Accountant duo Sabahan CKP strengthens the team and clients by staying ahead of the technology curve.
Consulting Firm CKP, CHIA, Ka & Partners PLT Uses Xero Cloud Accounting Software to Help SMBs Reach New Heights
CHIA, Ka & Partners PLT, or CKP for short, pride themselves on being an accounting firm that truly enjoys working with SMEs, helping them grow based on key market insights and sound financial advice.
It’s been almost seven years since Jeremy Chia and Edward Ka, former classmates from Sabah Tshung Tsin Secondary School, reconnected in Kuala Lumpur and founded their consulting firm.
“I have experience in shared services,” explains Chia. “I worked in a multinational and I was a tax accountant in charge of Scandinavian entities in Denmark and Norway. I joined the company, initially as an auditor, and was amazed that although I was based in Malaysia, I had colleagues from Sweden and London, and we were all helping clients from around the world entire. It really opened my eyes to the power of technology as an enabler. »
With this in mind, Chia and Ka joined forces and launched CKP locally, recognizing the gap and the opportunity in Malaysia.
“Countries like Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada were already at least 10-15 years ahead of the game when it comes to adopting cloud accounting. We saw the opportunity to help accountants digitally transform and stay competitive. »
As 34-year-old Chia explains, “Today we serve more than 300 clients from Kedah to Sabah in various sectors, from event management to construction. They now employ a staff of 21 based in Taman OUG, Kuala Lumpur.
“Since the founding of CKP, we have been very clear on our direction: to bring SMEs to the cloud and help them increase their revenues and profitability, which is reflected in our slogan “Together we grow”.
CKP’s passion for helping local businesses digitally transform can be traced to their own successes. They were early adopters of the Xero cloud accounting platform, which Chia says has been extremely valuable as they have grown, especially with a rapid influx of customers in 2019.
“Having everything online saves a lot of time and unnecessary work. Instead of calling clients asking for documents, we were able to make the process much smoother and faster, our collective productivity. »
When the pandemic hit in 2020, CKP was already able to work remotely. “Working from home became the norm in 2020/2021, and it was a breeze for us because everything was already in the cloud. Since then, we have continued to see 50% revenue growth from year after year,” Chia shares.
“The beauty of cloud accounting is that it allows us to work on the same system with our clients with access to all necessary financial information and documentation at our fingertips.” Chia said
“Xero also has the added benefit of being connected to other workflow apps such as Storehub, SwingVy and Payroll Panda, which provide customers with an all-in-one business solution.”
He spoke of a recent client with three separate branches in Malaysia and had racked up 700 pages of bank statements in six months.
“In the past, reviewing these statements would have taken us about two months at least, which would have resulted in significant billable hours that would have cost our client dearly. But with built-in digital tools like Dext, which uses OCR and modeling technology to extract written information from receipts, invoices, and other financial documents, all that data is converted in seconds and flows directly into Xero. With manual data entry out of the way, time could be spent on more valuable work like forecasting and budgeting, profit improvement and risk assessment, Chia says.
One of the requirements of CKP is that anyone who joins the team will be required to achieve Xero certification within their first week on the job! After that, training is provided at weekly clinics hosted by Ka.
“Our weekly workshops/clinics are also a great channel to iron out any challenges we may face week in and week out.”
Cloud accounting with a human touch
Chia explains that when they first decided to move to cloud accounting, he and Ka scouted various vendors.
“We chose Xero not only for its awesome features and interface, but also for the human touch of the Xero team. We reached out via email and the account managers were not only quick to respond but were extremely They really listened to us and invested in helping us overcome the challenges we were facing.
Both Chia and Ka say they love Xero’s customer support and have developed an ongoing relationship with the Singapore-based Xero team.
“I plan to take the team to visit Xero’s head office in Singapore soon and meet some of the local CPA firms to learn from them. We love these kinds of conversations because they empower us,” says Chia, adding that CKP recently participated in Xerocon Sydney, Australasia’s largest accounting conference.
Ka adds enthusiastically, “It was a great learning experience for us, hearing about the new ways accountants are serving their clients and transforming the industry from data entry accounting to becoming advisors and financial managers. valuable to their customers.”
As a Xero Gold Champion Partner, Chia says CKP has enjoyed increased visibility and recognition, with many young entrepreneurs seeking accountants familiar with cloud business solutions, like Xero. He says, “This is how we continue to attract new customers who love Xero’s features and who, in turn, refer us to their network.
CKP says its long-term dream is to become one of the top 10 business processing contractors in Malaysia.
Chia says: “With the support of Xero, we will definitely get there much faster. We also hope that over the next five years at least 30% of our revenue will come from overseas customers, as we can now work with customers based in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore to easily access data through the cloud. »
Having known each other for 17 years, Chia and Ka are not only partners but old friends. Did they ever dream that they would run a business together one day? “No, never,” laughed Chia and Ka, adding, “it’s really amazing how it all turned out.”
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