Contributed by Moore Asia Pacific

The coming years will present many changes and challenges for the profession, but opportunities for network collaboration and synergies abound. This was one of the key takeaways from the 2020 Moore Asia Pacific Conference, conducted for the first-time ever on a wholly-virtual platform from 2 to 4 December 2020, and attended by almost 300 participants comprising of key business and service leaders from Asia Pacific firms of the Moore Global network. During the seminar, participants exchanged views and insights on new industry developments, collaboration opportunities, and network initiatives.




The conference kickstarted with a welcome address by Mr. Mick Aw, Chairman of the Moore Asia Pacific Regional Council. According to Mr. Aw, 2020 has brought about irreversible changes to the world of business, regardless of the future trajectory of the pandemic. Business trends such as remote working, digitalization, and e-commerce, are here to stay. To succeed, businesses need to adapt, quickly and decisively, and seize opportunities in the new landscape. Thereafter, Mr. Anton Collela, CEO of Moore Global, took the stage to discuss network-wide developments in 2020 and the outlook into 2021. Mr. Collela shared his vision for the Moore network to be the world’s most respected professional network, and for the network to achieve profitable and sustainable growth through community, quality, innovation and value. According to Mr. Collela, 2019 was a time of building foundations for the network through vision, strategy, purpose, branding, and a strong membership model. In 2020 and beyond, the aim is to enhance the unity of the network, network quality, building leaders in the network, raising the network’s global profile, and a focus on growth.

Following on was the first guest speaker of the seminar, Mr. Yaseen Anwar. Among other titles, Mr. Anwar is currently a Member of the International Monetary Institute International Board in China, and serves on the Advisory Board of the Official Monetary & Financial Institutions Forum. Mr. Anwar provided an overview of the current economic backdrop in which the global economy operates, focusing in particular on the COVID-19 Pandemic. According to Mr. Anwar, the global economy is in uncharted territory. Economic policy makers today need to deal with a wide variety of threats and opportunities, including technology, geopolitics and climate change. There are many opportunities in these developments for the profession, not least in the areas of sustainability and technology. 

Next, Mr. Neo Keng Jin and Ms. Lao Mei Leng, Partners from Moore Singapore discussed current business norms and post-pandemic opportunities. According to Mr. Neo and Ms. Lao, the pandemic has affected business operations, supply chains, consumer behavior and regulations, and member firms need to respond. Internally, network firms need to streamline internal processes for greater efficiencies and to adapt to the virtual world. Externally, the network needs to seize opportunities to help companies adapt in the new landscape, by providing needed services such as cash flow management, business process improvement, sustainability reporting, cybersecurity, and others. 

Rounding up the first day’s seminar was Ms. Karen Wong, Director of Quality at Moore Asia Pacific, who provided updates on several network initiatives to help member firms manage risk and quality. Firstly, the network is developing a new online platform to deal with the International Standards on Quality Management (ISQM) that was approved by the global auditing standards body, which set out a new audit quality management framework that will be effective by December 2022. ISQM will require professional firms to invest more effort in quality management, focusing on leadership, and using a risk-based approach. The network’s new platform will support member firms to implement ISQM, and appropriate training will also be provided. Secondly, the network is also developing a new Quality Portal to capture data related to firm quality and support network quality reviews with online workflows. Finally, the network is also working towards developing network-wide common audit tools and is currently assessing two potential candidates, Caseware and Inflo. 


The second day kickstarted with a presentation by Mr. Joe Zhou, International Business Head of Da Hua CPAs Beijing, the China member firm of the network. Mr. Zhou discussed the development of Da Hua over the years, and provided an overview of the key expertise and services within the firm. This was followed by a panel session on managing employee mental health and productivity, comprising of Mr. Craig Hemphill, Chair of Moore Markhams New Zealand, Ms. Chanderkant Choraria, Partner at Moore Singhi India, and Davide Costanzo, Director at Moore Australia. The panel was moderated by Dr. Lana Weldon, General Manager at Moore Australia. Panelists discussed how COVID impacted work at their firms, and how they have coped with the people challenges. These included challenges faced by staff in dealing with family interruptions while working from home, staff concerns over job security, issues with remote training and on-the-job supervision, and forced technology adoption at a rapid rate.A key learning point for most panelists was the importance of regular staff communications on critical issues, such as job security, to keep staff calm and focused on the job.

