Reyes Tacandong & Co. – APEA – Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards

CORPORATE EXCELLENCE

Reyes Tacandong & Co.

‘Firm Principles. Wise Solutions.’ This is the tagline of Reyes Tacandong & Co. (RT&Co) and this is the basic business model of this firm that is now referred to as the Philippines’ fastest growing professional services firm that provides top-notch solutions to its clients and outstanding learning and development opportunities to young Certified Public Accountants (CPA) and lawyers.

RT&Co is an all Filipino firm of professionals recognized in the industry as authorities in Digital Transformation, Due Diligence, Tax, Advisory Services, and Audit. The firm’s vision is to provide value-added solutions that drive sustainable business growth. RT&Co is determined to become the most trusted and most preferred provider of best-value solutions anchored on firm principles.

The Founding Partners
A group of partners headed by Roman Felipe S. Reyes, Senior Partner and SGV Vice-Chairman, and 13 other partners left the firm where they have practically spent their entire professional lives after graduating from accountancy and passing the CPA licensure examinations. For some of them, they spent as many as 37 years in that firm until that historic day in February of 2009 when they decided to leave because they protested the integration of SGV with global Ernst & Young (EY). Reyes and his colleagues believed that EY’s entry into SGV is a constitutional breach given that the practice of accountancy in the Philippines is limited to Filipinos. The group of mutineers stood firm to their principle and was dubbed as SGV 14. They walked away with a withdrawal package that included a one year non-compete clause.

The Early Years
Feeling responsible for the younger partners who shared his cause, after the expiration of the one year noncompete provision, Reyes immediately went into action with Protacio T. Tacandong, also a Senior Partner and was the Chief Finance & Administrative Officer and Head of Branches of SGV, and seven others from SGV 14 to set-up Reyes Tacandong & Co. in 2010. At that time, all they had was a dream.

In June 2010, in a 200 square meter office space at the Phinma Building at the Rockwell Center in Makati, RT&Co started operations with 20 employees and a couple of months after, opened its first branch in Davao. Reyes as Chairman tirelessly marketed the services of their start-up firm and networking at every opportunity, while Tacandong headed operations as Chief Operating Officer. They started recruiting the best and the brightest including some of their managers and staff from the previous firm. They went around various campuses recruiting until the firm’s big break came when San Beda graduate Marvin Martija, who placed 7th in the October 2010 CPA board examinations, joined. With barely four months in operations, Martija decided to join RT&Co as he was inspired by the news and reports of the bold move of SGV 14 and was keen to be part of their dream.

In May 2012, less than two years in its operations, RT&Co was able to hire the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th placers in the CPA board examinations. This was a first in the history of the Philippine accounting industry which made the competition take note of their former partners’ activities and made changes with their own hiring strategy, reportedly using enhanced salary scales ‘to sweeten their offer.’ In the following years , RT&Co managed to attract more and more CPA and bar top-notchers, as well as graduates of schools from all over the country with Latin honours.

Coming from the global financial crisis in 2008 and 2009, there was some degree of uncertainty for opening new businesses and thus, the timing of setting up a new auditing firm was not ideal. However, not only did RT&Co surmount the challenges at that time but instead, the firm expanded rapidly.

People First
With the well-established links of Reyes, Tacandong and the other founding partners to the business community, developing a client base was not a big problem. The bigger challenge was to hire talent ‘without breaking the bank.’

When RT&Co started, they really wanted to improve the local accounting industry. They wanted to make sure that the life of accountants in the Philippines would become better. They wanted to be a game changer.

In the country, the norm of firms is to place auditors in a bullpen or a common area where they are to find a place to work when they are in the office. In RT&Co, the staff are assigned a cubicle and are each given a laptop. Now, that is indeed game changing! Chairman Reyes acknowledged that RT&Co was not able to compete with the top firms in terms of remuneration. Thus, they appealed to the youthful idealism of potential hires by ‘selling them a dream’ and telling them that RT&Co may not be able to give large sums of money but as they are a growing firm, ‘there is plenty of room at the top.’

