Top accounting firm seeks locals for its office in far-flung province
A big-name accounting firm has chosen to expand its mainland presence by opening an office in a faraway northeastern province.
Since October last year, the long-standing political, economic and cultural centre of Shenyang has been home to the 11th mainland office for KPMG, a global network of professional firms providing audit, tax and advisory services.
The office's remit is to serve KPMG's domestic and multinational clients in the northeast provinces, including Liaoning. Accordingly, it has started operations with a 50-strong team to provide a spectrum of services. Eddie So, the senior partner in the Shenyang branch, said most new staff were locally recruited.
'Although we have transferred a few employees from other mainland offices, such as Qingdao, KPMG has adopted a localisation approach,' Mr So said. 'We believe it would be in the best interests of our clients if we had people with local knowledge.'
John Harrison, the firm's chairman for the mainland and Hong Kong, said the establishment of the office would ensure greater service coverage in the northeast. Shenyang is one of the most vibrant cities in the mainland. By 2006, 50 of the world's top 500 businesses, including Carrefour, BMW and Pepsi Cola, had established businesses in the city.
Setting up the Shenyang branch came thanks to supportive colleagues. It was also beneficial because of its strong focus on hiring the right people, Mr So said.
Some senior managers have also been transferred from other offices to train staff. The aim is for an additional 50, mainly locally recruited, employees to join the team this year.
'There are several universities in northeastern China [and] we have held recruitment talks locally, and [we] have a direct recruitment [programme] here every year,' he said. 'Right now, there are about 7,000 KPMG people in China; we are planning to increase this to 10,000 over the next two to three years ... and that includes Shenyang.'