On 2-3 July 2020, Russell Bedford International held the Russell Bedford Asia-Pacific Web Conference 2020. For the first time, the conference was carried out online with record breaking attendance for regional meeting, of over 80 participants joining from countries across the globe. The two days conference was filled with engaging discussions from panellists and updates from each Russell Bedford Asia Pacific firm members.

 

The conference was opened by an inspirational address by Russell Bedford’s chair, Bruce Saward. The first session in the day one of the conference was delivered by Matt Stokes, partner and colleague of Saward Dawson, Russell Bedford’s Melbourne member firm. Matt discussed the value of automation process in supporting the business operation. This session was followed by a panel discussion on ‘Protecting and future-proofing your practice’ led by Wong Kok Siong, partner at Steven Tan Russell Bedford PAC. The panellists for this discussion were Vish Vaidyanathan (Chennai, India), James Whitelaw (Brisbane, Australia) and Van Anh Thai (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam). Day one conference was concluded with practice updates from each Asia Pacific member firm.

 

During this practice update, Ibu Anintya from Russell Bedford SBR team delivered a brief presentation on Indonesia’s current economic situation, updates on Indonesian Accounting and Auditing standard in response to COVID19, Russell Bedford SBR practice updates during this pandemic as well as highlighting several key business opportunities post-COVID19. Ibu Anintya discussed that COVID19 had affected the firm’s daily operation with several engagements are being postponed to later date. Nevertheless, despite the challenges that Russell Bedford SBR faced during the pandemic, some new initiatives on staffs training were also prepared. In her presentation, she further highlighted on how she really looked forward to how organisations would innovate and embrace the use of technology to keep up with the ever-changing situation caused by COVID19.

 

A welcome address from Stephen Hamlet, Russell Bedford CEO, opened the Conference day two discussing the recently launched ‘Russell Bedford Professional Development’ which aims to assist members with their training capabilities. The first session on the conference second day was delivered by Liu Hern Kuan, Head of Tax at Tan Peng Chin LLC, a Singapore based full-service law firm, discussing on recent trends in the pursuit of corporate tax avoidance. The session was followed by a panel discussion focused on marketing in the current climate, led by Mike Sweeney director at Adelaide firm, Lee Green & Co. Panellists LOH Kok Leong (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), Romona Zhao (Beijing, China) and James Ngai (Hong Kong, China). The conference was closed by the second sessions on final practice updates from the Asia-Pacific firms.