3E Accounting Interview
3E Accounting is a corporate service provider in Singapore with their head office in Novena. We spoke to Lawerence Chai, the founder of 3E Accounting.
How did you start 3E Accounting?
I started 3E Account in the year 2011 with the mission to offer Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Economy (3E) with complete & affordable services for SMEs and Startups.
Before I found 3E Accounting, I worked in an audit firm where I was involved in auditing for various industry and advisory works.
What made me start 3E Accounting is because for the fact that being an auditor, I worked 24 hours 7 days and I figured out that was not the life I wanted. I decided to start my accounting firm and offer a work-life balance for myself and my staff. And that was how 3E Accounting was born.
What were the biggest challenges in starting 3E Accounting?
When I just started, the first challenge is to attract talent because when we were small, not everybody would want to join us. So what we do is that we offer work-life harmony or work-life balance and we allow them to adopt flexible work arrangement such as telecommuting stagger working hours and offer that family culture and we differentiated ourselves from the competitor and was able to attract talent to join us in the initial stage.
How did working at Baker Tilly help propel you to grow 3E Accounting?
I was working as auditor at Baker Tilly and with that experience it was helpful for me to start my own accounting firm.
How important was your expertise in digital marketing and SEO in 3E Accounting’s success?
Marketing is very important especially during the time when I started 3E Accounting. These days people are looking at their phone and web browser to look for services, hence digital marketing is definitely important for us in this new era. That’s why we have been putting in a lot of effort in digital marketing strategy for the firm such as website building, content copywriting as well as advertisement campaign, Google ad. All these activities contributed part of the success of 3E Accounting regarding the marketing efforts.
We have both in-house and external team to help us with our marketing activities.
What are 3E Accounting’s 2021 goals and how what is the plan to achieve them?
For 2021 is definitely a challenging year. It’s the year that the economy is recovered but still slow as well. This is also a cut-off point for all the business to enter into industrial 4.0 so many firms have to go into digitalisation, adopt technology, automation, adopt AI, or even develop it. it’s the future.
We try to follow the Singapore’s Industry Transformation Map, we set up our own digital R&D team Accounting and develop our own digital masterplan so as to match up with the Digital Transformation of the business.
In 2021, we will probably be focusing on robotics process automation, machine learning, artificial intelligence and these are the areas we are planning to adopt for our productivity so as to grow in the future.
As people are spending more time on mobile devices, how will 3E Accounting digitalise?
We understand clients nowadays want instant access to the information so we have our own 3E Accounting mobile app to be designed for all potential clients around the world can easily contact us when they need to. They can look for our worldwide offices from the Global Accounting Network across 80 countries – all can be found in the mobile app as well as online appoint booking system to make it easier for them to book their next appointment with us. They can actually make the same-day appointments themselves from the app.
These are the function we have in the app to connect to our clients.
If you could go back in time, what three skills would you either pick up or double down on?
If I could go back in time, I would like to pick up digital skill set as soon as possible. Because the existing business model will no longer work forever unlike in the past whereby some business would work for hundreds of years. In this era, business need to refresh our skillset every few years and the world is changing so fast, different business model is coming every few years.
In the industry 4.0, we expect many cutting jobs will be replaced by robots and RPA, or Artificial Intelligence. Hence in order to avoid being left behind, there is definitely an urgency to transform and further effort for the digital transformation.