Big Four firms KPMG and Deloitte celebrate milestones in Malaysia

20 April 2018 3 min. read
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Two of the acclaimed Big Four accounting and advisory firms are currently celebrating their milestones in Malaysia, with KPMG notching its ninetieth year of service in the country and Deloitte blowing out the candles on fifty.

Tracing its local history back to a small accounting firm established in 1928 in Ipoh, a former tin-mining town 110 miles north of now capital Kuala Lumpur in the state of Perak, KPMG can lay claim to the being the oldest professional accounting services firm in country – tying their official ninetieth anniversary to the recent Chinese Lunar New Year.

With such a heritage, KPMG in Malaysia can also boast of being older than Mickey Mouse, bearing witness to the first transatlantic television transmission from the inventor John Logie Baird, and outlasting the famed mathematician John Ford Nash – the inspiration for a Beautiful Mind who was born in the same year and passed in 2015.

Moreover, the local firm was in existence nearly three decades before the independent nation of Malaysia itself, and indeed, preceded the introduction of the electronic calculator by nearly the same. Needless to say, the firm has moved on somewhat from the days of the abacus, now at the very forefront of the digital revolution with a cutting-edge Cyber and Digital Hub established at its local KPMG Tower headquarters in Petaling Jaya last year.

Big Four firms KPMG and Deloitte celebrate milestones in Malaysia

To mark the beginning of its year-long celebrations, the local branch arranged for a traditional acrobatic lion and dragon performance at the same Petaling Jaya heart of its operations, attended by a number of Executive Committee members and Managing Partner Datuk Johan Idris, who said of the occasion; “When we consider how our history began 29 years before Malaysia gained independence, that’s when we realise just how rich our legacy is.”

Today, the firm has grown to eight locations across Malaysia, with a roster of 2,100 local professionals, and is the oldest KPMG member firm among the more than 25 offices of Southeast Asia, stretching from Myanmar to the Philippines and everywhere in between. Recently, the local branch was voted the seventh-most desired employer in Malaysia through a survey of Malaysian graduate students.

Meanwhile, a few kilometers across town, KPMG’s fellow Big Four professional services firm Deloitte has been celebrating a significant milestone of its own – marking 50 years in business in what is now Southeast Asia’s fourth largest economy. And while not quite yet the display of longevity of its rival, Deloitte’s golden jubilee in the country is certainly nothing to sniff at.

Dating its heritage back to the founding of Kassim Chan & Co. in 1968, the firm was in operation still barely the decade after the declaration of Malaya independence, and has since likewise grown to dot the map with eight offices across the country, hosting some 1,800 professional employees and over 130 directors and partners. Altogether, Deloitte Southeast Asia has a headcount of 8,000 across 25 regional offices, and continues to expand, with Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos added to its local regional over the past few years.