KUCHING: Crowe Horwath, Malaysia's fifth largest accounting firm, has increased its offices in the country by four to 12 locations with the merger of Hii & Lee, together with Kenny Chong of Tong & Chong Partners.
Hii & Lee, which is the top three accounting firm in Sarawak, has offices in Kuching, Sibu, Bintulu and Miri.
Sarawak Second Finance Minister Datuk Wong Soon Koh, who represented Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, witnessed the signing of the merger agreement here yesterday.
Crowe Horwath International Asia Pacific regional executive director Mok Yuen Lok said to facilitate a smooth transition of the merger of the two branches in Kuching (Hii & Lee and Kenny Chong), an integration plan would be phased over in one to two years.
“This will allow clients to continue dealings with their respective management and service teams as well as maintain personalised relationship that they are accustomed to,'' he added.
Mok said Crowe Horwath Malaysia would have its workforce increased to 750 staff nationwide, serving over 10,000 clients, including 135 public listed firms.
He said Crowe Horwath International had 140 member firms, covering 590 offices in 107 countries, with total staff of some 2,600.
On initial public offering (IPO), he said Crowe Horwath was ranked No 1 in Malaysia last year, with three listings.
Hii & Lee chairman Hudson Chua Jain said his firm, which was formed by partners Hii Ching Giu and Lee Khim Sin, now provided a broad spectrum of professional services in the four locations it operated.
He said the company had partnered with Crowe Horwath as the latter had placed its importance in service delivery capability by setting a clear direction from the top of the organisation.
“Crowe Horwath's determination to ensure strict compliance with the requirements of the Audit Oversight Board of Malaysia has been exemplary,'' he added.
Taib said in his speech read by Wong that Malaysia's commitment to fully converge with the International Financial Reporting Standards by 2012 would pose added challenges to the accounting profession.
He said the adoption of the “International Standards on Quality Control 1 (ISQC-1)'' and the set-up of Malaysia's own audit oversight board by the Securities Commission would ensure compliances with international best practices in the country.
“Firms that are in full compliance with the ISQC-1 and passes the scrutiny of the Malaysian Audit Oversight Board will certainly establish themselves as premium firms that the business community can confidently engage to provide competent professional services,'' added Taib.