RT&Co also distinguishes itself by being very hands-on in engagements, thus ensuring that its partners have full understanding and appreciation of their clients’ needs. The partners also practice ‘an open-door policy’ where any staff can come and see them anytime.

The firm has also become known in the way it treats its employees, like family. This culture and its work environment have also become known among young CPAs and lawyers that these are now among the reasons why young professionals join the firm.

In addition, the firm ensures the continued development of the competencies of its people by providing a training program that includes sending them to masters and management courses in leading graduate schools in the Philippines, to various certification courses, to training abroad as well as on foreign assignments.

RT&Co’s thrust of hiring the best and the brightest has become its reputation.
RT&Co Today
After over eight years in operations, RT&Co now has 27 partners and is expected to be more than 800 strong by the end of 2018. The firm has already been engaged for various services by more than 2,000 clients that include 21 of the Top 50 companies, 32 of the 50 in Forbes Philippines’ Richest and 34 listed companies. Its head office is located at the heart of the Makati Central Business District and it has strategically located branches in Davao, Cebu, Iloilo, and recently launched an office in Clark, Pampanga.

In this age of disruption, Chairman Reyes has given the directive for the firm to become the Digital Transformation Consulting Firm of CPAs and lawyers where their people will have the skillset to be relevant today and in tomorrow’s business landscape to be able to respond to the continuing and evolving needs of their clients and the business community as a whole.

RT&Co is a member firm of RSM International, the 6th largest global audit, tax, and consulting network. RSM has firms in 120 countries and are in each of the top 40 major business centres throughout the world. RSM has a combined staff of over 43,000 in over 800 offices across the Americas, Europe, Middle East and North Africa, Africa and Asia Pacific.

RT&Co’s logo is a lucky red circle with 14 white beads representing the 14 partners that stood firm to their principles. It also represents its 14 values that include Integrity, Leadership, Excellence, Teamwork, Respect, Credibility, Nurturing, Discipline, Stewardship, Passion, Professionalism, Business Smart, Commitment, and Reliability.

CORPORATE EXCELLENCE

Reyes Tacandong & Co.

‘Firm Principles. Wise Solutions.’ This is the tagline of Reyes Tacandong & Co. (RT&Co) and this is the basic business model of this firm that is now referred to as the Philippines’ fastest growing professional services firm that provides top-notch solutions to its clients and outstanding learning and development opportunities to young Certified Public Accountants (CPA) and lawyers.

RT&Co is an all Filipino firm of professionals recognized in the industry as authorities in Digital Transformation, Due Diligence, Tax, Advisory Services, and Audit. The firm’s vision is to provide value-added solutions that drive sustainable business growth. RT&Co is determined to become the most trusted and most preferred provider of best-value solutions anchored on firm principles.

The Founding Partners
A group of partners headed by Roman Felipe S. Reyes, Senior Partner and SGV Vice-Chairman, and 13 other partners left the firm where they have practically spent their entire professional lives after graduating from accountancy and passing the CPA licensure examinations. For some of them, they spent as many as 37 years in that firm until that historic day in February of 2009 when they decided to leave because they protested the integration of SGV with global Ernst & Young (EY). Reyes and his colleagues believed that EY’s entry into SGV is a constitutional breach given that the practice of accountancy in the Philippines is limited to Filipinos. The group of mutineers stood firm to their principle and was dubbed as SGV 14. They walked away with a withdrawal package that included a one year non-compete clause.

The Early Years
Feeling responsible for the younger partners who shared his cause, after the expiration of the one year noncompete provision, Reyes immediately went into action with Protacio T. Tacandong, also a Senior Partner and was the Chief Finance & Administrative Officer and Head of Branches of SGV, and seven others from SGV 14 to set-up Reyes Tacandong & Co. in 2010. At that time, all they had was a dream.

