CCaSS Partners attend UNCTAD meetings

SGV Climate Change and Sustainability Services (CCaSS) Partners Clairma T. Mangangey (CTM), Joseph Ian M. Canlas (JMC), and Benjamin N. Villacorte (BNV) attended the 36th session of the Intergovernmental Working Group of Experts on International Standards of Accounting and Reporting (ISAR) of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Geneva, Switzerland. The session focused on the practical implementation and measurement of core indicators for entity reporting. The participants also reviewed current developments in ISAR in the public and private sectors.

(From left to right): CCaSS Partners JMC, CTM and BNV at the UNCTAD

Before the ISAR session on 30 October to 1 November, the three partners participated in  technical workshop on climate-related financial disclosures on 29 October. The workshop participants discussed the practical implementation of climate-related financial disclosures and their relation to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The workshop also highlighted the role of sustainability accounting standards and regulations in attaining SDGs. Also discussed were best practices in environmental accounting and reporting, as formulated by the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures.

The UNCTAD also presented ISAR Honors to the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for promoting the SDGs. In an effort to uphold sustainable practices and reporting standards in the country, the SEC released Sustainability Reporting Guidelines for Publicly Listed Companies through Memorandum Circular No. 4, Series of 2019, which requires publicly listed companies to submit sustainability reports to monitor and manage their economic, social and environmental impacts.

CCaSS Partners with Philippine SEC Chairperson Emilio Benito Aquino (center)
and other Filipino delegates at the UNCTAD

CTM, JMC and BNV lead SGV’s CCaSS practice in the Philippines. Armed with the Firm’s competencies in assurance, tax and advisory, the CCaSS practice aims to help organizations identify, develop and execute strategies in the areas of climate change, sustainability advisory and assurance, social impact advisory, and health, safety and environment.  

SGV hosts EY ASEAN Regional events

SGV played host to EY Asia-Pacific (APAC) and ASEAN Leaders on 21-23 October with a series of events, briefings and social gatherings. Guests included EY APAC Tax Leader Eng Ping Yeo, APAC Tax Deputy Leader Ian McNeill, ASEAN Regional Managing Partner Nam Soon Liew, EY Singapore Country Managing Partner Max Loh, ASEAN Advisory Leader Sang Hoe Chow, and ASEAN Tax Leader Amarjeet Singh. The plenary events were held at the Washington SyCip Development Center (WSDC).

ASEAN Tax Strategy Workshop participants

The SGV Tax team, led by Fame delos Santos, hosted the ASEAN Tax Strategy Workshop on 21-22 October. SGV Vice Chairman and Deputy Managing Partner Wilson Tan hosted the ASEAN Regional Partners Forum on 22 October; while SGV Chairman and Managing Partner Itos Cruz hosted the ASEAN Regional Leadership Team Meeting on 23 October. All sessions concluded with a dinner at the SGV Museum.

ASEAN Regional Partners Forum dinner
ASEAN Regional Leadership Team Meeting dinner

ASEAN BOA delegates visit SGV

As part of SGV’s commitment to reinforce our linkages across the region, the Firm welcomed members of the Philippine Regulatory Board of Accountancy (BOA) together with the delegates from the ASEAN Chartered Professional Accountant Coordinating Committee (ACPACC) during their official visit to the Philippines on 23 October. The delegates included members from Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

Accompanied by officials from the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA), members of the ACPACC and BOA were welcomed by SGV Vice Chairman and Deputy Managing Partner Wilson Tan who gave an overview of the Firm’s history and Purpose journey. The delegates were also given a tour of the SGV Museum, SGV Founder Washington SyCip’s office, and the new Talent office.

The visit included a roundtable discussion, presided by SGV Assurance Partner Dolly Miguel, on the accountancy services in the Philippines. Professional Regulatory Board of Accountancy Chair Hon. Noe Quiñanola opened the session and spoke on the importance of each country’s role in strengthening the accounting profession in the region.

SGV Partners with ASEAN BOA delegates

SGV Partner, Professional Practice Director and Risk Management Head Lucy Chan delivered a comprehensive presentation on the accountancy practice in the Philippines. Former SGV Partner and Professional Regulatory Board of Accountancy member Gerry Sanvictores discussed the readiness of Filipino CPAs in implementing the ASEAN Mutual Recognition Agreement on Accountancy Services.

The session concluded with a panel discussion moderated by Financial Services Organization Partner Ian Lauron. Assurance Services Leader Vivian Ruiz, Tax Services Leader Fame delos Santos and Assurance Partner Cheryl Ong also attended the event.

SGV Clark conducts Transfer Pricing briefing

SGV Clark conducted a tax and transfer pricing briefing on 17 October in the SGV Office. The briefings provided a comprehensive discussion on the new Revenue Audit Memorandum Order No. 1-2019 issued by the Bureau of Internal Revenue which supplements the existing transfer pricing audit guidelines and provides standardized audit procedures and techniques in the audit of taxpayers with related-party transactions. Participants from private companies in Pampanga and nearby provinces attended the briefing.

