Grant Thornton China has merged with locally
owned firm Ascenda CPA.

Ascenda CPA specialises in audit, advisory and
IPO services. The merged firm will be branded as Grant Thornton
China and increases the firm’s headcount to 2,400 staff as well as
add 15 offices. In International Accounting Bulletin’s
2011 China survey, Grant Thornton reported 1,500 staff in

By headcount, the merged entity would be among
the four largest firms outside the Big Four.

“Having just doubled the size of Grant
Thornton Russia through a strategic merger, this is another
excellent demonstration early in 2012 of our stated ambition to
grow our business substantially in key markets,” Grant Thornton
International chief executive Ed Nusbaum said.

“Grant Thornton China, in the world’s second
largest economy, is critical to the success of our global

Grant Thornton has been building its presence
in China the past few years with strategic mergers that allow it to
operate as a single firm across Greater China. This led to Grant
Thornton separating paths with its Hong Kong member in 2010.