Fish and Ponds

This year, myself and Greg Rathbun attended PrimeGlobal’s combined World and Asian Pacific conference in Ho Chi Min city.
First, a bit of history regarding our association

  • Gilligan Sheppard joined ‘Polaris International’ in 2009 and the Asia Pacific meeting was held in Auckland, where we hosted firms from all over the world in our offices. This was our first experience with any sort of association and we received huge benefits rubbing shoulders with other progressive firms around the world.
  • In 2011 Polaris International merged with IGAF and became Primeglobal. The first post merge Asian Pacific meeting was held in Taiwan. Greg found himself on the initial Asia Pacific board to help with the merger transition.
  • After the merge, PrimeGlobal became the world’s third largest independent accounting association.
  • The firm size in PrimeGlobal varies and that is understandable. Some firms are from big ponds such as London, New York, Hong Kong and Hamburg with more than 200 staff; some are from small ponds with less than 20 staff.
  • This year’s conference was held in Ho Chi Min city as a combined World and Asian Pacific Conference.

Prime Global, is an international association with professionals such as public accountants, auditors, business consultants and tax specialists with the goal of supporting independent accountancy practices, providing technical excellence and high professional integrity for clients all over the world.
So, why did Gilligan Sheppard join this type of association? We spend many thousands of dollars each year for the privilege of being a member plus time and cost of attending conferences. The answer is two fold.

  1. Anywhere in the world that any of our clients want to do business, we can pick up the phone and know that we are going to get a skilled and responsive professional on the other end.
  2. We have an opportunity to deal with leading international practices and exchange ideas that ultimately enhance our service to clients.

All firms in the association whether they are small-fish-in-a-big-pond or a big-fish-in-a-small-pond, share the same philosophy of being independent, skilled and responsive and relevant to client needs.
More and more we are living in a global village and over the last 4 years we have referred many clients to our offshore associates, and likewise, we have advised many overseas individuals and companies. We see this trend continuing to grow. and see the cost and efforts to maintain healthy and active connections to professional overseas as a valuable service for our clients with international aspirations.
Since we joined PrimeGlobal, Gilligan Sheppard has introduced many new concepts to New Zealand: and we have introduced many of our techniques around paperless office and outsourcing to Australian firms.
As a partner of Gilligan Sheppard, I have been privileged to attend the meetings and conferences gaining insights to help our clients. Some firms find the conference a good opportunity to reward their staff and serve as team bonding exercises. I know a big firm in Shanghai hiring 200 Chinese CPAs like to send their staff on an around the world tour.
Some people like myself like a little of all of the above, and of course, meeting new people. We are big fish in a small and remote pond. I like to learn things from others. I enjoy the chance of going out, seeing different places and meeting different people. As they say, business will not find you while you are sitting at home, you will find business if you go out and seek it. All fish should swim out of their small pond from time to time and find ways to become bigger fish or to survive better in that small pond.

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