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25th ANNIVERSARY MESSAGE FROM MR. LIEW KWAI CHOY

SENIOR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF CHENG & CO PERTH, AUSTRALIA

 

Leading up to Cheng & Co’s 25th Anniversary celebrations this year, Connection Online will be featuring a series of articles that shares the thoughts of our core partners on their time with the firm, their personal and professional development throughout their tenure and their hoped for the future.

 

This series focuses on Senior Executive Director of Cheng & Co Perth, Australia, Mr Liew Kwai Choy. Before joining Cheng & Co, Mr. Liew was working in a small audit firm as an audit manager and came to know Prof. Dato Dr Chua Hock Hoo, who was his audit assistant. Prof Dato Dr Chua left the firm to join Chew Choo Soot & Co as audit manager. But they kept in touch with the former constantly consulting Mr Liew to seek guidance for audit related work. Mr Liew was always willing to help and, often, went to Prof Dato Dr Chua’s office to assist him. on handling critical audit tasks. They have become close friends since.

 

After Prof Dato Dr Chua took over Chew Choo Soot & Co in 1993 and started Cheng & Co, he tried to convince Mr Liew to join him and helm the audit service and operations. But due to Cheng & Co being a very small firm at that time – with annual turnover of just around RM150,000 and 3 employees – the firm could not afford to match Mr Liew’s salary. A humbled Mr Liew, however, accepted the offer with a lower salary as he believed in the firm’s long-term potential and was convinced he will have better career development and a brighter future.

 

At the start, Mr Liew was in charge of audit, and helped out in administration, operations and other services such as accounting and tax, while business development was mainly handled by Prof Dato Dr Chua. With Mr Liew’s tremendous commitment and contribution, the firm steadily grew and he was offered to become third partner of Cheng & Co.

 

Mr Liew shares his thoughts on his time with Cheng & Co and what drives him to keep powering the firm towards achieving its Vision 2020, to become the Firm of the Future – the leading home grown international accounting firm.

 

 

What are the key factors that motivate you to further your career and professional growth with Cheng & Co?

 

Cheng & Co is open for everyone to become partners if they can perform great and contribute invaluably to the firm. Our culture is we progress together and share the rewards together. With this concept, today we have more than 30 partners with varied specialisation, immensely contributing in the respective areas.

Cheng & Co is not a family business. Instead, it is a platform for everyone to embark on for their career development.

 

 

How much have you gained in professional and personal development throughout your tenure in Cheng & Co?

 

I was in charge of audit for about 18 years and after that in 2011 the firm planned to set up a branch in Perth, Australia. I was once again entrusted by the management to take up the opportunity and be transferred abroad.

Over there, it was a totally new environment and different culture. Initially we worked with a few partners there and tried to acquire or merge with them but it did not materialise.

In order to provide accounting and tax services in Australia, we have to comply with the local requirement and I had to study the relevant accounting courses and go through examinations. These were challenging processes I have no regrets seeing as this is an important step towards becoming an international firm.

Today the Perth Branch is performing very well.

 

What are the areas that you feel Cheng & Co is different from other organisations?

 

As mentioned earlier, the partners do not treat the firm as their family business. It is a platform open to everyone and they are offered the opportunity that they deserve.

In Cheng & Co another good value is “sharing.” We are willing to share the rewards with our high performing teams. We are a performance driven and rewarding organisation.

This is the reason we have many young mangers and partners who are energetic and passionate about what they are doing. Everyone is contributing to the growth of Cheng & Co.

 

What areas do you feel require further improvements?

 

We need to work harder in Australia to develop stronger base through adopting state-of-the-art I.T. infrastructure in our operations. In Australia, manpower cost is substantially higher.  Other than that, we will diversify our services into other areas such as financial planning and investment consultancy as part of our business philosophy of being a One Stop Professional Centre.

 

What development plans do you have for your division in the future?

 

We are looking for a suitable firm for a merger and acquisition to further develop our presence while deploying more I.T. solutions in our operations. With that, we need more qualified individuals to join us and work with us as partners.

 

As a partner and director in Cheng & Co Group, what advice do you have for managers, young employees and newcomers to the firm?

 

“Never stop trying and keep challenging your limits. Nothing can stop you from progressing.”

 


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