DONNIES Alas should be taking things easy. Already in his mid-60s, the chairman and chief executive of Alas Oplas & Co., CPAs—an independent member of global accounting network BKR International—should already have had a foot across retirement’s door.
Instead, he’s chasing his career second wind—and a legacy for his industry.
It’s called Alas Oplas Alliance Firms.
Alas Oplas Alliance Firms is groundbreaking effort to create an independent network of accounting practitioners and firms across the country—under a unified nationwide name, and umbrella structure led by Alas himself.
The idea came to him following his 2014 stint as president of the industry’s Association of Certified Public Accountants in Public Practice (ACPAPP) and of the ACPAPP Foundation the following year.
In those two years at the helm of ACPAPP and ACPAPP Foundation, he travelled extensively across the Philippines, meeting practitioners nationwide and coordinating trainings for them. At the end of both terms, it became obvious that many of his fellow accountants were longing for continuous training courses in accounting—and in running their own practices and firms as businesses.
“The accounting practice is a fast-evolving industry these days, and practitioners and firms need to keep up with the trends through training, so that they—and their clients—are confident that when they sign their names across documents, these are reviewed with a set of eyes that are updated with latest developments in the relevant laws and practices,” Alas said.
Alas Oplas Alliance Firms is not much different from a number of the networks that operate globally; independent companies able to fly the same corporate flags—and enjoying the benefits of such alliances—except that their members represent much smaller Philippine regional markets and practices. Some of their 72 of the Alas Oplas Alliance Firms’ members are solo practitioners; others, small firms.
Yet each member is passionate about self-improvement and growth as are many of their local clients.
“The country is undoubtedly experiencing growth; with that growth, comes a requirement for accountants who can keep pace—and enable further expansion in business,” Alas added.
That is where the training and coaching sessions he offers to his partners prove invaluable.
It is not just about client growth–but that of his member firms as well.
Alas relates that a number of his own consultations deal with servicing their own partner practitioners and firms.
He is proud to say that some of his earlier partners have started billing higher because they were able to move up the value chain, providing more complicated and comprehensive services after receiving the training and tools that Alas Oplas Alliance Firms equipped them with.
Donnies Alas may be a mentor—a father-figure even—to the accounting professionals at Alas Oplas Alliance Firms, but he smiles with an excitement of an upstart cradling a startup.
He talks of the growth of businesses in regions outside of Metro Manila—and even across Asean—now increasingly enabled by the ease of communications and travel. These will require more—and better—Filipino accounting professionals. The youthful elder statesman is welcoming them all to his Alliance.
“More than anything, I choose prospective members after looking into their hearts,” he reveals.
“It’s got to be in the right place. It’s got to be in the service of the truth. Because you’ll eventually have to sign your name across your work.”
For Alas, the Alliance Firms’ heart is the very ace up its sleeve. And that, he prays, will be his legacy.
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OBJECTIVES AND COMMITMENT
The main objective of Alas Oplas Firms is to ensure that the Alliance member firm has best management practices, technical update, international audit and accounting standards, and compliance to government requirements. And assist Alliance Member achieve the highest standard of professional practice in the fields and promote among Alliance Members the sharing of best practices and information relevant to each areas of expertise.
Also members are entitled of continuous training programs and provide assistance under the Client Servicing Program when the same is required by the Alliance Member. Under this program, Alas Oplas Alliance Firm will send its own experts to Alliance Member when there is such need and the alliance member lacks the required capacity to be able to render the service.
VISION AND MISSION
We aim to be the preferred choice of quality driven entitles for its excellent service.
To provide reliable professional services to small and medium entitles in adherence with existing local laws and regulations.
• Community service and work life balance
• Passion and commitment
• Ethics and excellence
• Continuous improvement and learning culture
• Compliance and transparency
• Adaptability and flexibility
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BOARD OF TRUSTEES