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Local accounting firms struggling in China

Only one purely local Chinese accountancy firm makes it into the country’s top 10 firms according to Paul Gillis PhD CPA, Professor of Practice at Peking University’s Guanghua School of Management. Gillis, author of the online China Accounting Blog, says analysis of data released by the Chinese Institute of CPAs shows Pan China as the only solely domestic player in the top 10.

Overall, revenues for the top 100 Chinese CPA firms grew at a rate of 6.7% last year, said Gillis, falling into line with Chinese GDP growth having outperformed in past years. In total, there are 120,604 people working for accounting firms in China.

Gillis suggests that past Chinese government policy to promote the development of local CPA firms appears to have been diluted and he suggests that the next round of mandatory audit rotation due in 2020 could be a make or break moment, either seeing local firms winning some of the large state-owned enterprises as audit clients or cementing the position of power currently held by the Big Four.

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