Tax Partner Romulo Danao discussing transfer pricing rules and
regulations in the Philippines

Tax Services Leader Fame delos Santos discussed updates on the tax reform packages, including the Corporate Income Tax and Incentives Rationalization Act (CITIRA) [HB No. 4157]. Transfer Pricing Country Leader and Tax Partner Romulo Danao provided an overview of Transfer Pricing Rules and Regulations in the Philippines, while Tax Partner Deonah Marco-Go spoke on the salient provisions of Transfer Pricing Audit Guidelines.

Tax Partner Deonah Go discussing the salient provisions of
transfer pricing audit guidelines

An open forum followed the talks where Assurance Partner Peps Zabat and Global Compliance and Reporting Partner Leo Leaño shared their insights on the topics discussed.

SGV Clark organizes comprehensive tax seminar

SGV Tax Services and the Global Compliance and Reporting (GCR) Team conducted a tax seminar titled Tax Basic Seminar (BaSe): How to Survive Your Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Audit on 18 October at the SGV Office in Clark, Pampanga. The seminar provided a comprehensive discussion on the conduct of a BIR audit and how taxpayers can address issues in the different stages of the audit investigation. Participants from private companies in Pampanga and nearby provinces attended the briefing. Assurance Partner Peps Zabat was also present during the seminar.

GCR Partner Leo Leaño speaking at the comprehensive tax seminar
Tax Partner Margaux Advincula speaking at the comprehensive tax seminar

Tax Partner Margaux Advincula and GCR Partner Leo Leaño spoke on the issues commonly raised by the BIR during tax assessments and leading practices that taxpayers can apply to address these issues.

EY Ripples holds First Business Clinic

EY Ripples conducted its first business clinic last 5 November. Co-organized with Endeavor Philippines, the program aimed to equip impact entrepreneurs with practical knowledge and skills in tax and financial planning to accelerate their growth in business. SGV volunteer partners and managers conducted group mentoring sessions with participants from the fintech, production and services, and business process outsourcing industries.

Transaction Advisory Services (TAS) Partner Marie Stephanie Tan-Hamed (MTH) and volunteer TAS managers conducted lectures on financing options and methods, enterprise valuation and preparing for investment. Tax Partner Kaye Sta. Maria-Constantino (KMC) and volunteer Tax managers provided an overview of Philippine taxation, highlighting the functions of income tax, value-added tax and withholding tax.

SGV Partners MTH and KMC, with Endeavor Philippines Managing Director Manny Ayala and participants at the EY Ripples Business Clinic

Participants found the clinic very practical, effective and educational. The SGV volunteers were proud to be a part of a program that supported impact entrepreneurs by sharing best practices aimed to drive growth in their respective organizations. SGVeans can look forward to more EY Ripples activities in the future.

EY Ripples is a global corporate responsibility program that provides EY professionals with opportunities to use their knowledge, skills and experience to positively impact millions of lives by working with impact entrepreneurs and supporting the next generation.

(SGV) was accredited by the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) as 1st Institutional Training Provider (ITP)

On September 4, 2019, SyCip Gorres Velayo & Company (SGV) was accredited by the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) as 1st Institutional Training Provider (ITP). The accreditation recognizes SGV’s relevant experience in financial crime services, including advisory projects such as framework assessments, independent assessments, policy gap analysis, know-your-client/client due diligence remediation, institutional risk assessments, and transaction monitoring scenarios tuning. Pursuant to AMLC’s action plans on capacity building and promoting anti-money laundering (AML) and counter financing of terrorism (CFT) awareness, SGV will facilitate and conduct training seminars and fora for covered persons and institutions.

From left to right: Christian G. Lauron, CPA, MBA, FRM (Partner-Financial Services), Francisco Roque Lumbres, CFA, PRM (Partner-Financial Services), Glaiza Escaño, CPA (Director-Financial Services), Meliza Deniega (Director-Financial Services), Veronica Arce Balisi, CPA, CAMS (Partner-Financial Services), Vicky Lee-Salas, CPA, CAMS (Partner and Head of Financial Services), Atty. Mel Georgie Racela, CPA, LLM (AMLC Executive Director), Jerry Leal (AMLC Director Detention and Prevention Department), Atty Allan Julius Azcueta, DipPM, CAMS (AMLC Risk Assessment and Domestic Commitments Staff), Alvin Bermido (AMLC Deputy Director and Head of Commitments and Policy Group) and Marlon Jerard Paruginog (AMLC Capacity Building and Communications Staff).

SGV is the Philippine’s largest multidisciplinary professional services firm. The Firm provides integrated solutions that draw on diverse and deep competencies in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. SGV’s unmatched track record is a result of the Firm’s commitment to empower clients with programs and initiatives that enhance their capabilities to meet the challenges of today’s market.

SGV’s Financial Crime Services team include Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (CAMS), experienced financial services industry professionals, information technology specialists, statisticians and fraud examiners. To view SGV’s training schedule, click this link.

