FINANCIAL SERVICES | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Singapore's 35 largest accounting firms in 2016

Accountants are sought after now more than ever.

As companies seek to take greater control of their expenses to protect their profits, recruitment agency Hays sees growing demand for accountants.

One of them turned 75 years old in 2016, another welcomed new female partners, and one opened four new ‘centres of excellence’ in Singapore. No wonder they remain on top of
Singapore Business Review’s list of the city-state’s largest accounting firms for 2016. Keeping its place at number 1 is KPMG, with total staff of over 3,000. PwC Singapore also did not move at number 2 with its more than 2,700 total staff. EY, also ranked third the previous year, came in close with just over 2,600.

2016 milestones

In an interview with KPMG’s internal publication Veritat in celebration of the firm’s diamond jubilee, retired KPMG managing partner Danny Teoh remarks, “Don’t stop believing. Building momentum is the hard part, but once that has been built, it has a life of its own.” KPMG, which turned 75 in October, says it audits 50% of the biggest Singapore-based international companies.

PwC Singapore, meanwhile, welcomed eight new partners last July – six of them female. They come from different cultures and nationalities: Australia, India, Myanmar, the Netherlands, and Singapore. “As a global network, PwC has always valued diversity and continually aims to create value for the business community by leveraging the power of differences to enhance innovation and creativity,” says Yeoh Oon Jin, Executive Chairman, PwC Singapore.

According to Yeoh, these new partners bring with them a vast diversity of experiences, areas of specialisation, and global acumen to meet new demands brought about by technological disruption and increased globalisation. EY, on the other hand, launched four centres of excellence in the city-state last March. The firm says the four centres for advisory, analytics, cybersecurity, and manufacturing “represent EY’s commitment to a multi-million dollar, multi-year investment in Singapore.”

Max Loh, EY Asean and Singapore managing partner, explains, “Singapore is a strategic gateway to the Asia-Pacific region, underpinned by strong economic fundamentals, trade connectivity, pro-business values, and a strategic transformation vision to be a valuecreating economy.” Growing demand for accountants According to recruitment agency Hays, management accountants and financial analysts will continue to be in demand as many businesses place a greater emphasis on accurate forecasting and budgeting. 

“We expect to see a growing demand for cost accountants, as firms seek to take greater control of their expenses to protect their profits. Candidates who are seeking these more commercial roles will need to demonstrate their ability to liaise and manage internal stakeholders, in order to successfully assist the business to understand the health of their
business units,” notes Hays in its quarterly report. 

Meanwhile, a slowing economy has kept accounting and finance professionals in Singapore on their toes over the recent months, according to Randstad Singapore. 

“Organisations are under increasing pressure to streamline operations, and disruptive technologies are changing the way the industry functions – including employers’ expectations of these candidates.” 

Daniel Goh, manager, accounting and finance at Randstad Singapore, says that despite the gloomy forecast, hiring remains strong and they continue to see a high demand
pressure for quality accounting and finance talent.


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