25th Anniversary Messages
From Senior Audit Partner of Cheng & Co LLP Group
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 Audit Partner of Cheng & Co, Mr. Steven Yap Peng Boon who began his career as a senior audit assistant in the firm. He came to know about Cheng & Co after spotting a recruitment advertisement in a local newspaper and called up to arrange an interview. Upon being interviewed by Mr Liew and Prof. Dato Dr. Chua for the Senior Audit position, he was convinced this was the best place for him and Steven was entrusted with managing a portfolio of clients from various industries and sectors.
He started work at our office in Plaza Chak (a building situated along Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman) for two months before shifting to the present office in Wisma Cheng & Co. Back then, the firm had less than 15 employees were sharing an office with Kolej Aman.The working space there was nowhere near as spacious as our current premises.
Steven 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?
The Firm is relatively young, in terms of the age of the firm, management and staff, back when I joined. I personally felt that the Firm had abundance of energy and meticulous commitment from the management and staff towards our core values: our commitment to our employees, and our service commitment to our customers. These factors, I believe, propelled Cheng & Co from a young Firm to where we are today, an established and sizeable firm
in Malaysia. We grew from less than 15 employees to more than 300 nationwide and overseas offices today.
At the heart of these accomplishment is a great deal of hard work, dedication, and willingness to serve our clients better. We might be tempted to indulge in self-congratulatory moments on our 25th anniversary, however we should remain mindful that the world is always changing, and if anything, we must accelerate, not relax. We should think ahead to what the next 25 years will hold for us.
What are the areas that you feel Cheng & Co is different from other organisations?
Our Top management is full of energy, vision and directions. They continuously move at a very fast pace in line with today’s rapid business landscape changes and to cater for the needs of our existing and potential clients in general.
Our Firm is indeed a good platform for our staff to rise through the ranks as qualified professionals and build a successful career. The firm’s management personnel and staff are very friendly, highly approachable and ever willing to help should we need any assistance when performing our duties. There are
plenty of career advancement opportunities as our firm is actively expanding throughout the country and abroad, thus providing a lot of opportunities for everyone to grow together with the Firm.
What areas do you feel require further improvements?
I believe our firm will continue to improve, in line with constant changes in standards, laws, and other requirements. Our own AUTC (Audit Technical Committee) is very active in conducting training, seminars and talks to inform and update all the members to keep us abreast on the latest development. The success of all the trainings, seminars and talks are due to tireless efforts from all members of our AUTC.
What development plans do you have for your division in the future?
We foresee our division growing from strength to strength, in terms of number of staff, resources, knowledge and capability to take on more challenging / larger assignments.
As a partner and director in Cheng & Co Group, what advice do you have for managers, young employees and newcomers to the firm?
If you like what you are doing, you will go far in your career. If you love what you are doing, the sky is the limit for your career advancement.
Businesses Beware of Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act
Our new Pakatan Harapan Government reduced GST from 6% to 0% from 1 June 2018 as part of their manifesto that was announced before GE14. The new Sales and Service Tax (SST) which will be reintroduced in September 2018 marks the end of the GST that was implemented for three years in Malaysia.
During these three months from June to August, it is considered the consumption tax free holiday for the market and the pricing of most goods are expected to be lower compared to the GST times. However, there are some cases that happened with some complains from consumers that certain
businesses are charging even higher with 0% compared to during GST. These complains went viral on social media on the first few days of June 2018.
The benefits of 0% GST, which resulted in lower prices, are supposed to be passed on to consumers as a whole. To ensure businesses do not take advantage through price manipulation to earn unreasonably high profits, the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011 becomes an important enforcement tool for the authority.
The Act was Gazetted in 2011 to eliminate price manipulation when GST was implemented in April 2015. The Act provides the power to the Minister of Domestic Trade, Co-operative and Consumerism to determine a mechanism that ascertain a particular business making unreasonably high profit. The
mechanism is applied using calculations and comparisons of pricing pre and post GST implementation. The regulations apply to all level of businesses and all types of goods and services.
In 2017, the Regulation Price Control and Anti-Profiteering (Mechanism to Determine Unreasonably High Profit for Goods) 2016 which was brought into force only covered two types of goods that are Food and Beverage and Household Products which includes personal care products but excludes cosmetics. This Regulation did not apply to services.
However, with GST being reduced to 0%, the authority has been Gazette on 5 June 2018 which is the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering (Mechanism to Determine Unreasonably High Profit for Goods) 2018. The Regulation is effective 6 June 2018 and covers all types of goods and services.
If a business is found to be making unreasonably high profit and, if the business owner is an individual, the fine for first offence can be no more than RM100,000 or imprisonment of not more than three years or both. For the second offence, the fine can be no more than RM250,000 or imprisonment of not more than five years or both.
If the business owner is a corporate, the fine for first offence is not more than RM500,000 and for second offence is not more than RM1,000,000.
In 2015 when the GST was implemented, there were some business owners charged in Court for committing offences.
Businesses are advised to beware of the Act when adjusting prices and when SST is re-introduced there will be another round of pricing adjustment in the market. The consequences not only results in monetary fines, it will damage the reputation of business if court action is taken against them
For similar future events,