With Cheng & Co’s celebrating its 25th Anniversary 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 will highlight the thoughts of Mr Ong Chee Seng (C.S. Ong), Managing Director of Indah Global Group, a strategic business alliance of Cheng & Co Group.


C.S. Ong joined Cheng & Co as a strategic business partner in 2011. Before this, he was running his own firm, C.S.Ong Management and Secretarial services under Indah Secretarial Advisory Sdn. Bhd. which was one of the close business associates of Cheng & Co. C.S. Ong came to know Cheng & Co in 1996 when one of his client’s staff was the wife of Professor Dato Dr Chua Hock Hoo, the co-founder of Cheng & Co.


In early 2011, Professor Dato Dr Chua made a proposal to C.S. Ong to merge as a strategic business alliance with Cheng & Co where Indah Global Group can focus on non-audit services like corporate secretarial services, accounting services, internal audit, and most importantly, international business advisory. C.S. Ong accepted the proposal as he felt that merging for a  strategic alliance will bring synergy with Cheng & Co group’s well diversified portfolio and strength of their young energetic team.


C.S. Ong 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 homegrown international accounting firm.




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


Cheng & Co., embracing the notion “as the largest homegrown accounting firm” need a team of capable partners that are willing to work together, make quick accurate decisions and daring to take up positions to deliver. Key factors such as willingness to adopt to  new ideas and carry out crucial changes are essential driving forces for the group to move forward.




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


Since I joined, I have witnessed our group’s capabilities to expanded both internally and externally too. This gives us not only a strong platform to promote and market our services but boost staff confidence tremendously. Furthermore, a lot of new programmes and training are provided for self-improvement and brain-storming sessions, thus keeping partners abreast on current market development.  




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


In the audit industry, most of the practitioners are not willing to accept new partners nor offer opportunities to their own staff to join unless they are old or incapacitated. However, Cheng & Co embraced the M&A approach to grow and expand its frontier, giving selected staff the opportunity to play important roles in the group’s growth.




What areas do you feel require further improvements?


In my opinion, Cheng & Co is lacking in the Digital Technology area. The world is moving towards Industrial Revolution 4.0, having changed the global landscape of technology along with it. The accountancy profession need to be ready embrace the technology impact.


More attention is required to look into system integration, cybersecurity and cloud remote computing which will drastically improve the efficiency of business operations and organisation management.


With many years of experience in accounting software and system integration, I can assist and provide the team with valuable opinion and directions in digital improvement.


When I took over the secretarial division in 2011, I carried out similar system improvements to help them improve their document workings, file control and client communication.




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


Currently I am managing the international division. My future plan is to try and oush our services to penetrate overseas markets such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Indonesia and Thailand.




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


To be a good Manager, you must also be a good colleague. Don’t just say I, me, you but we and us. If we don’t take time to train and teach the junior staff properly, they will never able to perform well. Not everyone is the same, some will learn faster than others, so we have to show patience and understanding. Always check in with your team and offer some time to help and discuss their cases.


Newcomers should not be shy and must always ask questions when unsure. Knowledge is wealth and the more you know the faster you can climb the corporate ladder. Always accept constructive criticism and engage with the team.

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