RSM expands China presence
RSM has acquired Beijing-based firm Huapu Tianjian Certified Public Accountants LLP, expanding its reach in China. The move will bring 10 new offices country-wide and 1,800 professionals and partners into the RSM network. It is part of the firm’s strategic growth plans, and its first step towards building a top 10 local provider. Huapu Tianjian will serve RSM’s existing base of international corporate and middle market clients across the shipping, real estate, food and beverage, and professional services sectors. “China is an important region for internationally ambitious middle market businesses that RSM serves,” said RSM International’s Chief Executive Officer Jean Stephens. “Today is just the beginning of an exciting new chapter for RSM in China.”
KPMG launches new law firm in Hong Kong
KPMG launched an affiliate law firm in Hong Kong this month, in a bid to meet increasing demand from clients for legal services. The new firm, SF Lawyers, will be led by accountant and lawyer Shirley Fu, who will lead a team of 20 lawyers. The firm also plans to launch in Shanghai later this year, where it will have a team of 22. Stuart Fuller, Head of KPMG Law said: “We want to expand our legal operations to meet the increasing client demand for legal services. We are not intending to be in direct competition with other law firms.” EY has also expanded their legal services in Hong Kong in recent years, while Deloitte plans to launch its legal firm this year.
Airbnb heads for IPO
Accommodation rental business Airbnb announced its second straight year of profitability on an adjusted basis as it prepares for an initial public offering (IPO). The company exceeded US$1 billion in quarterly revenue in the third quarter of 2018, and is currently valued at US$31 billion. Chief Executive Officer Brian Chesky has pledged to hold the IPO before 2020, once employee equity grants expire. The company, which launched as a start-up in 2008, expects to hit 500 million guest arrivals by the end of this year’s first quarter. It is one the many private tech companies expected to go public this year, alongside ride-hailing apps Uber and Lyft and co-working start-up WeWork.
IRS employees to work amid government shutdown
The United States Treasury Department is forcing more than 50,000 Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employees to work without pay, following the release of a revised shutdown contingency plan. The new plan, released on 15 January, comes less than two weeks before the IRS will start to process paper and electronic returns and issue refunds to taxpayers. National President of the National Treasury Employees Union Tony Reardon said: “There is no doubt the IRS needs to get ready for the 2019 filing season that starts 28 January, and IRS employees want to work, but the hard, cold reality is that they’ve already missed a pay cheque and soon they’ll be asked to work for free for as long as the shutdown lasts.” The U.S. government has been partially shut down since 22 December 2018.