By PHUWIT LIMVIPHUWAT
In 2018, Deloitte Southeast Asia gained revenue of US$230 million from its audit and assurance business, with Thailand contributing 15 per cent of the region's revenue, said Chavala Tienpasertkij, partner for audit and assurance services at Deloitte, in a press interview session. Thailand trailed only Singapore, which contributed between 40 and 45 per cent.
To achieve its revenue goal, the company has set a target for double-digit growth in its number of clients. It has around 5,000 clients, with up to 1,000 of them in Thailand, Chavala said.
In 2018, the company saw an increase in the number of clients by 9 per cent, with those from Thailand increasing by 15 per cent, he said.
Key Deloitte clients in Thailand that are using its auditing services include Bank of Ayudhya (Krungsri) and Bangkok Bank in the financial sector, PTT Global Chemical and IRPC in the energy sector, and Max Value and Tesco Lotus in retail.
Through its auditing services, Deloitte provides internal and external confidence for the financial statements of its clients through overseeing and making sure that they follow public guidelines, rules and policies, Chavala said.
“Digital disruption is changing the way businesses operate. Deloitte has been adapting to the new market landscape through implement new software technology and regionalising our operation to improve our services for our clients,” Chavala said.
Deloitte Global has invested US$600 million to develop auditing software called Omnia in the past two years. Co-developed between its New York and London bases, Omnia is an end-to-end platform that allows Deloitte to automatically analyse their clients' financial information without requiring auditors to re-input their clients’ financial information in a separate system, he said.
The pilot program was launched for the US and European regions in 2018 and has now been rolled out the firm’s Asia Pacific bases.
“Another piece of software which Deloitte has been developing in its Thailand office is Rapiers, which will run on a separate platform than Omnia,” he said. “Rapiers automates the process of closing their clients' financial accounts at the end of each month and is able to reduce the amount of time the process takes from 40 to 120 hours to only 12 to 20 hours.”
Chavala plans to propose Rapiers to his Southeast Asia counterparts for use in Deloitte operations throughout Southeast Asia in 2019. If successful, he said, the programme will then be proposed for implementation throughout the wider Asia-Pacific region.
To improve operations at a regional level, Deloitte has also regionalised its management model to allow for more integration and exchange of resources in the Asia-Pacific region, according to Chavala.
“Deloitte offices throughout the 10 Asean countries formed Deloitte Southeast Asia that operates under a single CEO in 2008,” he said. “Last year, we formed Deloitte Asia Pacific to improve the quality of our services for multinational companies as well as to widen our pool of resources.”
This allows for more data and know-how exchange between the Deloitte offices in the Asia-Pacific region. For example, a large portion of Deloitte Thailand's clients are Japanese firms that have set up in the Kingdom. Regionalising its operations allows experts from Deloitte bases in Japan and Thailand to exchange information and offer a more holistic service for their clients, he said.
From regionalising its operations, implementing new digital software and growing client numbers in 2019, Deloitte Southeast Asia aims to increase its number of clients by 5 to 6 per cent.