Sabahan accounting duo CKP empower team and clients by staying ahead of the tech curve.


Consulting firm CKP, CHIA, Ka & Partners PLT utilises cloud accounting software Xero to help SMEs scale new heights

Accounting firm CKP has been very clear about its direction – to bring SMES to the cloud and help them grow their revenue and profitability.Accounting firm CKP has been very clear about its direction – to bring SMES to the cloud and help them grow their revenue and profitability.

CHIA, Ka & Partners PLT, or CKP for short, pride themselves for being an accounting firm that truly loves working with SMEs, helping them grow leveraging key market insights and sound financial advice.

It’s been nearly seven years since the former Sabah Tshung Tsin Secondary School classmates Jeremy Chia and Edward Ka reconnected in Kuala Lumpur and founded their consulting firm.

“My background is in shared services,” explains Chia. “I worked in a multinational company and was the tax accountant in charge of Scandinavian entities in Denmark and Norway. I joined the company, initially as an auditor, and I was amazed that even though I was based in Malaysia, I had colleagues from Sweden and London, and we were all supporting clients from around the world. This really opened my eyes to how powerful technology was as a facilitator.”

Classmates Jeremy Chia (left) and Edward Ka founded consulting firm Chia, Ka & Partners PLT which serves more than 300 clients, from Kedah to Sabah.Classmates Jeremy Chia (left) and Edward Ka founded consulting firm Chia, Ka & Partners PLT which serves more than 300 clients, from Kedah to Sabah.

With that in mind, Chia and Ka joined forces and launched CKP locally, acknowledging the gap and opportunity in Malaysia.

“Countries like Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada were already at least 10 to 15 years ahead when it came to the adoption of cloud accounting. We saw the opportunity to help accountants digitally transform and stay competitive.”

As Chia, 34, explains: “Today, we serve more than 300 clients, from Kedah to Sabah, in various industries from event management, to construction.” They now employ a 21 member staff based in Taman OUG, Kuala Lumpur.

“Since the inception of CKP, we have been very clear about our direction – to bring SMES to the cloud and help them grow their revenue and profitability – which is reflected in our tagline ‘Together We Grow’.”

With manual data entry out of the way, time is spent on more valuable work and the CKP team is all smiles about that!With manual data entry out of the way, time is spent on more valuable work and the CKP team is all smiles about that!

CKP’s passion to help local businesses digitally transform can be attributed to their own successes.

They were early adopters of cloud accounting platform Xero, which Chia says was immensely valuable as they grew, particularly with a rapid influx of clients in 2019.

“Having everything online really saves a lot of time and unnecessary work. Instead of calling up clients to bug them for documents, we were able to make the process a lot smoother and faster, our collective productivity.”

When the pandemic struck in 2020, CKP was already adept at working remotely. “Working from home became the norm in 2020/2021, and it was a breeze for us because everything was already in the cloud. We’ve continued to see a 50% year on year growth in revenue ever since,” Chia shares.

“The beauty of cloud accounting is that it allows us to work on the same system with our clients with access to all necessary financial information and documentation at our fingertips.” says Chia

“Xero also has the added benefit of being connected to other workflow apps like Storehub, SwingVy and Payroll Panda, which provide clients an all-in-one business solution.”

He shared about a recent client with three separate branches around Malaysia and had accumulated 700 pages of bank statements over six months.

“In the past, going through these statements would have taken us about two months at least, which would have translated to significant billable hours costing our client. But with integrated digital tools like Dext, which uses OCR and templating technology to extract written information from receipts, invoices and other financial documents, all this data is converted in seconds and flows directly into Xero. With manual data entry out of the way, time was then able to be spent on more valuable work like forecasting & budgeting, profit improvement & risk assessment, says Chia.

One of the requirements at CKP is that any person who joins the team will have to get Xero certified within their first week on the job! After that, training is provided during weekly clinics hosted by Ka.

“Our weekly workshops/clinics are also a great channel to iron out the challenges we may face week in, week out.”

Cloud accounting with a human touch

Chia says that when they first decided to move to cloud accounting, he and Ka scouted various providers.

“We chose Xero not only for its impressive features and interface but also the human touch of the Xero team. We reached out via email and the Account Managers not only responded quickly but were also immensely helpful. They really listened to us and were invested in helping us out with the challenges we were facing.”

Both Chia and Ka say they love Xero’s customer support and have developed an ongoing relationship with the Xero team based in Singapore.

“I plan to take the team out to visit the Xero HQ in Singapore soon and meet with some of the local CPA firms to learn from them. We love these kinds of conversations because they empower us,” Chia says, adding that CKP recently attended Xerocon Sydney, the largest accounting conference in Australasia.

Ka excitedly adds: “It was such a great learning experience for us,hearing the new ways accountants serve their clients, and transforming the industry from data entry bookkeeping to becoming valued advisors and CFOs for their clients.”

As a Xero Gold Champion partner, Chia says CKP has enjoyed greater visibility and recognition, with many young entrepreneurs looking for accountants well-versed in cloud business solutions, like Xero. He says: “This is how we continue to attract new clients who love Xero’s features and in turn refer us to their network.”

CKP says that its long-term dream is to become one of Malaysia's Top 10 business processing outsourcers.

Chia says: “With Xero’s support, we will definitely get there much faster. We also hope that in the next five years, at least 30% of our revenue will come from clients overseas, as we can now work with clients based in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore to access data easily via cloud.”

Having known each other for 17 years, Chia and Ka are not just partners but old friends. Did they ever dream they would run a business together someday? “No, never,” laughed Chia and Ka, adding, “it’s really quite amazing how it has all turned out.”

For more information about Xero, click here.

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