Baker Tilly China has expanded its
services through a merger with Vocation International CPA (VICPA)
the ninth-largest accounting firm in China, according to the
network. The combined entity will operate as Baker Tilly China.

VICPA, previously a member of UHY
International, has 12 offices across China, in locations including
Beijing, Shenzhen, Shanghai and Hunan. The firm has 1,200
professional staff with annual turnover of CNY430m ($63m).

The addition of VICPA grows Baker
Tilly China’s revenue to about CNY610m, which would place the group
as number eight in the country, according to International
Accounting Bulletin
research.

The firm’s client base includes
companies listed on the Shanghai, Shenzhen and Hong Kong stock
exchanges, state-owned enterprises and the private sector.

“They are very strong with auditing
and they have a paperless office, which is very unusual in China,”
Baker Tilly International chief executive and president Geoff
Barnes said.

“They do a lot of financial
consulting and they have a strong international tax firm. This will
further augment the services we can offer our clients as they seek
coverage in all parts of China. This will add greater firepower to
our ability to service clients in that region.”

The global leader predicts the new
Chinese member should lead to a flurry of network referral work in
and out of China.

China’s Ministry of Finance will be
granting a handful of licences to firms that meet certain criteria
in order to audit the country’s state-owned enterprises and clients
listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

VICPA would fit certain government
requirements, including being of adequate size in revenue and
headcount.

Over the past couple of years, there has been several strategic
tie ups between large Chinese firms and the global mid-tier
networks. The three largest tie-ups in 2009 involved BDO
International, Grant Thornton International and Crowe Horwath
International.