In its 3rd year, the Singapore Business Review rolled out the 25 largest accounting entities in Singapore list, based on staff strength.
For a snapshot of the accounting entities in Singapore, including statistics and figures, please click here.
This year, there were a number of interesting observations on the rankings:
The race to be first
For the first time since 2012 when the list made its debut, KPMG relinquished its top position with its unchanged status of 2400 staff to PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ernst & Young, which clinched first and second respectively with 2500 and 2436 staff.
Two new entries
Previously overlooked, UHY Lee Seng Chan & Co. made a leap to 17th place with 77 staff, with an addition of 5 employees from last year.
From its staff history record, it should have made the list in 2013 at 17th place and 2012 at 13th place.
Prudential PAC made a comeback to 25th place with 30 employees after slipping out of the list last year.
As pointed out by the article at Singapore Business Review, RT LLP - ranked 16th from its previous 10th place - downsized its number by 42%. Ravi Arumugam, RT’s CEO & managing partner, explains that the downsizing is due to carving off sections of operations to facilitate the RT network plan, billed as the first Singapore-headquartered Asian Network in accounting and business advisory services.
Challenges in 2015
With a stronger Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics for public accountants and accounting entities coming into effect from February 2015, many smaller accounting entities may feel the pinch – monetary and regulatory-wise.
Among the changes recommended by Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (Acra) that takes size into account is the new requirements to further safeguard the independence of auditors, such as identifying a Key Audit Partner (KAP) to make key decisions on audit; additional requirements will be placed on KAPs, such as partner rotation, cooling-off period before joining a PIE audit client in certain positions etc.
The current Code is based on the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA)'s 2006 Code of Ethics, with some modifications and additional provisions for Singapore's public accountants.
At a glance: