Chinese professional services firm Huapu Tianjian joins RSM

28 December 2018 Consultancy.asia

The Chinese tax and accounting landscape continues to be reshaped with local firm Huapu Tianjian joining the RSM network.

The world’s sixth largest tax, audit and consulting network RSM has bounced back from a recent set-back in China with the admittance of Huapu Tianjian Public Accountants to its global network – bringing ten new country-wide offices and around 1,800 professionals and partners into the RSM fold in what the firm says is the first step towards building a top ten local provider.

The move follows a decision last month from leading local accountancy Ruihua CPAs (approximately 10,000 employees and 40 branches across the China) to sever its unusual joint partnership agreement with RSM and mid-market rival Crowe for an exclusive arrangement with Crowe, the loss of leaving RSM at the time with a decimated presence in the world’s largest growing economy.

“China is an important region for internationally ambitious middle market businesses that RSM serves,” RSM International’s Chief Executive Officer Jean Stephens told the media agency International Accounting Bulletin in response to the set-back. “We are in advanced discussions with a potential new member firm that will meet our clients’ needs and share our global values.”Huapu Tianjian joins RSMAs stated by RSM, the admittance of Huapu Tianjian is just the first building block in what it envisions as a top ten local provider, with Huapu Tianjian gearing up to open a series of new offices across Mainland China – expanding its coverage beyond its current seven provinces of operation through both organic growth and a ‘robust merger programme’ planned for the near future.

“We have plans to significantly increase our client portfolio, capabilities and overall scale, and to attract some of the best Chinese talent to join our enterprising firm,” said Houfa Xiao, Chief Accountant at Huapu Tianjian. “We are delighted to be joining RSM and are excited to be a critical part of the network’s growth plans for the region. The RSM brand is strong and we look forward to making it even stronger in China.”

According to RSM, Huapu Tianjian brings considerable expertise to the network’s cross-border client base with experience serving its own existing base of international corporate and middle market clients across the shipping, real estate, food & beverage and professional services sectors – while also noting that its international division will be joined by professionals from RSM’s previous member firm.

“Today is just the beginning of an exciting new chapter for RSM in China,” Stephens said. Huapu Tianjian shares our vision for RSM to be a fully-integrated firm focused on providing consistent, high-quality services. China is a crucial destination for our internationally active clients across the globe…We have big plans for RSM in China and I look forward to sharing more very soon.”

Accounting firms in China last year generated collective revenues in excess of US$14 billion according to figures from the Chinese Institute of Certified Public Accountants (CICPA) – with the market led by PwC Zhong Tian and Deloitte Hua Yong. Globally, RSM is the sixth largest accounting and consulting network with 40,000 employees across 750 worldwide offices and total revenues of $5.1 billion, placing it behind just the Big Four and BDO, which recently reported 2018 annual revenue of $9 billion.