In June 2010, in a 200 square meter office space at the Phinma Building at the Rockwell Center in Makati, RT&Co started operations with 20 employees and a couple of months after, opened its first branch in Davao. Reyes as Chairman tirelessly marketed the services of their start-up firm and networking at every opportunity, while Tacandong headed operations as Chief Operating Officer. They started recruiting the best and the brightest including some of their managers and staff from the previous firm. They went around various campuses recruiting until the firm’s big break came when San Beda graduate Marvin Martija, who placed 7th in the October 2010 CPA board examinations, joined. With barely four months in operations, Martija decided to join RT&Co as he was inspired by the news and reports of the bold move of SGV 14 and was keen to be part of their dream.

In May 2012, less than two years in its operations, RT&Co was able to hire the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th placers in the CPA board examinations. This was a first in the history of the Philippine accounting industry which made the competition take note of their former partners’ activities and made changes with their own hiring strategy, reportedly using enhanced salary scales ‘to sweeten their offer.’ In the following years , RT&Co managed to attract more and more CPA and bar top-notchers, as well as graduates of schools from all over the country with Latin honours.

Coming from the global financial crisis in 2008 and 2009, there was some degree of uncertainty for opening new businesses and thus, the timing of setting up a new auditing firm was not ideal. However, not only did RT&Co surmount the challenges at that time but instead, the firm expanded rapidly.

People First
With the well-established links of Reyes, Tacandong and the other founding partners to the business community, developing a client base was not a big problem. The bigger challenge was to hire talent ‘without breaking the bank.’

When RT&Co started, they really wanted to improve the local accounting industry. They wanted to make sure that the life of accountants in the Philippines would become better. They wanted to be a game changer.

In the country, the norm of firms is to place auditors in a bullpen or a common area where they are to find a place to work when they are in the office. In RT&Co, the staff are assigned a cubicle and are each given a laptop. Now, that is indeed game changing! Chairman Reyes acknowledged that RT&Co was not able to compete with the top firms in terms of remuneration. Thus, they appealed to the youthful idealism of potential hires by ‘selling them a dream’ and telling them that RT&Co may not be able to give large sums of money but as they are a growing firm, ‘there is plenty of room at the top.’

RT&Co also distinguishes itself by being very hands-on in engagements, thus ensuring that its partners have full understanding and appreciation of their clients’ needs. The partners also practice ‘an open-door policy’ where any staff can come and see them anytime.

The firm has also become known in the way it treats its employees, like family. This culture and its work environment have also become known among young CPAs and lawyers that these are now among the reasons why young professionals join the firm.

In addition, the firm ensures the continued development of the competencies of its people by providing a training program that includes sending them to masters and management courses in leading graduate schools in the Philippines, to various certification courses, to training abroad as well as on foreign assignments.

RT&Co’s thrust of hiring the best and the brightest has become its reputation.
RT&Co Today
After over eight years in operations, RT&Co now has 27 partners and is expected to be more than 800 strong by the end of 2018. The firm has already been engaged for various services by more than 2,000 clients that include 21 of the Top 50 companies, 32 of the 50 in Forbes Philippines’ Richest and 34 listed companies. Its head office is located at the heart of the Makati Central Business District and it has strategically located branches in Davao, Cebu, Iloilo, and recently launched an office in Clark, Pampanga.

In this age of disruption, Chairman Reyes has given the directive for the firm to become the Digital Transformation Consulting Firm of CPAs and lawyers where their people will have the skillset to be relevant today and in tomorrow’s business landscape to be able to respond to the continuing and evolving needs of their clients and the business community as a whole.

RT&Co is a member firm of RSM International, the 6th largest global audit, tax, and consulting network. RSM has firms in 120 countries and are in each of the top 40 major business centres throughout the world. RSM has a combined staff of over 43,000 in over 800 offices across the Americas, Europe, Middle East and North Africa, Africa and Asia Pacific.

RT&Co’s logo is a lucky red circle with 14 white beads representing the 14 partners that stood firm to their principles. It also represents its 14 values that include Integrity, Leadership, Excellence, Teamwork, Respect, Credibility, Nurturing, Discipline, Stewardship, Passion, Professionalism, Business Smart, Commitment, and Reliability.