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FINANCIAL SERVICES | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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Singapore’s 25 largest accounting firms 2013

The Big Four accounts for 80% of the total employment.

KPMG has once again topped Singapore Business Review’s second year ranking of 25 largest accounting firms based on staff strength. It retained 2,400 employees. The data was primarily obtained from company surveys.

KPMG was closely followed by PwC with 2,300 staff. The number was unchanged from last year.

EY (formerly Ernst & Young) is ranked third with 2100 employees. It added 100 more employees from last year. Alongside its adoption of EY as its global brand name in July, the company also unveiled a new logo and took on “Building a better working world” as its tagline and purpose. “The new tagline and purpose is central to the role we play - in a better world, trust increases, so capital flows smoothly and investors make informed decisions.

Businesses grow sustainably, employment rises, consumers spend and businesses invest in their communities. More than just growth, a better working world harnesses and develops talent in all its forms and encourages collaboration,” said a spokesperson from EY.

Deloitte & Touche came fourth with 1800 staff. The number is almost 6% higher than in 2012.

Outside the Big Four

Singapore’s 25 largest accounting firms have a total employment of 11,833, of which 80% belongs to the big four. The total employment is 5% higher than last year with 14 of the 25 increasing staff strength this year. Seven have retained their numbers while three of the 25 reduced employment.

Fifth is RSM Chio Lim with 775 employees. The staff strength is 19% more than last year.

Foo Kon Tan Grant Thornton is sixth with reduced number to 350 from 360 in 2012. BDO is ranked seventh with 320 employees in 2013 from just 300 last year.

Baker Tilly and Moore Stephens tied at eighth place. Moore Stephens retained its 200 staff while Baker Tilly, previously at 10th place, increased its number from 180.

RT is ranked 10th with 190 employees. RT CEO and managing partner Ravi Arumugam says the formation of an RT network is a reason for the nearly doubling of its staff strength from 100 in 2012. It is a Singapore based first network of professional business solution providers that span across the region who provide multidisciplinary expertise.

RT is followed by Nexia TS Public Accounting Corp with 180 employees. It is 24% more than its number the previous year.

Rank movers

Mazars landed at 12th post, ranking up one notch from the previous year after its staff strength grew by 35% to 150. Mazars merged with Nebis Services last September and boasts of hiring high profile tax partner Chan Huang Chay last November.

Crowe Horwath First Trust's employee numbers remained unchanged from 2012 at 120. In 2013, Crowe Horwath First Trust continued to increase its list of service offerings to include Technology Risk Advisory.

HLB-Atrede ranked one notch up to 14th after growing its staff strength by nearly 10% to 90. Lo Hock Ling & Co. came next with 86 staff.

BSL Public Accounting Corp. ranked three notches up to 16th with staff growing by 21% to 75.

Two firms are at 17th place - PKF-CAP and Ng Lee & Associates. Ng Lee & Associates ranked one notch up with staff growing by over 4%. PKF-CAP on the other hand slipped one notch as staff remained at 70.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Crowe Horwath First Trust was ranked 17th after a 42% shrinkage in staff count from 120 to 70. This has now been corrected to read “Crowe Horwath First Trust employee numbers remained unchanged from 2012 at 120. In 2013, Crowe Horwath First Trust continued to increase its list of service offerings by including Technology Risk Advisory”. We would like to extend our sincere apologies to Crowe Horwath for the error in the earlier reporting.

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