exceptional services, all accountancy staff of RT LLP are required to have a professional qualification (such as those offered by ACCA, CPA Australia or ICAEW). Since the launch of the Singapore Qualification Programme (QP) in July 2013, several staff have also become Candidates.

All new hires of RT LLP will also be required to take the Singapore QP. In terms of the support offered to Candidates, the entity will fully subsidise fees and Candidates are also not required to serve a bond.

During their studies, Candidates will also enjoy the professional guidance and mentorship of the entity’s partners. Says Mr Arumugam: “At RT LLP, we believe in a serious time commitment [on the part of our management team], and that is our value proposition for anyone joining us.”

Needless to say, this commitment also extends to training and development. To further sharpen their professional skills, staff undergo regular programmes on audit methodology, IFRS standards, tax updates and industry best practices, among other essential subjects. Regional assignments for all levels of staff also offer varied opportunities for further exposure and learning.

RT = Recreational time-outs!

RT LLP’s professional culture is based on the values of teamwork, communication and mutual respect. This close-knit spirit prevails after office-hours as well; among the favourites on the entity’s annual calendar are regular staff outings. In recent years, staff have also travelled to Indonesia, Taiwan and Thailand for the annual company get-away.

RT = Right time

RT LLP’s clients come from a variety of sectors and industries. As their requirements have grown in complexity, the entity has moved to enhance its offerings, providing even higher-quality, higher-value professional services.

To reflect this new strategic direction, in August 2013, the entity changed its name to RT LLP. This year, the entity also took the exciting step of conceptualizing and forming its very own accountancy network, one united by a common vision of accountancy excellence. “This gives us the freedom and liberty to expand our services, as long as they are high-value,” explains Mr Arumugam. “We want to be exceptional.” #

To learn more about RT LLP, click here or their page here on the Singapore QP website.

Ato Spotlight by UHY Lee Seng Chan

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With its corporate shades of blue and green, UHY Lee Seng Chan comes with an esteemed history. It is a family business that is now sprawled across 3 countries with plans to expand operations in the region with globalised yet localised services

UHY Lee Seng Chan has come a long way since its inception in 1967. It has grown from a 5-manned firm to a thriving and established organisation with over 200 staff in 5 offices. These offices are spread out in Singapore, Malaysia and China (Shanghai).

Under the prestigious UHY Network, UHY Lee Seng Chan is not just resting on the laurels of this accounting and consultancy network, which is incidentally ranked 25th in the world by fee income.

Multi-disciplinary & Focused

The firm has 10 partners who look after a multitude of professional services such as audit and assurance, income tax advisory, internal audit and risk management, corporate finance, China Business Desk and IT and business consulting.

Even though there is a wide spectrum of services offered, the division of work among the 10 partners, which includes Mr Lee Sen Choon, Head of Audit and Mr Lee Seng Suan, Head of Tax, the focus of the firm has never been clearer – a client-oriented approach.

Loyal Clients

Perhaps, the most accurate description of a company stems from none other than its most important stakeholders – their clients.  UHY Lee Seng Chan is the first firm in the ATO Spotlight to feature their customers.

Analabs, a consultancy and laboratory services in Kaki Bukit has been utilising their services for many years. An especially memorable working experience with UHY Lee Seng Chan was the period when they were trying to enter the China market (specifically Wuxi). The firm was roped in to help with the initial setup regarding compliance, reporting and auditing procedures, which to a new venture in a new environment, can be an intimidating experience.

Managing Director of Analabs, Mr Chua Boon Chun, voiced his opinions of the firm, saying, “UHY Lee Seng Chan places a strong emphasis on reliability and credibility, allowing our company to fully concentrate on our business.”

Mr Jeremy Fong, Managing Director of Fong’s Engineering, another of the firm’s clients and one of Singapore’s leading high precision engineering companies, agrees, “Even though I have only known the firm for 5 to 6 years, with their strong background in audit and international network, I can only keep recommending them to other organisations!”

 

A people’s firm

While we look outwards for gratification, one must also look inwards for feedback to improve oneself. UHY Lee Seng Chan’s staff has widely varied backgrounds but are armed with similar praises for the firm that has groomed them since the day they stepped in.

Take Mr Vincent Tang, a senior manager who hails from one of the Big 4. He is grateful for UHY Lee Seng Chan on its family-friendly policy which allows him to juggle family and work commitments. Another fine example is Ms Christina Tee, who has worked with the firm for an astounding 44 years. She cited her journey with the firm as happy, satisfying and memorable, especially when she could see ideas being implemented to create the UHY Lee Seng Chan as it is today. That and the fact that she saw through numerous office location changes – from South Bridge Road to Keypoint to its present address, The Concourse.

The 69th ATO

As one of the Accredited Training Organisations (ATOs), UHY Lee Seng Chan is fully committed to encourage staff to participate in activities organised by the Singapore Accountancy Commission (SAC).

Mr Lee Sen Choon says, “Being accredited helps in attracting more and better candidates. We hope to leverage on the resources provided by the SAC to retain quality staff, keep abreast of sector developments and contribute to the development of sound practices in the accountancy profession.”

Non-accountancy graduates – Leading by example

Armed with a degree in Science, Mr Lee Sen Choon switched profession by taking up the UK chartered accountancy. Now a senior partner in charge of audit as well as the firm’s training principal for the Singapore QP, he is a strong believer in going for what you want as long as you have the passion and aptitude to succeed.

With more than 8 approved mentors in the firm and following a structured training programme, Singapore QP candidates in the firm will find themselves in a favourable position to work towards the Chartered Accountant of Singapore qualification.

The firm has so far recruited 4 UniSIM graduates who have expressed keen interest in pursuing the Singapore QP in January 2014 and is looking to hire both accountancy and non-accountancy graduates.

Overseas Exposure – Fulfiling your personal aspirations

If you are keen on overseas rotation, UHY Lee Seng Chan provides attachments to overseas offices such as China. Says Mr Lee Seng Suan, Head of Tax in the firm with over 45 years in the industry, “We cover almost all Asian countries on a varied portfolio such as manufacturing, trading, logistics and property development.”

“More importantly, there are no restrictions in years of service for staff to be able to be assigned overseas. Possessing overseas working exposure will help staff to work and think globally and enable them to serve our clients on an international basis.”

For today’s Generation Y professionals who most value the experience of acquiring skills and making friends/connections in a different environment while fulfiling their own personal aspirations, UHY Lee Seng Chan is indeed a great place to make their mark in.

To learn more about UHY Lee Seng Chan, visit their homepage and their personal page on the Singapore QP website.

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