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 Executive Director of Cheng & Co Singapore, Mr. Cheong Leong How or, Leong How as his colleagues call him.

Leong How was working in Singapore as a Group Accountant of a public listed company and he handled numerous acquisition exercises which involved advisory from one of the partners of Cheng & Co, Mr. Chua Hock Peng, who was based in Johor Bahru at the time. This how he came to know about Cheng & Co.

After having conversations and exchanging ideas with Mr. Chua Hock Peng ideas, Mr. Chua felt that Leong How is the sort of person he was looking for to work with and set up a branch office in Singapore. Leong How very impressed by Cheng & Co’s concept and business models that offers a good platform for youngsters to be entrepreneurs and professionals. Leong How expressed great interest in the suggestions offered by Mr. Chua and accepted it positively.

In 2011, Cheng & Co set up its branch office in Singapore with Leong How as the manager and within 2 years, he was made partner. Leong How is not only in charge of Singapore, he is also assisting business development in Johor Bahru while taking on international consultancy assignments where he is required to travel throughout Asia Pacific.

Leong How 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 has a well-balanced philosophy driven by profitability yet highly maintains professional ethics and quality. Team work is one of the core values in Cheng & Co where we have an excellent team of professionals and partners who work together to achieve common objectives.


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


From a personal perspective, having travelled frequently to other countries and worked with different types of people, I have learnt a lot from different cultures, lifestyles, expectation gaps and business opportunities in these countries. It broadened my mind and changed my thinking to a certain extent.

From a professional perspective, it has sharpened my knowledge through working with other professionals within Malaysia and abroad which helped me learn more about practices and regulations of different professionals and countries.


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


Cheng & Co is a good platform for young professionals who want to be entrepreneurs. If you start on your own or with friends, you will lack resources and experience. Cheng & Co is a platform with ready and proven protocols, systems and a team of supportive partners. Every partner contributes their strength to compensate for the weakness of each other. This spirit of sharing is the uniqueness of the firm.


What areas do you feel require further improvements?


No doubt nowadays technological advancements affect every industry including ours. Our role is changing from the traditional way of compiling compliant paper works etc. to advisory roles mainly to advise businesses in strategic planning, technicality vs practicality of law compliance, business risks and opportunity, funding, etc.

The paper work nowadays can be handled by automation processes and artificial intelligence can supplement advisory functions. I wish to contribute my 20 years’ of experience in this area for the benefit of Cheng & Co.


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


Globalisation has made business borderless hence penetration into markets of other countries particularly in Asia Pacific will be our plan for the next 10 years to fulfill our Vision of being the leading home grown international accounting firm.


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


Execution is important not just talking. Execute the plan and keep on improving. Make the right career choice. This is more effective than believing in destiny. Do things right by learning from past mistakes.


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