In 2011, after years of working in the accounting industry, married couple Lawrence Chai (30) and Stephanie Chua (31), decided to come together to establish their own accounting firm, 3E Accounting, in Novena, Singapore.

The couple's decision to open a business of their own was due to the discrepancy in service they noticed at some other firms in Singapore. The other accounting companies charged more for low quality financial services.

Lawrence and Stephanie decided to use their years of experience in the industry to start a joint venture. Lawrence assumed the role of Managing Director while Stephanie assumed the role of Director. Since then, five years have passed and they are looking to expand their operations to other markets across the globe.

The Owners

Stephanie Chua, Director, has years of experience in this industry. She worked as an accountant for a company based in Singapore and her past experience also includes working for a medium-size audit firm in both Singapore and Malaysia. Her role as accountant has given her insight and knowledge of financial management in the following areas:

• Manufacturing
• Water treatment plants
• Hospitality
• Trading
• Non-profit organizations
• Investment holdings
• Property development
• Hypermarket
• Construction

Her experience in this diverse range of sectors gave her the idea to establish a firm in Singapore that offers several different services, including basic financial management services such as accounting, and taxation. By offering clients with a list of services and solutions to choose from, 3E Accounting broke ground by becoming the first company in Singapore to take that route.

Stephanie, a member of the Association of Chartered Accountants and a Chartered Accountant of Singapore of the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA), with her husband and partner, Lawrence Chai, have plans to establish more offices across the globe.

Her vision for the company has already come partially true, as they have established more than thirty offices with the combined staff of over 600 employees on continents Asia, Europe, Africa, North America, and South America as well as the region of Oceania. Together with her partner Lawrence, she plans to increase and accelerate the process of expansion to establish more offices in the Southeast Asian nations by 2017.

Lawrence Chai, Managing Director, also shares his wife's experience. His expertise lies in several key areas such as business advisory services, construction, water treatment plants, investment holdings, property developments, etc. Lawrence's past work experience includes working in both listed and non-listed businesses, catering to a diverse range of industries. He has worked at Baker Tilly Monteiro Heng, an affiliate organisation of a Malaysian accounting firm, located in Singapore.

At the accounting firm, his duties included conducting due diligence reviews of both local and international businesses. He also has experience in performing special investigation engagements at the company. Other firms he has worked in include LTC LLP in Singapore where he again worked for several non-listed and listed businesses. His work in the accounting industry has earned him the following awards:

• The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
• An Ordinary Member of Singapore Institute of Directors
• An Associate Member of Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE)
• An Affiliate of the Singapore Association of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries & Administrators (SAICSA)
• An Accredited Tax Practitioner of the Singapore Institute of Accredited Tax Professionals (SIATP)
• A Member of Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS)
• A Chartered Accountant of Singapore of the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA)

Introduction to 3E Accounting

Stephanie and Lawrence wanted to separate themselves from other accounting firms. The innovative company introduced a diverse number of services, including the usual accounting, taxation, and secretarial. Other services the company offers include business setup, corporate secretarial, human resources, immigration and legal services, other jurisdiction set up, software sale and development, etc.

As previously mentioned, the company has continued to grow with numerous offices established in a multitude of regions, however, the professional couple have mentioned in the past that they would like to target clients in the Asia-Pacific region and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). For their effort, the company earned a place amongst the top thirty accounting firms in Singapore.

Both Stephanie and Lawrence credit their firm's success to the three Es' they adopted and now follow, to deliver efficiency, effectiveness, and economical accounting solutions and services to their clients located all around the world, led by a team of experienced staff. For their efforts, 3E Accounting has won the following awards:

• Approved Employer by ACCA Award (2012)
Top 30 Accounting Firms in Singapore in Singapore Business Review's Magazine (2016)
• Top Player Firm Award in Singapore by Singapore Brand (2016)
• TAFEP Exemplary Employer Award (2016)
• Enterprise Services ranked the company in their Top 10 Premium Compliance Service Providers of 2016 in the APAC region (2016)
• Xero Certified Advisor (2016)

Their Team

3E Accounting's staff compromises of eighty percent females. The company credits their high female ratio to the flexible working hours they offer along with the technology they utilize to increase productivity and efficiency of their entire workforce. 3E Accounting uses the Cloud to control and back up their work progress, which allows them eliminate miscommunication.

The technology they utilize also allows them to provide their clients, based in different countries, with improved support. They connect with their clients using a variety of different mediums such as an online chat portal, telephone, in-person conferences, and emails.

3E Accounting received recognition in 2012 with the ACCA Approved Employer. The ACCA Approved Employer is a certificate given to employers who focus their efforts on the training and development of their staff. In 2013, the company received recognition as an Accredited Training Organization in Singapore.