The afternoon of the second day opened with insights on talent management by Ms. Margie Alt, Director of Talent at Moore Global. Ms. Alt shared information on the key people-related Moore network initiatives, which included the Harvard Moore Executive Leadership Program, Moore Ambition, Moore Learning, Moore Quest, and the Global Mobility program. Ms. Alt was followed by the second guest speaker of the webinar, Mr. Saurabh Gaur, who is Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology in India. Mr. Gaur shared insights on the rapid economic development of India, the rapidly increasing ease of doing business in India, as well as the massive opportunities in India especially in the electronics and Information Technology industry. The second day ended with three breakout sessions on sector-specific opportunities. The first breakout session was on shipping, led by two partners from Moore Singapore, Mr. Chris Johnson, and Mr. Wong Koon Min, which provided insights into Moore Global’s substantial expertise, client base, and credentials in the Shipping industry.

This included the Moore Maritime Index, a quantitative service which allows ship owners to benchmark their ship operating costs. The second breakout session, on China insolvency and restructuring opportunities, was led by Mr. Jim Wardell, Executive Chairman of Moore Recovery in Hong Kong. The third breakout session was on digital economy taxation services and was led by Ms. Mika Yamada, Senior Partner of Moore Shisei Tax Corporation, in which tax specialists from across Asia Pacific shared insights into digital taxation developments in their respective countries.


The final day of the seminar began with a presentation by Mr. Zac Radbone, Global Head of Digital Media at Moore Global. Mr. Radbone introduced Moore Intelligence, a new Moore Global initiative to revamp websites of Moore member firms across the globe to enhance thought leadership content, visual attractiveness and to allow greater specificity in terms of providing targeted content to audiences.

Thereafter, Mr. Koh Fujimoto, Partner at CDH Chicago, shared experiences on how CDH identified and exploited opportunities for cross-border tax and wealth management services, specifically, in providing taxation solutions to Japanese wealthy individuals residing in the United States. Due to the large locality involved, the marketing campaign cannot be limited to a traditional face-to-face sales approach, and the firm has deployed new social media routes such as LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook, as well as webinars and e-newsletters. 

Following on was Ms. Lilia Liu, Partner at Moore Panama, who shared insights on Asian business opportunities in Latin America. Ms. Liu shared statistics to demonstrate the significant Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indian, and Singapore business communities in Latin America, highlighted key industries in which there are opportunities (namely Infrastructure, Agriculture, Energy and Technology), and shared advice on doing business in Latin America. 

Next, Mr. Benjamin Yeo, Corporate Finance Director at Moore Australia, showcased the firm’s cross-border Lead Advisory specialist skills and services, and key elements for corporate finance deals to succeed in the current pandemic. Mr. Yeo shared a live case study involving a sell-side transaction representing a parking service provider client with a portfolio of 450 car parks, and how the corporate finance team managed investment interest from Private Equity and Pension Fund investors from across Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan.

Concluding the morning’s session was Mr. Patrick Rozario, Advisory Managing Director at Moore Hong Kong, who provided insight into the firm’s expertise in supporting service organizations with assurance services in the post-COVID era. According to Mr. Rozario, while many service centers already sought to redesign themselves for greater efficiency prior to COVID, this took on greater focus post-COVID as COVID challenges led to the need for greater agility and efficiency. Assurance services such as those conducted under the SOC Reporting framework, and the ISAE 3402 reporting framework, escalated in importance, to allow service organizations to meet customer requirements on information reliability. Mr. Rozario shared technical insights into these reporting frameworks, highlighting that this presents an opportunity for the Moore network, given that the specialist skills for such assurance services exist within the network.

The afternoon session commenced with two breakout events. The first event, led by Mr. Leon Hou, Regional Director at Moore Asia Pacific, summarized the key projects currently undertaken by the Moore Global China Desk, which included the creation of a Chinese website for the Moore Global network showcasing the credentials of network firms across the globe as well as a professionally-translated version of network thought leadership pieces. The second was on Cyber Security led by Mr. David Roath, Partner at CitrinCooperman, and Mr. Kevin Ricci, Principal at CitrinCooperman, which highlighted the firm’s specialist skills and credentials in Cyber Security services, and how that presents an opportunity for the network.

The conference ended at about 3.30pm with a closing speech by Mr. Andy Armanino, Chair of Moore Global. Mr. Armanino shared that while 2020 has been a year of crisis, the crisis presents an opportunity to transform, and a platform for future success. Mr. Armanino opined that Moore Global has not wasted the opportunity, and has spent 2020 building its strategy, its structure, and developing innovation. Looking ahead, Mr. Armanino anticipates that clients will need more help from Moore firms to deal with the crisis, and that the network will continue to collaborate, improve, and develop future leaders.