Chinese firm Ruihua CPAs leaves RSM for exclusive Crowe partnership

09 November 2018 Authored by Consultancy.asia

The large Chinese accounting firm Ruihua CPAs has joined the Crowe Global network, severing its joint partnership with RSM International.

Chinese accounting firm Ruihua CPAs, one of the largest tax, audit and consulting players in the local market, has exclusively joined the Crowe Global network – the sixth largest accounting network in Asia. Ruihua CPAs departs from RSM International, of which it was previously a joint member together with Crowe, leaving RSM with a decimated presence in the lucrative market.

According to figures from the Chinese Institute of Certified Public Accountants (CICPA) and the Chinese Ministry of Finance, accounting firms in China last year generated collective revenues in excess of US$14 billion (led by PwC Zhong Tian and Deloitte Hua Yong), with the local sector noted for its rapid recent growth – including a reported 20% rise for the Big Four over the past two years.

Previously nudging its way into the local ‘Big Four’, Ruihua CPAs initially emerged through the merger of Crowe Horwath China and RSM China in 2013, at the time posting annual revenues pushing the $500 million mark, with a headcount in excess of 2,500. Currently, the firm has nearly 10,000 employees and 40 branches across the China, and since its formation has taken the somewhat unusual path of operating as a local member of both RSM and Crowe Global.

Hoping to recapture market share and scale globally, Ruihua CPAs has now joined exclusively with Crowe Global (which rebranded from Crowe Horwarth International earlier this year) – altogether the eighth largest accounting network in the world, with over 200 independent member firms combining for a total workforce of 36,000-plus professionals across 130 countries generating global revenues of $3.8 billion last year.Chinese firm Ruihua CPAs leaves RSM for exclusive Crowe partnership“I believe in the importance of China and Chinese businesses to the future of the global economy, said David Mellor, CEO of Crowe Global, with the firm noting in a statement that it expected the impact of China in the global business market to continue to grow. “The exclusive membership of Ruihua CPAs in the Crowe network is a great achievement which will provide lasting value to our members.”

Mellor, who took on the CEO role earlier this year, continued; “We have worked hard to build strong relationships with the Chinese firm since it joined our network over nine years ago. This commitment has proven to be an asset when servicing multinational clients. This move unifies our existing strengths and capabilities and enables the network to further develop its presence in the region.”

As part of its local drive, Crowe Global is also set to establish a China Marketing Centre in Beijing, with Mellor and Ruihua CPAs working together to develop the Crowe brand in the country and generate greater opportunities for Crowe member firms serving Chinese outbound investors. In a statement, Crowe Global also said its member firms and Ruihua CPAs have a close working history, through joint client engagements and staff secondments and training.

Ruihua group Chairman Yang Jiantao, who has also served as a co-Chairman of Crowe Global since 2014, commented on the move; “We thank our clients for their consistent trust and support of Ruihua. As a fresh start for both Ruihua and Crowe, we shall leverage our strengths and capabilities worldwide to better serve them and help them achieve sustainable and healthy development.”

Speaking with accountancy media agency International Accounting Bulletin, RSM's global CEO Jean Stephens said, “China is an important region for internationally ambitious middle market businesses that RSM serves. We are in advanced discussions with a potential new member firm that will meet our clients’ needs and share our global values… Our clients in the region will continue to receive the highest quality service, supported by an ongoing office in China and member firms in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan.”

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