What it does: Offers audit and assurance, tax and advisory services within and outside the Philippines. Isla Lipana mainly serves industries in financial services, consumer and industrial products and services, information communications, technology, and entertainment, and various other services.
Best known for: Isla Lipana is a Philippine member firm of the PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) network, the world's second-largest professional services firm and one of the Big Four accounting firms along with EY, KPMG, and Deloitte. Isla Lipana has been around for almost a century and is the oldest operating professional services firm in the Philippines.
Staff stats: Around 1000 as of 2019.
The good bits: A competitive starting salary, extensive training, free seminars, opportunities for flexi-time, a diverse culture, and various employee engagement activities
The not-so-good bits: Insiders often complain about long hours and overwhelming workload during peak seasons.
Hiring grads with top marks in: Isla Lipana mainly hires both fresh and experienced Certified Public Accountants. Several roles are open to graduates from all fields, while more specialized roles are open to graduates in the fields of Accounting Technology, Accountancy, Financial Management, Management Accounting or equivalent; Information Technology, Information Systems, and related courses; Hospitality/Tourism/Hotel Management, Mass Communications, Secretarial or equivalent.
Isla Lipana & Co. was founded in 1922 when Percival S. Page and Charles P. White collaborated to open an accountancy practice in the Philippines. The business was named White, Page & Co. A new partnership was developed under Dacanany, Stewart, and Cunanan & Co. in 1948 and three years later, the company changed its name to Stewart, Cunanan & Co.
In 1956, Joaquin Cunanan became the very first Filipino senior partner of the company. Two years later, and the company was designated as the Philippines' Price Waterhouse correspondent. The company launched its Management Advisory and Tax services in 1960. Between 1964 and 1973, the company changed its name to Joaquin Cunanan & Go, added Jose Florento as a senior partner, and became a member of Price Waterhouse International. The company was able to develop its first Cebu branch office in 1975.
During the 1980s, the company appointed Corazon de la Paz-Bernando as senior partner and chairman, making her Price Waterhouse's first lady senior partner worldwide. During the same decade, Price Waterhouse merged globally with Coopers & Lybrand, one of the oldest accounting firms in the US, to create PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
The company added more chairmen and senior partners to its team in the 2000s, namely Jerry Isla (2001), Tammy Lipana (2006), and Judith Lopez (2009). It finally changed its name to Isla Lipana & Co. in 2005. To differentiate itself from the 'big four' professional services networks, PricewaterhouseCoopers rebranded globally as PwC in 2012. The rebranding was due to a desire to ‘modernise how it represents its worldwide network to its clients.' In 2013, CPA and lawyer Alexander B. Cabrera was appointed as the Chairman and Senior Partner of PwC Philippines.
In 2017, Isla Lipana & Co was the second most sought-after auditing firm by corporates in the country, according to the 2018 edition of BusinessWorld's Top 1000 Corporations in the Philippines.
PwC is a network of firms with around 276,000 employees and a presence in 157 countries. In the Philippines, it has 28 partners and 1,000 professional staff with offices in Cebu, Makati, and Iloilo.
The recruitment process varies from role to role, but applicants may expect a series of exams (eg accounting and auditing, taxation, English, and personality tests). The examinations are succeeded by a series of interviews with HR representatives, department managers, and/or directors. The process may take anywhere between a day to a week.
A competitive basic salary and various fringe benefits. Associates receive a monthly salary of Php 18,000 (based on 21 reports), while senior associates receive up to Php 31,000 (based on 20 reports). Benefits may include health insurance, performance-based bonuses, profit sharing, paid vacation and sick leaves, and travel opportunities.
While work gets everyone swamped during the busy season, the company recognizes the value of rest and recreation. Insiders often mention how the company is big on employee engagement activities which may include employee recognition, busy season treats, parties (per cluster and company-wide), and team-building activities.
The Isla Lipana workplace is often described to be 'fun' and 'supportive'.
Isla Lipana & Co. Foundation, Inc., developed in 2007, is the company's corporate responsibility arm with a mission to ease societal problems through a variety of sustainable community-driven and educational projects. The company focuses on three areas: education, community, and environmental protection.
'Seat of Hope', the foundation's flagship program, addresses the shortage of teachers' desks and classroom chairs in various public schools nationwide. To assist the community, the foundation donates to victims of calamities, funds shelter reconstruction projects, conducts community outreaches, and trains entrepreneurs and farmers the basics of business and accounting. To save the environment, the foundation engages in tree-potting and planting activities.
With remuneration packages that are said to be better than those offered by its fellow ‘Big Four’ accounting firms; great training and a supportive workplace, Isla Lipana is an outstanding choice for CPAs looking to learn more about the field of auditing. Know, however, that peak seasons demand long hours and more challenging work.