For further details and should you want to hear more about SGV’s AML/CTF services, please feel free to reach out to the following people below:

SGV marks 73 Purposeful Years

SGV Partners and Staff gathered to celebrate the Firm’s 73rd Staff Anniversary last 20 August 2019 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City. The event recognized the Firm’s outstanding professionals who stand united and committed to delivering exceptional client service and fulfilling our Purpose.

SGV Vice Chairman and Deputy Managing Partner Wilson Tan welcomed over 5,000 professionals to the first part of the anniversary celebrations, which featured staff promotions and recognized SGV’s CPA board examination top placers and the passers of the Certified Information Systems Auditor examinations. He thanked everyone for their exceptional performance for the past fiscal year and invited all to recommit to SGV’s Purpose of nurturing leaders and enabling businesses for a better Philippines.

EY ASEAN Regional Managing Partner Nam Soon Liew then delivered his remarks, highlighting EY’s growing practice in the ASEAN region. He encouraged everyone to align their actions towards Vision 2020 by focusing on winning in the market, creating high performing teams, and strengthening global and empowering local markets.

SGV Leadership Team with RMP Nam Soon Liew

At the start of the second part of the program, SGV Chairman and Managing Partner Itos Cruz spoke on the Firm’s achievements for FY19 and the latest developments in the practice. He emphasized the significance of SGV’s legacy and the role that the Firm plays in national sustainable development. He then called on stage the Leadership team who guide SGV’s professionals to remain committed to our Purpose.

SyCip and Special Award Recipients

The second part of the program also recognized the Loyalty, Special and SyCip Awardees for their outstanding service to the Firm. In a special tribute, SGV staff led by the SGV Glee honored retiring partners Arnel de Jesus and Louie Ferrer.

Newly Admitted Advisory Principals

and PartnerNewly Admitted Assurance Partners

Newly Admitted Tax Partners and Principal

The program concluded with the formal presentation of the 12 new SGV partners and principals: Margaux Advincula, Albert Bon, Armando Cajayon Jr., Philip Casanova, Carlo Dimarucut, Thyrza Marbas, Liez Rafal-Roble, Bienvenido Rebullido II, Wanessa Salvador, Maricris See, Karen Sta. Maria-Constantino, and Arlyn Sarmiento-Sy.

The celebrations were punctuated with exciting raffle prizes and entertaining performances from the top three finalists of SGV’s Got Talent Season 8. The staff anniversary program was followed by a thrilling after-party where everybody danced the night away with Hale, Ebe Dancel and DJ Patty Tiu.

SGV holds SME Digital Transformation Event

SGV presented the findings of the EY ASEAN SME Survey titled Redesigning for the Digital Economy last 20 August 2019 at the Washington SyCip Development Center. The seminar’s purpose was to discuss how organizations across ASEAN are addressing the challenge of digital transformation to keep up and compete in today’s disruptive environment. It was attended by various entrepreneurs from local SMEs.

SGV Vice Chairman and Deputy Managing Partner Wilson Tan delivered the welcome remarks for the event. EY ASEAN Managing Partner Nam Soon Liew then discussed the survey findings, which covered SMEs from the six largest ASEAN markets; namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines. The aim of the survey was to crowdsource ASEAN SME organizations and understand their strategic priorities, growth expectations and challenges, approaches to digital transformation and applications of transformative technologies. The survey included insights from almost 370 ASEAN mid-market organizations with annual global revenues of between $20 million and $500 million.

IT Advisory Principal Armand Cajayon also gave a presentation on the challenges of SMEs on digital transformation and how SGV’s newly launched Automation and Innovation Delivery Hub (AIDH) can help these SMEs through their digital transformation journeys. The AIDH aims to become a positive driver for digital transformation by presenting the opportunities that digital disruption brings to businesses and society.

SGV hosts AML-CFT Forum

SGV hosted a forum on Counter Proliferation Financing (CPF) and Machine Learning last 13 August at the SGV Museum in Makati City. Anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism (AML-CFT) professionals and compliance officers from different banks, insurance companies and financial institutions attended the forum.

Financial Services Organization (FSO) Partner Veronica Arce-Balisi (VAB) welcomed participants and shared updates and developments on proliferation financing.

Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) for Financial Crime & Security Studies research fellow Emil Dall introduced proliferation financing, and its regional and country specific factors and risk exposures. He also presented trends, indicators and case studies related to proliferation financing. RUSI Director Tom Keatinge discussed the significance of raising awareness on proliferation financing. He emphasized the importance of the collaboration between public and private sectors that lead CPF initiatives. He also spoke on the incorporation of CPF tools in compliance programs.

Financial Services Risk Management Partner Ian Lauron shared how machine learning and artificial intelligence can be integrated in combating money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation financing.

The forum was organized by the SGV AML Working Group and FSO Advisory Team led by VAB, together with Directors Meliza Deniega and Aeron Paul Ramos; Senior Associate Erika Teh; and Associates Geraldine Co, Rachel Grace de Castro, Laurene Lou Ramos, Radelaine Czarina Borreta, Matt Joshua Montoya, Charline Gonzales, Mark Dennis Salapare, and Gene Carlo Marquez.