Life at Deloitte
Meet Jenny Liu
Lead Partner - China Services Group
Tell us a little about your role at Deloitte and your professional journey to get to this point.
I started as a graduate at Deloitte Beijing, transferring to the tax team in the Auckland office when my husband and I migrated to New Zealand. I’m now a Tax Partner in the Tax & Private service line at Deloitte Auckland and I lead the Deloitte New Zealand China Service Group.
You lead the Deloitte New Zealand China Services Group. Tell us about the group and some of its achievements.
The Deloitte New Zealand China Services Group (CSG) is a member of the Deloitte global CSG. The New Zealand CSG comprises bilingual businesses, accounting and tax advisory professionals with experience working in both New Zealand and China. We work closely with the global CSG in providing services to our clients and we look after both inbound Chinese investors considering New Zealand opportunities and the local Chinese business community, with a full suite of accounting and tax services. We are proud to be the largest China team amongst 1st tier accounting firms in New Zealand and we are the trusted advisers to many of the well-known Chinese investors doing business in New Zealand.
Is there something that Chinese businesses have that we lack in New Zealand – from a business perspective could we learn something?
There are lots of commonality between how people from both countries do business, for example we all tend to engage in business with people that we trust, who we feel comfortable with and have worked with previously. The extra mile that successful Chinese businesses would go for is the amount of time they invest to build the strong and long lasting relationship. This is especially relevant to accounting firms while the trusted advisor role plays a key part in client relationships.
Where does your drive come from?
Leading the Deloitte New Zealand Chinese Services Group has been challenging but exciting and fun. Our team of Chinese speaking professionals play a key role in assisting both inbound and outbound investments between New Zealand and China and I am proud to have contributed to many successful cross-border investments. I am delighted that my experience with both Deloitte New Zealand and Deloitte China enables me to bridge the tax and accounting differences between China and New Zealand.
If you could change one aspect of New Zealand business – what would it be and why?
I wouldn’t exactly say change. But due to the scale of businesses in New Zealand compared to other major economic giants, there would necessarily be difference between how New Zealand businesses and business in larger economies are managed, just like how you wouldn’t expect a small family business to be run like a corporate. However I believe it would be beneficial for New Zealand businesses to have opportunity to interact with business leaders from larger economies to understand their perspective and how they think. Like the art of war says: “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles”.
What’s next for the China Services Group?
We would like to maintain our position as the #1 Big Four firm in Tax & Private by numbers of Chinese speaking professionals, become the first choice for talent and maintain the dominant advisor to the growing Chinese footprint in New Zealand.
There is a bit of perceived mystery around receiving money from China as well as getting money to China. Can you help us bust this myth?
Yes, there are certain restrictions for outbound investments coming out of China. Businesses are required to file their outbound investments with the Bureau in advance and each industry would have different threshold. For certain industries and sensitive areas, the outbound transfer may need to be approved in advance. From our experiences, businesses with legitimate projects/reasons in most cases are able to transfer the money out eventually but the process can be quite lengthy and it is critical to get all the paper works prepared well in advance.
Tell us more about how trade issues with China impact New Zealand – the FTA with China, US-China trade relations, etc.?
China is important to the New Zealand economy, so is the United States and for more than just economy. As the discussions between China and the US are getting more and more exciting, it’s reasonable for New Zealand to consider its trade position in the globe, especially for the agricultural products. With food prices inflated from Chinese tariffs on US agricultural products, Kiwi businesses are given more opportunities in selling their sheep and cows. Not to mention that China remains as the top trading partner of New Zealand and the two countries will soon celebrate the 10-year anniversary of FTA with a significant upgrade, the steady and huge Chinese demand and the good trade relation should continue to benefit the country.
How does China’s focus on innovation and new technology differ from New Zealand’s?
In the modern world of business, innovation and new technology are the game changers. We know that Asian countries are more digitally engaged and in countries with large unbanked populations, individuals have turned to digital solutions to allow them to participate more in the economy. In China, online payments through the likes of Alipay and WeChat Pay, with hundreds of millions of users each, are fueling digital ecommerce.
On the other hand, NZ has been known for strong innovation capabilities, although in a much smaller scale and focuses on businesses rather than consumers.